Many Americans had never heard of Montenegro before President Donald Trump brought it up in an interview with Tucker Carlson. The nation, roughly the size of Louisville, Kentucky, hasn’t been on many people’s radar.
So people were perplexed when the President said this.
“They have very strong people — they have very aggressive people. They may get aggressive, and congratulations, you’re in World War III. Now, I understand that — but that’s the way it was set up.,” he said. “Don’t forget, I just got here a little more than a year and a half ago. But I took over the conversation three or four days ago, and I said, ‘You have to pay.’”
He was referring to the defense spending of NATO allies, and lamenting the fact that America must come to the aid of other members. But Montenegro issued a very polite — rather non-aggressive — response.
“We build friendships, and we have not lost a single one,” the statement read. “At the same time, we are able to boldly and defensively protect and defend our own national interests.”
The statement also emphasized the country’s commitment to peace.
“Montenegro is proud of its history and tradition and peaceful politics that led to the position of a stabilising state in the region and the only state in which the war didn’t rage during disintegration of the former Yugoslavia,” it read.
The New Yorker quotes Nicholas Burns, a former U.S. Ambassador to NATO, who was not a fan of Trump’s comments. In fact, he described them as “reckless and ill-informed.”
“Deterrence against a potential aggressor works when the credibility of the U.S. is clear and strong,” Burns said. “Trump has now muddied the waters with his deeply unfortunate comments. He is playing into Putin’s hands. Putin wants to divide the U.S. from its allies and to weaken NATO.”
Image Credit: Wikipedia