Ex-NATO commander: Trump comments 'worst nightmare' for Montenegro

After Helsinki, Trump boasts of reinforcing NATO

NATO's youngest member claimed it had a "history and tradition and peaceful politics" and pledged permanent friendship to the United States, after President Donald Trump called Montenegro's people "aggressive" and capable of starting WWIII.

But tension remains after Russia's 2014 annexation of Crimea from Ukraine, whose government says Moscow continues to send cash, weapons and troops to fuel a separatist conflict that's killed more than 10,000 people.

Trump was responding to a question from Fox host Tucker Carlson, who asked the president a hypothetical question: "Why should my son go to Montenegro to defend it from attack?".

Backlash from President Trump's meeting with Russia's Vladimir Putin could include congressional action.

Asked if her confidence in the U.S. alliance had been shaken by Mr Trump's visits to NATO, Helsinki and in the washup, Ms Payne pointed out that she and Foreign Minister Julie Bishop would be on the USA west coast next week to meet their United States counterparts. On Thursday, the country released a statement to let people know that it is the least likely to start a war.

"Right. By the way, they are very strong people", he said of the Balkan country. "They may get aggressive, and congratulations, you're in World War III".

It also comes on the heels of remarks the president made at a news conference in Helsinki in which he appeared to take Putin's word that Russian Federation did not interfere with the 2016 US election. In a statement posted on its official website, the Montenegrin government says it is "proud" of the "history and tradition and peaceful politics that led to the position of a stabilising state in the region". "So, let's say Montenegro, which joined [NATO] previous year, is attacked, why should my son go to Montenegro to defend it from attack?".

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NATO's common defence clause has only been invoked once - by America after the September 11, 2001 terror attacks conducted by Al-Qaeda.

"Trump's remarks further undermine North Atlantic Treaty Organisation and his message may be interpreted in Moscow as a clear sign that the current U.S. government will not support its allies, should Moscow seek to destabilise the region by whatever means", said Kenneth Morrison, professor of modern south-east European history at De Montfort University in Leicester, UK. Within a day he had been forced to admit, for the first time, that there had indeed been Russian meddling in the U.S. election process in 2016.

The country started the process of Accession to the European Union in November 2005. "President Trump congratulates the Montenegrin people for their resilience and their demonstrated commitment to NATO's democratic values".

The statement also emphasized the country's commitment to peace.

Montenegro previously had friendly relations with Russia, with its Adriatic coast being dubbed "Moscow on Sea" because of the large numbers of Russian holidaymakers that flocked there each summer.

Montenegro, a small country with population of 630,000, was one of the six republics in former Yugoslavia, which fell apart in early 1990. When Trump spoke in Warsaw past year, his speech was repeatedly interrupted by chants of "Donald Trump!"

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