Trump blasts Montenegro, questions North Atlantic Treaty Organisation mutual defence

22 July, 2018, 00:57 | Author: Essie Rivera
  • After Helsinki, Trump boasts of reinforcing NATO

President Donald Trump, who rattled US allies at a North Atlantic Treaty Organisation meeting last week, voiced concern in a television interview broadcast Tuesday night that sending troops from the alliance to defend an "aggressive" Montenegro could result in World War III.

Trump, in an interview with Fox News's Tucker Carlson, was asked by host Carlson that why his son should "go to Montenegro to defend it from attack?"

Meanwhile, Russia's political and media establishment heralded talks between the Russian and USA leaders in Helsinki as a victory for Vladimir Putin in breaking down Western resolve to treat Russia as a pariah.

U.S. House of Representatives Speaker Paul Ryan, the top Republican in Congress, said late on July 16 that Trump was wrong to question once again the conclusions of the U.S. Justice Department and intelligence agencies that Russian Federation interfered in the 2016 election.

TRUMP: No, by the way, they have very strong people - they have very aggressive people. They are very aggressive people.

"Let's say Montenegro, which joined a year ago. why should my son go to Montenegro to defend it from attack", Tucker asked Trump.

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In a statement on Thursday Montenegro defended its history of "peaceful politics", saying the country "contributes to peace and stability not only on the European continent but worldwide, along with U.S. soldiers in Afghanistan".

In a July 19 statement, the Montenegrin government said, "We are proud of our history, our friendship and alliance with U.S. is strong and permanent".

Montenegro has taken center stage in the struggle for influence between Russian Federation and Western nations in former communist eastern Europe.

NATO's collective defense clause has been activated only once in the alliance's almost 70-year history - following the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on the U.S. "President Trump congratulates the Montenegrin people for their resilience and their demonstrated commitment to NATO's democratic values". "But I took over the conversation three or four days ago, and I said, 'You have to pay'".

Carlson pressed Trump on the goal of the alliance, which was created in 1949 to protect the United States, Canada and a host of Western European nations from Soviet incursion.

Moscow has been accused of meddling in Montenegro's elections, and a failed 2016 coup was allegedly planned by pro-Russian militants. "We have discussed this at length. there must be more burden-sharing when it comes to defending worldwide rules-based order, when it comes to enforcing the rules and norms, and when it comes to promoting and advocating peace and stability around the world". It takes a truly horrific policy, such as support for the war on Yemen, to spur members of Congress to try to end USA involvement in a foreign war, and even in that case it has not been successful so far. "We really believe that Article 5 is unconditional and rock-solid". Expanding the alliance creates new commitments for the USA that we don't need, but it also ends up pulling the new allies into wars that have nothing to do with them.

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