U.S. President Donald Trump is taking another jab at North Atlantic Treaty Organisation, questioning whether the alliance's mutual defense pact might conceivably let tiny Montenegro's "very aggressive people" start World War III.
Fox News host Tucker Carlson brought up Montenegro during the interview with Trump following the summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Helsinki on Monday. "At the same time, we are able to boldly and defensively protect and defend our own national interests".
"In today's world, it does not matter how big or small you are, but to what extent you cherish the values of freedom, solidarity and democracy", argued the government in Podgorica, in reference to its size (5,333 square miles) and population (630,000 or so).
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He also had to backtrack on his claim that the United States was to blame for the heightened tension with Russian Federation, tweeting that "We're all to blame" and that he held "both countries responsible". Before the country joined NATO, Russia was vehemently opposed to Montenegro's joining the alliance, and in 2017, Montenegro accused Russia of being involved in a plot to kill the country's then-Prime Minister and overthrow the government in an attempt to thwart the country's efforts to join.
Fox News host Tucker Carlson asked the United States president about the country with a population of little more than 600,000. "So, let's say Montenegro, which joined [NATO] past year, is attacked, why should my son go to Montenegro to defend it from attack?".
Trump responded: "I've asked the same question. You know, Montenegro is a tiny country with very strong people". Why should anyone fight and die for aggressive people like the Montenegrins? "I think President Trump is very open to discussion, and I think when he talks to people, especially in a one-on-one situation, he will entertain a variety of ideas, but he never really commits to them".
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In particular, the presenter spoke with trump about article 5 of the NATO Charter, which stipulates that an attack on a NATO member is an attack on all members.
Trump's jab against the smallest and newest entrant to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization has further fanned global uproar over his trip to Europe, where he clashed with the US's closest allies before holding a closed-door meeting with President Vladimir Putin.
"Arizona Sen. McCain, in a tweet on Wednesday, chastised the president for his remarks, saying that "#Putin will do anything to shatter the transatlantic alliance" in a tweet that pointed to an editorial he wrote about the Montenegro coup plot that was first published previous year in USA Today.
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Mr Hunt and his colleague Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson declined to say whether they thought the United Kingdom should go that far. If Russia were to invade the tiny nation, the US would be required to come to Montenegro's defense, potentially sparking a massive global conflict. "So not only are we paying for most of it, but they weren't even paying and we're protecting them". "It's a way to say to Russian Federation and others, 'you can't meddle and you can't play geopolitics in the Western Balkans because we are part of the Western Balkans'".