Montenegro residents laugh off Trump's remarks

Residents and officials in Montenegro respond after President Trump questioned why the US should defend Montenegro.

Posted: Jul 20, 2018 9:21 PM
Updated: Jul 20, 2018 9:37 PM

US President Donald Trump suggested this week that this tiny Balkan country could be the crucible for a new global conflict.

Montenegro begs to differ.

"We have no intentions whatsoever to start World War III, we are too small for that," the country's foreign minister, Srdjan Darmanovic, told CNN in an exclusive interview. "It was fun to hear about it, actually like a good joke, but we are a very peaceful nation."

The newest NATO member was thrown into the spotlight when Trump described its people as "very aggressive" and warned during an interview with Fox News' Tucker Carlson on Tuesday.

Carlson questioned why the US should have to defend Montenegro, as required by Article 5 of the NATO treaty.

Trump responded: "I've asked the same question. Montenegro is a tiny country with very strong people. ... They are very strong people. They are very aggressive people, they may get aggressive, and congratulations, you are in World War III."

Darmanovic took a generous view of Trump's comments, suggesting the US President was making a broader point. "I think President Trump actually did not speak on Montenegro. He spoke on 2% on financing and contributing to NATO, and Montenegro was just picked up as an example -- maybe because we are one of the tiniest countries in the alliance," the foreign minister said.

Montenegro joined NATO in 2017. Its membership bid was opposed by Russia, which maintains close relationships with neighboring Serbia. The Montenegrin government accuses Moscow of orchestrating a coup as part of an effort to prevent it joining NATO.

Darmanovic agreed that Trump's comments would be welcomed in Moscow. "It might be music for their ears, but still I believe that we are not less safe," he said. "We really believe that Article 5 is unconditional and rock-solid."

In any case, Trump's comments appear to be at odds with his recent actions: He signed a NATO communique that explicitly endorsed Article 5 at a summit in Brussels, Belgium last week.

On the waterfront in the capital, Podgorica, Trump's remarks were met with incredulity. "Maybe he makes a mistake? No, do I look like an aggressive man? I think no!" one resident said, laughing.

"I don't know what to say, I think this is really stupid," another local told CNN.

A NATO official described the collective defense clause enshrined in Article 5 as "unconditional and ironclad."

"It means that an attack on one is an attack on all," the official told CNN. "President Trump has made clear that the US is fully committed to NATO and our alliance is stronger than ever."

West Lafayette
Few Clouds
91° wxIcon
Hi: 92° Lo: 72°
Feels Like: 95°
Kokomo
Clear
89° wxIcon
Hi: 92° Lo: 70°
Feels Like: 91°
Rensselaer
Clear
86° wxIcon
Hi: 88° Lo: 66°
Feels Like: 90°
Fowler
Clear
86° wxIcon
Hi: 89° Lo: 69°
Feels Like: 90°
Williamsport
Clear
90° wxIcon
Hi: 91° Lo: 71°
Feels Like: 94°
Crawfordsville
Broken Clouds
88° wxIcon
Hi: 90° Lo: 71°
Feels Like: 93°
Frankfort
Scattered Clouds
91° wxIcon
Hi: 90° Lo: 71°
Feels Like: 97°
Delphi
Clear
90° wxIcon
Hi: 91° Lo: 69°
Feels Like: 91°
Monticello
Clear
90° wxIcon
Hi: 95° Lo: 68°
Feels Like: 91°
Logansport
Clear
90° wxIcon
Hi: 90° Lo: 69°
Feels Like: 92°
WLFI Radar
WLFI Temps
WLFI Planner

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 47432

Reported Deaths: 2687
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Marion11546683
Lake5104242
Elkhart321144
Allen2737129
St. Joseph190866
Cass16389
Hamilton1538100
Hendricks1390100
Johnson1256118
Porter72037
Tippecanoe6948
Madison65564
Clark64044
Bartholomew58244
Howard56557
LaPorte56326
Kosciusko5354
Vanderburgh5026
Marshall4823
Jackson4693
Noble46928
LaGrange4677
Hancock44035
Boone43743
Delaware43150
Shelby42325
Floyd37144
Morgan32731
Montgomery29320
Grant29126
Clinton2882
Monroe27628
Dubois2666
White26010
Henry25815
Decatur24932
Lawrence24225
Vigo2318
Dearborn22823
Harrison21222
Warrick21229
Greene18532
Miami1822
Jennings17411
Putnam1688
DeKalb1604
Scott1607
Daviess14216
Orange13623
Wayne1366
Steuben1282
Perry1279
Franklin1248
Ripley1157
Jasper1142
Wabash1122
Carroll1102
Fayette987
Newton9810
Starke923
Whitley905
Randolph784
Huntington742
Jefferson722
Wells711
Fulton691
Jay680
Washington681
Gibson672
Knox640
Pulaski641
Clay604
Rush563
Adams501
Benton480
Owen471
Sullivan441
Brown381
Posey380
Blackford372
Spencer371
Crawford300
Fountain302
Tipton301
Switzerland260
Martin220
Parke220
Ohio140
Vermillion140
Warren141
Union130
Pike100
Unassigned0193

COVID-19 Important links and resources

As the spread of COVID-19, or as it's more commonly known as the coronavirus continues, this page will serve as your one-stop for the resources you need to stay informed and to keep you and your family safe. CLICK HERE

Closings related to the prevention of the COVID-19 can be found on our Closings page.

Community Events