APRIL 11, 2017 - Trump approves Montenegro's membership in NATO


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WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. President Donald Trump on Tuesday signed the U.S. instrument of ratification for Montenegro’s accession to NATO, the White House said in a statement.

Last month the Senate overwhelmingly backed the expansion of NATO to allow Montenegro to join the alliance, hoping to send a message that the United States will push back against Russian efforts to increase its influence in Europe.


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AND THEN…

WASHINGTON — Montenegro may have a few questions for President Trump.

In an interview that aired Tuesday evening with the Fox News host Tucker Carlson, Mr. Trump appeared to suggest that the NATO mutual defense compact is confusing, particularly the question of why an American would have to defend a small country like Montenegro, which is more than 5,000 miles away.

Mr. Trump has long raised questions about the future of the United States’ commitment to NATO, a defense treaty that was established to stave off aggression from what was then the Soviet Union. Montenegro joined the alliance in 2017, a year after Russia plotted a coup to overthrow Montenegro’s government and replace it with one that would be hostile toward NATO.

On Tuesday, Mr. Carlson asked Mr. Trump: “So, let’s say Montenegro — which joined last year — is attacked, why should my son go to Montenegro to defend it from attack? Why is that?”

Mr. Trump immediately acknowledged the concern.

“I understand what you’re saying,” Mr. Trump said. “I’ve asked the same question.”


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