PODGORICA, Montenegro (AP) — U.S. Vice President Mike Pence has praised tiny Montenegro for standing up to Russian pressure when it joined NATO earlier this year.
Pence is the highest-ranking American official to visit the small Adriatic state in 100 years. Russia considers Montenegro its traditional Slavic ally.
Pence said during a formal dinner with Montenegro President Filip Vujanovic on Tuesday evening that "your courage, particularly in the face of Russian pressure, inspires the world and I commend you for that."
Pence said "I bring greetings from President Donald Trump. He sent me here as a tangible sign of our commitment to Montenegro as the newest member of NATO."
Russia is accused of masterminding an attempted coup in Montenegro in October to prevent it from joining NATO.