President Trump on Thursday. (Chris Kleponis/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock)

The July 25 editorial “Mr. Putin meddles in another country” well explained President Trump’s attack on little Montenegro, of which (like most Americans) he must have been totally unaware until he met with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Helsinki. Subsequently, he described this tiny country and its people as “very aggressive” and said it could somehow trigger World War III.

Russia was very upset when this country broke loose from its friend Serbia in 2006. In 2016, Mr. Putin mounted a clandestine intervention to block its joining NATO. This involved an unsuccessful attempt to assassinate its prime minister. Montenegro joined NATO in 2017, which must have greatly irked Mr. Putin.

Most damaging was Mr. Trump’s view that this “aggressive” country could somehow foment World War III by being in NATO. NATO’s protective Article 5 does not apply to any member instigating aggression. It should be noted that this “aggressive” country has a smaller population than the District and has a democratic government. It faces the Adriatic Sea on one side and a much larger Serbia on the other.

William Lloyd Stearman, North Bethesda