The Great Powers of Europe recognized an independent and sovereign Principality of Montenegro at the Congress of Berlin in 1878. Diplomatic relations between the United States and Montenegro began at the opening of the twentieth century on October 30, 1905. Following World War I, the Kingdom of Montenegro was subsumed into the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats, and Slovenes, and President Woodrow Wilson decided to withdraw recognition of independent Montenegro in 1920.
Modern Flag of Montenegro
Following the dissolution of the Federation of Yugoslavia in 1989, Montenegrin independence returned when the Republic of Montenegro declared independence from the State Union of Serbia and Montenegro on June 3, 2006. The United States recognized the Republic of Montenegro on June 13, 2006, and established relations with it on August 15, 2006.
The United States recognized the Republic of Montenegro on March 3, 1905, when President Theodore Roosevelt approved the Diplomatic and Consular Act, which assigned the U.S. Mission to Greece responsibility for American representation in Montenegro.
President Woodrow Wilson made the decision to withdraw recognition of independent Montenegro on December 30, 1920, and on January 21, 1921, Acting Secretary of State Norman H. Davis informed Montenegro’s Honorary Consul-General, William F. Dix, that “in view of the present status of Montenegro, this Government no longer considers it necessary to accord recognition to her diplomatic and consular officers.” The United States followed the lead of European powers in withdrawing recognition. Montenegro had sided with the Allied Powers in World War I, but was occupied by Austria-Hungary for a period and King Nikola was forced into exile. With the departure of Austria-Hungary’s forces in 1918, French, Italian, and Serbian troops arrived to occupy Montenegro. Serbian leaders quickly convoked a “National Assembly” that voted to depose King Nikola and merge Montenegro into the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats, and Slovenes. One of President Wilson’s Fourteen Points called for the evacuation of Montenegro and other Balkan states, as well as international guarantees for their independence. The 1919 Paris Peace Conference failed to reach a decision on Montenegro, however, and the Allies remained unwilling to intervene against the de facto occupation by Serbian forces.
The United States recognized the Republic of Montenegro on June 13, 2006, when Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice released a public statement to that effect. From World War I until 2006, Montenegro had been a constituent part of various incarnations of the state of Yugoslavia. Following the dissolution of the Federation of Yugoslavia in 1989, Montenegro had been part of Yugoslavia’s successor state (named the State Union of Serbia & Montenegro in 2003) until declaring independence on June 3, 2006.
Diplomatic relations were established on October 30, 1905, when John B. Jackson, U.S. Envoy Extraordinary and Minister Plenipotentiary, presented his credentials to Prince Nikola. Jackson and his successors resided in Athens, Greece and made annual visits to Cetinje, the Montenegrin capitol.
Diplomatic relations ended on December 30, 1920, when President Woodrow Wilson withdrew recognition of Montenegro as an independent state (see Recognitions above).
Diplomatic relations were established on August 15, 2006, with an exchange of letters between President George W. Bush and Montenegrin President Filip Vujanovic. The United States had recognized the independence of the Republic of Montenegro on June 13, 2006.
The American Embasy in Podgorica was established on October 5, 2006, when the U.S. Consulate became an embassy, with Arlene Ferrill as Charge d'Affaires ad interim.