Trump Continues to Hammer NATO Nations on Defense Spending

Elias Hubbard
July 12, 2018

Nato Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said the main focus should be on all members reaching the current target of 2 percent of GDP.

U.S. President Donald Trump said his efforts had pushed other North Atlantic Treaty Organisation countries to contribute more to the Western defense alliance but it was still not enough to offset the burden on U.S. taxpayers.

This comes after President Trump blasted Germany for being "captive" to Russian Federation over the multi-billion dollar gas pipeline - called Nord Stream 2.

She also defended Germany's contribution to an alliance which Trump says places too much burden on the United States taxpayer.

It followed an uncomfortable first round at the summit where anxious Western allies were subjected to the USA president's "America first" approach.

His comment that Germany was controlled by Russian Federation earned a rebuke from Berlin.

It is not yet decided whether they will meet at the Kremlin or at the stadium where France is set to play the victor of Wednesday night's semi-final between England and Croatia, the aide said. "And the meeting next week in Helsinki between Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin will confirm that Ukraine is on the frontline of European and transatlantic politics", the president wrote.

The NATO chief was frank about the impact of Trump's criticism on the organisation. "So we're going to have a meeting on that", Trump said, describing the situation as "disproportionate and not fair to the taxpayers of the United States".

Earlier, Trump strode into NATO's new headquarters to shake hands with leaders - but only after publicly railing against Germany at a breakfast meeting with Stoltenberg.

Reporters there noted that Kelly looked fairly uncomfortable as Trump made the comments.

French President Emmanuel Macron said the summit atmosphere was "much calmer than everyone had said" and he saw a will to maintain the unity of the alliance, while Croatian President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic said Trump was "constructive".

During a working breakfast that marked the start of the summit, Trump said Germany was "controlled by Russian Federation", citing an energy partnership between the two countries.

Mrs Merkel told reporters: "I am very happy that today we are united in freedom as the Federal Republic of Germany".

Stoltenberg later said Trump had "very direct language" but "when it comes to the core message we actually all agree... we have to share the burden more fairly". "I want to compliment the secretary general, he's worked very hard on this problem". "He may be the only one, but that's OK with me".

Instead, a series of events - a black-tie dinner with business leaders, a meeting with May and an audience with Queen Elizabeth II - will happen outside the bustling city, where Mayor Sadiq Khan has been in a verbal battle with Mr. Trump.

"Dear America, appreciate your allies, after all you don't have all that many", he said.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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