North Atlantic Treaty Organisation summit: Donald Trump says Germany is 'captive of Russians'
11 July, 2018, 14:42 | Author: Myra Gill
He asked Stoltenberg to explain why Berlin was getting energy from Moscow, and asserted that Germany was "totally controlled" by and "captive to Russia" over a pipeline project.
Germany's plan to increase its defence expenditure to the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation target of 2% of GDP by 2030. was not good enough, Trump said, adding: "They could do it tomorrow".
His comments were linked to the president's push for other European countries to pay more for its defence needs, in particular Germany.
"This has been going on for decades and it is disproportionate and not fair to the taxpayers of the United States and we're going to make it fair".
"So I think the secretary-general likes Trump". The U.S.is projected to spend 3.5 percent of GDP on defense this year, down from 3.57 percent in 2017, while Canada is forecast to reduce such spending to 1.23 percent in 2018 from 1.36 percent.
Mr Tusk also said that the United States did not and would not have a better ally than the EU, reminding the president that it was European troops who had fought and died in Afghanistan after the 11 September 2001 attacks on the US.
"So we're protecting Germany, we're protecting France, we're protecting all of these countries and then numerous of these countries go out and make a pipeline deal with Russia where they're paying billions of dollars into the coffers of Russia", Trump said.
Despite that, USA officials told Reuters news agency the president was expected to reaffirm U.S. support for Article 5 of the Nato treaty, which states that an attack against one ally is considered an attack on all members.
And I think you can have no doubt, Mr President, that this is an investment in common American and European defence and security.
He vowed not to be "taken advantage" of by the European Union, which he accuses of freeloading by relying on the United States for its defence while blocking USA imports into the bloc, the world's biggest market.
Many US presidents have urged European governments to spend more on their militaries.
She said: "We have a tight relationship with our allies in the European Union, yet this government is tearing us away from them just as Trump is making a mockery of our so-called special relationship".
The European Council President appealed to Mr Trump to remember who his allies are as the U.S. leader prepares to meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin. And I have Putin. "You tell me if that's appropriate. Just doesn't work!" he tweeted as he arrived in Brussels late on Tuesday.
The 1.5 percent level forecast for NATO's European members in 2018 compares to 1.46 percent past year, 1.44 percent in 2016 and 1.42 percent in 2015. "Frankly, Putin may be the easiest of all", as he and his wife Melania prepared to board the Marine One presidential helicopter on the White House lawn.
"It's also because of your leadership, because your clear message", Stoltenberg responded.
Some NATO members have previously pushed back, saying the United States is also protecting its own interests by protecting its allies. "But despite those disagreements I expect we will agree on the fundamentals".
Stoltenberg said he expected a "open and frank" debate about defence spending at the summit but tried to play down the differences opening up between allies.
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