4% of GDP: Trump pushes North Atlantic Treaty Organisation allies to double military spending

12 Juillet, 2018, 07:27 | Auteur: Anatole Charbonneau
  • Trump brands Germany a ‘captive’ of Russia in nuclear start to Nato summit

The US is paying for Europe's protection, then loses billions on Trade. "If we look at the gas pipeline, Germany is an independent country". We're protecting all of these countries. "I think we have to talk to Germany about it".

Environmental-conscious Germany is trying to reduce its reliance on coal and is phasing out nuclear power by 2022, so it hopes to use natural gas to partially fill the gap until the country's electricity grid can cope with fluctuating levels provided by renewable energy. In May, the State Department threatened to sanction the companies involved in the project.

Trump said he had proof, claiming Germany gets 35% of its natural gas from Russian Federation.

The pair later met for a one-on-one meeting and while Trump insisted they had a "very very good relationship", their frosty body language suggested otherwise.

"The point she's making is that you can see the list of activities she points to, the way Russian Federation are behaving, and she's saying firstly that it's important that there's a price to pay for this, and we work together as allies to make sure that's enforced". Trump has long argued that improving relaxations with Russian Federation would be good for both nations.

Speaking before he left Washington on Tuesday for his week-long trip, which also includes his first official visit to Britain, Trump told reporters: "I have North Atlantic Treaty Organisation, I have the United Kingdom, which is in somewhat turmoil".

Former secretary of state John Kerry blasted President Trump's criticism of Germany in a lengthy statement on Wednesday morning as "strange", "counterproductive", and "disgraceful". According to NATO's most recent report detailing members' defense expenditures, only five countries now satisfy that threshold: the United States, Greece, the United Kingdom, Estonia and Latvia. "I am very happy that we are today united in freedom as the federal republic". During the plenary session, he suddenly called on fellow alliance members to spend 4 percent of GDP on defense, rather than the agreed-upon 2 percent. Because of me, they've raised about $40bn over the past year.

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The acknowledgement came during a pre-dinner interlude in Trump's long summit day.

The European Union is split on the pipeline issue. Germany is the largest economy in the EU. Gazprom secured permits from Finland, Sweden, Denmark, and Germany to build the pipeline on the bed of the Baltic Sea.

He said the United Kingdom contributes $61 billion, Germany $51 billion and Canada "an embarrassing" $21 billion. Moscow could then also shut off the gas at will to states Russian Federation still considers its satellites.

On July 9, the president of Ukraine and the presidents of the European Council and the European Commission opposed the Nord Stream 2 pipeline in a joint statement.

German Chancellor Merkel hit back immediately, not only denying Trump's contention but suggesting that his comfortable upbringing in the US gave him no standing to spout off on the world stage about Germany. The president said that allies increased spending by $40 billion at his urging.

Trump's moodiness, along with his unpredictability and often-treacherous behavior towards his allies, makes clear that he views military security as a commodity that can be sold.

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