Donald Trump tells North Atlantic Treaty Organisation allies to double their defense spending

12 Juillet, 2018, 11:43 | Auteur: Anatole Charbonneau

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Lawmakers in the US seemed to break with the president's attacks, issuing their support for the decades-old organization.

"I don't understand why Germany would be so in favor of supporting that particular supply source instead of diversifying", said Corker, the chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

Speaking at a press conference in Brussels ahead of the two-day summit, Trump complained that Russian Federation enjoyed undue influence over Germany thanks to "inappropriate" oil and gas deals.

Burns, a professor at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government, said, "Trump is right to push this issue of defense budgets because Europeans do need to spend more, particularly Germany, on their national defense".

That would represent a massive upheaval of budgetary priorities in Europe where Germany and many others have pledged only to reach 2 percent by 2024 or later, the report noted. There isn't a penalty for not meeting it, but Trump has repeatedly castigated Germany in particular for not spending enough, in his view, on defense.

"We're supposed to be guarding against Russia and Germany goes out and pays billions and billions of dollars a year to Russia", Trump said.

As US President Donald Trump uses his time in Brussels to lambast European leaders for their various failings, as he sees them, a photograph now making the rounds on Twitter has captured the mood perfectly. "I am very happy that we are today united in freedom as the federal republic". Afterwards he will spend the weekend in Scotland at his gold club, Trump Turnberry, in Ayrshire.

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Kerry, who served as the Secretary of State from 2013-17, said Trump makes public adversaries out of its friends, and turns USA adversary, who has been attacking America's democracy, into his fawned-over ally. But after a day of Trump throwing political hand grenades at Germany, he and Merkel gave a cool and cordial read out of their private meeting.

"We have been clear that firms working in the Russian energy export pipeline sector are engaging in a line of business that carries sanctions risk", a spokesman for the US State Department told Reuters.

It didn't take long for German Chancellor Angela Merkel to respond to Trump's comments.

Trump said Germany's closure of coal and nuclear power plants on environmental grounds had increased its dependence, like much of the rest of Europe, on Russian gas. "I hope you have no doubt this is an investment in our security, which can not be said with confidence about Russian & Chinese spending".

U.S. President Donald Trump and U.S. First Lady Melania Trump attend the evening reception and dinner at the 2018 NATO Summit.

After Trump's cordial reception of Merkel in the afternoon, it seemed Trump avoided the kind of diplomatic disaster he set in motion at the G7 in June.

Despite his continued criticism of the transAtlantic pact, Trump on Wednesday signed the 23-page North Atlantic Treaty Organisation declaration, along with his 28 other allies, which reaffirmed the two percent goal to be reached by 2014.

But no sooner after he got in his presidential motorcade to ride to a formal dinner at a historic setting in Brussels, Trump tweeted a few last critiques. The US is paying for Europe's protection, then loses billions on Trade.

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