At NATO, Trump lashes Germany for being Russian 'captive'

Trump Presses NATO on Defense Spending Ahead of Summit

Trump Presses NATO on Defense Spending Ahead of Summit

In a startling public outburst, Trump told NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg that Germany was wrong to support a new $11-billion Baltic Sea pipeline to import Russian gas while being slow to meet targets for contributing to NATO defense spending that was meant to protect Europe from Russia.

Trump repeatedly pressed Jens Stoltenberg, NATO's secretary general, on why the US continued to pay money to the military alliance while countries continue to purchase energy from Moscow. "They pay billions of dollars to Russian Federation and we have to defend them against Russian Federation".

The Nord Stream 2 project-an $11 billion extension of the existing Nord Stream natural gas pipeline by the Kremlin-backed gas giant Gazprom and five European nations-will double Russia's gas export capability to Germany to nearly 250 billion square feet per year.

And I think you can have no doubt, Mr President, that this is an investment in common American and European defence and security.

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. Let's make sure that we're living up to our expectations and obligations, '" Gardner said.

"We are stronger together", Stoltenberg insisted, but acknowledged that there can be differences among allies.

Budget increases started after Russia's 2014 annexation of Ukraine's Crimean Peninsula, and they have accelerated in the Trump era in response to the US President's criticism.

Mr Trump was also participating in a welcome ceremony, a meeting of the North Atlantic Council and a working dinner with some of the same leaders he berated over trade during his last world leaders summit in Canada last month. After concluding his business in Brussels, he will spend three days in the U.K. He will then fly to Helsinki, Finland, where he will meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin.


"President Trump has a very direct language and message on defence spending, but fundamentally we all agree that we need fair burden sharing", Stoltenberg said on his arrival at the summit. After all, you don't have that many.

US officials are reportedly preparing for a review of USA military strategy in Afghanistan after the Trump administration failed to see major progress against the Taliban in 2017.

European officials say while United States defence spending makes up 70 percent of combined allied governments' military budgets, just 15 percent of United States expenditure is spent in Europe on NATO-related defence. "NATO has not treated us fairly, but I think we'll work something out".

'You tell me if that's appropriate because I think it's not.

Mr Tusk added that the European Union spent more than Russian Federation on defence, and as much as China.

U.S. President Donald Trump gestures while speaking to NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg during their bilateral breakfast, Wednesday, July 11, 2018 in Brussels, Belgium. "Frankly, Putin may be the easiest of them all", Trump said Tuesday.

On July 10, U.S. Ambassador to NATO Kay Bailey Hutchinson and the U.S. Senate both sought to allay concerns among allies the United States was backing away from NATO, or from the alliance treaty's Article 5, which stipulates that an attack on one member state is considered an attack on all.

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