Trump pushes allies for immediate military spending increase

Toru Hanai  Reuters

Toru Hanai Reuters

Donald Trump wants the United States' NATO allies to double their defense spending target to the equivalent of four per cent of their GDP.

He says the USA "pays tens of Billions of Dollars too much to subsidize Europe" and is demanding members meet their pledge to spend 2 percent of GDP on defense.

"Germany is totally controlled by Russia because they will be getting 60-70 percent of their energy from Russia and a new pipeline", Trump told reporters, calling the alleged dependence on Russian energy "inappropriate".

"Because of me they've [NATO] raised about $40 billion over the previous year", the U.S. leader told journalists standing next to NATO Secretary General. "We're supposed to protect you against Russian Federation but they're paying billions of dollars to Russian Federation and I think that's very inappropriate". "Must pay 2% of GDP IMMEDIATELY, not by 2025".

Trump earlier told alliance leaders they should raise their defense spending to 4 percent of their gross domestic product, or GDP.

During the president's remarks, he suggested countries not only meet their minimum commitment of 2 percent but increase it to 4 percent, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, White House press secretary said in a statement.

Trump's criticism of America's allies comes days ahead of his meeting with his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin in Helsinki on 16 July.

"We have a very, very good relationship with the chancellor". The resolution recognises that NATO remains the most important and critical security link between the United States and Europe and the US' commitment to the principle of collective defence as laid out in Article 5 of the NATO Treaty.

President Donald Trump has arrived at North Atlantic Treaty Organisation headquarters, where he's attending a second day of meetings with leaders of the military alliance.

Stoltenberg said it had been appropriate and understandable for defence spending to fall after the end of the Cold War, but the alliance had now recognised the need to bring it back up, with member countries adding billions to their defence budgets. The president is also not the first leader to point to the impact of Nord Stream 2 on Europe, echoing complaints from Eastern European allies who note it would cut out transit countries such as Poland and Ukraine.

"The United States is paying far too much and other countries are not paying enough, especially some".

"He was in a good mood, he said Europe was a continent he appreciated", Luxembourg's Prime Minister Xavier Bettel told reporters.

Mr Trump made more conciliatory remarks on Wednesday after he and Mrs Merkel met on the sidelines of the Brussels summit, saying defence spending and trade had been discussed.

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.

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