Published: Thu, July 12, 2018
People | By Leon Thompson

Trump says North Atlantic Treaty Organisation countries should ´reimburse´ United States for defense costs

Trump says North Atlantic Treaty Organisation countries should ´reimburse´ United States for defense costs

"On top of that, Germany is just paying a little bit over 1 percent [on defense]... and I think that is inappropriate also", Trump said.

Merkel, for her part, called the two nations "good partners" and said "we wish to continue to co-operate in the future".

"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", Trump said, repeatedly describing Germany as "captive to Russia" because of the energy deal. "We are one of the guarantors of the free world and that will stay that way". 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.

"We should first get to 2 pct", NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg, adding that eight of the 29 allies were meeting that target, while others had a plan to do - turning a leaf on years of defense budget cuts. As the pair met alongside the main summit, Trump confirmed he had brought up the issue of the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline between Russian Federation and Germany.

He said they were discussing military spending and trade.

However, his comment that "Germany is totally controlled by Russia because they are getting 60 to 70 percent of their energy from Russia and a new pipeline" appeared to misstate German energy use - about 20 percent of which is accounted for by oil and gas imports from Russia. "I am very happy that we are today united in freedom as the federal republic". "But other presidents never did anything about it because I don't think they understood it or they just didn't want to get involved". "Nor is the US spending more because allies are spending less. our defense spending is a national decision and is determined by our national security and defense needs". Says Stoltenberg: "We have agreed that we're committed to the pledge increasing defence spending to 2 percent".

Of Nato's 29 members, just five meet that target this year: the US, Greece, Estonia, the United Kingdom and Latvia.

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At the summit on Thursday, leaders will discuss ties with Georgia and Ukraine, two North Atlantic Treaty Organisation membership hopefuls that contribute to troop levels in Afghanistan but have seen their chances of joining the alliance hampered by Russian incursions into their territory.

Trump is due to meet Putin on Monday in Helsinki.

"I wanted to say that, because of current events, I have witnessed this myself, that a part of Germany was controlled by the Soviet Union".

The president's beef was with the Nord Stream 2 pipeline that would bring gas from Russian Federation to Germany's northeastern Baltic coast, bypassing Eastern European nations like Poland and Ukraine and doubling the amount of gas Russian Federation can send directly to Germany.

Trump and Merkel later held businesslike talks on the sidelines of the summit.

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.

When it was her turn to address reporters in the room for the meeting with Trump, Merkel made no similar declaration about her relationship with Trump. "It's about $2.8 billion and the USA pays 22 percent of that, not 90 percent".

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