Published: Fri, July 13, 2018
People | By Leon Thompson

Trump Says 'No Problem' In NATO, Touting Allies' Spending Pledges

Trump Says 'No Problem' In NATO, Touting Allies' Spending Pledges

Following US President Donald Trump's call for member states to raise defence spending to four per cent of GDP, Radev said that he had asked Nato Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg what would happen to the Transatlantic relationship "which is the backbone of NATO's military capability, if we are not reaching two per cent (of GDP) now, and no one is talking about four per cent".

DONALD Trump sowed chaos in Brussels as he demanded other nations massively increase their spending, triggering an emergency budget meeting.

"Everyone's agreed to substantially up their commitments, they've agreed to up it to levels that they have never thought of before".

At the press conference Thursday, just days before he plans to meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin, he said he hoped he "will be able to get along with Russia", adding that his North Atlantic Treaty Organisation allies told him they agree.

Trump closed out the tumultuous two-day summit by reaffirming the United States' commitment to the almost 70-year-old alliance and signing the joint declaration, despite spending much of the summit berating allies over defence spending and accusing Germany of being beholden to Russia because it buys Russian natural gas. Today Europeans spend on defence many times more than Russian Federation, and as much as China. "The additional money they will be putting up has been really fantastic".

And not long after, French President Emmanuel Macron said no-one had agreed to any figure higher than what was in the leaders' communique - 2 per cent by 2024 - a leaders' statement that Donald Trump had signed the day before. He said that he doesn't view Putin as an enemy, but he views him as a competitor.

"I'm a very stable genius", he said.

He remained noncommittal on whether the United States might recognize Russia's 2014 annexation of Crimea, which the United States views as illegal. "Hopefully some day he will be a friend". "Germany just started paying Russian Federation, the country they want protection from, Billions of Dollars for their Energy needs coming out of a new pipeline from Russian Federation".

He vowed to bring up Syria and allegations of Russian meddling in the U.S. presidential elections, which his campaign is accused of colluding in.

Russian officers accused of hacking Democrats, indicted in election interference probe
Trump said Thursday he would ask Putin about the Kremlin's interference in the 2016 USA election, but pointed out Putin will likely deny it.

Trump had spent his time in Brussels berating members of the military alliance for failing to spend enough of their money on defence, accusing Europe of freeloading off the US and raising doubts about whether he would come to members' defence if they were attacked. "I hope you have no doubt this is an investment in our security, which can not be said with confidence about Russian & Chinese spending".

Mr. Trump has been less than clear on his beliefs about Russian efforts in the 2016 election.

Officials said that non-members of the alliance had been asked to leave the room early Thursday and that everyone in the room had been told to leave their phones outside. "It's been unbelievable to see the level of spirit in that room".

The president set himself a low bar for what he'll achieve in Moscow, telling reporters: "I think we go into that meeting looking for not so much".

Trump added that May's "soft" blueprint for the U.K.'s future dealings with the European Union would probably "kill" any future trade deals with the United States.

He reportedly continued by warning that if the alliance's wealthiest economies weren't paying 2% by January, then the United States "are going to do our own thing".

Trump and Putin, who have never met for an official summit, will hold three sessions before the USA president returns to Washington, D.C., early Tuesday.

"I let them know that I was extremely unhappy", he said, but added that the talks had ended on the best of terms: "It all came together at the end". He also left a mark at the G7 summit in Quebec last month when he arrived more than 15 minutes late for a breakfast meeting with other world leaders on women's empowerment.

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