Germany's Angela Merkel talks up North Atlantic Treaty Organisation role and military spending

Cheryl Sanders
July 9, 2018

USA officials said the two sides this time would be discussing Russian election meddling, Russia's incursions in the Ukraine and involvement in Syria. "And you need to make sure that we're willing, on our side, to hold Russian Federation responsible for the many activities that they are responsible for, whether that is election meddling; malign activities throughout Europe, including the Balkans, U.K. and Brexit, France, and Italy, just to mention a few; and to hold them responsible for" the destabilizing use of social media.

"It is important for us that no nasty surprise happens behind our backs, and we received assurances (from the USA side) that this will not happen". Poland, for instance, has put forth a proposal for the build permanent military bases.

Kiev has counted on US diplomatic and financial support in its standoff with Moscow since the annexation of Crimea and the outbreak of Russian-backed separatist fighting in eastern Ukraine that has killed more than 10,000 people despite a notional ceasefire.

Some comments Trump made on the presidential election campaign trail in 2016 made Ukrainians nervous about a Trump presidency, but such worries have proved premature.

After 18 months of Donald Trump's "America First" presidency, European leaders meeting with him next week fear the United States may change its traditional course and begin to bring American troops home from the continent.

Although it's been somewhat of a running joke among Democrats, and even some Republicans in Washington, that President Trump and his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin, are "best buds", a new Washington Post article published this weekend, sheds further light on what appears to be a somewhat friendly relationship between the two.

In Kurt Volker, Washington appointed a hawkish special envoy to the Ukraine conflict after Trump's election victory, and went as far as providing military aid to Ukraine, a step Trump's predecessor Barack Obama had shied away from taking.

On Russia, Hutchison said there are signs Moscow is trying to court North Atlantic Treaty Organisation member Turkey, where President Recep Tayyip Erdogan was re-elected in June and is moving to further consolidate power - including an ongoing purge of thousands of people from government jobs.

Regional experts have questioned the success of the Trump-Kim meeting, in which the president agreed to suspend US military exercises with South Korea but appeared to get little in return. In addition to plotting global policy together, Putin and Trump have often commiserated with one another over both the "deep state" and "fake news, ' according to one senior official". "President Obama did not protect us, he let Putin freely capture Crimea and did not support us to the proper extent".

U.S. Ambassador to NATO Kay Bailey Hutchison says member states are "making progress" to increase defense spending at the urging of President Trump.

Other reports by iNewsToday