Trump claims "substantial" North Atlantic Treaty Organisation spending after warnings over United States membership

Cheryl Sanders
July 12, 2018

Germany is extremely reliant on Russian gas, and the new Nord Stream 2 pipeline in the Baltic Sea, which Germany approved in March, will only increase its dependence.

"I brought it up, no one brought it up but me".

Trump stressed that NATO's budget had been unfair to the United States but now he was sure it would be fair.

In a face-to-face meeting with Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany later in the day on the sideline of the summit meeting, Trump was more conciliatory, saying the two had a "very, very good relationship".

It was the most recent in a series of demands and insults that critics fear will undermine the decades-old alliance, coming days before Trump sits down with Putin at the conclusion of his closely watched European trip.


"The information included in this report would be instrumental in informing Congress' oversight of our own military and defense spending and would help educate lawmakers on the return on investment we receive in exchange for our involvement in global alliances".

"Everyone agreed to respect the commitments they made", Macron said.

In February, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said only about half of the alliance's 29 members are on track to meet the 2024 deadline - which he said would boost spending by $46 billion.

"NATO and other mutual defense agreements have a objective, but until we no longer bear the greatest brunt of the financial burden, we can not and should not consider expanding these commitments", Lee said in the statement.

Mr Trump dominated the day and is set to stay in the spotlight as he visits the United Kingdom and prepares for a summit with Russian president Vladimir Putin. "I'm very consistent. I'm a very stable genius".


He dismissed as paltry - "a very small step", the president said - the increases that North Atlantic Treaty Organisation member countries have made in their military budgets in part because of his repeated lectures on the issue, eschewing a victory lap his advisers had encouraged him to take in favor of a sharp slap at allies.

"We all agreed we have to deliver on that", Stoltenberg said, later saying: "We have agreed that we need to make good on the pledges we have made".

Trump has spent weeks berating members of the 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 ever attacked.

The meeting brought together Mr Trump and Canada's prime minister Justin Trudeau, who irritated the U.S. president at the G7 by declaring that his country would not be pushed around.

Ahead of his Monday meeting with Putin in Helsinki, Trump called the Russian president a "competitor" when asked if he considered Putin a friend or a foe.


"I have to tell you that the atmosphere last night at dinner was very open, was very constructive and it was very positive", Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic, the president of Croatia, told reporters.

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