NATO Predicts New Defense-Budget Rise in Europe as Trump Returns

NATO Predicts New Defense-Budget Rise in Europe as Trump Returns

NATO Predicts New Defense-Budget Rise in Europe as Trump Returns

North Atlantic Treaty Organisation members disagree on many issues including a new Russian gas pipeline to Germany, but the alliance is stronger together and will deliver on boosting defence spending, Mr Stoltenberg said.

The dramatic exchange came during a breakfast gathering with NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg that opened the alliance's meeting, when Trump said that Germany was "totally controlled by Russia" and "captive to Russia" because of its dependence on natural gas and deals with Moscow like the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline.

"So we're protecting Germany, we're protecting France, we're protecting all of these countries and then numerous of these countries go out and make a pipeline deal with Russia where they're paying billions of dollars into the coffers of Russia", Trump said.

As European Council president, Mr Tusk serves as the chairman when EU leaders meet at summits.

Sitting at the table with the president were Secretary of Defense James Mattis, Chief of Staff John Kelly, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and NATO Ambassador Kay Bailey Hutchison, Trump defended his public reprimanding of allied countries over their defense spending.

He repeated his complaints about being treated "unfairly" by USA allies, but said "we'll work something out". I get along with her very well, I have a very good relationship. -NATO meeting ahead of the summit, according to Reuters.

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United States ambassador to NATO Kay Bailey Hutchison told reporters that Trump would also recommit to one of the founding articles of NATO - Article 5 - which holds that an attack on one member is an attack on them all. Germany is totally controlled by Russian Federation because they are getting from 60 to 70 per cent of their energy from Russian Federation and a new pipeline.

Stoltenberg acknowledged that Trump had expressed himself in "very direct language" but insisted that away from the fiery rhetoric the allies all agree on fundamental issues: the need to boost NATO's resilience, fight terror and share the cost of defence more equally.

Many US presidents have urged European governments to spend more on their militaries.

Over the weekend, Trump will take a rest stop at one of the two Trump-owned golf courses in Scotland.

However new figures published Tuesday will do little to satisfy Trump's demands - they show that only seven European NATO countries will reach the two percent target in 2018.

Asked whether he thought Putin was a friend or foe, Trump said he couldn't say, adding that he sees the Russian leader as a "competitor".

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"Frankly Putin might be easiest of them all".

Last month, Austrian President Alexander Van der Bellen said that while United States politicians are accusing Europe of being dependent on Russian gas, Washington was force-feeding Europe its liquefied natural gas, which is three times more expensive than natural gas from Russia.

During a rally last week in Montana, Trump vowed that he would "tell NATO: 'You've got to start paying your bills.'" The president also said that Americans were "the schmucks that are paying for the whole thing". "Who would think?" Trump told reporters in Washington before departing.

President Donald Trump addresses the audience during a rally at the Four Seasons Arena at Montana ExpoPark, July 5, 2018, in Great Falls, Mont., in support of Rep. Greg Gianforte, R-Mont., and GOP Senate candidate Matt Rosendale. "Let's make sure that we're living up to our expectations and obligations, '" Gardner said.

The NATO summit is also being attended by leaders of so-called NATO partner states that are not members of the alliance.

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