North Atlantic Treaty Organisation summit: EU's Tusk warns president to appreciate allies

Trump Presses NATO on Defense Spending Ahead of Summit

Trump said of Germany: "We're supposed to protect you against Russian Federation and yet you make this deal with Russian Federation".

U.S. President Donald Trump is greeted by NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg before a bilateral breakfast ahead of the NATO Summit in Brussels, Belgium July 11, 2018.

"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.

Given the ongoing federal investigation into Russian election interference, Trump's relative ease at meeting with the Russian leader-and his reluctance to acknowledge that Putin is an American adversary-is pretty foolish.

The EU president then directly addressed Trump, "who for a long time now has been criticizing Europe nearly daily for, in his view, insufficient contributions to the common defense capabilities, and for living off the United States".

Trump swipes at NATO spending ahead of summit Pompeo offers support for Taliban peace talks during surprise Afghan visit Trump: China may be exerting "negative pressure" on North Korea MORE defended the current USA strategy and pledged the administration's continued support for the Afghanistan government.

He vowed not to be "taken advantage" of by the European Union, which he accuses of freeloading by relying on the United States for its defence while blocking USA imports into the bloc, the world's biggest market. Trump said on Tuesday as he left the White House.

"I think two World Wars and the Cold War taught us that we are stronger together than apart", Stoltenberg told Trump.

The NATO chief was frank about the impact of Trump's criticism on the Western allies at a broader level and he referred to non-NATO issues such as trade, where Trump is angry over the US trade deficit with the European Union. Mr. Stoltenberg also explained how leaders will take decisions to increase the readiness of Allies forces, modernize NATO's Command Structure, and do more in the fight against terrorism.

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Citing the expanding flow of Russian natural gas into Germany and the rest of Europe, the president said the country is "a captive of the Russians", the Guardian reported. Trump's first words signalled this one is not going to be like this.

European diplomats fear a repeat of the G7, when Trump clashed with his Western allies, withdrawing from a joint statement and calling Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau "dishonest and weak" before meeting North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un at a summit afterwards and praising him as "very talented".

The NATO chief revealed the "main topic" of this week's summit will be how to make "further progress on burden sharing". "I think it's not".

"That's a fundamental inconsistency in the pro-NATO position", Mr. Desch said.

In Europe this year, four countries will meet the 2 percent target - compared with three last year - and another two nations will reach it if the figures are rounded up to one decimal place.

"Dear America, appreciate your allies, after all you don't have that many", he said.

Russia has been accused of meddling in the 2016 USA presidential elections, and several high-level investigations are examining the possibility of collusion between Trump's campaign and Russian officials.

Trump's weeklong trip to Europe will continue with a stop in Scotland before ending with a sit-down in Helsinki with Putin. "Who would think", the president said.

The prime minister said: "NATO is as vital today as it ever has been and our commitment to it remains steadfast".

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