At NATO, Trump slams Germany as Russian 'captive'

At NATO, Trump slams Germany as Russian 'captive'

At NATO, Trump slams Germany as Russian 'captive'

"This is not fair, nor is it acceptable", Trump said ahead of the NATO Summit in Brussels later this week.

Speaking as he prepared to depart for a European trip in which he will meet May at the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation summit in Brussels and then make his first visit to the United Kingdom as president, Trump insisted he got along with May "very well".

Before taking off on Air Force One, he tweeted: "Getting ready to leave for Europe".

Mr. Trump, in a message to Germany, asked why the USA should "protect you against Russia" when the two countries are making deals.

Prior U.S. administrations have pressed Europe to invest more in its defense, but the matter has typically been handled by other officials in the government, said Ted Bromund, a senior research fellow at the Heritage Foundation.

Mr Trump has repeatedly complained that the U.S. is left to provide the lion's share of funding for trans-Atlantic defence, as European states fail to meet Nato's target of spending 2% of GDP on the military.

Eight NATO allies will reach the benchmark by the end of the year, and 15 are on the track of meeting the target by 2024, according to a recent statement by the White House.

"This is a moment of disaster already for our European allies", Wilson said.

Europe's biggest economy is on course to spend just 1.24 percent of GDP on defence in 2018. He says the United States is shouldering too much of the defense burden for the alliance. "Putin will play that over and over again in his domestic TV audience to show how he's made Russian Federation so great", said Evelyn Farkas of the Atlantic Council. "He is unconcerned with reality and fond of Putin".

European allies are so concerned about the Trump effect that they are making moves to strengthen their voices as one and combat any negative impact he may have on the 69-year-old alliance. "And dear Europe, spend more on your defence, because everyone respects an ally that is well prepared and equipped".

In a pointed apparent reference to Mr Trump's meeting with Mr Putin, Mr Tusk noted that European military spending "is an investment in our security, which can not be said with confidence about Russian and Chinese spending".

The Brussels elite fears that he will embrace Mr Putin, despite the Russian annexation of Crimea and incursions into Ukraine. Mr Trump's campaign team remains under investigation for possible collusion with Moscow to secure his victory over Hillary Clinton. The Russian leader denies meddling in the U.S. presidential election and other European votes.

Carefully-choreographed sessions and the leaders' dinner in a Brussels museum on Wednesday night are unlikely to mollify Trump, NATO diplomats say, as they found out to their dismay in May past year at a special dinner to welcome the president. "It is always worth knowing who is your strategic friend and who is your strategic problem", he said.

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