EU's Tusk spars with Trump ahead of meeting with nervous North Atlantic Treaty Organisation leaders

Pauline Gross
July 10, 2018

Donald Tusk, the president of the European Council, has told Donald Trump to remember who his real friends are when he meets Vladimir Putin after a North Atlantic Treaty Organisation summit set to be dominated by a row over Europe's defence spending.

Some diplomats fear that Trump will threaten to pull troops out of Europe without more spending on defense, despite USA denials.

Bloomberg News' White House Correspondent Jennifer Jacobs tweeted this photo and the text of the exchange as Trump prepared to leave D.C. "While these countries have been increasing their contributions since I took office, they must do much more", Trump wrote on Twitter. "The United States is not going to take care of everything", Trump said at a rally last week. "So I don't know exactly what he is putting together in that ... but I know that there are many different areas where we are a dual goal", she said. "They kill us on trade".

Allies are braced for a barrage of invective from Trump for not spending enough on defence, and are apprehensive that his often skeptical tone on the alliance that has underpinned European security for 70 years might turn into outright hostility. On top of that we lose $151 Billion on Trade with the European Union.

The U.S. Commerce Department's Bureau of Economic Analysis website says that the European Union had a trade in goods surplus with the U.S.in 2017 of US$151.4 billion - not million.

Labour MP Madeleine Moon, a champion of the anti-Brexit campaign group Best for Britain, said Mr Trump's comments were "a wake up call and a look into the future we face if Brexit goes ahead". The U.S. intelligence community has concluded that Russian Federation interfered in the 2016 election to boost Trump's candidacy, and warns of further attempts at interference both in the 2018 midterms and in European elections.

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"It will become increasingly hard to justify to American citizens why some countries continue to fail to meet our shared collective security commitments", Trump said in a letter addressed to Norwegian Prime Minister Erna Solberg seen by Bloomberg News.

The hint of USA withdrawal from Europe, while unlikely, indeed seems to have made many countries hike their defense spending. Separately, doubts about Trump's commitment to European security have pushed EU leaders to boost defense cooperation.

"Russia should be in this meeting", Trump said in June.

"The president was willing to offer concessions to Kim without getting anything specific or concrete in return", said Jeffrey Rathke, deputy director of the Europe Program at the nonpartisan Center for Strategic and International Studies. In 2014, Russia's membership in what was formerly the G8 was revoked after it annexed Crimea.

Donald Trump expects to see a country in "turmoil" when he lands in the United Kingdom on Thursday for a two-day visit he said would make his subsequent summit with Vladimir Putin in Helsinki seem "easy".

Other reports by GizPress

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