At NATO, Trump lashes Germany for being Russian 'captive'

Pauline Gross
July 11, 2018

Speaking ahead of the Brussels Summit on Wednesday (11 July 2018) NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said Allies will deliver on fairer burden-sharing.

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.

And she said she expected Trump to 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.

"We're being taken advantage of by the European Union", Trump said. At the conclusion of that meeting, Trump retracted his endorsement of the group's final joint statement and blasted Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau as "very dishonest and weak".

With Europe's wary eyes upon him, President Donald Trump launched a weeklong trip there on Tuesday with harsh criticism for North Atlantic Treaty Organisation allies and predicted the "easiest" leg of his journey would be his scheduled sit-down with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Referring to Monday's planned summit with Russian president Vladimir Putin in Helsinki, Mr Trump added: "And I have Putin".

But instead of trying to engage with what Trump actually said during the Fox News interview, Gardner pretended Trump actually meant the opposite of what he said.

Some NATO members point out that only 15% of America's defence spending goes on defending Europe, and that the emphasis should be on adapting NATO for new threats, not simply spending more money on defence.

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While Trump has routinely misrepresented the nature of NATO's funding and how the alliance works to share the burden of mutual defense, he's correct that energy dependence on Russian Federation from Germany, and all of Europe, gives Moscow influence. Tusk said that he did urge European allies to increase spending per their promises. Trump's first words signalled this one is not going to be like this.

The NATO chief was frank about the impact of Trump's criticism on the organisation.

But it adds that they will also "submit credible national plans on its implementation" in language that will perhaps please the U.S. president.

Mr Stoltenberg also stressed how "even during the Cold War, NATO allies were trading with Russia".

Asked by a reporter whether Putin was a "a friend or foe", Trump responded: "I really can't say right now". The project is opposed by the US and some European Union members. "Other presidents never did anything about it because i don't think they understood it, or they just didn't want to get involved", Trump suggested, warning he would take a very different approach. "Frankly, Putin may be the easiest of them all - who would think?"

On Tuesday, European Council President Donald Tusk delivered a stern warning to the USA president: "Dear America, appreciate your allies". Trump's trade adviser Peter Navarro went as far as telling a US talk show that there was "a special place in hell" for Trudeau - a remark he later walked back. "Will they reimburse the USA?" he said in one tweet.

Trump's attack comes at a time when Germany, Europe's biggest economy, spends little on defense and has a woefully unprepared and inoperable military.

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

Other reports by GizPress

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