NATO Meeting Ends With US Allies Promise to Reach Spending Target

U.S. President Donald Trump and U.S. First Lady Melania Trump attend the evening reception and dinner at the 2018 NATO Summit

U.S. President Donald Trump and U.S. First Lady Melania Trump attend the evening reception and dinner at the 2018 NATO Summit

Trump handled the meeting of the most important Western military alliance as though he was playing the hero and the antagonist in a theater performance. NATO acknowledges an "over-reliance" on the U.S. What NATO partners dispute is Trump's repeated suggestion that the U.S. gets little in return for its commitment to defend member countries if threatened.

Mr Trump's main objection is that all but a handful of member states have still not increased their defence budgets to meet a goal of spending at least 2% of their annual economic output on defence by 2024. In April, Trump said on Twitter that the USA relationship with Russia is worse than the Cold War after Russian officials blocked a resolution at the U.N. Security Council to condemn chemical weapons attacks in Syria.

Trump has complained bitterly about Europe's lagging defense spending, saying that North Atlantic Treaty Organisation nations were taking advantage of United States military largesse at the same time they were offering unfair trade terms to USA businesses.

House Intelligence Committee member Eric Swalwell of California used a tweet to weigh in, writing that "Germany at least gets energy out of its relationship with Russian Federation".

A joint declaration said: "We are committed to improving the balance of sharing the costs and responsibilities of alliance membership". So I think the secretary-general likes Trump. The paying for Europe's protection, then loses billions on Trade. "I think that two world wars and the Cold War taught us that we are stronger together than apart", he told the president, trying to calm tensions.

Trump has promoted exports of USA natural gas to Europe as an alternative to Russian Federation as a supply source, although US gas is far more costly because of the expense of shipping it.

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After Trump ranted that "Germany is totally controlled by Russia", Chancellor Angela Merkel fired back by reminding him that she grew up while the Soviet Union occupied East Germany, so she has a pretty good idea of what it really means to be under Russia's thumb.

Trump told reporters the two had a "very, very good relationship" and congratulated Merkel on her "tremendous success".

Trump's remarks on Germany and Russian Federation generated a sharply worded response from German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

The Nord Stream 2 pipeline project, which intentionally skirts Eastern European nations like Poland and Ukraine, has caused many of Germany's allies to bristle, though Berlin has defended it by saying it would be merely one of many sources of natural gas. "Well, they could increase it immediately - tomorrow - and have no problem", he said of Germany.

He said Canada should spend more on defence not merely to please Trump - who will just "take, take, take" - but also to serve our own national interests by increasing troop levels, replacing aging equipment, protecting Canadian sovereignty in the Arctic and taking part in humanitarian missions overseas. "So, I think that's inappropriate also". According to the recent Commons report, Canada now provides about 6.6 per cent of NATO's common-funded budgets, making it the sixth-largest financial contributor to that budget among the member states.

"Germany is totally controlled by Russian Federation because they'll be getting 60 to 70% of their energy from Russian Federation and a new pipeline", Trump told Stoltenberg.

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