Trump ups North Atlantic Treaty Organisation contribution target as allies lag on defense spending

"NATO is the most successful alliance in history".

His demand that they raise their contributions to 4 percent came as a surprise during the first meeting of this week's Brussels summit. Trump wants Europeans to pay up more for their own defence instead of making deals with Moscow. "He's kind of accepting it at this point", Stewart said, adding, however, that it was hard to give an accurate reading of the former U.S. Marine general's attitude without having a thoroughly researched, baseline understanding of what his behavior is like.

NATO Secretary-General Stoltenberg later told reporters that Trump had used "very direct language" but that all NATO allies were agreed that the cost of defence spending must be spread around and that previous year had seen the biggest increase in a generation.

"Explain that. And it can't be explained", Trump said.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel also responded Wednesday to Trump's remarks, offering Trump something of a history lesson.

"There is no ledger that maintains accounts of what countries pay and owe", says former Obama administration National Security Council staffer Aaron O'Connell.

"I myself experienced that a part of Germany that was controlled by the Soviet Union, and I am very happy today that we are united in freedom as the Federal Republic of Germany", Merkel told reporters, according to the Washington Post.

"Everybody's talking about it all over the world, they're saying we're paying you billions of dollars to protect you but you're paying billions of dollars to Russian Federation".

Instead, Trump blistered NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg over NATO defense spending and Germany's close relationship with Russian Federation.

Trump also misrepresented Germany's energy picture, asserting coal and nuclear power are gone from the mix.

"During the president's remarks today at the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation summit he suggested that countries not only meet their commitment of two percent of their GDP on defence spending, but that they increase it to four percent", White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders said.

"I think we meet with our adversaries". Smith listed several ways that Germany has demonstrated friendship to the US, including treating wounded American soldiers amid conflicts with terrorist groups. And I think the answer to that question is yes, including in Latvia, big time. "Since Trump became president, US funding for military presence in Europe - the European Deterrence Initiative -has been increased by 40 percent".

At the summit's opening, U.S. President Donald Trump railed against what he characterized as a "massive gas deal" between Germany and Russian Federation, calling it inappropriate.

"We are partners, we are good partners, and we will continue to cooperate in the future", she said. The gas pipeline mirrors the Nord Stream route going through exclusive economic zones and territorial waters of five countries - Russia, Finland, Sweden, Denmark, and Germany.

Back in the U.S., Democratic leaders Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer issued a joint statement describing Trump's "brazen insults and denigration of one of America's most steadfast allies, Germany", as "an embarrassment".

(Copyright © 2015. All Rights Reserved.)
 
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