Trump, NATO head Stoltenberg have testy exchange at summit

Saul Bowman
July 13, 2018

"They will be getting between 60 and 70% of their energy from Russian Federation and a new pipeline, and you tell me if that is appropriate because I think it's not", he continued.

Trump has called upon North Atlantic Treaty Organisation allies to meet commitments to spend 2 percent of their GDP on defense.

The Brussels summit comes less than a week before Mr Trump is due to hold his first summit with Vladimir Putin, in Helsinki, reviving concerns among United States allies over his proximity to the Russian president.

European Union President Donald Tusk on Tuesday delivered a strongly worded statement directed at President Donald Trump amid his ongoing criticism of NATO: "Appreciate your allies". He also noted that Europeans spend about as much on defense as China and more than Russian Federation.

Ahead of his Monday meeting with Putin in Helsinki, Trump called the Russian president a "competitor" when asked if he considered Putin a friend or a foe.

This week's two-day summit, beginning on Wednesday at Nato's new headquarters in the Belgian capital, is expected to be dominated by USA demands for increased spending by other members of the 29-nation alliance. "Will they reimburse the US?"

Trump, who has long criticised Berlin for not spending enough on NATO's mutual defence and for alleged unfair trade practices noted Germany's "tremendous success".

"NATO countries must pay MORE, the United States must pay LESS".

Brooks responded to this statement by saying that it's not true: "We buy more than we sell to them, but in exchange for that, the European Union is putting in at least $150 billion into the American economy in investments".

"Explain that", Trump said.

"That was on Barack Obama's watch, that was not on Trump's watch", the president said.

"Take a look at the chart", Trump instructed the reporter, explaining the owed a mass of money for decades of delinquent allied payments. "And, frankly, it helps them a lot more than it helps us".

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