Trump says North Atlantic Treaty Organisation countries should ´reimburse´ U.S. for defense costs

Trump Presses NATO on Defense Spending Ahead of Summit

"I think it's very sad when Germany makes a massive oil and gas deal with Russia when you're supposed to be guarding against Russia and Germany goes out and pays billions and billions of dollars a year to Russia", Trump told NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg.

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.

But Trump hit back: "But Germany, as far as I'm concerned, is captive to Russian Federation because it's getting so much of its energy from Russian Federation".

Trump touched down in Brussels aboard Air Force One hot on the heels of a stern warning from the EU's top official that America should "appreciate" its allies.

"We all agree that we have to do more", he said, describing a year ago as marking the biggest increase in defence spending across Europe and Canada in a generation.

However new figures published Tuesday will do little to satisfy Trump's demands - they show that only seven European NATO countries will reach the two percent target in 2018.

"We expect 8 allies to spend at least 2 percent of GDP on defense this year, compared to just 3 allies in 2014", said NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg. Despite German Chancellor Angela Merkel's tough talk over Russia's annexation of Crimea and sponsorship of separatist rebels in eastern Ukraine, she has defended the $11 billion pipeline deal to supply her country's energy shortfall. But NATO diplomats say only two-thirds of the 28 allies, excluding the United States, have a realistic plan to hit that level by then.

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Mr Trump was also participating in a welcome ceremony, a meeting of the North Atlantic Council and a working dinner with some of the same leaders he berated over trade during his last world leaders summit in Canada last month.

The European Union is firing back at President Donald Trump's criticisms. But Trump countered by saying the arrangement puts the United States at a disadvantage, pointing to the measly share of gross domestic product (GDP) that most members spend on defense.

During a rally last week in Montana, Trump vowed that he would "tell NATO: 'You've got to start paying your bills.'" The president also said that Americans were "the schmucks that are paying for the whole thing". "Will they reimburse the USA?"

"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". He's been very, very nice to me.

"Despite the differences, we've always pledged to defend each other", he said of the alliance.

On July 10, U.S. Ambassador to NATO Kay Bailey Hutchinson and the U.S. Senate both sought to allay concerns among allies the United States was backing away from NATO, or from the alliance treaty's Article 5, which stipulates that an attack on one member state is considered an attack on all. "'And it means a lot more to you than protecting us because I don't know how much protection we get by protecting you'".

Trudeau delivered that message during a day-long visit to Latvia ahead of the 29-country military summit, and just hours after Trump moved to disrupt the meeting by casting Russian Federation in a positive light.

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