After Trump's spending demands, North Atlantic Treaty Organisation summit turns to Afghanistan

GETTYBrexit news EU warned to sign defence deal with UK to remain

The unusually harsh assessment from the country's former top diplomat came after Trump said at a breakfast meeting in Brussels that he considers Germany to be "captive to Russia" because it is getting much of its energy from the nation and continued his attacks on other allies for their levels of defence spending.

At a breakfast briefing with North Atlantic Treaty Organisation representatives, he said: '[Germany] will be getting up to 70% of its energy from Russian Federation and a new pipeline. you tell me if that is appropriate because I think it is not.' Trump is in Brussels on the first leg of a six-day European trip.

On day two, leaders will welcome non-NATO partners including Afghan President Ashraf Ghani and Ukraine's Petro Poroshenko to the alliance's new glass-and-steel headquarters as they seek to focus on policy rather than politics.

But with tensions in the Western alliance smouldering over Trump's trade tariffs on European steel and his demands for more contributions to ease the burden on United States taxpayers, his earlier remarks fuelled concerns among allies for the U.S. role in keeping the peace that has reigned since World War II.

Instead, a series of events - a black-tie dinner with business leaders, a meeting with May and an audience with Queen Elizabeth II - will happen outside the bustling city, where Mayor Sadiq Khan has been in a verbal battle with Trump.

The pair later met for a one-on-one meeting and while Trump insisted they had a "very very good relationship", their frosty body language suggested otherwise. "We have a tremendous relationship with Germany".

Trump will meet the Russian leader in Helsinki on 16 July for their first summit amid an ongoing investigation in the U.S. into possible Trump campaign collusion with Russia.

Merkel said she welcomed the chance to have an "exchange of views" with Trump. Trump and Merkel later held businesslike talks on the sidelines of the summit.

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The US leader has also singled out Germany for particular criticism over its defence spending.

NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said, "We should first get to two percent", adding that eight of the 29 allies were meeting that target.

"We didn't know what to expect, it was a positive outcome", he said of the dinner in a Brussels park, where leaders were treated to an acrobatic display and saxophone music.

Germany, Europe's biggest economy, spends just 1.24%, compared with 3.5% for the US.

Mr Trump dominated the day and is set to stay in the spotlight as he visits the United Kingdom and prepares for a summit with Russian president Vladimir Putin.

Trump has spent weeks berating members of the alliance for failing to spend enough of their money on defence, accusing Europe of freeloading off the USA and raising doubts about whether he would come to members' defence if they were ever attacked.

EU President Donald Tusk stepped up to the fight with his own salvo against Trump on Tuesday, telling him to "appreciate your allies" and reminding him Washington that Europe had come to its aid following the 9/11 attacks.

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