As Trump slams North Atlantic Treaty Organisation, ambassador says Europeans are 'stepping up' on funding

11 July, 2018, 04:52 | Author: Sheila Harris
  • A US Army soldier from NATO and an Afghan policeman are seen at a checkpoint during a patrol against Islamic State militants at the Deh Bala district in eastern Nangarhar province in Afghanistan

Then there's the long shadow cast by Vladimir Putin, and fears in some allied capitals at what Trump might offer the Russian leader at their summit in Helsinki next Monday.

German Defense Minister Ursula von der Leyen on Friday told Bloomberg TV that the summit must show unity, warning that "our opponents would be delighted if there is a division in NATO". Appearing to even belittle the world's foremost superpower, Tusk quipped: "Dear America, appreciate your allies, after all you don't have all that many". But Trump has intensified the demands to such an extent that allies worry it could damage North Atlantic Treaty Organisation morale and play into the hands Russian President Vladimir Putin, who they accuse of trying to divide and destabilize the West.

These jabs come just weeks after the G7 summit and subsequent worldwide flaps over tariffs and the President's trade wars, and just ahead of Trump's upcoming one-on-one with Vladimir Putin.

Asked if he views Putin as a friend or foe, the president said "I really can't say right now" and instead characterized him as "a competitor".

Officials claim that Trump has had several phone calls with the Russian President since taking office, and that the two men often plot global policy together.

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"We're being taken advantage of by the European Union".

The meeting will be closely watched to see whether Trump will rebuke or embrace Putin, who has repeatedly denied the allegations of election meddling, in spite of evidence to the contrary.

The tensions with Trump look all the more stark in the context of a summit that will take important decisions to boost NATO's ability to defend itself from the threat it sees from Russian Federation.

The US commander-in-chief has a familiar stick to wield: the shortfall in defense spending; or as Trump puts it, allies' refusal to "pay what they owe".

"Getting ready to leave for Europe". The U.S.is spending many times more than any other country in order to protect them", Trump tweeted Tuesday morning, adding: "Not fair to the U.S. taxpayer. We're being taken advantage of by the European Union. Trump said might meet with Johnson in the United Kingdom despite his resignation. "Charge us big Tariffs (& Barriers)!" he wrote on Twitter. European Union officials also say most tariffs on US goods are already low to zero. "Not fair to the USA taxpayer", Trump tweeted earlier in the morning, calling the situation "Very Unfair!"

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