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Trump says seeing Putin easier than meeting Theresa May

Trump says seeing Putin easier than meeting Theresa May”

"Europeans spend on defense many times more than Russian Federation and as much as China and I think you have no doubt, Mr. President, that this is an investment in common American and European defense and security, which can not be said with confidence about Russian Federation or Chinese spending", Tusk said.

"Many countries are not paying what they should, and, frankly, many countries owe us a tremendous amount of money from many years back", Trump said at a breakfast meeting with NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg.

The Nord Stream 2 project-an $11 billion extension of the existing Nord Stream natural gas pipeline by the Kremlin-backed gas giant Gazprom and five European nations-will double Russia's gas export capability to Germany to nearly 250 billion square feet per year.

Trump is to meet Putin in Helsinki next week in a summit that has generated much unease.

Mr Trump has been pushing North Atlantic Treaty Organisation members to reach their agreed-to target of spending 2 per cent of their gross domestic products on national defence by 2024 and has accused those who do not of freeloading off the US.

"I think it's very sad when Germany makes a massive oil and gas deal with Russia where - we're supposed to be guarding against Russia and Germany goes out and pays billions and billions of dollars a year to Russia", Trump said.

When asked if Putin was a friend or foe, Trump replied, "I really can't say right now - as far as I'm concerned, a competitor".

In a heated meeting in Brussels with the leaders of NATO, Trump claimed that Moscow now basically controls Berlin due to their dependence on it for energy.

Still, the administration official said, Trump would likely reiterate United States support for the NATO treaty's Article 5, a provision that means an attack against one ally is considered an attack against all of them.

"At the summit we expect to agree an ambitious package of measures to strengthen our deterrence and defence, increase our efforts on tackling terrorism and address the threats presented by cyber and hybrid warfare".

Germany now spends 1.24% of its GDP on defense, and has committed to hitting 2% by 2024, something that Trump, and other U.S. leaders before him, have tried to hasten.

The NATO chief revealed the "main topic" of this week's summit will be how to make "further progress on burden sharing".

Both countries will be well-served in the meantime by the British parliament's recent decision to ratify the deal, known as CETA, said Joseph Pickerill, a spokesman for International Trade Minister Francois-Philippe Champagne.

Germany's defence minister Ursula von der Leyen denied it was a prisoner of Russian policy, and defended keeping a communication line with Russia.

"So I think the secretary-general likes Trump". There are no official events scheduled for his time here, though U.S. Ambassador to Britain Woody Johnson said the president would "spend some time preparing for Helsinki", USA Today reported.

She also defended Germany's contribution to an alliance which Trump says places too much burden on the USA taxpayer.

On Tuesday, European Council President Donald Tusk delivered a stern warning to the US president: "Dear America, appreciate your allies".

The president has lashed out at countries that fall short. "We can't put up with it", he said. "Who would think?" he told reporters.



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