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Trump tells North Atlantic Treaty Organisation leaders to increase defense spend to 4 percent

Trump tells North Atlantic Treaty Organisation leaders to increase defense spend to 4 percent”

In a pointed apparent reference to Mr Trump's upcoming meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin, Mr Tusk noted that European military spending "is an investment in our security, which can not be said with confidence about Russian and Chinese spending". "They got rid of their coal plants".

Here's why Trump is upset.

President Trump on Wednesday stoked divisions in Europe by wading into the middle of an intense fight over the Nord Stream 2 natural gas pipeline, a project that critics fear will give Moscow new leverage in the region and could create a geopolitically risky Russian-German economic alliance.

Trump has long complained that European NATO members do not pay enough for their own defence, accusing them of freeloading on America and singling out Germany for particular criticism.

Trump was due to meet German Chancellor Angela Merkel at the summit later in the day and will meet Russian President Vladimir Putin in Helsinki on Monday.

"I've experienced myself a part of Germany controlled by the Soviet Union and I'm very happy today that we are united in freedom as the Federal Republic of Germany and can thus say that we can determine our own policies and make our own decisions and that's very good", she said.

Frankly, many countries owe us a tremendous amount of money for many years back, where they're delinquent, as far as I'm concerned, because the United States has had to pay for them.

Additional reporting from Newsy affiliate CNN.

Trump's controversy-stoking tweets ahead of his arrival in Belgium matched similar attempts by the US President to sow discord and project strength ahead of his arrival at the G7 in Quebec last month, when he criticized allies over trade before arriving to gladhand his foreign counterparts as if nothing had happened.

"As we engage Russian Federation we must do so from a position of unity and strength - holding out hope for a better future, but also clear and unwavering on where Russian Federation needs to change its behaviour for this to become a reality", she planned to say. NATO, the 70-year-old intergovernmental military alliance that's devoted to collective global security, has come under attack from Trump.

Despite Trump's claims about Germany, Merkel served as a forceful advocate for imposing - and maintaining - sanctions on Russian Federation after it annexed Crimea in 2014, arguing that it violated the principles of the worldwide order established after World War II.

"We're protecting Germany, France and everybody. this has been going on for decades", Trump said.

Her endorsement of the Trump-Putin meeting attempts to cut off awkward questions about Trump's commitment to Nato, an organisation he has openly and repeatedly criticised, which has dogged the ongoing Nato summit and threatened to undermine Trump's visit to London later this week.

Stoltenberg acknowledged that Trump had expressed himself in "very direct language" but insisted that away from the fiery rhetoric the allies all agree on fundamental issues: the need to boost NATO's resilience, fight terror and share the cost of defence more equally.

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

"Many countries in North Atlantic Treaty Organisation, which we are expected to defend, are not only short of their current commitment of 2% (which is low), but are also delinquent for many years in payments that have not been made", he tweeted Tuesday en route to Europe, asking: "Will they reimburse the USA?" Asked if they had discussed the pipeline, he said, "Yes", but declined to elaborate.

"I think these countries have to step it up, not over a 10 year period, they have to step it up immediately". So I think the secretary-general likes Trump.

"The best-case scenario is that it's just rhetoric", the European official said of Trump's comments about a USA willingness to maintain its commitment to Europe.

But European Council President Donald Tusk hit back with his own message on the social media site, insisting that the United States has no better ally than the EU. Trump made it clear he's exhausted of America shelling out more money on defense than its allies.



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