Donald Trump again says he’s a ‘very stable genius’ at North Atlantic Treaty Organisation summit

Donald Trump again says he’s a ‘very stable genius’ at North Atlantic Treaty Organisation summit”

Donald Trump threw the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation summit into turmoil with fierce demands other members immediately and significantly increase military spending.

But just days out from a high-stakes meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Helsinki, the mercurial United States leader threatened to throw the transatlantic alliance into disarray. "We are paying for far too much of NATO", Trump said.

While U.S. defense spending makes up 70 percent of combined allied governments' military budgets, just 15 percent of U.S. expenditure is spent in Europe on NATO-related defense.

"It's very sad when Germany makes a massive oil and gas deal with Russia, where you're supposed to be guarding against Russia, and Germany goes out and pays billions and billions of dollars a year to Russia", Trump said in a video of the meeting on Twitter. He said he was "extremely unhappy" with the situation, but that alliance members have upped their commitments to defense spending in response to his complaints. "I mean, we'll - you'll - be the first to know, OK?"

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Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte said he had made no decision to increase defense spending.

"(The) 2 per cent (figure) was a range, a goal, now it's a commitment, it was like this amorphous number out there and now it's a real commitment", he said.

He said it was "totally inappropriate" Berlin had agreed to buy oil and gas from Russian Federation in a deal worth billions of dollars while failing to meet the alliance target of spending 2% of GDP on defence.

Trump said there had been "tremendous progress" after his "firm" warnings during the tense two-day meeting in Brussels, during which he singled out Germany for special criticism.

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Tweeting after a day of meetings on Wednesday, Mr Trump called on member nations to immediately boost spending. "Not acceptable! All Nato Nations must meet their 2% commitment, and that must ultimately go to 4%!"

Under fire for his warm embrace of Russia's Vladimir Putin, Trump on Wednesday also turned a harsh spotlight on Germany's own ties to Russian Federation, alleging that a natural gas pipeline venture with Moscow has left Angela Merkel's government "totally controlled" and "captive" to Russian Federation.

Leaders of Azerbaijan and Georgia, non-NATO members, were asked to leave for the emergency session. Although Trump administration officials point to the longstanding alliance between the United States and the United Kingdom, Trump's itinerary in England will largely keep him out of central London, the center of the protests. Allies would be increasing spending by $33 billion or more, Trump added.

He also said he thought spending of 4 percent on defense - similar to the USA level - would be the right level. "I know they're having a lot of problems and their economy is collapsing".

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