Trump brands Germany a "captive of Russian Federation", days before he meets Putin

Donald Trump berated other Nato leaders on Twitter
Credit
JIM WATSON  AFP  Getty Images

Donald Trump berated other Nato leaders on Twitter Credit JIM WATSON AFP Getty Images

Trump, in a testy exchange with NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg, took issue with the USA protecting Germany as it strikes deals with Russian Federation.

President Donald Trump branded Germany a "captive of Russia" for its support of a Baltic Sea gas pipeline deal this morning (July 11).

"Our summit comes at a time when some are questioning the strength of the transatlantic bond and I would not be surprised if we have robust discussions at the summit, including on defense spending", Stoltenberg told reporters Tuesday. The vast undersea pipeline is opposed by the USA and some other European Union members, who warn it could give Moscow greater leverage over Western Europe.

"You can try to be a bean-counter and look at exactly how much of this, and how much that, but the fundamental question is: is what you are doing actually making a difference?"

Britain's summer 2016 referendum saw the leave side prevail by a 52-48 margin - a populist victory combined with Trump's surprise victory in the US presidential race later in the year that sparked upheaval in the global order.

But Germany, Europe's biggest economy, spends just 1.24 percent of GDP on defence, compared with 3.5 percent for the US.

She said it showed Britain's "steadfast commitment" to the alliance and how it can rely on the UK.

The "pull-aside" meeting is set for Wednesday afternoon, following a group photo and luncheon meeting with gathered members of the military alliance.

"The United States is paying far too much and other countries are not paying enough, especially some".

'We are supposed to be guarding against Russian Federation and Germany goes out and pays billions and billions dollars a year to Russian Federation, ' he said. Europeans must spend more on defense.

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Still they're trying, mostly, to be hospitable this week.

While countries closer to Russian Federation, such as Latvia, Lithuania, Romania, and Poland, significantly boosted defense, most other members took a more relaxed approach, with Germany's defense minister saying in 2015 that she didn't see a need to meet the spending bar, Deutsche Welle reported.

That's not how the spending works. He also called Brussels a "hell hole" and "a mess".

European diplomats fear a repeat of the G7, when Trump clashed with his Western allies, withdrawing from a joint statement and calling Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau "dishonest and weak" before meeting North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un at a summit afterwards and praising him as "very talented".

European officials say while United States defence spending makes up 70 percent of combined allied governments' military budgets, just 15 percent of United States expenditure is spent in Europe on NATO-related defence.

"It was also because of your leadership", Stoltenberg told Trump. New Poll says Trump, at over 90%, is the most popular Republican in history of the Party.

Trump complimented Stoltenberg, saying "he's worked very hard on this problem". "He may be the only one, but that's OK with me".

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.

Prime Minister Theresa May will travel to Brussels later on Wednesday, where she will meet with Mr Trump for the first time since he suggested the United Kingdom is in "turmoil" over the dramatic resignations of David Davis and Boris Johnson.

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