Trump Says 'No Problem' In NATO, Touting Allies' Spending Pledges

Media playback is unsupported on your device                  Media caption Trump tells Nato chief that Germany is

Media playback is unsupported on your device Media caption Trump tells Nato chief that Germany is"totally controlled by Russia

He said the allies had confirmed their intention to meet the goal of 2 percent by 2024 and no more.

Indeed, very little happened in Brussels that had not been planned well in advance; apart from Trump sparking an unscheduled discussion about defence spending.

In 2017, the alliance saw its biggest increase in defense spending "in a generation", he said, signaling to his aggrieved ally in the White House that "we see that all Allies have started to increase defense spending based on the national plans we have agreed to develop past year". He noted that he had met with Trump the evening before and they discussed increasing the USA troop presence in Poland. "And then numerous of the countries go out and make a pipeline deal with Russian Federation where they're paying billions of dollars into the coffers of Russian Federation", he said.

But public reassurances about the strength of North Atlantic Treaty Organisation have done little to ease the sense of unease that has been building among the US' closest allies, particularly as Trump continued to single out Germany.

Trump added: "I'd like to see them work it out quickly".

"Every time this president has had to push back on Russian Federation, he has", she argued, citing sanctions on Russian Federation, expulsion of diplomats, strikes on the Assad regime in Syria and a refusal to recognize the annexation of Crimea. Reuters reported Trump had not threatened to quit the Alliance but had harshly rebuked his partners. "That the admiration comes from an American president, well, that is unconscionable", Flake said during a Senate floor speech.

At the end of the first day, Trump unsettled allies even more by questioning the value of the military alliance, which was formed to counter Soviet aggression during the Cold War. "He's representing Russian Federation, I'm representing the United States", Mr. Trump added.

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He denied that the U.S. President Donald Trump had been aggressive in his demands to make members up their spending.

In response to a question about the atmosphere during the working session and whether European leaders feel blackmailed by the US, Radev said the atmosphere in the hall was not "one of the most pleasant". "He is not my enemy ... hopefully someday maybe he will be a friend", Mr Trump said.

Though NATO allies have squabbled in the past, Trump seemed to be leaving in his wake not just bruised feelings, but deeper concerns about the future of the Western alliance that has served as a bedrock of the worldwide order. "I don't. I'm very consistent", Trump said.

President Donald Trump's displeasure with the U.S.'s military allies over their relatively low defense spending is no secret.

"Without doubt these days, modern law gives more importance to the background noise than the music that was played", Macron said as the summit wound down. He linked calls for higher defence spending to complaints about Germany's trade surplus and renewed a threat to raise tariffs on EU-made cars if trade terms do not change.

Michal Baranowski of the German Marshall Fund think tank said the substance of Trump's message on Nord Stream 2 was very much in line with what many people in the region and beyond think.

Officials said that non-members of the alliance had been asked to leave the room early Thursday and that everyone in the room had been told to leave their phones outside.

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