Published: Wed, July 11, 2018
Global | By Marsha Munoz

Meeting Putin may be easier than attending UK & NATO summit

Meeting Putin may be easier than attending UK & NATO summit

First of all, dear America, appreciate your allies, after all you don't have that many.

In office since January 2017, the USA president has been openly critical of many of NATO's practices, with most of his ire focusing on Washington spending relatively more money than other member states.

Still, key allies Britain and Italy have their own beefs with Europe's leaders in Brussels, and they will more warmly embrace the tough-talking American president.

"We're being taken advantage of by the European Union", Trump said.

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Referencing Trump's impending summit with Putin, Tusk on Tuesday said, "It is always worth knowing: who is your strategic friend?"

Still, Trump's National Security Adviser John Bolton defended the meeting, saying that "direct contact between Trump and Putin is in the United States national interest".

President Donald Trump waves as he walks off after speaking with reporters before boarding Marine One on the South Lawn of the White House, Tuesday, July 10, 2018, in Washington. "This antagonistic approach is generating an unprecedented debate in Europe and in Canada about whether the United States should be treated as friend or foe", she said. Special counsel Robert Mueller is investigating potential co-ordination between Russian Federation and Trump's Republican presidential campaign.

The United States under President Trump is a proud member of North Atlantic Treaty Organisation, but if certain European powers fail to get on board with their obligations, they may find a partner in Washington that instead prioritizes reciprocal trade and alliance-building measures with countries that are true to their word and live up to their commitments. He can look to them for support when leaders get down to business Wednesday at the alliance's new headquarters.

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Donald Trump has risked a diplomatic spat by refusing to back embattled British Prime Minister Theresa May. "We spend on defense much more than Russian Federation and as much as China", Tusk wrote.

The president touted that the U.S. lost $151 billion previous year on trade and slapped tariffs on other countries in an effort towards free and fair trade.

Tusk's searing criticism further entrenched him as a European leader who has embraced a role as a foil to Trump.

European officials say while USA 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. "Will they reimburse the U.S.?" Trump said Johnson had been "very nice" and "very supportive". Additionally, the president has often taken issue with Germany's trade protectionism, which has resulted in a massive trade imbalance of $64 billion in Germany's favor. The think-tank was referring to the pledge at NATO's 2014 summit meeting that members would "aim to move toward" spending at least 2 per cent of gross domestic product on defence by 2024.

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

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