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

Trump Sets Confrontational Tone At Start Of Two-Day NATO Summit

Trump Sets Confrontational Tone At Start Of Two-Day NATO Summit

Trump told NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg that Germany was wrong to support a new Baltic Sea pipeline to import Russian gas while being slow to meet targets for contributing to NATO defence spending meant to protect Europe from Russia.

"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 while en route to Europe, asking: "Will they reimburse the U.S.?"

Germany has come under pressure from the United States to halt the Nord Stream 2 oil pipeline which will run through the Baltic Sea to Germany and extend Russian influence over energy supply...

President TrumpDonald John TrumpMcConnell to meet with Trump's Supreme Court pick Tuesday Kavanaugh offers lengthy judicial record ahead of bitter confirmation fight Hundreds protest Kavanaugh's nomination outside Supreme Court MORE's concerns also reportedly stem from the 17-year-long war's massive cost, which has topped more than $1 trillion. "I'm very glad that today we are united in freedom. because of that we can say that we can make our independent policies and make independent decisions". "But other presidents never did anything about it because I don't think they'd up it or wanted to get involved", Trump said. -NATO meeting ahead of the summit, according to Reuters.

The NATO chief was frank about the impact of Trump's criticism on the Western allies at a broader level and he referred to non-NATO issues such as trade, where Trump is angry over the USA trade deficit with the European Union.

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Mr Trump, in a message to Germany, asked why the U.S. should "protect you against Russia" when the two countries were making deals.

"Dear America, appreciate your allies, after all you don't have that many".

Many US presidents have urged European governments to spend more on their militaries.

This is not the first time Trump has taken aim at Nord Stream 2.

The defense minister agreed with Trump about defense spending.

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The US president will have also delighted Mrs May by saying that he might take time during his United Kingdom visit to speak with former foreign secretary Boris Johnson, who he described as "a friend of mine". Even Stoltenberg - a mild-mannered former Norwegian prime minister who has cultivated a positive relationship with Trump - appeared reduced to spluttering as Trump cut him off after he started to explain that allies traded with Russian Federation even during the Cold War.

Last month, Austrian President Alexander Van der Bellen said that while USA politicians are accusing Europe of being dependent on Russian gas, Washington was force-feeding Europe its liquefied natural gas, which is three times more expensive than natural gas from Russia.

Donald Trump speaks to media before leaving the White House for Europe.

Of his meetings in Brussels and Britain and with Putin, he said: "Frankly, [the meeting with] Putin may be the easiest of them all - who would think? Who would think?" he told reporters.

European Council President Donald Tusk said on Tuesday in a message to Trump that "it is always worth knowing who is your strategic friend and who is your strategic problem".

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The president has lashed out at countries that fall short. "We're not going to put up with it, we can't put up with it and it's inappropriate".

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