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North Atlantic Treaty Organisation summit: Trump urges members urged to double defence spending

North Atlantic Treaty Organisation summit: Trump urges members urged to double defence spending

Despite German Chancellor Angela Merkel's tough talk over Russia's annexation of Crimea and sponsorship of separatist rebels in eastern Ukraine, she has defended the $11 billion pipeline deal to supply her country's energy shortfall.

"Germany is captive of Russia because it is getting so much of its energy from Russia", Trump said, referring to Berlin's deal for the Nord Stream II gas pipeline.

Mr. Trump said Germany was "captive to Russia" and urged North Atlantic Treaty Organisation to look into the issue. The U.S. intelligence community, backed by a Republican-led Senate panel, has definitively concluded that Kremlin meddled in the 2016 election to help Trump win.

Stoltenberg responded by emphasizing NATO's unity.

At the 2014 North Atlantic Treaty Organisation summit, member states agreed to meet a two percent GDP defense spending pledge by 2024. 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.

Trump is reportedly considering imposing sanctions on the five European countries involved in the pipeline project. "I think it is something North Atlantic Treaty Organisation has to look at".

Asked about Mr Trump's suggestion, NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said he would focus on what has been agreed to. Germany, France, Britain and Italy combined pay 43.8 percent of the total. "Will they reimburse the US?" he also tweeted.

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During a brief presser with President Trump beforehand, Stoltenberg told media that "NATO has to invest more in defence and that is exactly what they are doing. President Trump has at times called the alliance 'obsolete.' Our allies are starting to wonder whether they can rely on the United States to come to their defense in a crisis", said Sen. "We pay far too much, and they pay far too little, but we will work it out, and all countries will be happy".

"Last year was the biggest increase in defense spending across Europe and Canada in that generation", he added.

As Trump's arrival approached, European Council President Donald Tusk warned him to stop criticizing its trading and military partners. But he also took issue with Trump's argument that USA spending on North Atlantic Treaty Organisation is an unfair burden for American taxpayers.

As Trump attacked fellow North Atlantic Treaty Organisation member countries, he also downplayed Russia's role as an aggressor, calling the country a "competitor" rather than an adversary.

In other words, the US government's contribution to North Atlantic Treaty Organisation is proportional, and many have criticized Trump for claiming Europe is taking advantage of the U.S.in this regard.

Troops from North Atlantic Treaty Organisation countries have fought alongside the U.S.in Afghanistan and Iraq.

But "despite differences", he said, alliance members agree "to protect and defend each other".


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