Trump calls for allies to spend more on defense at North Atlantic Treaty Organisation summit

Emmanuel Macron and Donald Trump review French tanks during the Bastille Day military parade in Paris on July 14 2017

President Trump is leaving for his North Atlantic Treaty Organisation summit in Brussels on Tuesday morning in an apparent good mood-and happy to take some preemptive shots at the world bloc.

Meeting with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg over breakfast in the U.S. embassy in Brussels, Trump said Germany was "captive to Russia" and criticised its failure to raise defence spending. "His behavior this morning is another profoundly disturbing signal that the President is more loyal to President Putin than to our North Atlantic Treaty Organisation allies".

Some NATO members point out that only 15% of America's defence spending goes on defending Europe, and that the emphasis should be on adapting NATO for new threats, not simply spending more money on defence.

"That's exactly why all allies agree that those who are spending less than 2% have to spend more and that's exactly what we have started to do".

'I think it is very sad when Germany makes a massive oil and gas deal with Russian Federation.

"We're protecting Germany, we're protecting France, we're protecting all of these countries. We'll see how that goes". This has been brought up by other presidents.

"I think these countries have to step it up, not over a 10 year period, they have to step it up immediately".

He also criticized Germany for its use of Russian gas.

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"Germany goes out and pays billions and billions of dollars a year to Russian Federation", said Trump. Trump also added that he had a "very good relationship" with May, though he was less positive about the European Union, repeating his criticism of the bloc's trade policies and North Atlantic Treaty Organisation spending.

In a bid to avoid a row, Stoltenberg replied: "Nato is an alliance of 29 nations and there are sometimes differences..."

"This isn't good for the United States and there are people across the aisle - and the Senate vote yesterday clearly showed - who know it and need to say it", he said. "We look forward to the meeting you're going to have with President Putin. I think it is something North Atlantic Treaty Organisation has to look at".

"On the other hand, you should keep the communication line between countries or alliances and opponents without any question", she said when asked about about Mr Trump's accusation, speaking in English.

"You tell me if that's appropriate".

"Germany is a rich country", said Trump. "Where energy supply is concerned, we diversify, but the main overarching topic is the summit - we want a summit that sends out the message of unity".

Trump's comments about the United Kingdom refer to recent chaos in Prime Minister Theresa May's government, which has been thrown into turmoil by a series of high-profile resignations by Brexit-supporting ministers.

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