North Atlantic Treaty Organisation summit: EU's Tusk warns president to appreciate allies

Ahead the NATO Heads of State and Government summit scheduled from 11 to 12 July, 2018 in Brussels, Belgium, leaders face a major threat to the credibility of their military alliance at their summit this week - not from traditional foe Russian Federation, but from the head of their most powerful member, USA president Donald Trump.

President Trump will be in Europe this week to meet with world leaders - allies and adversaries alike - to discuss pivotal agenda items for American, NATO, and global stability interests.

Tusk, a former Polish premier, addressing Trump directly about his meeting with Putin, said, "It is always worth knowing who is your strategic friend and who is your strategic problem". New Poll says Trump, at over 90%, is the most popular Republican in history of the Party.

'I really can't say right now. "As far as I'm concerned, he's a competitor". "I think that getting along with Russian Federation, getting along with China, getting along with others, is a good thing, not a bad thing". "He's been very, very nice to me - very supportive", Trump said.

In comments likely to alarm Mrs May, Trump acknowledged the "turmoil" facing her government but said he was nevertheless looking forward to "an interesting time" when he visits the United Kingdom later this week. "Frankly, Putin may be the easiest of them all", said Trump.

"America does not have and will not have a better ally than Europe today".

United States allies who want to isolate Putin, such as Britain, or who are concerned about Trump's attitude towards Russian Federation are likely to be irritated by such a summit. "We're being taken advantage of by the European Union", he told reporters.

"Getting ready to leave for Europe".


"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".

The U.S. commander in chief has a familiar stick to wield: the shortfall in defense spending; or as Trump puts it, allies' refusal to "pay what they owe".

The European Union is the top export market for the United States at $501 billion (£377.5 billion) in goods and services in 2016, the latest available figures provided by the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative. He has pulled the US out of the Paris climate agreement as well as the Iran nuclear deal, slapped tariffs on steel and aluminum imports, and threatened additional tariffs on products like automobiles.

Tusk also sought to "dispel" the argument that the USA alone protects Europe, noting that Europe was the first to respond on a large scale when the US was attacked on September 11, 2001 and has lost 870 soldiers in the ensuing war in Afghanistan.

Tusk outlined the ways in which Europe has stood by the U.S. in recent years, including after the 9/11 terror attacks.

On Tuesday, the alliance said seven out of 27 European members were on track to meet the two percent spending target: Britain, Greece, Latvia, Estonia, Poland, Lithuania and Romania.

Trump will meet the Russian leader in the Finnish capital on Jul 16 for their first summit amid an ongoing investigation in the USA into possible Trump campaign collusion with Russia.

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