Trump brands Germany a "captive of Russian Federation", days before he meets Putin

Justin Trudeau at the second annual Kokanee Summit in Creston in 2000. A local reporter at the time says that Trudeau groped her

"We should first get to 2%", North Atlantic Treaty Organisation secretary-general Jens Stoltenberg, adding that eight of the 29 allies were meeting that target, while others had a plan to do - turning a leaf on years of defence budget cuts.

The Nato leaders, gathered in Brussels, held an unplanned emergency meeting earlier on Thursday after Mr Trump told allies to immediately increase their defence spending, diplomatic sources said.

Trump continued his now familiar verbal attacks, saying too many US presidents had failed to get Europeans to spend more on defense and that he wanted immediate results.

Trump acknowledged that some of NATO's poorer members might have trouble meeting the figure, but said the United States could "help them out a little bit" with finance, adding that the USA made "by far the best" military equipment. While it's not the case that the United States makes up 90 percent of spending - Nordenman indicates we cover about a fifth of the alliance's annual costs - it is the case that our military is much larger than any other member. They're going to up it at levels that they never thought of before... "The additional money they will be putting up has been really incredible". However, Macron, in his own press conference, said the allies had confirmed their intention to meet the goal of 2 per cent by 2024 and no more.

He continued the attack Thursday, complaining that, "Germany just started paying Russian Federation, the country they want protection from, Billions of Dollars for their Energy needs coming out of a new pipeline from Russian Federation".

The U.S. spends about 3.5 percent of GDP on defense, far higher than other member states.

Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez, who like the summit host, Belgian Prime Minister Charles Michel, was singled out in the room by Trump for spending less that 1 percent of GDP on defence, said Madrid would also meet the target by 2024.

Amid the tumult, British Prime Minister Theresa May, whose government is in turmoil over her plans for exiting the European Union, sounded a call for solidarity among allies.


Perhaps that's one of Trump's "deliverables" for his upcoming summit with Putin in Helsinki. "It confirms the goal of 2% by 2024".

"I am very glad that we are united today in freedom as the Federal Republic of Germany and that we can therefore also make our own independent policies and make our own independent decisions".

"Germany just started paying Russian Federation, the country they want protection from, Billions of Dollars for their Energy needs coming out of a new pipeline from Russian Federation". "I'm very consistent", he replied. The communique welcomes "four consecutive years of real growth in non-US defence expenditure" and says all allies have started to increase the amount they spend on defence in real terms. According to the chairman, Trump's remarks were "an assault on business relations between German and European countries and Russia".

But this sidesteps an interesting question that probably deserves an answer before evaluating Trump's insistences: Why is this the metric that's used anyway? On Thursday, Trump said he wasn't troubled by the planned protests.

In May, the United States pulled out of a multinational deal that lifted many sanctions against Iran in return for curbs to its nuclear program.

Several diplomats and officials said, however, that his undiplomatic intervention - including pointing at other leaders and addressing Merkel as "you, Angela" - had irritated many.

Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte said flatly that he agreed "no increase in spending" beyond that previously agreed by Rome, which previous year spent 1.1 percent on defence and is labouring under heavy debts that severely limit its options.

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