Published: Thu, July 12, 2018
Worldwide | By Jermaine Blake

After Trump's spending demands, NATO summit turns to Afghanistan

After Trump's spending demands, NATO summit turns to Afghanistan

Under NATO rules, countries with territorial conflicts can not join the Western alliance and neither country is expected to progress in membership talks.

"And the former Chancellor of Germany is the head of the pipeline company that's supplying the gas".

"We're supposed to protect you against Russian Federation but they're paying billions of dollars to Russian Federation and I think that's very inappropriate", Trump said, repeatedly describing Germany as "captive to Russia" because of the energy deal.

Trump said it was "very inappropriate" that the U.S. is contributing to the defence of Europe when one of its richest countries is supporting a major energy project with Moscow.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel made a similarly dismissive response to Trump's statement, saying that her country "can make our independent policies and make independent decisions".

"Germany, as far as I'm concerned, is captive to Russia because it's getting so much of its energy from Russia", Trump told Nato Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg in a fiery on-camera exchange that was among the harshest in the history of the post-World War II alliance. The pipeline would link Russian Federation and Germany via the Baltic Sea, doubling the capacity of the existing pipeline in that corridor, and bypassing other pipelines through Ukraine and central and eastern Europe.

German Chancellor Merkel hit back immediately, not only denying Trump's contention but suggesting that his comfortable upbringing in the USA gave him no standing to spout off on the world stage about Germany.

Trump did refrain from directly questioning NATO's objective or tearing up a joint communique, as he did during the G7 summit, so fears of the United States president unilaterally bringing the alliance to an apocalyptic end were avoided.

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Germany is totally controlled by Russian Federation because they will be getting 60 to 70% of their energy from Russian Federation and a new pipeline.

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

"This has been going on for decades and it is disproportionate and not fair to the taxpayers of the United States and we're going to make it fair. It is very inappropriate", he said.

Referring to the 97-2 vote Tuesday in the U.S. Senate affirming its support for NATO, Kerry called on Republican lawmakers to call Trump on his actions.

"I wanted to say that, because of current events, I have witnessed this myself, that a part of Germany was controlled by the Soviet Union".

While NATO members increased overall defense spending in 2017, for a second consecutive year, the United States was still largely outspending all other members.

"They will spend more", he later predicted. When the two world leaders spoke to reporters ahead of a meeting together, Trump tried to dial things back and play nice by touting the "tremendous relationship" their countries share. "It's about $2.8 billion and the USA pays 22 percent of that, not 90 percent".

While on his way to the summit, Trump fired off a series of confrontational tweets accusing his North Atlantic Treaty Organisation allies of stiffing the U.S. by not paying their fair share to contribute to NATO's budget, and lamenting the trade imbalance between the USA and the European Union.

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