Published: Fri, July 13, 2018
Money | By Ralph Mccoy

Trump says North Atlantic Treaty Organisation members have agreed to spending increases

Trump says North Atlantic Treaty Organisation members have agreed to spending increases

Following an impromptu victory lap, Trump took at a hastily called news conference at the end of the summit to crow over a claim that North Atlantic Treaty Organisation allies had agreed to increase defense spending "at levels they never thought of before".

"Germany has agreed to do a lot better than they were doing, and we're very happy with that", Trump said, without going into specifics. But with Trump scheduled to meet with President Vladimir Putin of Russian Federation on Monday, the gathering was dominated by wrangling over money. "It has been really unbelievable to see the level of spirit in that room". He said the US commitment to the 29-member North Atlantic Treaty Organization remains very strong and cited "the additional money they will be putting up" and "the level of spirit in that room" during the meetings.

And while all member nations have agreed, in principle, to work toward the 2 percent spending goal, each country is ultimately beholden to unique political processes and must consult with their respective parliaments to secure increased military spending.

Asked about Trump's suggestion, Stoltenberg said he'll focus on what's been agreed to.

With allies fearing he could strike some sort of deal with NATO's key adversary, Trump said that he saw Putin as a "competitor" but not an "enemy".

A frustrated Trump has already hinted he may accept Russia's annexation of Crimea as he accepted Israel's annexation of Jerusalem.

Putin has denied meddling in the election when Trump raised it before.

"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 US was at 3.6 percent, pouring nearly $700 billion into the Pentagon. Trump tweeted this morning before the second day of talks.

Only eight countries expect to meet the target in 2018, he said.

Merkel said she welcomed the chance to have an "exchange of views" with Trump.

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Trump heads to Britain on Thursday, where the government is in crisis over Brexit and where tensions with Russian Federation have spiked after London blamed Moscow for the death this month of a British woman from contact with the Novichok nerve agent.

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.

Trump then held an impromptu press conference.

"So I would imagine that's what they will do, but maybe they will take a little bit of a different route". He claimed in a press conference that "Yesterday I let allies know I was extremely unhappy with what was happening".

As he flew off to the United Kingdom on Thursday for the next leg of his European tour, it was left to President Emmanuel Macron of France to correct the record following Trump's freewheeling press conference in which he claimed to have pushed allies into new defence spending commitments.

Following the summit, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg was careful not to contradict the president's claim of a substantial increase in spending but was only able to directly point to members' existing 2 percent commitments.

Japan, with the world's third-largest economy, spends an even smaller share of its GDP on defense than Germany, 0.9 percent.

We get hit both ways.

Trump claimed member nations had agreed to boost their defense budgets significantly and reaffirmed - after days of griping that the USA was being taken advantage of by its allies - that the US remains faithful to the accord.

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