Donald Trump pushes North Atlantic Treaty Organisation allies to double their defence spending

Chip Somodevilla  Getty Images

Chip Somodevilla Getty Images

"If you look at it, Germany is a captive of Russian Federation, because they supply...they got rid of their coal plants, got rid of their nuclear, they're getting so much of the oil and gas from Russian Federation". Trudeau has said that the two per cent benchmark doesn't adequately address the totality of a country's commitment to the alliance.

Trump went on to complain that the United States is expected to "defend them against Russian Federation", despite Germany making "billions of dollars" in energy payments to Moscow.

After the group moved inside for talks, Trump again hung back as other heads of state glad-handed around the room.

Baltic leaders fearful of any repeat of Russia's annexation of Crimea called for unity as they arrived at the summit, while Slovakia's President Andrej Kiska said his country was "one of the good guys" because he was increasing defense spending.

Mr Trump dominated the day and is set to stay in the spotlight as he visits the United Kingdom and prepares for a summit with Russian president Vladimir Putin.

Contrary to Trump's assertion, North Atlantic Treaty Organisation nations committed in 2014 to spending at least 2 per cent of GDP on defence, but only by 2024.

"NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg is sidestepping questions about whether President Donald Trump has asked his allies to double their defence spending ambitions". "They're delinquent, as far as I'm concerned, because the United States has had to pay for them".

During a working breakfast that marked the start of the summit, Trump claimed Germany is "controlled" by Russian Federation due to an energy partnership between the two countries.

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"This has gone on for many presidents".

Such an increase would mean Britain, who already spend over two percent target, would end up committing an extra £35 billion to its defence budget.

His comments come only hours before he's due to meet German chancellor Angela Merkel on the side lines of the summit in Brussels. US Turkish relations have recently been strained because of issues ranging from Syria to Iran, but some diplomats say the two leaders - both criticised for their polarising politics - have established a bond. Is Trump nickel-and-diming our allies because, in his view, the U.S.is getting ripped off?

'You tell me if that's appropriate because I think it's not.

Trump has long complained that European NATO members do not pay enough for their own defence, singling out Germany for particular criticism. "How can you be stronger when a country is getting energy from the person you want to protect against?"

"But I have to bring it up because I think it's very unfair to our country, it's very unfair to our taxpayer", he said. House Speaker Paul Ryan told reporters on Capitol Hill that "NATO is indispensable. I think these countries have to step it up, not over a 10-year period, but immediately". "I think it's not". "Because of that we can say that we can make our independent policies and make independent decisions".

"We are willing to increase our defence spending as agreed in Wales".

"He should concentrate on his own country before he judges others", added Nicole Urban, 26, echoing a widespread sentiment among Germans. So we improved a lot but there's still work to be done.

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