EU chief criticizes Donald Trump over attitude to European allies

Tuesday, 10 Jul, 2018

European Council president Donald Tusk is appealing to President Donald Trump to remember who his allies are as the US leader prepares to meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Speaking as he signed a joint EU-NATO declaration Tuesday with alliance Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg, Tusk said in a message to Trump that "it is always worth knowing who is your strategic friend and who is your strategic problem". European Union officials also say most tariffs on USA goods are already low to zero. After all you, don't have that many, ' Tusk said, in comments made in advance of his arrival but aimed directly at Trump.

Asked whether he thought Putin was a friend or foe, Trump said he couldn't say, adding that he sees the Russian leader as a "competitor". According to an analysis last month, the US share of NATO's total civil and military budget is 22 per cent, or about one-fifth of the total, compared with 10 per cent for the United Kingdom and France and less than 15 per cent for Germany and the rest from other alliance members.

"Getting ready to leave for Europe". Stresses faced by the European Union, in major part because of the flow of refugees from the Middle East produced largely by the US-led invasion of Iraq in 2003, are also major threats to European security and directly benefit Putin.

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. And It is not to sugarcoat Trump's gross failure to understand that USA power and influence in the world, essential underpinnings of his desire to put "American first", demand that the United States also work effectively with other countries, especially its allies and partners around the world.

In Brussels, the USA ambassador to NATO, Kay Bailey Hutchison, defended the summit meeting - and unlike Trump criticized a series of Russian actions she called 'malign'. 'I'm confident the UK-US alliance will play a leading role in advancing our shared values of democracy and freedom, ' he said.

He added, "NATO countries must pay MORE, the United States must pay LESS".

So everyone knows what to expect come Wednesday and Thursday, when Trump and his NATO Ambassador Kay Bailey Hutchison (who thinks the president is hitting it out of the park, of course) will join our global security allies.

"I think that getting along with Russian Federation, getting along with China, getting along with others, is a good thing, not a bad thing", the president added. "After all, you don't have that many".

As we have written before, Trump is conflating NATO's direct and indirect spending to claim that the U.S.

The US president will have also delighted Mrs May by saying that he might take time during his United Kingdom visit to speak with former foreign secretary Boris Johnson, who he described as "a friend of mine". Trump also said that it was in Washington's interest to foster better relations with Moscow and Beijing. US officials said the two sides this time would be discussing Russian election meddling, Russia's incursions in the Ukraine and involvement in Syria. But Trump's "obsession with it, the constant harping on it, and the exclusive focus on it - that's pretty new", said Goldgeier.