'A great meeting': Trump wants North Atlantic Treaty Organisation allies to double defence spending

Friday, 13 Jul, 2018

And we made clear, well, I made clear for myself and others also made it clear, that we are on this path, which is in our own interest and can make us overall stronger.

From left: NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom Theresa May, and U.S. President Donald Trump arrive for a working dinner at The Parc du Cinquantenaire-Jubelpark Park in Brussels on July 11, during the NATO summit.

Trump: "Yesterday I let them know that I was extremely unhappy at what was happening and they have substantially upped their commitment". I would actually say that she probably went the opposite way. But I would also encourage the president to exercise caution with Russian Federation - which has proven to be a hostile nation to the United States and our Western allies. Dmitry Peskov said the United States objections to the new pipeline deal between Russian Federation and Germany are unfair.

And not long after, French President Emmanuel Macron said no-one had agreed to any figure higher than what was in the leaders' communique - 2 per cent by 2024 - a leaders' statement that Donald Trump had signed the day before.

He also vowed to raise allegations of Russian meddling in the 2016 U.S. presidential election, amid an ongoing United States investigation into whether his campaign colluded with Moscow.

"Prior to a year ago, where I attended my last meeting it was going down, the amount of money being spent by countries was going down and down very substantially", he said. "Since President Trump was in Brussels last spring allies have added 41 billion extra for defence spending".

According to the report, "In 2017, the USA accounted for 51.1 percent of NATO's combined GDP and 71.7 percent of its combined defense expenditure". "Because of that, we can say that we can make our independent policies and make independent decisions". That morphed into this two-day "working visit" with much less pomp and circumstance amid concern about security and crowds in central London. He declared that the alliance was a "fine-tuned machine" that had acceded to his demands to speed up increases in military spending to relieve pressure on the US budget. "Not acceptable! All Nato Nations must meet their 2% commitment, and that must ultimately go to 4%!"

In a series of tweets at the time, Trump said that "throughout my life, my two greatest assets have been mental stability and being, like, really smart".

Trump reportedly targeted Germany the most during the meeting, and even accused German Chancellor Angela Merkel of being "totally controlled by Russia", referring to heavy imports of Russian gas.

On Thursday, the American president was reported to have arrived late at a closed session Thursday morning, on the second day of the summit, and disrupted talks with the Presidents of Ukraine and Georgia regarding the accession of their nations to North Atlantic Treaty Organisation, in order to slam allies on defense spending shortfalls.

However Washington opposes the project, and a spokesman for the U.S. State Department told Reuters on Wednesday that Western firms invested in the pipeline were at risk of sanctions.

Before leaving on Thursday for a visit to the United Kingdom, Trump called USA commitment to the alliance "very strong", and referred to the two-day summit as "fantastic" characterized by "a great collegial spirit".