North Atlantic Treaty Organisation bends to Trump's will

North Atlantic Treaty Organisation bends to Trump's will

"I have to say, I think it's very sad when Germany makes a massive oil and gas deal with Russia where we're supposed to be guarding against Russia", Trump said at a breakfast with Stoltenberg.

While President Trump is in Brussels attacking NATO members for not spending enough on defense and calling Germany "a captive" of Russia for its support of a new pipeline to deliver Russian gas, lawmakers in Washington are standing up for the 69-year-old trans-Atlantic alliance.

The Nord Stream 2 pipeline project, which intentionally skirts Eastern European nations like Poland and Ukraine, has caused many of Germany's allies to bristle, though Berlin has defended it by saying it would be merely one of many sources of natural gas. I think he's right about the spending levels.

Trump appeared to be referring to the Nord Stream 2 pipeline that would bring gas from Russian Federation to Germany's northeastern Baltic coast, bypassing Eastern European nations like Poland and Ukraine and doubling the amount of gas Russian Federation can send directly to Germany.

President Trump is in Brussels as part of a seven-day, three-nation European trip that highlights the ways he has utterly transformed USA foreign policy.

At the same time, despite his criticism of the pipeline and its links to Russia, Trump has been noncommittal in recent comments about whether he might lift USA sanctions on Russia, and told reporters he'd "have to see" whether the US might recognize Crimea to be part of Russia. The U.S. intelligence community has concluded that Russian Federation interfered in the 2016 election to boost Trump's candidacy, and warns of further attempts at interference both in the 2018 midterms and in European elections.

According to a joint declaration prepared in advance of the summit, which was seen by AFP, NATO members will make an "unwavering commitment to all aspects of the defence investment pledge agreed at the 2014 Wales Summit" which includes the 2.0-per cent target.

"For too long, the United States would not or could not sell energy to Germany and other European countries", said Thornberry.

The development of today's German democracy is in no small way shaped on its relationship with the United States, which helped rebuild the country with the Marshall Plan after the Nazi defeat in World War II, and remained a stalwart friend at the side of West Germany when facing down Soviet aggression during the Cold War.

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NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg finds himself in the uncomfortable position of trying to bridge differences between the United States and the other 28 members of the alliance.

Stoltenberg said that while the burden of defense spending remains unfair, that is changing. We are doing better.

European leaders, since Trump's election almost 18 months ago, have fretted and fumed about the president's bashing but have hesitated to lash back publicly.

Trump, who has compared the sentiment that underpinned the Brexit vote to leave the European Union to his own election, will be making his maiden presidential trip to Britain at a fraught time for May.

"Dear America, appreciate your allies".

But with tensions in the Western alliance smouldering over Trump's trade tariffs on European steel and his demands for more contributions to ease the burden on U.S. taxpayers, his earlier remarks fueled concerns among allies for the USA role in keeping the peace that has reigned since World War Two.

Observers say those leaders are certain to be anxious after the US president berated his fellow leaders on trade at the recent Group of Seven summit in Canada. "Will they reimburse the USA?"

Before that he'll visit Great Britain for meetings with Prime Minister Theresa May and tea with Queen Elizabeth.

Minority Leader Chuck Schumer tells reporters that when Trump met with the leaders of China and North Korea, "they took him to the cleaners".

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