North Atlantic Treaty Organisation leaders interpret Trump's verbal lashing on spending

North Atlantic Treaty Organisation leaders interpret Trump's verbal lashing on spending

French President Emmanuel Macron said the summit atmosphere was "much calmer than everyone had said" and he saw a will to maintain the unity of the alliance, while Croatian President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic said Trump was "constructive". Tensions rose on the final day of the two-day summit, when members met in an emergency session amid demands from Trump to speed up defense spending.

"I told people that I'd be very unhappy if they didn't up their commitments very substantially because the United States has been paying a tremendous amount".

Soloch said that USA sanctions against companies involved in Nord Stream 2 could be in the pipeline. "Further challenges, like we see them in Syria and Iraq with IS and other terrorist threats, have been added".

The July 2018 North Atlantic Treaty Organisation summit is very important because it should demonstrate unity, solidarity and determination of all member states, but so far the questions outnumber the answers, Bulgarian President Rumen Radev said.

Speaking in Brussels, US Secretary of Energy Rick Perry said he had not heard any of his European Union counterparts talk positively about Nord Stream 2 and said Washington didn't like it because it didn't promote diversity of supply.

President Trump claimed Friday ahead of his summit with Vladimir Putin that the Russian president would not have invaded Crimea had he been in office, calling the globally condemned annexation an "Obama disaster".

But when pressed on the figures, he referred only to the $40bn (€34.2bn) in increased spending which allies had promised the alliance since Mr Trump became president.

Russian Federation is keen to press ahead with the Nord Stream 2 pipeline since it has the potential to double its gas exports under the Baltic Sea to Germany, bypassing traditional routes through Ukraine with which it has poor relations. "Not acceptable! All NATO Nations must meet their 2% commitment, and that must ultimately go to 4%!" In an interview with the newspaper The Sun, published late Thursday, he undercut Prime Minister Theresa May on several fronts.

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Shortly after Trump's comments were posted by The Sun, White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders insisted her boss holds his United Kingdom counterpart May in high esteem.

Trump has spent weeks berating members of the alliance for failing to spend enough of their money on defence, accusing Europe of freeloading off the US and raising doubts about whether he would come to members' defence if they were ever attacked. "And I know how to fix them". As to whether he could unilaterally pull the USA out of the alliance without congressional approval, Trump said, "I think I probably can, but that's not necessary".

"What you spend on a military budget doesn't necessarily automatically lead to greater capacity to contribute to NATO's defence", he said. Putin has denied meddling in the election when Trump raised it before. "I love the United States but I love getting along with Russian Federation and China and other countries".

"I think it's a very effective way to deal", Trump said, before insisting that "everybody in that (NATO) room got along".

His unscheduled news conference offered Trump's signature touch for showmanship, but the US President came up empty when pressed to detail the new financial commitments he had secured, offering only that member countries "agreed to pay more and they agreed to pay it more quickly" and pointing to spending increases over the previous year.

FORDHAM: Well, maybe we can remind ourselves of what the issue in question is here.

Speaking after a two-day summit in Brussels, he said allies had committed to spending more than 2% of their annual output (GDP) on defence budgets.

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