Trump brands Germany a "captive of Russian Federation", days before he meets Putin

Trump brands Germany a

"NATO is much stronger now than it was two days ago", Trump told reporters, describing an unscheduled crisis meeting of the 29 alliance leaders on Thursday morning as "fantastic" and having "a great collegial spirit". Trump claimed victory after bitterly criticizing key allies, notably Germany, for failing to pay their way at one of the most fractious summits in Nato's 70-year history.

Trump added: "I'd like to see them work it out quickly". All NATO members agreed in 2014 to mandate spending 2 percent of their gross domestic product on defense within 10 years, spending that effectively buys NATO protection. He then stunned allies by telling them to eventually double the figure to a punishing four per cent.

Mr Macron said: "There is a communique that was published yesterday". But Nato sources, speaking to Reuters, said he had denied making such a threat.

At breakfast with the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation secretary general on Wednesday, he called allies "delinquent" over their defense spending and rocked the summit with the charge that "Germany is a captive of Russia" because of its energy dependence. Allies will deliver on fairer burden-sharing, he said, pointing out that European Allies and Canada are expected to spend an extra $266 billion on defence between now and 2024.

Finally, NATO formally invited Macedonia, the small Balkan country that recently resolved a bitter name dispute with neighboring Greece, to begin talks to join the alliance.

"Things got off to a rocky start at a breakfast meeting with the NATO Secretary General, where Trump complained that he wants other countries to spend more for defense".

"Putin is not America's friend, nor merely a competitor", McCain said.

"Every time this president has had to push back on Russian Federation, he has", she argued, citing sanctions on Russian Federation, expulsion of diplomats, strikes on the Assad regime in Syria and a refusal to recognize the annexation of Crimea.

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Trump also had plenty to say when pressed by reporters about his coming Monday summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Helsinki, Finland.

"I'm very happy today that we are united in freedom as the Federal Republic of Germany, and can thus say that we can determine our own policies and make our own decisions - and that's very good".

When asked if he was anxious that the Putin-Trump meeting could have negative consequences for Poland, Duda said he expected Trump to continue the USA stance of supporting Poland. Presumably, that would include the United States, which Trump contended pays up to 90 percent even though defense budget experts put the American contribution in the mid-60s. "I'm very consistent. I'm a very stable genius".

Trump poured fuel on the Brexit fire just hours before he was due to land there, saying he was not sure that Britons had voted for the Brexit plan presented by Prime Minister Theresa May, which has triggered a British cabinet rebellion.

Trump also dismissed suggestions that his browbeating of the organization's leaders weakened the alliance created after World War II.

In response to a question about the atmosphere during the working session and whether European leaders feel blackmailed by the US, Radev said the atmosphere in the hall was not "one of the most pleasant".

President Trump speaks to the media at a press conference on the second day of the 2018 NATO Summit Thursday in Brussels, Belgium. White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders said this is not a formal proposal and that Trump had merely "suggested" this increase.

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