"We're supposed to protect you against Russian Federation but they're paying billions of dollars to Russian Federation and I think that's very inappropriate". However, Merkel insists the project is a private commercial venture and is not funded by German taxpayers. "Dear America, appreciate your allies, after all you don't have that many", Tusk said, before reminding Trump that European troops had fought alongside Americans in Afghanistan following the September 11, 2001 attacks on the United States.
Merkel has given political backing to the Nord Stream 2 pipeline to import more gas, despite criticism from other European Union governments.
Moreover, Stoltenberg argued Wednesday that the US military presence in Europe, through the 29-country alliance, gives it an advantage in dealing with Russian Federation and projecting power in the Middle East and Africa. The president, who is due to meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Finland next week, has linked USA spending for Europe's defense with America's trade deficit with the world's largest trading bloc.
The ties between the US and many of its longest-standing allies have frayed since Trump took office and put his "America first" agenda into practice. "That's a very good thing, especially for people in the former east". Trump said "actual" US military spending is 4.2 percent of GDP, without explaining the big discrepancy.
"Disparaging long-standing allies at the same time as talking up the country that has wantonly seized territory and redrawn Europe's borders by military force for the first time since World War Two is disconcerting to say the least", said Boudreau.
"I think that getting along with Russian Federation, getting along with China, getting along with others is a good thing, not a bad thing", he added.
She added that Germany is NATO's second-largest provider of troops and maintains engagement in Afghanistan alongside US forces. The president is also not the first leader to point to the impact of Nord Stream 2 on Europe, echoing complaints from Eastern European allies who note it would cut out transit countries such as Poland and Ukraine.
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The defense decisions made Wednesday were the result of months of careful negotiation, seemingly separate from Trump's improvisatory policymaking.
The us leader said that Brussels does not give U.S. businesses to develop in Europe, but wants America defended the European Union against various threats.
"President Trump never at any moment, either in public or in private, threatened to withdraw from NATO", Macron said.
Trump, meeting reporters with NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg, before a NATO summit in Brussels, said it was "very inappropriate" that the United States was paying for European defence against Russian Federation while Germany, the biggest European economy, was supporting gas deals with Moscow. But these countries were too small to tackle the Soviet power and when in 1948, the democratic government of former Czechoslovakia was toppled by the communists, the West European countries sought a joint military defence strategy and it got a positive response from the USA which was wary of the spread of communism in Europe. Following that, he will travel to England to meet with British Prime Minister Theresa May, then spend the weekend at one of his private golf clubs in Scotland.
That's not how the spending works.
Might a reordering, or even a reduction, of US forces in Europe be in the cards? Last year's summit was also held in Brussels, making Belgium one of only two countries he will have visited twice.
According to Derek Chollet, a former Department of Defense official and senior adviser for security and defense policy at the German Marshall Fund, "Trump misunderstands what North Atlantic Treaty Organisation is all about - he still talks about it as though it's some club in which alliance members owe dues. they're falling behind on".
Additionally, Germany's military is in a poor state, and its own defense minister has criticized a lack of readiness and defense spending. We all agree that we need more cash in national defense budgets; More modern capabilities; And more contributions to missions and operations.