Trump Calls Germany 'Captive of Russia'; Merkel Recalls Occupation

Trump Calls Germany 'Captive of Russia'; Merkel Recalls Occupation

Trump said it was "very inappropriate" that the United States is contributing to the defence of Europe when one of its richest countries is supporting a major energy project with Moscow.

Trump's comments were "ill-informed", said Sen.

"They will spend more", he later predicted. "But other presidents never did anything about it because I don't think they understood it or they just didn't want to get involved".

And with that, he went on to push allies at the summit to double their commitment on defence spending.

He also accused member states of failing to pay their fair share of defense spending and of being in debt to the U.S.

But Trump's claim that the spending 4.2 percent of GDP is at odds with the Pentagon, which puts it at 3.3 percent.

Brussels is the first stop of Trump's week-long European tour that will include a visit to Britain and a meeting in Finland with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Back in the U.S., Democratic leaders Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer issued a joint statement describing Trump's "brazen insults and denigration of one of America's most steadfast allies, Germany", as "an embarrassment".

NATO is the central pillar of Euro-Atlantic defence and the cornerstone of Canadian defence and security policy - which is why Canada should contribute more, Robertson said. So I think the secretary-general likes Trump. Germans wouldn't agree with that. We're stronger together than apart.

During a working breakfast that marked the start of the summit, Trump claimed Germany is "controlled" by Russian Federation due to an energy partnership between the two countries. The pipeline would link Russian Federation and Germany via the Baltic Sea, doubling the capacity of the existing pipeline in that corridor, and bypassing other pipelines through Ukraine and central and eastern Europe. Hours after arriving at the summit, Trump delivered blistering criticisms of key USA allies and insisted that Washington was bearing an unfair share of Europe's defense costs. The Frenchman is one of Trump's closest friends on the world stage despite their many areas of disagreement, including Trump's decision to pull out of the Iran nuclear agreement and the Paris climate accord, and to impose tariffs on France and other European countries. "That is very good, especially for people in eastern Germany". Asked if they had discussed the pipeline, he said they had, but declined to elaborate.

Trump said that "many countries owe us a tremendous amount of money for many years back".

The president also met with French President Emmanuel Macron Wednesday in Brussels.

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 comments will have made for uncomfortable viewing for the rest of Nato's 29 members, whose officials have voiced fears that Mr Trump could undermine the alliance during the gathering. "We are supposed to be guarding against Russia and Germany goes out and pays billions and billions dollars a year to Russia", Mr Trump said.

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