Trump likely to handle Putin with kid gloves

Trump likely to handle Putin with kid gloves

Putin's press secretary says the USA president is trying to bully Europeans into buying more expensive liquefied natural gas from the United States.

"Allies would be increasing spending by $33 billion or more", he added.

THE FACTS: There's no outward sign that Trump's aggressive posturing in recent days has changed much for the alliance other than bruise its veneer of unity.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov has fired back at Donald Trump over his criticism of the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline project in Brussels on July 11.

"Obama failed very badly with Crimea", Trump said.

Trump has since walked back his claim that North Atlantic Treaty Organisation is obsolete, and in his press conference at the end of the Brussels summit, praised allies for increasing spending, albeit taking the credit for pushing them to do it. Trump will now visit the United Kingdom before travelling to Finland where he will hold a face-to-face meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

The interview was so surprising, Trump's press officer Sarah Sanders issued a statement overnight Thursday to clarify the president's attitude toward May.

"The Russians might be saying: 'Oh, gee, we wish Trump had not been the victor in that election.' We've been extremely tough on Russia", he said, in a nod to allegations that Putin helped him to win the 2016 USA vote.

The mood had appeared to have calmed as the summit went into its second day, focusing on operations beyond Europe. "They're very strong. Very unified, very strong".


"Trump did in Brussels what he has done elsewhere: He manufactured a crisis and then grandiosely claimed to have fixed it, leaving America's allies bruised and irritated", Paris said. But NATO secretary-general Jens Stoltenberg said the figure had been made public before and did not mean Europe was committing any new money. "Germany just started paying Russian Federation, the country they want protection from, Billions of Dollars for their Energy needs coming out of a new pipeline from Russian Federation".

It doesn't require, or even request, that countries spend 4 percent of their gross domestic protest on their own defense.

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".

He said: "She's a very smart, very tough, very capable person and I would much rather have her as my friend than my enemy, that I can tell you". "They're going to up it at levels they've never thought of before".

"The concerns about Russian Federation, the concerns about threats to the alliance were met with solidarity and unity", he said, "and we are looking forward to a good meeting and a productive and constructive meeting between President Putin and President Trump".

"In terms of real capability, the alliance has become stronger over the last couple of years", he said.

"That would be a tremendous achievement if we could do something on nuclear proliferation", he said.

Trump did not directly answer questions about whether he had threatened to take the United States out of the alliance, saying he "told people I'd be very unhappy if they didn't up their commitments very substantially".

Several diplomats and officials said, however, that his undiplomatic intervention - including pointing at other leaders and addressing Merkel as "you, Angela" - had irritated many.

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