'Germany is totally controlled by Russia': Trump at North Atlantic Treaty Organisation summit

Trump point

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.

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, Poland's President Andrzej Duda, Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras, U.S. President Donald Trump, Portugal's Prime Minister Antonio Costa, Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban pose for a group photo in the park of the Cinquantenaire, during a NATO Summit, in central Brussels, Belgium July 11, 2018.

In remarks later during the summit, however, President Trump increased pressure on allies over burden sharing, calling on allies to double defense spending targets to 4 percent, the White House confirmed.

The US president was similarly effusive when he met German chancellor Angela Merkel.

"I have to tell you that the atmosphere last night at dinner was very open, was very constructive and it was very positive", Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic, the president of Croatia, told reporters.

Mr Trump's decision to meet Mr Putin was widely seen as a blow to Mrs May's attempts to isolate Russian Federation following the Salisbury outrage.

"I myself have also experienced a part of Germany being controlled by the Soviet Union", she said.

Stoltenberg acknowledged that Trump had expressed himself in "very direct language" but insisted that away from the fiery rhetoric the allies all agree on fundamental issues: the need to boost NATO's resilience, fight terror and share the cost of defence more equally. "And I am very happy that we are today unified in freedom as the Federal Republic of Germany", she said in an arrival statement at the NATO Summit Wednesday, according to an English translation of her remarks. He then set the tone for the day with a blistering attack on key ally Germany at a breakfast meeting with Nato's Stoltenberg.

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"And frankly maybe everyone is going to have a good relationship with Russian Federation". "We have a tremendous relationship with Germany".

"We're having a great meeting".

Instead, a series of events - a black-tie dinner with business leaders, a meeting with May and an audience with Queen Elizabeth - will happen outside the bustling city, where Mayor Sadiq Khan has been in a verbal battle with Trump.

"We have a very, very good relationship with the chancellor".

While Germany, Europe's biggest economy, has been in Trump's sights, Britain was keen to make the most of its status as one of the few North Atlantic Treaty Organisation nations that meet the spending target and sided with Washington's position that allies should spend more.

The mercurial tycoon said before leaving Washington that his meeting in Helsinki with Russian President Vladimir Putin on Monday "may be the easiest" part of his European tour, which also includes a trip to Britain, where the government is in crisis over Brexit.

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.

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