North Atlantic Treaty Organisation summit: Trump hails alliance spending promises after crisis meeting

Donald Trump

But now, according to media reports, Trump has threatened to withdraw the USA from the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO, ) or to change its pivotal role in the alliance, over the matter.

Trump has done more damage to NATO in months than Russian Federation has in decades Trump takes credit for increased defense spending by NATO allies, but says "it isn't almost enough" Trump questions how Russian Federation probe can "proceed" given Federal Bureau of Investigation agent's private comments MORE said Thursday that other members of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) agreed to "substantially up" their defense spending commitments.

"We made a tremendous amount of progress today", he said.

John Kerry says he's never seen a president say "anything as unusual or counterproductive" as President Donald Trump's latest comments at the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation summit in Brussels. Citing the alliance's Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg, he said: "Secretary Stoltenberg gives us total credit, meaning me, I guess, in this case, total credit".

Trump scolded leaders here and criticized some countries, including Germany and Spain, for failing to contribute more to their defenses and for relying too heavily on the largesse of the United States.

When asked how that conversation might go, Trump said, "He may deny it".

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.

"As for Germany's dependence (on Russia) as a major gas buyer we can not agree with this premise", Peskov told reporters on a conference call.

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Only the US spends more than 3%, with seven other countries above or near. He described USA allies in the region as "afraid about what our president might agree to", and he told reporters he "very much" shares their worries. "It's very inappropriate. It certainly doesn't seem to make sense that they paid billions of dollars to Russian Federation, and now we have to defend them against Russian Federation".

German Defense Minister Ursula von der Leyen told NPR on Wednesday that Trump makes a fair point that Germany should spend more but is not the first US president to urge that. "There is a great collegial atmosphere in that room, that I don't think they've had for many years".

Mr Trump earlier claimed that Germany was "captive to Russia".

Merkel said she welcomed the chance to have an "exchange of views" with Trump.

EU President Donald Tusk stepped up to the fight with his own salvo against Trump on Tuesday, telling him to "appreciate your allies" and reminding him Washington that Europe had come to its aid following the 9/11 attacks.

The alliance lists the U.S.as spending an estimated 3.5 percent of its GDP on its military budget this year.

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

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