Trump lashes Germany over Russian Federation deal

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USA officials have told Reuters Washington is preparing another review of strategy, a year after Trump begrudgingly agreed to extend involvement in the 17-year-old war.

The mood was already prickly ahead of the summit, prompting a terse exhortation from the European Union's President Donald Tusk for Trump to "appreciate" his allies and reminding him that Europe had come to its aid following the 9/11 attacks. Not fair to the USA taxpayer.

When the Brussels summit winds up, Mr Trump will arrive in the United Kingdom on Thursday for a two-day working visit. "Germany should be committing two percent to defense like they agreed to", Ryan told reporters. Europeans must spend more on defense.

"We're supposed to be guarding against Russia and Germany goes out and pays billions and billions of dollars a year to Russia", Trump said.

Jens Stoltenberg, Nato secretary-general, pictured here among alliance leaders, struck a diplomatic note about Mr Trump's outspoken calls for other countries to live up to their goal of spending 2 per cent of their economic output on defence.

North Atlantic Treaty Organisation leaders plan to turn their attentions to the conflict in Afghanistan, on the second day of a summit so far dominated by demands from President Donald Trump.

"The former chancellor of Germany is head of the pipeline company that's supplying the gas", Mr. Trump said. I am very happy that today we are united in freedom, the Federal Republic of Germany.

Throughout the day, leaders were peppered with questions about Trump's behavior and whether or not they agreed with his position on Germany.

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Trump arrived on the back of a barrage of criticism of Europe on issues ranging from trade to energy and above all his claims that the continent freeloads on the back of America for its defence. But after a day of Trump throwing political hand grenades at Germany, he and Merkel gave a cool and cordial read out of their private meeting.

Mr Trump made more conciliatory remarks on Wednesday after he and Mrs Merkel met on the sidelines of the Brussels summit, saying defence spending and trade had been discussed. He said nations have been increasing their contribution each year, even as they have taken a hit to their own economies by putting in place tough sanctions against Russian Federation for its behaviour in Ukraine.

Merkel responded with equally sedate remarks.

NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said, "We should first get to two percent", adding that eight of the 29 allies were meeting that target.

After Trump's cordial reception of Merkel in the afternoon, it seemed Trump avoided the kind of diplomatic disaster he set in motion at the G7 in June.

The NATO chief was frank about the impact of Trump's criticism on the organisation.

During a phone call with Russian President Vladimir Putin in March, President Donald Trump reportedly called his own staff "stupid people".

While U.S. defense spending makes up 70 percent of combined allied governments' military budgets, just 15 percent of U.S. expenditure is spent in Europe on NATO-related defense.

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