Trump at North Atlantic Treaty Organisation summit: 'Germany is a captive of Russia'

Trump at North Atlantic Treaty Organisation summit: 'Germany is a captive of Russia'

White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders told reporters at the summit that Trump will have "pull-aside" meetings later in the day with Merkel and French President Emmanuel Macron. "We're supposed to protect you against Russian Federation but they're paying billions of dollars to Russian Federation and I think that's very inappropriate".

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

Trump is in Brussels for the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation summit on Wednesday and Thursday, then will spend Friday and the weekend on a working visit to the United Kingdom, then will meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Helsinki on Monday.

According to a French official, Trump said it would be a good thing if everyone spent around 4 percent on defense, which was presumed to be a generous rounding up of the US budget of some 3.57 percent of GDP. "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".

Nord Stream 2 is a proposed gas pipeline from Russian Federation to Germany.

"So we're protecting Germany, we're protecting France, we're protecting all of these countries and then numerous of these countries go out and make a pipeline deal with Russia where they're paying billions of dollars into the coffers of Russia", Trump said.

That doesn't mean there haven't been ups and downs over the decades - seen dramatically after the September 11, 2001 attacks on the USA when more than 200,000 Germans took to the streets of Berlin to show their solidarity with the US, only to give way a year later to massive demonstrations against the American march toward the invasion of Iraq. "I think these countries have to step it up, not over a 10-year period, but immediately".

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"Since Trump became president, USA funding for military presence in Europe - the European Deterrence Initiative -has been increased by 40 percent".

"How can you be together when a country is getting its energy from the person you want protection against?"

Even Stoltenberg - a mild-mannered former Norwegian Prime Minister who has cultivated a positive relationship with Trump - appeared reduced to spluttering as Trump cut him off after he started to explain that allies traded with Russian Federation even during the Cold War.

"Military spending for any country", Koshagarian said, "should be determined by two things: real national security needs, and curbing waste and profit motives that drive military spending up without making us safer".

"I think we can cope with it", von der Leyen said. "We are one of the guarantors of the free world and that will stay that way".

Kerry responded with a lengthy statement Wednesday, calling Trump's missives against United States allies "disgraceful" and "destructive".

"In recent years we've seen Russian Federation stepping up its arms sales to Iran; shielding the Syrian regime's appalling use of chemical weapons; launching cyber-attacks that have caused huge economic damage; and spreading malicious and fake news stories on an industrial scale", she said.

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