Trump Unloads On NATO Secretary-General Over Defense Spending

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German Chancellor Angela Merkel arrives at the Alliance's headquarters ahead of the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation summit in Brussels, Belgium July 11, 2018.

In a bid to avoid a row, Stoltenberg replied: "Nato is an alliance of 29 nations and there are sometimes differences..."

President Donald Trump branded Germany a "captive of Russia" for its support of a Baltic Sea gas pipeline deal this morning (July 11).

However, his comment that "Germany is totally controlled by Russia because they are getting 60 to 70 percent of their energy from Russia and a new pipeline" appeared to mis-state German energy use - about 20 percent of which is accounted for by oil and gas imports from Russia.

The Nord Stream 2 project-an $11 billion extension of the existing Nord Stream natural gas pipeline by the Kremlin-backed gas giant Gazprom and five European nations-will double Russia's gas export capability to Germany to nearly 250 billion square feet per year.

Upon his arrival at the opening breakfast, Trump said that "because of me they've raised about $40 billion over the a year ago". "It can't be explained".

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"I would like to address President Trump.who for a long time now has been criticizing Europe nearly daily for in his view insufficient contributions to the common defense capabilities and for living off the U.S.", Tusk told a news conference.

Trump's controversy-stoking tweets ahead of his arrival in Belgium matched similar attempts by the US President to sow discord and project strength ahead of his arrival at the G7 in Quebec last month, when he criticized allies over trade before arriving to gladhand his foreign counterparts as if nothing had happened. "They're delinquent, as far as I'm concerned, because the United States has had to pay for them".

"The United States is paying far too much and other countries are not paying enough, especially some".

During the president's seven-day tour through Europe, he plans to stop in Helsinki on July 16 for a meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

At a time when Russian Federation is an worldwide pariah because of its invasions of neighbors like Georgia and Ukraine, the president of the United States has repeatedly denigrated the country's historical allies in Europe while expressing hope that relations with Russian Federation will become closer.

The trade office's figures say USA imports from the European Union rang in at $592bn- leaving a $91bn goods and services trade deficit.

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German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who meets Trump at the summit, has given political backing to the Nord Stream 2 pipeline to import more gas, despite criticism from other European Union governments.

The summit follows an acrimonious G7 meeting in Canada, and comes amid a deepening rift between Europe and the Trump administration over a range of issues, from the Iran nuclear deal, to Mr Trump's protectionist trade policy, to the middle east and climate change. So I think the secretary-general likes Trump.

Trump is now under criminal investigation for possibly colluding with Russian Federation during the 2016 presidential election.

"That's exactly why all allies agree that those who are spending less than 2% have to spend more and that's exactly what we have started to do".

"Germans need to do more and can afford to do more", on defense spending, said Simakovsky, but "you can make it harder to meet that threshold when Trump is so unpopular".

USA ambassador to NATO Kay Bailey Hutchison urged allies to look beyond Trump's rhetoric and focus on the summit declaration - which the U.S. is expected to back - which will be the basis for the alliance's work over the coming years.

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