In Surprise Move, Trump Makes New Demand On NATO Spending

Trump has taken particular aim at the proposed Nord Stream II gas pipeline, which is set to run from Russian Federation to Germany under the Baltic Sea. She said Germany was "good partners" with the U.S.

Any such increase would be almost impossible for smaller countries in Europe to achieve, and it is not clear that the capitals of Europe could muster the public or political support for such breathtaking increases in defense spending.

"I have to say, I think it's very sad when Germany makes a massive oil and gas deal with Russia where we're supposed to be guarding against Russia", Trump said at a breakfast with Stoltenberg. Afterwards he will spend the weekend in Scotland at his gold club, Trump Turnberry, in Ayrshire.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel hit back at Trump just a few hours after his remarks, arriving at North Atlantic Treaty Organisation headquarters to say that Germany had contributed a lot to the defence alliance. The US is paying for Europe's protection, then loses billions on Trade.

Trump, in a testy exchange with NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg, took issue with the US protecting Germany as it strikes deals with Russian Federation.

Dr. Claudia Major, a researcher at the German Institute for International Security affairs, said that Germany, in particular, does more for the alliance than spend on its own defense, including deploying troops to Afghanistan, "and eventually, two percent is an arbitrary measurement that does not say much about efficiency and output". "So I think that's inappropriate also", Trump claimed.

"This is serious. My task is to try to minimise the negative impact on NATO", Stoltenberg told a forum in the margins of the summit.

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Mr Trump is the 12th sitting USA president to make such a trip, and will spend time with the Queen and prime minister before flying to Scotland to spend the weekend at his golf resort.

Trump tweets: "Why are their (sic) only 5 out of 29 countries that have met their commitment?"

Trump has long complained that European NATO members do not pay enough for their own defence, singling out Germany for particular criticism.

As a strong proponent of diplomacy, I believe a meeting between President Trump and President Putin could be a productive one.

McFaul, who served as ambassador under the Obama administration from 2012 to 2014, has previously spoken out against Trump, saying earlier this year that he thinks "Russians are laughing" at the U.S.

Brussels is the first leg of a weeklong European tour that will include stops in London and Scotland, as well as a highly anticipated meeting next week with Russia's Vladimir Putin.

He also said that his meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Helsinki next week would be the "easiest" of the meetings he'll have while he's overseas. And it comes just days before Trump sits down with Putin at the conclusion of his closely watched European trip. "On that point the American friends have a point", von der Leyen said.

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