Saturday, 21 July, 2018

Trump seen likely to support NATO's Article 5 but wants more spending

Moscow drafts a blueprint for the Putin-Trump summit in Helsinki NATO Braces for Trump Visit, But Fears May Be Overplayed
Jeannette Daniel | 11 July, 2018, 03:12

So Trump's rhetoric about Putin puts GOP members of Congress like Gardner in a tough place.

As we approach the July 16 meeting, the European Council's President, Donald Tusk, has sent a clear message to the United States. "Will they reimburse the USA?" he said in one tweet.

On the other hand, Trump is right that many countries in the global security alliance come "nowhere close to their 2% commitment".

Accusing the president of criticising Europe "almost daily", Mr Tusk said the European Union spent more than Russian Federation on defence and as much as China.

Trump alarmed allies during a visit to Brussels a year ago when he did not specifically mention US backing for Article 5, but aides said later that USA support was assumed and did not have to be mentioned. "He will work the issue that he thinks will cause a stir".

"You can expect to hear a lot about that - other countries taking on a bigger role and doing more", the official said. "A competitor", the president said.

More news: Manchester City complete £60m signing of Riyad Mahrez from Leicester

The former Polish prime minister, who these days chairs summits of EU leaders and will take part in the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation meeting, recalled that Europe also came to Washington's help after the September 11 attacks, and that 870 European troops have fought and died in Afghanistan, including 40 from Poland. "No one wants to look like Trump's poodle".

A senior European Union official lashed out Tuesday at President Donald Trump, lambasting the USA leader for his constant criticism of European allies and urging him to remember who is friends are when he meets Russian President Vladimir Putin next week. Trump told reporters at the White House as he set out on his trip to Europe. "The conversation in Brussels could be strained and awkward, and then you [could] have Putin and Trump standing shoulder to shoulder and being buddy-buddy".

President Trump suggested such member states should reimburse the US for being delinquent on their obligations for years. That means the USA share for all three combined would be around $590 million, at most.

This comes amid the president's ramped-up pressure on member nations to increase their contributions to the defense budget. "The United States has always viewed its network of alliances as a net plus for American security and America's role in the world", explains Goldgeier, "and American leadership and has always seen the network of alliances as an advantage in its competition with countries like China and Russian Federation that have very few allies".

Trump also aired grievances about the USA trade relationship with the European Union.

U.S. Senator Bob Corker of Tennessee, a Republican who chairs the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, said he hoped Trump avoided a repeat of his G7 summit in Quebec City, when his demands on reducing trade surpluses with the United States prompted a bitter debate with allies.

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