Thursday, 20 September, 2018

Vladimir Putin, Donald Trump to address reporters in Helsinki

Trump rails against Germany, demands allies double NATO spending Trump rattles NATO, knocking its value and assailing Germany
Jeannette Daniel | 13 July, 2018, 19:45

Under fire for his warm embrace of Russia's Vladimir Putin, Trump turned a harsh spotlight on Germany's own ties to Russian Federation, declaring Wednesday that a natural gas pipeline venture with Moscow has left Angela Merkel's government "totally controlled" and "captive" to Russian Federation.

DONALD Trump sowed chaos in Brussels as he demanded other nations massively increase their spending, triggering an emergency budget meeting.

President Donald J. Trump speaks during a press conference on the second day of the NATO Summit in Brussels, July 12, 2018.

Trump did not specify which countries had committed to what, and it remained unclear whether any had changed their plans. "Not acceptable! All NATO Nations must meet their 2% commitment, and that must ultimately go to 4%!"

"Germany is a captive of Russia because it is getting so much of its energy from Russia", Trump said, taking particular aim at the proposed Nord Stream II gas pipeline, which he has previously criticised.

According to the USA leader, Germany "got rid of their coal plants, got rid of their nuclear, they're getting so much of the oil and gas from Russian Federation". He also wrongly stated he had achieved an increase in defense spending by U.S. allies, when no such agreement was reached. North Atlantic Treaty Organisation has estimated that only 15 members, or just over half, will meet the benchmark by 2024 based on current trends. "It confirms the goal of 2 percent by 2024". The new communique says 24 allies will meet the 20% guideline by 2024.

Mr Trump stated his commitment to the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation, speaking after reports that he had warned leaders that the U.S. could pull out of the alliance if other members failed to increase their contributions.

Trump is set to meet his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin for their first ever summit in Helsinki on July 16 though Moscow said the former's remarks were unlikely to affect what was always going to be a hard summit between two countries known to have several differences, the Reuters report added. But Germany, as far as I'm concerned, is captive to Russian Federation, because it's getting so much of its energy from Russian Federation.

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US intelligence agencies concluded that Moscow interfered and Trump has said he would discuss it, although he has stated both a willingness to believe Putin's denials and USA agencies. "I don't know that is what they voted for".

"Tremendous progress has been made, everyone's agreed to substantially up their commitment, they're going to up it at levels they've never thought of before", Trump told a press conference before leaving for a visit to Britain.

In January, Trump defended his mental health in a series of tweets following the release of tell-all book ire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House by Michael Wolff. "I'm very consistent", he replied.

Mr Trump fuelled a fire by appearing to criticise prime minister Theresa May's Brexit plan, after the resignation of foreign secretary Boris Johnson and her minister in charge of the European Union exit, David Davis.

Trump heads next to the United Kingdom.

Referring to an ongoing investigation into ties between his election campaign and Russian Federation, he decried a "rigged witch-hunt" that was hurting the United States and its relationship with Russian Federation. Before traveling to Helsinki for his meeting with Putin, Trump will have tea with Queen Elizabeth before heading to his golf course in Turnberry, Scotland, for the weekend.

Despite repeated US warnings that companies involved in the deal also risk being slapped with sanctions, Nord Stream 2 is scheduled for completion next year.

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