Trump dubs himself 'stable genius' for getting North Atlantic Treaty Organisation allies to pay up

Daniel Fowler
July 13, 2018

Polish President Andrzej Duda says the debates over North Atlantic Treaty Organisation spending that U.S. President Donald Trump has triggered are paying off for countries like his on the eastern flank because they have led to more spending by allies on their militaries.

He said the USA "pays tens of Billions of Dollars too much to subsidize Europe" and demanded that members meet their pledge to spend 2 percent of GDP on defence, which "must ultimately go to 4%!"

Trump said he made his anger clear to allies on Wednesday.

Macron told reporters the leaders agreed to "nothing more" than all countries getting to the 2 percent goal by 2024 that was spelled out in a communique on Wednesday evening. He then stunned allies by telling them to eventually double the figure to a punishing four per cent.

Though she said that Germany did have "a lot of issues with Russian Federation", she noted that it was important to "keep the communication line between countries or alliances and opponents" open.

"Trump has pointed to several countries, especially Germany", the first source said, adding that there was "hard language, with repeated references to Germany" and even to the German chancellor, "calling her Angela".

He complained the United States "pays tens of Billions of Dollars too much to subsidize Europe" and demanded that member nations reach their goal to spend 2 per cent of GDP on defence, which "must ultimately go to 4%!"

In 2017, the alliance saw its biggest increase in defense spending "in a generation", he said, signaling to his aggrieved ally in the White House that "we see that all Allies have started to increase defense spending based on the national plans we have agreed to develop past year".

Stoltenberg did note that more than $40 billion had been added to defence budgets since Trump came to office.

Asked by the press about his threat to leave NATO, Trump said he could do that "if that is necessary", but preferred to focus on the positive results for NATO as a result of his pressure.

Finally, NATO formally invited Macedonia, the small Balkan country that recently resolved a bitter name dispute with neighboring Greece, to begin talks to join the alliance.

Trump said that Putin is not an enemy but "a competitor" - and that while he doesn't see the Russian leader as a friend, "I think we get along well".

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Trump insisted that he would bring up key subjects including Syria, although he once again failed to rule out recognising Russia's annexation of Crimea.

Mr. Trump said he would be discussing the civil war in Syria, the conflict in Ukraine, as well as allegations of Russian meddling in the 2016 US election.

"At some point, they're going to call us and say, 'Let's make a deal, '" Trump said of the Iranian government.

"On top of it all, Germany just started paying Russian Federation, the country they want protection from, Billions of Dollars for their Energy needs coming out of a new pipeline from Russian Federation", read another.

Mr Trump's early-morning tweets from Brussels had been typically critical.

When asked if he was anxious that the Putin-Trump meeting could have negative consequences for Poland, Duda said he expected Trump to continue the US stance of supporting Poland.

Speaking at a media conference after two days of talks, Mr Trump said the US's allies had committed to raising their commitment beyond 2 per cent.

U.S. President Donald Trump holds a news conference after participating in the NATO Summit in Brussels, Belgium July 12, 2018.

Instead, a series of events a black-tie dinner with business leaders, a meeting with May and an audience with Queen Elizabeth II will happen outside the bustling city, where Mayor Sadiq Khan has been in a verbal battle with Trump.

Trump is due to meet Putin on Monday in Helsinki.

"I made clear that we know that we have to do more and that we have been doing so for quite a while".

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