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10 July 2018, 05:17 | Glen Norman
Trump says Putin meeting may be 'easiest'
A senior European Union official lashed out Tuesday at President Donald Trump, lambasting the US 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.
Member countries are anxious that Trump will spurn them and threaten to unravel the organization, their fears stemming from the G7 meeting last month. Not fair to the US taxpayer.
But his trip to Brussels may end up being less controversial, said Dan Michaels, the Wall Street Journal Brussels bureau chief.
The organization has in recent years been cleaning up in its act, a strategy that the group will likely tout at the summit to appease Trump.
Trump has long admired Putin, and believes the United States and Russian Federation can be allies, according to multiple reports on his attitude toward Putin and his regime. "And dear Europe, spend more on your defense, because everybody expects an ally that is well-prepared and equipped". "It's very nuts and bolts".
U.S. President Donald Trump and Russia's President Vladimir Putin talk during the family photo session at the APEC Summit in Danang, Vietnam November 11, 2017. Frankly, Putin may be the easiest of all'.
The searing criticism came as Trump plans to fly to Brussels later Tuesday, vowing to punish North Atlantic Treaty Organisation allies for their failures to live up to their defense spending commitments.
In direct costs, the USA now pays about 22 percent of NATO's "principal budgets" that are funded by all alliance members based on a cost-sharing formula that factors in the gross national income of each country.
"While these countries have been increasing their contributions since I took office, they must do much more", he wrote on Twitter. "The United States is not going to take care of everything", Trump said at a rally last week. "'And it means a lot more to you than protecting us because I don't know how much protection we get by protecting you'".
Mr Tusk responded to the U.S. president on Twitter, claiming that the USA won't have "a better ally than EU".
"The president was willing to offer concessions to Kim without getting anything specific or concrete in return", said Jeffrey Rathke, deputy director of the Europe Program at the nonpartisan Center for Strategic and International Studies.
Meanwhile, Mr Trump will be largely kept away from central London.
It was in the same conversation that Trump congratulated Putin on his electoral win, despite that fact that Russian elections are a sham and that, reportedly, his aides had explicitly directed him not to offer congratulations.
The meeting will be closely watched to see whether Trump will rebuke or embrace Putin, who has repeatedly denied the allegations of election meddling, in spite of evidence to the contrary.
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