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11 July 2018, 04:11 | Glen Norman
Ahead the NATO Heads of State and Government summit scheduled from 11 to 12 July, 2018 in Brussels, Belgium, leaders face a major threat to the credibility of their military alliance at their summit this week - not from traditional foe Russian Federation, but from the head of their most powerful member, U.S. president Donald Trump.
Asked if Putin is a friend or foe, Trumpsaid: "I really can't say right now".
"Europeans spend on defence many times more than Russian Federation, and as much as China", he added.
"For the President to say the European Union was "set up to take advantage of the United States, to attack our piggy bank, ' or that 'NATO is as bad as NAFTA" is not only factually wrong, but proves to me that it's time to go", Melville said in response to comments made by Trump according to a report by Foreign Policy. Frankly, Putin may be the easiest of them all who would think?
Defense spending among the 29 nations belonging to the transatlantic military alliance increased to an estimated 2.42% of gross domestic product (GDP), up from 2.4% in 2016, the organization said earlier this year.
North Atlantic Treaty Organisation on Tuesday released new estimates for allied defence spending in 2018, showing that Latvia and Lithuania are set to meet the 2 percent target.
As we approach the July 16 meeting, the European Council's President, Donald Tusk, has sent a clear message to the United States.
"If we all speak with the same voice and say you can come into the community of nations, you can be a major player for good - but not when you're violating your commitments, violating treaties, going into a sovereign nation and trying to kill a citizen as happened in United Kingdom.,' she said, referencing the Novichok attack in Britain".
"The notion that America First Trump so obviously supports Brexit and one of its populist proponents is bound to give real pause for a lot of people, who are likely to conclude that if it's that great for the US, then it will be at the expense of the U.K".
European officials say while U.S. defence spending makes up 70 percent of combined allied governments' military budgets, just 15 percent of United States expenditure is spent in Europe on NATO-related defence.
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The ties between the US and many of its longest-standing allies have frayed since Trump took office and put his "America first" agenda into practice.
"Dear @realDonaldTrump. US doesn't have and won't have a better ally than EU".
"Men like him, who look after the interests of their own citizens - we could do with dozens of them in this country", Mr. Salvini said. Trump also said in the same tweet. The burden-sharing issue underscores larger questions about NATO's role in a post-Cold War world that remains unanswered 26 years after the collapse of the Soviet Union, he said.
"Heaven help us if the United States wants and needs Europe's support", says Conley.
As he left the White House to travel to Europe on Tuesday morning, President Donald Trump had more harsh words for the multi-country military alliance that was has been a punching bag throughout his campaign and into his presidency.
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Members signed on to the two percent benchmark in 2014 at the NATO Summit in Wales in response to Russia's annexation of Crimea. The NATO alliance has been critical to the USA since its formation in 1949 when it was created in response to the Soviet Union.
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