Published: Thu, July 12, 2018
People | By Neil Grant

‘Strange and counterproductive’: Kerry slams Trump’s remarks at North Atlantic Treaty Organisation summit

‘Strange and counterproductive’: Kerry slams Trump’s remarks at North Atlantic Treaty Organisation summit

Trump and Putin are set to meet on July 16 in Finland.

Trump's comments referred to Berlin's support for the construction of the $12 billion Nord Stream 2 pipeline to bring gas across the Baltic Sea into the European continent. Ms. Merkel has been considerably tougher on Russian President Vladimir Putin than Mr. Trump has; unlike the US president, she has never suggested acceptance of Russia's forcible annexation of Crimea.

Arriving at Nato, Ms Merkel sought to put her countries ties to the western alliance in historical context.

Merkel told reporters on arrival in Brussels on Wednesday, "I have experienced myself how a part of Germany was controlled by the Soviet Union".

"I am very happy that today we are united in freedom, the Federal Republic of Germany".

'During the President's remarks today at the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation summit he suggested that countries not only meet their commitment of 2% of their GDP on defense spending, but that they increase it to 4%.

Germany presently spends about 1.2 percent on defense.

Before an evening program, Trump met with Germany's Angela Merkel and France's Emmanuel Macron.

Striking a strident tone at the summit, Trump's aspirational target of 4 percent of gross domestic product (GDP) was above the United States own spending on defense.

Trump repeatedly pressed Jens Stoltenberg, NATO's secretary general, on why the USA continued to pay money to the military alliance while countries continue to purchase energy from Moscow. "The good news is that allies have started to invest more in defense".

NATO Secretary-General Stoltenberg later told reporters that Trump had used "very direct language" but that all NATO allies were agreed that the cost of defence spending must be spread around and that previous year had seen the biggest increase in a generation.

Trump's White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders confirmed the ask to reporters, claiming that it was not a new position for the USA president. "Will they reimburse the USA?" "The U.S. presence in Europe helps to protect Europe but it also helps the United States project power to the Middle East, to Africa".

Soybeans are caught up in the trade war between the US and China.

"NATO is an an alliance of 29 nations and sometimes there are differences and different views and also some disagreements, and the gas pipeline from Russian Federation to Germany is one issue where allies disagree", said Stoltenberg. Corker's foreign relations committee also voted for a pro-NATO measure on Wednesday. "I just don't want us to be too friendly with them like he was with Kim Jong Un, although I supported that summit", Richardson said. "But let me say a couple of things".

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