Tuesday, 17 July, 2018

Trump claims victory in North Atlantic Treaty Organisation spending dispute

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

Nord Stream 2, they argue, will not only deprive land-transit countries such as Poland and Ukraine of billions in annual transit fees, it will also give Russian Federation a way to penalize Eastern European foes without sacrificing lucrative deals further to the west.

If built, the 1,200-kilometre pipeline, which is scheduled for completion in 2019, will supply around 55 billion cubic metres of natural gas a year from Russian Federation to Germany under the Baltic Sea, circumventing Poland, the Baltic States and Ukraine.

He claimed afterwards that there had been "tremendous progress" and that other members had agreed to increase their military spending after his "firm" warnings.

While in Latvia earlier this week, when asked about plans to meet the target, the prime minister made it clear he had no plans to double Canada's defence budget. In 2017, it rose by an estimated 5.28%, and in 2018 by an estimated 3.78%.

The summit in Brussels is shaping up as the alliance's most hard in years, against a backdrop of deepening transatlantic tensions in fields ranging from trade to energy and defence. "They're going to up it at levels they've never thought of before".

Trump's press conference on Friday came during a visit with May in Great Britain. "The commitment was 2%, ultimately it will be going up quite a bit higher than that", he said.

The US President Donald Trump said that his administration was "tougher on Russian Federation than anybody". "I think 4 percent is the right number". Trump: "The additional money that they're willing to put up has been really wonderful ... "

"They agreed to pay more and they agreed to pay it more quickly", he said, though he did not name countries or give a timeline or figure.

Trump sends political shockwave through United Kingdom with interview on Brexit, protests
The Trumps arrived at Stansted Airport near London on Air Force One earlier that afternoon for the controversial trip to Britain. He obviously likes me, and says very good things about me. "I'd like to see them be able to work it out so it could go quickly".

It was a surprising statement after two days during which Trump's "America first" foreign policy approach had presented a significant challenge for the organization.

When pressed to explain Trump's claims he credited the president with a "new sense of urgency" among allies to "redouble our efforts" to increase defence spending, but did not report any new cash or time commitments. The communique welcomes "four consecutive years of real growth in non-US defence expenditure" and says all allies have started to increase the amount they spend on defence in real terms.

US President Donald Trump said on Thursday (12 July) he was able to squeeze an additional $33 to 40 billion for defence from his allies.

For what's approaching 70 years, from the darkest days of the Cold War, through the Cuban missile crisis, with West and East nose-to-nose, at times minutes from a catastrophic nuclear exchange, as the Berlin Wall came down and the Soviet Union disintegrated, North Atlantic Treaty Organisation has guaranteed the supremacy of the West and the safety of democracy. "If we can do something to substantially reduce them [nuclear weapons], I mean, ideally get rid of them, maybe that's a dream, but certainly it's a subject that I'll be bringing up with him", Trump stressed. "The president has been consistent that he wants to see people spending more on defence in their countries and we are very pleased that we are doing exactly that".

"We had a very intense summit", Merkel herself told reporters after the meeting.

French President Emmanuel Macron said the summit atmosphere was "much calmer than everyone had said" and he saw a will to maintain the unity of the alliance, while Croatian President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic said Trump was "constructive".

Nothing has changed since Trump arrived in Brussels.