Published: Thu, July 12, 2018
Global News | By Blake Casey

'Germany is totally controlled by Russia': Trump at North Atlantic Treaty Organisation summit

'Germany is totally controlled by Russia': Trump at North Atlantic Treaty Organisation summit

TRUMP: "You know, we're protecting Germany, we're protecting France".

"Those kinds of principles, I think, are going to be extraordinarily important in the 21st century as we get flows of migrations, people looking for better lives, people fleeing", he said.

But NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg pointed out that military spending had been rising in Europe since 2014 and members were making efforts to meet the objective, particularly Germany, which is often singled out by Trump for criticism.

The meeting will come a day before Putin sits down with US President Donald Trump in Helsinki for the first bilateral summit between the two leaders.

North Atlantic Treaty Organisation countries in 2014 committed to spending 2 percent of their gross domestic products on defense by 2024, but North Atlantic Treaty Organisation has estimated that only 15 members, or just over half, will meet the benchmark by 2024 based on current trends. "And, frankly, many countries owe us a tremendous amount of money for many years back, where they're delinquent, as far as I'm concerned, because the United States has had to pay for them".

Merkel said she welcomed the chance to have an "exchange of views" with Trump.

Germany, Europe's biggest economy, spends just 1.24 per cent, compared with 3.5 per cent for the US.

Trump talks about U.S. Trump wants the spending to go up to 4% of GDP, which is more than even the USA now spends on defense.

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He went on to say he doesn't anticipate allied leaders coming out to put Trump in his place because they don't want to undercut the alliance.

Sen. Jerry Moran of Kansas, who was on the trip, said in an interview that he had particular concerns about the possibility of Russian media entities misreporting the outcome of any one-on-one meeting between Trump and Putin.

"In a heated meeting in Brussels with the leaders of NATO, Trump claimed that Moscow now basically controls Berlin due to their dependence on it for energy".

While Trump has routinely misrepresented the nature of NATO's funding and how the alliance works to share the burden of mutual defense, he's correct that energy dependence on Russian Federation from Germany, and all of Europe, gives Moscow influence.

Trump's next stop will be London, where he'll be meeting with Queen Elizabeth II and British Prime Minister Theresa May.

There, he announced that Canada will assume command of a new NATO training mission in Iraq - a deployment of 250 Canadian Armed Forces personnel, aimed in part at staving off Trump's complaints that Canada and other NATO allies are not doing enough to contribute to their NATO defence commitments.

He complained the United States "pays tens of Billions of Dollars too much to subsidize Europe" and demanded that member nations meet their pledge to spend 2 percent of GDP on defense, which "must ultimately go to 4%!"

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