Trump describes Putin as ‘competitor’ ahead of Helsinki summit

Lester Mason
July 10, 2018

He has pulled the USA out of the Paris climate agreement as well as the Iran nuclear deal, slapped tariffs on steel and aluminum imports, and threatened additional tariffs on products like automobiles.

"Prior presidents saw America's allies as enhancing USA power and really enabling the United States in being the global leader that it has been for so long, especially compared to China and Russian Federation, which have very few allies", said Goldgeier. But Trump's "obsession with it, the constant harping on it, and the exclusive focus on it - that's pretty new", said Goldgeier.

The ties between the USA and many of its longest-standing allies have frayed since Trump took office and put his "America first" agenda into practice. The NATO chief said that the Europeans and Canada are projected to spend around US$266 billion more on defence by 2024.

Donald Tusk's comments come in light on the problems emerging between the European Union and US.

Some NATO members have previously pushed back, saying the United States is also protecting its own interests by protecting its allies. "I've said that many times, for many years", he noted.

"Those are stupid people; you shouldn't listen to them", Mr. Trump told Mr. Putin, the person said. She insisted on the solidarity of the 29-member alliance and denounced the "malign activities" of Russian Federation and its attempts to "divide our democratic nation".

Asked about Mr Johnson after his spectacular resignation as foreign secretary, Mr Trump praised him as a "friend" and said he hopes to meet up with him on his visit to Britain even though he is no longer in the Government.

In the past few weeks, Trump has sent sharply worded letters to the leaders of several European countries, including Germany, Italy and Norway, as well as to Canada, urging increased defense spending and warning that the US was losing patience.

"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".

According to a joint declaration prepared in advance of the summit, which was seen by AFP, NATO members will make an "unwavering commitment to all aspects of the defence investment pledge agreed at the 2014 Wales Summit" which includes the 2.0 percent target.

In 2006, defense ministers of North Atlantic Treaty Organisation members agreed to put at least 2 percent of their countries' GDP toward defense. Of course, United States military power is huge, and even 1% of GDP would make it the most potent force in Europe. That means the US share for all three combined would be around $590 million, at most.

"We protect Europe (which is good) at great financial loss, and then get unfairly clobbered on Trade".

NATO is keen to damp down trans-Atlantic differences during the two-day summit at its Brussels headquarters, despite divisions among the alliance's 29 members over Trump's policies on trade and his decision to withdraw from the Iran nuclear deal and an global climate agreement. It was "immature" to link the two topics, Ursula von der Leyen said. However, many members pitch in far less than that figure, while the US puts in more than 3 percent of its GDP. Still, Chancellor Angela Merkel, in a weekly podcast on Saturday, said Germany would increase defense spending in its 2019 budget, suggesting Trump's jawboning is paying off.

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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