Trump Says 'No Problem' In NATO, Touting Allies' Spending Pledges

NATO leaders family

Trump Says 'No Problem' In NATO, Touting Allies' Spending Pledges

Trump: "They really stepped up their commitment ... stepped it up an additional 33 billion ... "

The second day of the defence pact meeting was disrupted and repeatedly rescheduled, as Trump's insistence on renegotiating his allies' defence budgets took precedence over issues such as Ukraine and Georgia's vulnerability to Russian Federation.

Afghanistan's President Ashraf Ghani will be present for the second day of talks and NATO's Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg hopes the bloc will agree to fund Afghan security forces until 2024. Partners including European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker therefore left the discussion.

US President Donald Trump on Friday said he had been "tougher on Russia than anybody", ahead of a summit with his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin on Monday.

Trump said he made his anger clear to allies on Wednesday.

"If the President won't make Russia's attack on our election the #1 issue at the summit, then it should be canceled", Warner tweeted.

Trump reportedly went into the summit urging other members to bump that up to 4 percent.

Countries also committed in 2014 to ensure that 20% of defence spending went on equipment - 15 countries are hitting that target. And the United States is being treated much more fairly.

Trump did not directly answer questions about whether he had threatened to take the United States out of the alliance, saying he "told people I'd be very unhappy if they didn't up their commitments very substantially".

"There is a communiqué that was published yesterday".

And while all member nations have agreed, in principle, to work toward the 2 percent spending goal, each country is ultimately beholden to unique political processes and must consult with their respective parliaments to secure increased military spending.

Trudeau was not the only leader who seemed at odds with Trump's understanding of what emerged from an emergency meeting of North Atlantic Treaty Organisation leaders that derailed the final sessions of the summit's closing day and set off another firestorm of controversy with the US president at its centre.

It was a classic Trump performance - bluster, confrontation and demands followed by a unilateral declaration of victory - but his claim was quickly dismissed by the leaders of Italy and France, who disputed they had made any new pledges for increasing spending.

Poland, which was under Moscow-backed communist rule for decades during the Cold War, is today one of the most pro-US countries in Europe.

Mr Trump said he would raise issues of arms control, extending new start treaty, and Russian Federation violations of INF treaty in Putin talks.

"Putin is not our friend nor merely a competitor", McCain said via Twitter.

Under fire for his warm embrace of Russia's Vladimir Putin, Trump on Wednesday also turned a harsh spotlight on Germany's own ties to Russian Federation, alleging that a natural gas pipeline venture with Moscow has left Angela Merkel's government "totally controlled" and "captive" to Russian Federation.

Other leaders said they had simply told Mr Trump they were open to discussing spending increases in the future.

But French president Emmanuel Macron denied there had been an agreement to boost spending over 2%. "I don't know that is what they voted for".

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