Trump Zings NATO, and EU Chief Zings Back

U.S. President Donald Trump jokes with British Foreign Minister Boris Johnson as British Prime Minister Theresa May walks past during a working dinner meeting at the NATO headquarters during a NATO summit of heads of stat

Trump Zings NATO, and EU Chief Zings Back

In a number of tweets, Trump said it was "unfair" that the United States spent more on North Atlantic Treaty Organisation than other countries, as he claimed America was paying for "90 per cent of Nato". "We pay far too much and they pay far too little". "Not fair to the USA taxpayer", Trump tweeted earlier in the morning, calling the situation "Very Unfair!" "I've said that many times for many years, so we'll see". Separately, the USA envoy said she's concerned that Russian Federation is trying to "flip" Turkey and other American allies to its column.

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.

Only eight of the 29 NATO members are expected to reach the target of spending 2 percent or more of their GDP on their armed forces this year, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said in February.

U.S. President Donald Trump and Russia's President Vladimir Putin talk during the family photo session at the APEC Summit in Danang, Vietnam November 11, 2017. "A competitor", Trump said.

This disdain for US allies is essentially the beating heart of much of Trump's foreign policy, it seems.

He later tweeted: "The US doesn't have and won't have a better ally than the EU".

He has also pointed the finger at European Union member states for not spending enough on defence - a long-standing complaint of USA presidents, including Barack Obama.

But, given a general wariness towards Russian Federation among American voters and Congressional lawmakers, Trump is unlikely to concede too much to Putin, said Michaels. Stresses faced by the European Union, in major part because of the flow of refugees from the Middle East produced largely by the US-led invasion of Iraq in 2003, are also major threats to European security and directly benefit Putin. "It's very clear, and he's been very direct about the Europeans needing to do more for their own security". Trump has been far friendlier to Putin, saying the men have a range of issues to discuss and that he's "fine". For context, the United States spends a massive amount on defense - 3.61 percent of our 2016 GDP was dedicated to it.

"The president was willing to offer concessions to Kim without getting anything specific or concrete in return", said Jeffrey Rathke, deputy director of the Europe Program at the nonpartisan Center for Strategic and International Studies.

Germany's defense minister last week rebuffed Trump's twinning of trade and European defense spending.

Donald Trump spoke to reporters just before heading off on his trip to Europe, where he suggested that he's most looking forward to his meeting with Vladimir Putin.

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