Trump brands Germany a "captive of Russian Federation", days before he meets Putin

Trump brands Germany a

"This year, since our last meeting, commitments have been made for over $40 billion more money spent by other countries". "So we're protecting Germany, we're protecting France, we're protecting all of these countries and then numerous of these countries go out and make a pipeline deal with Russia where they're paying billions of dollars into the coffers of Russia", Trump said.

NATO Secretary-General Stoltenberg later told reporters that Trump had used "very direct language" but that all NATO allies were agreed that the cost of defence spending must be spread around and that previous year had seen the biggest increase in a generation.

Despite the demands, Trump joined the other 28 heads of state and signed the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation declaration, which reflects current commitments.

The mercurial tycoon said before leaving Washington that his meeting in Helsinki with Russian President Vladimir Putin on Monday "may be the easiest" part of his European tour, which also includes a trip to Britain, where the government is in crisis over Brexit. The organization is asking all member states spend a minimum 2 percent of their GDP on defensive measures by 2024.

"This has gone on for many presidents". So I think the secretary-general likes Trump.

"That's exactly why all allies agree that those who are spending less than 2% have to spend more and that's exactly what we have started to do".

Arriving at Nato, Ms Merkel sought to put her countries ties to the western alliance in historical context.

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Trump's biggest target for criticism, Germany, predicts that it will be spending 1.5 per cent of GDP on its military budget by 2024.

The president and his fellow critics argue that if America does less, others will do more - that its largess facilitates free riders.

Another key takeaway from the first day was President Trump's criticism of Angela Merkel's Germany. "Germany is totally controlled by Russian Federation".

Trump fired back: "How can you be together when a country is getting its energy from the person you want protection against or from the group that you want protection against?"

"If the President leaves the Putin meeting without ironclad assurances and concrete steps toward a full cessation of Russian attacks on our democracy", the leaders added, "this meeting will not only be a failure - it will be a grave step backward for the future of the worldwide order and global security".

"NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg is sidestepping questions about whether President Donald Trump has asked his allies to double their defence spending ambitions. So, we are supposed to protect you against Russian Federation", he explained. The former chancellor of Germany is the head of the pipeline company that's supplying the gas.

"We are willing to increase our defence spending as agreed in Wales". The main regret over his comments is that he undermines their diplomatic impact with his many other, less helpful, fulminations on European affairs.

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