Brussels | “I believe in NATO,” US President Donald Trump said Thursday, despite his repeated criticism of the low military spending by Allies during a two-day summit in Brussels, which has wreaked havoc on United States.
The US President has repeatedly called on Europeans, and Germany in particular, to increase their military spending in order to meet their commitment to raise them to 2% of their GDP. “I told them I would be very unhappy if they did not increase their commitments substantially because the US is paying a huge amount,” Trump told a news conference.
However, “it is not necessary” to threaten to leave the institution to convince them, he said. The US president has preferred instead to salute the “immense progress” obtained, according to him, in their financial commitments. “Yesterday, I let them know that I was extremely dissatisfied with what was happening and they considerably strengthened their commitments”, he developed.
“When we reach 2%, we can start talking about going further,” he said, citing the figure of 4%, which he had already suggested to the Allies on Wednesday. “I think 4% is the right number.” “Now, we are very happy to have a very powerful NATO, very strong, much stronger than two days ago,” continued the US president.
An opinion shared by French President Emmanuel Macron, according to which NATO emerged “much stronger” from the summit, especially because Donald Trump has “reaffirmed its commitment (…) to have a strong NATO.”
On Wednesday, on the first day of the summit, Mr Trump targeted Germany, his favorite target, accused of being “completely controlled by Russia” because of its gas supplies, aimed at Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline between Russia and Germany. “I am very concerned about the pipeline, I do not like the gas pipeline,” he insisted Thursday.
“For me, it was a very important point of contention, we discussed it at length,” he continued, adding that Germany had agreed to “do much better” in terms of military spending. she did it and we are very happy about it.
“I explained that in Germany we know we have to do more and we have been doing this for a while,” said German Chancellor Angela Merkel. “But I also made it clear that we are the second largest supplier of NATO troops,” she added.
The White House tenant is due to visit the United Kingdom for a meeting with Prime Minister Theresa May on Friday before a historic bilateral summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin on Monday. He assured that he would discuss with Mr. Putin the Russian interference in the 2016 US presidential election.
“We will ask questions about Syria, I will ask about interference, your favorite question,” he told a reporter. “All I can do is say” did you do it? “And” do not try again “. He can deny, “he said.
Vladimir Putin “is not my enemy (…) In the end, he is a competitor, he represents Russia, I represent the United States,” he said.