EU chief criticizes Trump over attitude to European allies

US President Donald Trump addresses an event at the White House in Washington last month

Making NATO allies fulfill their commitment to spend 2 percent of GDP on defense has been a repeated theme in Trump's criticism of NATO.

"Getting ready to leave for Europe". Germany and other European NATO partners argue, however, that they have boosted their contributions to the military alliance and plan to kick in more in coming years.

A continued commitment to increase spending. Well, they could increase it immediately tomorrow and have no problem.

"We're not going to put up with it and its inappropriate", Trump said.

In office since January 2017, the USA president has been openly critical of many of NATO's practices, with most of his ire focusing on Washington spending relatively more money than other member states.

Trump also said the European Union is taking advantage of the United States. "But it is possible that there are consequences, and that is something we're ready for".

"It becomes extremely important not just to stand and show that we are ready to fight for our values and demonstrate that strength of convictions ... it is also really important that we do so not as individual nations, but as a collective".

"I'll tell NATO: 'You've got to start paying your bills, '" Trump pledged at a rally last week in Montana in which he bemoaned that Americans were "the schmucks that are paying for the whole thing".

Trump's visit to the United Kingdom ends almost six months of missed opportunities, scheduling conflicts and speculation about the state of the "special relationship". "Will they reimburse the USA?" he wrote in another tweet earlier in the evening. Trump tweeted on Tuesday en route to Brussels.

Trump also misrepresented Germany's energy picture, asserting coal and nuclear power are gone from the mix.

"The spending many times more than any other country in order to protect them", Trump said on Twitter of the other members of the Atlantic alliance, hours before Air Force One left for Belgium.

"European allies are stepping up".

Donald Tusk, president of the European Council, retaliated with a warning: "America, appreciate your allies".

In comments after the signing of a joint EU-NATO declaration, Tusk said he wanted to address Trump's near-daily criticism of Europe and complaints that countries are "living off the U.S".

Still, Poland's Foreign Minister Jacek Czaputowicz suggested that Trump has a point on the Nord Stream pipelines.

He will travel to most of those meetings by helicopter, meaning he can likely avoid the large-scale protests in central London, including a giant "Baby Trump" blimp. However, the Alliance remains "open to political dialogue" with Moscow. We don't want a new Cold War.

Trump has said the highly anticipated summit may be the "easiest" of his meetings, adding that he "can't say right now" whether Putin is a friend or foe, describing him instead as a "competitor". But it adds that they will also "submit credible national plans on its implementation" in language that will perhaps please the U.S. president. "The stakes are quite high here", he said. "It's not a bad thing, I've said that many times". As the biggest economy the U.S. pays 22 percent of the total, followed by Germany with 14 percent and France and Britain with 10.5 percent.

James Carafano of the conservative-leaning Heritage Foundation said the difference in messaging between Trump and top USA officials is part of a coordinated effort meant to simultaneously pressure the Europeans. "So explain that", Trump said. "I'm very happy that we in the Federal Republic of Germany live united in freedom, and for that reason we can make sovereign decisions".

Of course, none of this is guaranteed to make a difference to the White House. "If he (Trump) tries to do anything like end exercises. that would give him a massive black eye when he's trying to get a confirmation through", he told CNN.

Donald Trump has arrived in Brussels for the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation summit. Dear President Trump: America does not have, and will not have a better ally than Europe.

Andrew Holland, the director of the American Security Projects' Energy & Infrastructure Studies program, says a U.S. president's rhetoric matters deeply when it comes to foreign policy. It's not that the meeting - focused on new measures to reinforce Europe in a crisis - is unimportant. "You have to do the outright signaling".

Peter Trubowitz is Professor and Head of International Relations, and Director of the LSE's US Centre. They were briefed by Nato's leaders in defense, foreign affairs and economic affairs on the agenda of this year's summit. "There was a lot of concern about what Trump didn't say", Chollet observed.

At the same time, he declared that "Putin is fine" and that he had been preparing for their summit "all my life". "They feel good about the substance; they're just hoping to avert disaster".

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