Trump discusses Vladimir Putin meeting before North Atlantic Treaty Organisation summit

Trump discusses Vladimir Putin meeting before North Atlantic Treaty Organisation summit

According to an analysis last month, the US share of NATO's total civil and military budget is 22 per cent, or about one-fifth of the total, compared with 10 per cent for the United Kingdom and France and less than 15 per cent for Germany and the rest from other alliance members.

Trump has, meanwhile, delivered on USA commitments to Europe.

In comments likely to alarm Mrs May, Trump acknowledged the "turmoil" facing her government but said he was nevertheless looking forward to "an interesting time" when he visits the United Kingdom later this week. "We're the schmucks paying for the whole thing".

When asked if Putin was a friend or foe, the U.S. president said that he "really can't say right now". Then, in 2014, they agreed to meet this goal by 2024.

But it's not a binding legal commitment.

The United States spent more than 3.5% of its GDP on defense in 2017, or about $685 billion, according to the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation report.

NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg stressed that all allies were increasing defense spending in real terms because economies in Europe were growing. "Thank you to all of my great supporters, really big progress being made", Trump tweeted.

"The U.S.is spending many times more than any other country in order to protect them".

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"Dear America, appreciate your allies. Every country makes a contribution both to direct costs of the alliance and indirect costs like forces and personnel and equipment".

U.S. Ambassador to NATO Kay Bailey Hutchison briefs the media ahead of a NATO meeting at the Alliance headquarters in Brussels, Feb. 13, 2018.

Looming over the entire summit is Russian aggression in Eastern Europe and election meddling. "But above all when you meet President Putin in Helsinki" on July 16. "And to say that Putin is a friendlier, easier meeting than with our oldest allies in the world is simply jaw-dropping".

This year, the United States will spend about $36 billion directly on defending Europe, according to the International Institute for Strategic Studies, a British think tank.

Though the European allies expressed dissatisfaction with the uncertainty that Trump's approach has brought them, they appear to be reluctantly getting onboard.

That came after pointed criticism from European Commission President Donald Tusk. Frankly Putin may be the easiest of them all, who would think. He's fine. We're all fine. "That's up to the people, not up to me".

At the same time, he declared that "Putin is fine" and that he had been preparing for their summit "all my life".

Many US presidents have urged European governments to spend more on their militaries. When Russia illegally annexed Crimea, anyone who had been born in Crimea or anyone with a Crimean residence permit was given Russian citizenship.

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