Trump pushes allies for immediate military spending increase

In Brussels, Trump Attacks Germany & NATO Secretary

"We're supposed to be guarding against Russian Federation, and Germany goes out and pays billions and billions of dollars a year to Russian Federation".

Trump also said it was "very inappropriate" that the United States was paying far more to defend Europe than other members of North Atlantic Treaty Organisation, repeating a constant complaint raised in recent days in both spoken comments and on Twitter.

With tensions in the Western alliance running high over Trump's trade tariffs on European steel and his demands for more contributions to ease the burden on US taxpayers, the latest remarks fuelled concerns among allies over the USA role in keeping the peace that has reigned since World War II.

"It's very sad when Germany makes a massive oil and gas deal with Russia where we're supposed to be guarding against Russia, and Germany goes out and pays billions and billions of dollars a year from Russia", Trump said at the time.

According to a French official, Trump said it would be a good thing if everyone spent around 4 percent on defense, which was presumed to be a generous rounding up of the USA budget of some 3.57 percent of GDP.

"I think it is unfair", Trump said. Germany now spends about 1.2 percent, while the US spends about 3.6 percent.

"The former chancellor of Germany is head of the pipeline company that's supplying the gas", he said, referring to Gerhard Schröder.

More news: Some Tottenham fans unimpressed with Giroud's performance for France

During the president's remarks, he suggested countries not only meet their minimum commitment of 2 percent but increase it to 4 percent, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, White House press secretary said in a statement. "Germany should be committing 2 percent to defense like they agreed to at the Wales conference".

Trump and first lady Melania Trump arrived in Belgium Tuesday for the summit, ahead of meetings later this week with British Prime Minister Theresa May in Britain and Vladimir Putin in Finland.

Trump's remarks on Germany and Russian Federation generated a sharply worded response from German Chancellor Angela Merkel. "My mother's family, for example, was divided by the building of the Wall", she said in remarks upon receiving the US Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2011.

Around eight members of the 29-country alliance are expected to reach the 2% target this year.

His comments were linked to the president's push for other European countries to pay more for its defence needs, in particular Germany.

Diplomats were already anxious about the summit ahead of time, not least because of an abrasive G7 meeting last month, when Mr Trump renounced a summit communique that had previously been jointly agreed.

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