"We all agree that we have to do more", said NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg during a breakfast meeting with Trump. "Must pay 2% of GDP IMMEDIATELY, not by 2025". "We have a tremendous relationship with Germany", he added, saying he had raised his concerns about a new gas pipeline planned from Russian Federation to Germany.
Sergei Mironov, a senior lawmaker from the pro-Kremlin Just Russia party, said in another political talk show that Putin would definitely have the upper hand in Helsinki.
Trump is due to participate in the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation summit on Wednesday afternoon and Thursday before flying to the United Kingdom for a multi-day visit, which is due to include meetings with Prime Minister Theresa May and Queen Elizabeth and two days at Trump's golf club in Scotland.
"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.
Trump told the 29 leaders of the transatlantic alliance they needed to up their defense spending to 4% of their nations' GDP, to counter some in the alliance's "free rider" status.
"Germany is the largest economy in the EU. We have a tremendous relationship with Germany", he said.
The president wanted to know why the USA was continuing to pay money to the group when some countries in the alliance are buying energy from Moscow. It's expected to be online at the end of 2019.
Before an evening program, Trump met with Germany's Angela Merkel and France's Emmanuel Macron.
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Perhaps that's why, despite his outbursts, Mr. Trump did not stand in the way of NATO's adoption at the summit of new plans to defend against Russian Federation and terrorism.
"We're having a great meeting".
Trump's decision to meet Putin was widely regarded as a blow to the prime minister's attempts to isolate Russian Federation following the Salisbury attack in March, even though he had strongly condemned the Kremlin's actions at the time. He's also dismissed the USA intelligence community's assessment that Russian Federation tried to undermine Western democracy by meddling in the 2016 US presidential election to help him win. But Europeans have even more significantly cut their defense spending, and become more tentative about the use of military force.
"Germany is just paying a little over 1 percent" of its GDP annually to the alliance's budget, Trump griped.
US President Donald Trump insisted on Wednesday that he gets on well with Chancellor Angela Merkel, despite earlier savaging Germany's trade and defence policies. The president is also at odds with the American public.
Yet Mr. Trump's criticism, which he has been repeating on Twitter for days, is uniquely poisonous.
The president continues to turn decades of American diplomacy on its head, says former USA ambassador to NATO Nicholas Burns on MSNBC's Morning Joe Wednesday.
NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg noted Wednesday that member countries have already been increasing their defense spending.