4% of GDP: Trump pushes North Atlantic Treaty Organisation allies to double military spending


"If you look at it, Germany is a captive of Russian Federation, because they supply - they got rid of their coal plants, got rid of their nuclear, they're getting so much of the oil and gas from Russian Federation".

Afghanistan's President Ashraf Ghani will be present for the second day of talks, and Nato's Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg hopes the bloc will agree to fund Afghan security forces until 2024. So if you go back 10 or 20 years, you'll just add it all up.

"Must pay 2% of GDP IMMEDIATELY, not by 2025", Trump wrote.

As the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation summit opens in Brussels, President Donald Trump is poised to scold countries for not paying the amount they agreed to on defense and is calling out Germany for making deals with Russia at the same time the European Union expects the USA to protect it from Russian aggression.

"If you look at it, Germany is a captive of Russian Federation".

MARTIN: Meanwhile, President Trump gets ready for his summit with Vladimir Putin on Monday. "And I think that leaders are also looking forward to your thoughts about the meeting with President Putin later on".

Trump said: "We're protecting Germany, we're protecting France, we're protecting all of these countries".

Merkel said it was very important to have such exchanges like the meeting she and Trump were having because "after all, we are partners".

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"And I believe that our trade will increase and lots of other things will increase, but we'll see what happens", he added, before reporters were ushered out of the room.

The NATO alliance consists of 29 countries from North America and Europe, including the US and Germany, which was originally set up in 1949 to thwart Soviet aggression in Western Europe.

In 2017, the United States spent 3.1 percent of its GDP on defense, while Estonia, Greece, Poland and the United Kingdom stand as the only countries which have crossed the two percent threshold.

Sitting at the table with the president were Secretary of Defense James Mattis, Chief of Staff John Kelly, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and NATO Ambassador Kay Bailey Hutchison, Trump defended his public reprimanding of allied countries over their defense spending.

Trump has called on allied countries to meet or exceed the 2014 Wales summit goal of spending 2 percent GDP on defense spending.

Under NATO rules, countries with territorial conflicts can not join the Western alliance and neither country is expected to progress in membership talks.

It was the most recent in a series of demands and insults that critics fear will undermine a decades-old alliance launched to counterbalance Soviet aggressions. "Explain that. And it can't be explained", Trump said.

Even Stoltenberg - a mild-mannered former Norwegian Prime Minister who has cultivated a positive relationship with Trump - appeared reduced to spluttering as Trump cut him off after he started to explain that allies traded with Russian Federation even during the Cold War. "Germany is a captive to Russian Federation because it is getting so much of its energy from Russian Federation". Opponents state that Trump is furthering Putin's agenda to break up the Western alliance.