U.S. President Donald Trump said on Tuesday that he regarded his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin as "a competitor", a claim coming days ahead of his expected meeting with the Russian president in Finland's capital Helsinki. "We're being taken advantage of by the European Union", Trump said, adding that US NATO spending "helps them a lot more than it helps us".
Not while Donald Trump is President.
In 2017, the USA accounted for 51.1 percent of NATO's combined GDP and 71.7 percent of its combined defense expenditure.
In recent days, Trump has complained about a perceived lack of defense spending on the part of North Atlantic Treaty Organisation members other than the US, using figures that don't always add up. According to European Union statistics, the EU's trade surplus in 2017 was $140bn (€120bn; £106bn).
Trump went on to complain that the United States is expected to "defend them against Russian Federation", despite Germany making "billions of dollars" in energy payments to Moscow. He reminded Trump that Europe was first to respond to the 9/11 attacks, and sent European troops to Afghanistan to "fight shoulder-to-shoulder with American soldiers".
"We're supposed to be guarding against Russia and Germany goes out and pays billions and billions of dollars a year to Russia", Trump said.
The president touted that the USA lost $151 billion past year on trade and slapped tariffs on other countries in an effort towards free and fair trade.
The two-day meeting, which begins tomorrow will be a crucial one and in every way looks like it's going to be a tense one.
At the breakfast, Mr. Stoltenberg defended Germany's pipeline deal, saying all the countries of Europe should be able to work together.
Mr. Tusk tweeted at the USA president early Tuesday morning, warning, "US doesn't have and won't have a better ally than European Union".
"Germany is a rich country, they talk about increasing it a tiny bit by 2030".
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