Trump-Nato summit: EU’s Tusk warns president to appreciate allies

Latest news

    President Donald Trump with First Lady Melania TrumpImage copyright Reuters
    Image caption President Trump has alarmed his European allies ahead of a Helsinki meeting next Monday with Russia’s President Putin

    President Donald Trump has left for a Nato summit in Brussels with a stark warning from European Council President Donald Tusk.

    Ahead of his visit, Mr Trump hit out at the EU on trade and at his Nato allies for failing to spend enough on defence.

    Accusing the president of criticising Europe “almost daily”, Mr Tusk said the EU spent more than Russia on defence and as much as China.

    “Dear America, appreciate your allies, after all you don’t have that many.”

    Mr Tusk also made the point that the US did not and would not have a better ally than the EU, reminding the president that it was European troops who had fought and died in Afghanistan after the 11 September 2001 attacks on the US.

    After attending the Nato summit on Wednesday, President Trump will spend four days in the UK, which is in the grip of a political crisis, before meeting Russia’s Vladimir Putin in Helsinki on Monday.

    While Mr Trump is looking to improve relations with Russia, there has been alarm at the deteriorating climate with his allies in Europe and what he might agree to with President Putin.

    Some have expressed fears for the future of Nato itself, and German Chancellor Angela Merkel has indicated that Europe may no longer be able to rely on its US ally.

    Mr Trump told reporters as he boarded Air Force One: “So I have Nato, I have the UK which is in somewhat turmoil, and I have Putin. Frankly, Putin may be the easiest of them all. Who would think?”

    The EU Council leader said pointedly that when Mr Trump did meet Mr Putin on 16 July “it is always worth knowing who is your strategic friend and who is your strategic problem.”

    Before he left Andrews Air Force Base, President Trump reiterated his demand for the US to pay less and other members of the Western military alliance to pay more, and he linked the issue to the EU’s trade surplus with the US.

    Last month, the US raised fears of a trade war by slapping tariffs on steel and aluminium from the EU, Canada, Mexico and other US allies. The EU hit back with tariffs on products including motorcycles and orange juice. According to EU statistics, the EU’s trade surplus in 2017 was $140bn (€120bn; £106bn).

    On Nato, President Trump’s main objection is that a number of member states have not increased their defence budgets to the target of 2% of economic output.

    Nato countries have agreed to raise military spending by 2024, although Germany and Spain are unlikely to meet the target.

    View the original article: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-44780489

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-44780489

    In the same category are

    Katie Summerhayes: British freestyle skier ruptures knee ligament for third time Summerhayes finished seventh in the slopestyle final in Pyeongchang in FebruaryTwo-time Olympic freestyle skier Katie Summerhayes has ruptured her an...
    Sparks fly from Canvey Island power lines in high winds Residents in a street in Essex had a shock when sparks began to fly from overhead power cables.The unexpected light show in Nevada Road, Canvey Island...
    Kik chat app ‘involved in 1,100 child abuse cases’ Image copyright Getty Images One teen chat app has featured in more than 1,100 child sexual abuse cases in the last five years, the BBC has found.Of...
    The 10-year fight to offer a cheaper drug Image copyright Shidlovski Image caption Wet age-related macular degeneration (AMD) affects 26,000 people The right to offer patients a choice to ...
    ‘Snapchat queen’ Fatima Khan jailed for killing boyfriend Image copyright Met Police Image caption Fatima Khan said she was ashamed of the video she made of Khalid Safi's dying moments A woman who filmed ...
    ‘Snapchat queen’ Fatima Khan jailed for killing boyfriend Image copyright Met Police Image caption Fatima Khan said she was ashamed of the video she made of Khalid Safi's dying moments A woman who filmed ...

    Leave a comment

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

    This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.