Trump singled out Germany on Wednesday when he accused them of being "totally" controlled by Russian Federation because Russia provides a large share of their oil and natural gas. He says it "must ultimately" go to 4 percent.
Trump has spent weeks berating members of the alliance for failing to spend enough of their money on defense, accusing Europe of freeloading off the USA and raising doubts about whether he would come to members' defense if they were ever attacked.
The president made the suggestion at a North Atlantic Treaty Organisation meeting in Brussels Wednesday after repeatedly complaining that the U.S. pays too much into the organization. The organization is asking all member states spend a minimum 2 percent of their GDP on defensive measures by 2024.
Trump had opened the first day of talks in Brussels on Wednesday with a public diatribe against Germany, the second biggest state in the Western defense alliance, before the mood appeared to have calmed as the summit went into its second day, focusing on operations beyond Europe. "They're delinquent, as far as I'm concerned, because the United States has had to pay for them".
The meeting also saw Mr Trump single out Germany for criticism over its defence spending.
"What's more surprising, the fact that the President Trump is calling them out on that or that previous presidents haven't?" he asked. "But no other president brought it up like I bring it up.it's an unfair burden on the United States". The resolution recognises that NATO remains the most important and critical security link between the United States and Europe and the US' commitment to the principle of collective defence as laid out in Article 5 of the NATO Treaty.
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As a strong proponent of diplomacy, I believe a meeting between President Trump and President Putin could be a productive one. The Guardian quotes her as saying, "I have experienced myself how a part of Germany was controlled by the Soviet Union".
"I have to tell you that the atmosphere last night at dinner was very open, was very constructive and it was very positive", Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic, the president of Croatia, told reporters.
"He was in a good mood, he said Europe was a continent he appreciated", Luxembourg's Prime Minister Xavier Bettel told reporters. "We look forward to the meeting you're going to have with President Putin. And I think that leaders are also looking forward to your thoughts about the meeting with President Putin later on".
Under fire for his warm embrace of Russia's Vladimir Putin, Trump on Wednesday turned a harsh spotlight on Germany's own ties to Russian Federation, alleging that a natural gas pipeline venture with Moscow has left Angela Merkel's government "totally controlled" and "captive" to Russian Federation.
"I think we can cope with it", von der Leyen said. "If we look at the gas pipeline, Germany is an independent country. Where energy supply is concerned, we diversify, but the main overarching topic is the summit - we want a summit that sends out the message of unity".
President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko expects that the upcoming meeting between U.S. President Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin will confirm that Ukraine is on the frontline of European and transatlantic politics.