In a startling public outburst, Trump told NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg that Germany was wrong to support a new $11-billion Baltic Sea pipeline to import Russian gas while being slow to meet targets for contributing to NATO defense spending that was meant to protect Europe from Russia.
North Atlantic Treaty Organisation secretary-general Jens Stoltenberg stressed that all allies were increasing defence spending in real terms because economies in Europe were growing.
Germany has come under pressure from the U.S. to halt the Nord Stream 2 oil pipeline which will run through the Baltic Sea to Germany and extend Russian influence over energy supply...
"Dear America, appreciate your allies", Tusk said.
"The notion that America First Trump so obviously supports Brexit and one of its populist proponents is bound to give real pause for a lot of people, who are likely to conclude that if it's that great for the US, then it will be at the expense of the U.K".
"Despite the differences, we've always pledged to defend each other", he said of the alliance.
"The strategy has sent a clear message too to the Taliban - they can not wait us out - and we are beginning to see the results both on the battlefield where the Taliban's momentum is slowing and in the prospects for peace with them".
He was met with a sharp rebuke from European Council President Donald Tusk, who accused the president of criticising Europe "almost daily".
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Trump said before leaving Washington that his meeting in Helsinki with Russian President Vladimir Putin next Monday "may be the easiest" part of his European tour, which also includes a trip to Britain, where the government is in crisis over Brexit.
"Despite disagreements, I expect that we will agree on the fundamentals that we are stronger together than apart", he said. But Trump countered by saying the arrangement puts the United States at a disadvantage, pointing to the measly share of gross domestic product (GDP) that most members spend on defense.
United States ambassador to NATO Kay Bailey Hutchison urged allies to look beyond Trump's rhetoric and focus on the summit declaration - which the USA is expected to back - which will be the basis for the alliance's work over the coming years.
"Germans need to do more and can afford to do more", on defense spending, said Simakovsky, but "you can make it harder to meet that threshold when Trump is so unpopular".
Mr. Tusk's challenge to the president appeared more reflective of the European Union than of Poland, where Mr. Trump is relatively popular and leaders are lobbying for a major US military presence in their country.
"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 told NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg at a working breakfast to open the summit.
'As you know, the special relationship we have to the United States is our longest and deepest defence and security relationship, so we will be talking about those issues but also talking about trade issues, ' she told a press conference to mark the end of the Western Balkans summit in London.
As Trump arrived in Brussels, the U.S. Senate passed by a 97-2 margin a motion to "reaffirm the ironclad U.S. commitment under Article 5 to the collective defense of the alliance". "Well they could increase it immediately, tomorrow, and have no problem", Trump said.