‘Strange and counterproductive’: Kerry slams Trump’s remarks at North Atlantic Treaty Organisation summit


Asked about the mentioned figures of $33 to $40 billion, Trump said that NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg will announce the exact figure, but hinted that the essence was that NATO allies were going to spend those amounts much faster than previously thought.

U.S. President Donald Trump takes questions from the media during a news conference after participating in the NATO Summit in Brussels, Belgium July 12, 2018. "It all came together at the end. It was a little tough for a little while".

According to German press agency DPA, Trump said that unless the Allies immediately increase their defence budgets to the 2% of GDP target, the USA will "do its own thing". "We are convinced it would absolutely have an adverse impact on the Ukraine, Slovakia, and Eastern Europe", said Kerry regarding the pipeline.

Even before the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation summit was underway, he kicked off the summit with a broadside against Germany over plans for a natural gas pipeline with Russian Federation and he stepped up his criticism of the alliance as a whole for not taking more of the financial burden off the United States.

"Germany, as far as I'm concerned, is captive of Russian Federation because it is getting so much of its energy from Russian Federation", he said.

French President Emmanuel Macron and Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte explained that it was not possible to mobilise funding outside the agreed national budgets. He said the allies had confirmed their intention to meet the goal of 2 per cent by 2024 and no more. "That's all", he said.

"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.

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"I don't. I'm very consistent".

"Instead of worrying what other countries are spending on their militaries, the president should worry about the ways his own military wastes funds that could be used to solve problems at home".

Trump said he wanted "peace all over the world, that's my goal", and he wanted to achieve this by building up the military, with his dream to have the best military equipment in the world and never have to use it. No, I don't know him well enough, but the couple of times I've gotten to meet him we got on very well.

Officials at the meeting said Trump had shocked many present and broke with diplomatic protocol by addressing German Chancellor Merkel by her first name, telling her: "Angela, you need to do something about this".

"The numbers have gone up like a rocket ship ... and they're going to be going up further", he said. "Everybody in that room got along and they agreed to pay more and they agreed to pay it more quickly".

Regarding Trump's summit with Putin, Johnson said that "meeting with an adversary is not necessarily a bad idea".

"Trump said things plainly as is normal between friends and allies", said Romanian President Klaus Iohannis.