Trump stokes tensions with United States allies ahead of North Atlantic Treaty Organisation summit

At NATO, Abrasive Trump Accuses Germany of Being Russian 'Captive'

Trump Claims 'Good Relationship' With Angela Merkel

USA officials have said Washington is planning a strategic review, a year after Mr Trump agreed to remain involved in the 17-year-long conflict.

While it's true that only a handful of the 28 member countries now spend 2 percent or more of their GDP on defense, a 2014 agreement gave all of them a decade to get to the 2 percent level. They talk about how they are going to increase it [Nato spending] a tiny bit by 2030.

The US president, who has said his meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin next week "may be the easiest" part of his European tour, kicked off the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation meeting with a blistering attack on Germany, calling it a "captive" of Moscow because of its gas links.

Jens Stoltenberg, Nato secretary-general, pictured here among alliance leaders, struck a diplomatic note about Mr Trump's outspoken calls for other countries to live up to their goal of spending 2 per cent of their economic output on defence.

In 2017, the alliance saw its biggest increase in defense spending "in a generation", he said, signaling to his aggrieved ally in the White House that "we see that all Allies have started to increase defense spending based on the national plans we have agreed to develop a year ago".

"I'm very glad that today we are united in freedom. because of that we can say that we can make our independent policies and make independent decisions".

"On top of that we lose $151 Billion on Trade with the European Union".

Bloomberg omitted the part where Radev said that Trump spoke first and added a claim from the Bulgarian leader that the USA president left the meeting immediately after his own remarks.

He said: "Why are their (sic) only 5 out of 29 countries that have met their commitment?" And then numerous of the countries go out and make a pipeline deal with Russian Federation where they're paying billions of dollars into the coffers of Russian Federation. Not fair to the USA taxpayer.

Trump accused Berlin of being under the control of Moscow, citing a new pipeline project that will supply Russian gas directly to Germany.

Trump, who allies hope will sign off on a summit deal to step up the West's deterrence of Russian Federation, will hold talks with German Chancellor Angela Merkel later on Wednesday.

Mr Trump dominated the day and is set to stay in the spotlight as he visits the United Kingdom and prepares for a summit with Russian president Vladimir Putin. US Turkish relations have recently been strained because of issues ranging from Syria to Iran, but some diplomats say the two leaders - both criticised for their polarising politics - have established a bond. He added the USA and Germany have a good relationship.

Trump arrived on the back of a barrage of criticism of Europe on issues ranging from trade to energy and above all his claims that the continent freeloads on the back of America for its defence. Moreover, he displays a woeful ignorance of the work his predecessor's administration did to increase European defense spending.

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