North Atlantic Treaty Organisation summit: Trump urges members urged to double defence spending

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg gestures while speaking to U.S. President Donald Trump during their bilateral breakfast Wednesday

"This year, since our last meeting, commitments have been made for over $40 billion more money spent by other countries".

"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.

Earlier, Trump strode into NATO's new glass-and-steel headquarters and into the amphitheatre-like North Atlantic Council decision-making chamber to shake hands with leaders - but only after publicly railing against Germany, one of NATO's top European powers, at a breakfast meeting with Stoltenberg. "They're delinquent, as far as I'm concerned, because the United States has had to pay for them".

"This has gone on for many presidents".

"And I think that's very inappropriate".

The U.S. president has lambasted U.S. allies for routinely failing to meet a 2 percent goal, a much lower standard that their nations agreed upon before he took office.

"NATO is the most successful alliance in history".

Trump's biggest target for criticism, Germany, predicts that it will be spending 1.5 per cent of GDP on its military budget by 2024.

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"We're protecting Germany, we're protecting France, we're protecting all of these countries. Explain that. And it can't be explained", Trump said.

The president and his fellow critics argue that if America does less, others will do more - that its largess facilitates free riders.

What did Trump say about Germany? The pipeline, set to become operational in 2019-2020, will run from Russian Federation to Germany (Ust-Luga to Greifswald) and double the pipeline capacity between the two nations. The other thing that is important is that, unlike the G7, which is really an economic club, and the gathering, an informal gathering of countries, NATO, it's an organization that has a treaty dating back to 1949.

"We are stronger together than apart", Stoltenberg said. "Frankly, Putin may be the easiest of them all", Trump said Tuesday before departing for Brussels.

Germany is not a captive of anyone, neither Russian Federation nor the US, German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas said in response to US President Donald Trump's description of his country as a "captive" of Russian Federation. "I just don't want us to be too friendly with them like he was with Kim Jong Un, although I supported that summit", Richardson said. "If we look at the gas pipeline, Germany is an independent country".

The alliance as a whole increased defense spending for the first time in two decades in 2015. The criticism and proposal dominated headlines with leaders, including Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, widely accepting the complaint of unequality and pledging to spend more.

"Unfortunately, this motion has become necessary because some of our closest allies have come to question the USA commitment to collective self-defense. On that point the American friends have a point", von der Leyen said.

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