Trump, NATO Leader Meet Amid US-European Discord

Countries Not Meeting NATO Obligations Will be ‘Dealt With

Speaking with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, President Trump railed against NATO member nations who are not living up to the U.S. demands for them to greatly increase military spending.

Early in his administration, Trump scared European allies by deciding on the fly to scrap a public affirmation of Article 5, the longstanding lynchpin of the alliance that guarantees the countries' commitment to mutual defense.

Trump last week rebuffed opposition from European leaders and withdrew the US from the 2015 worldwide accord curbing Iran's nuclear weapons program.

Jens Stoltenberg meets Donald Trump at the White House.

"Germany has not contributed what it should be contributing, and it's a very big beneficiary - far bigger than the United States", Trump said.

In July, Trump is expected to attend NATO's major annual summit in Brussels, where once again the US will press members to ramp up spending.

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Trump also grumbled about Germany "buying massive amounts of gas from Russian Federation and paying billions and billions of dollars".

"Together we've increased and really raised a lot of money from countries that weren't paying, or weren't paying a fair share", Trump said on Thursday.

He did not elaborate what measures would be taken to ensure compliance.

"It is impacting allies because now all alies are increasing defense spending", he said. All NATO Allies have stopped the cuts and started to increase, with the third consecutive year of defence increases across NATO European Allies and Canada. The persistent spending shortfalls come at a time when Germany's military is among the least combat-ready in North Atlantic Treaty Organisation, with massive capability gaps at land, at sea and on the ground.

"You have helped to do that", Stoltenberg said.

"On defense spending, I would say that I agree with you".

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