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Donald Trump: NATO spending is 'not fair, nor is it acceptable'

10 July 2018

The leaders will convene on Wednesday and Thursday.

At the G20 summit in Germany past year, Trump and Putin and spoke privately for over two hours accompanied only by translators, former Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, and Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov. But Trump's "obsession with it, the constant harping on it, and the exclusive focus on it - that's pretty new", said Goldgeier.

Germany's defense minister last week rebuffed Trump's twinning of trade and European defense spending. Ursula von der Leyen announced the country would increase the defense budget to 1.5 percent of GDP by 2025, still 0.5% below the target share. North Atlantic Treaty Organisation members have agreed to spend 2% of economic output on defence every year by 2024, but Germany and Spain are among the countries not expected to meet the target.

Welcome to the United States of Russian Federation.

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"I think that our alliance is very solid and including all of the efforts that the United States is making to shore up the sovereignty of the Ukraine".

The ties between the USA and many of its longest-standing allies have frayed since Trump took office and put his "America first" agenda into practice. (After being told recently that Sweden not a member, he reportedly commented that perhaps the best thing for the U.S. would be the "deal" that Sweden has of picking and choosing which operations to join.) This would be a waste of rare face time between the world leaders, especially with vastly more important issues to address.

The US commander-in-chief has a familiar stick to wield: the shortfall in defense spending; or as Trump puts it, allies' refusal to "pay what they owe".

Although it's been somewhat of a running joke among Democrats, and even some Republicans in Washington, that President Trump and his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin, are "best buds", a new Washington Post article published this weekend, sheds further light on what appears to be a somewhat friendly relationship between the two.

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"He's mainly anxious about our allies taking advantage of us".

European allies may be less anxious about how Trump might behave in Brussels than about what he could say or do in his meeting with Putin, whose approval he so appears to crave. -South Korean military exercises in return for what may prove hollow North Korean denuclearization promises - will loom large in the Russian president's mind.

"Other countries are going to have to look out for themselves... For us it is very important that at this meeting did not happen unpleasant surprises from the United States", - leads edition of the words of the Ukrainian diplomat, who requested anonymity "due to the delicacy of the topic".

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Donald Trump: NATO spending is 'not fair, nor is it acceptable'