Trump brands Germany a "captive of Russian Federation", days before he meets Putin

Donald and Melania Trump set off for Europe

German news agency DPA, Politico and The Times of London reported the US President had openly threatened that the US would "do our own thing" unless the wealthiest allies were spending 2 per cent of their GDP on defence by January.

But with tensions in the Western alliance smouldering over Trump's trade tariffs on European steel and his demands for more contributions to ease the burden on United States taxpayers, his earlier remarks fuelled concerns among allies for the USA role in keeping the peace that has reigned since World War II.

Trump acknowledged that some of NATO's poorer members might have trouble meeting the figure, but said the U.S. could "help them out a little bit" with finance, adding that the USA made "by far the best" military equipment.

Mr Trump had opened the first day of talks in Brussels yesterday with a public diatribe against Germany, the second biggest state in the Western defence alliance, before the mood appeared to have calmed as the summit went into its second day, focusing on operations beyond Europe.

According to a joint declaration prepared in advance of the summit, which was seen by AFP, NATO members will make an "unwavering commitment to all aspects of the defense investment pledge agreed at the 2014 Wales Summit" which includes the 2% target.

"We call upon [North Korea] to fully implement its worldwide obligations; to eliminate its nuclear, chemical, and biological warfare capabilities and ballistic missiles, and abandon all related programmes", the statement said. "It's massive amounts of money is owed." - comments at meeting with NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg.

Any such increase would be almost impossible for smaller countries in Europe to achieve, and it is not clear that the capitals of Europe could muster the public or political support for such breathtaking increases in defense spending.

He also said meeting the queen would be an experience Trump "will really cherish".

He added: "It confirms the goal of 2 percent by 2024".

"I let them know that I was extremely unhappy", he said, adding that it all worked out. At breakfast he had spoken of Germany as a "captive" of Russian Federation because of the two countries' energy relationship, which he labelled "inappropriate".

Despite his continued criticism of the transAtlantic pact, Trump on Wednesday signed the 23-page North Atlantic Treaty Organisation declaration, along with his 28 other allies, which reaffirmed the two percent goal to be reached by 2014. Tens of thousands of people are likely to protest in the British capital on Friday, while Trump is outside the city at May's country residence Chequers, before visiting Windsor to meet the Queen. In 2017, the U.S.is estimated to have spent more than 69% of the cumulative total.

He went on to say he doesn't anticipate allied leaders coming out to put Trump in his place because they don't want to undercut the alliance.

Bulgarian President Rumen Radev disclosed that Trump had made the demand and asked what it meant for the future of the alliance that has been the bedrock of European security for 70 years. "I'm very consistent. I'm a very stable genius".

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