Trump says North Atlantic Treaty Organisation members have agreed to spending increases


Trump's United Kingdom visit comes ahead of a planned summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Helsinki on July 16.

"Yesterday I let them know that I was extremely unhappy with what was happening and they have substantially upped their commitment".

"They actually thanked me for meeting with President Putin", he said. But I would also encourage the president to exercise caution with Russian Federation - which has proven to be a hostile nation to the United States and our Western allies.

He continued to criticize Germany over an $11 billion pipeline deal with Russian Federation.

Sources close to the talks told DW's Teri Schultz that Trump demanded European NATO members meet the alliance target immediately, rather than increase spending gradually as agreed to at a previous NATO summit in 2014.

President Trump has arrived in the United Kingdom for a much-anticipated visit that is expected to draw large protests. "But I'm going to a pretty hot spot right now - right? - with a lot of resignations".

Trump has been getting around by helicopter to avoid the protests in central London.

"We will go to much higher than 2 percent into the future", the president said.

"NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg is sidestepping questions about whether President Donald Trump has asked his allies to double their defence spending ambitions".

"We understand this USA president is very serious about defence spending and this is having an impact", Stoltenberg said. "The current commitment is to reach two percent by 2024 but with get-out terms that would allow some to stretch it out to 2030".

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It was the most recent in a series of demands and insults that critics fear will undermine the decades-old alliance, coming days before Trump sits down with Putin at the conclusion of his closely watched European trip.

Stoltenberg acknowledged that Trump had expressed himself in "very direct language" but insisted that away from the fiery rhetoric the allies all agree on fundamental issues: the need to boost NATO's resilience, fight terror and share the cost of defence more equally.

The number that the president mentioned - 2 percent of countries' GDP - was in fact a main product of North Atlantic Treaty Organisation meetings four years ago, when member nations pledged to either maintain the threshold or to meet it by 2024 - a deadline that seemingly still stands after this week's North Atlantic Treaty Organisation sessions.

A march in support of Trump will start at the U.S. Embassy on the south bank of the River Thames and end near the prime minister's residence at Downing Street on Saturday.

"President Trump is the leader of a great country".

Before leaving on Thursday for a visit to the United Kingdom, Trump called USA commitment to the alliance "very strong", and referred to the two-day summit as "fantastic" characterized by "a great collegial spirit".

"Putin is not America's friend, nor merely a competitor".

"Allies would be increasing spending by $33 billion or more", he added.

Under fire for his warm embrace of Russia's Vladimir Putin, Trump turned a harsh spotlight on Germany's own ties to Russian Federation, declaring Wednesday that a natural gas pipeline venture with Moscow has left Angela Merkel's government "totally controlled" and "captive" to Russian Federation.

Trump said his summit with Putin, which will take place on Monday in Helsinki, would be a loose meeting with "no big schedule" - but one that could still be productive.