North Atlantic Treaty Organisation summit continues after delirious first day

Trump May

The Nato leaders, gathered in Brussels, held an unplanned emergency meeting earlier on Thursday after Mr Trump told allies to immediately increase their defence spending, diplomatic sources said.

Trump has taken particular aim at the proposed Nord Stream II gas pipeline, which is set to run from Russian Federation to Germany under the Baltic Sea.

The mercurial tycoon said before leaving Washington that his meeting in Helsinki with Russian President Vladimir Putin on Monday "may be the easiest" part of his European tour, which also includes a trip to Britain, where the government is in crisis over Brexit.

"I have to say, I think it's very sad when Germany makes a massive oil and gas deal with Russia, where you're supposed to be guarding against Russia, and Germany goes out and pays billions and billions of dollars a year to Russia", Trump said on Wednesday during a meeting with the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation secretary-general.

Though the insult will hardly engender warmth from German chancellor Angela Merkel, who Trump is due to meet later today, German defense minister Ursula von der Leyen seemed relatively unperturbed.

"Trump wants to see our allies share more of the burden and at a very minimum meet their already stated obligations", Sarah Sanders told reporters A source close to French President Emmanuel Macron also played down Trump's words as rhetoric, saying "it is not a new demand".

The meeting brought together Mr Trump and Canada's prime minister Justin Trudeau, who irritated the USA president at the G7 by declaring that his country would not be pushed around.

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.

Trump has repeatedly slammed Merkel for supporting a new pipeline that would cement Berlin's client relationship with Russian Federation and increase Moscow's influence.

Not only did Trump demand on Twitter on Thursday that countries meet the 2% level by this year, not 2024, but he also said all countries should eventually hit 4%, which is more than even the United States now spends.

But she insisted there must be "unity and strength" in the military alliance and he must not skirt issues like the Salisbury nerve agent attack on former spy Sergei Skripal and daughter Yulia.

"I think we should first get to 2 percent, focus on that now. the good thing is that we are moving to that", NATO Secretary General Stoltenberg told reporters, without speaking directly to Trump's comments.

Funding has averaged about $1 billion annually and Stoltenberg has said he expected that level to be met.

From abandoning the Iran nuclear deal to putting higher tariffs on European Union steel imports and threatening more on cars, Trump has undermined European priorities in the Middle East, on free trade and on combating climate change. I was 7 years old at the time. He authorized the deployment of an additional 3,000 troops, bringing the total to around 15,000.

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