Published: Thu, July 12, 2018

Trump continues attacks on North Atlantic Treaty Organisation nations during 2nd day of summit

Trump continues attacks on North Atlantic Treaty Organisation nations during 2nd day of summit

The allies also expressed concern about Iran's intensified missile tests and said the alliance was committed "to permanently ensuring that Iran's nuclear programme remains peaceful".

Washington repeated a warning on Wednesday to Western firms invested in Russia's Nord Stream 2 pipeline to Germany that they were at risk of sanctions, and said Moscow was using the project to divide Europe.

U.S. President Donald Trump, left, and German Chancellor Angela Merkel pose for a photograph prior to a bilateral meeting on the eve of the G-20 summit in Hamburg, northern Germany, Thursday, July 6, 2017.

Mr Trump opened his argument by questioning why Germany pays billions to Moscow for gas supplies but then demands the U.S. defends it from Russian Federation, saying repeatedly: "I think it's inappropriate". It gets 70 per cent of its energy from Russian Federation.

Asked about Mr Trump's suggestion, NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said he would focus on what has been agreed to. Trump tweeted an hour before the second day of the summit got under way.

Striking a strident tone at the summit, Trump's aspirational target of 4% of gross domestic product was above the United States own spending on defence.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel later responded defiantly, saying: "I've experienced myself a part of Germany controlled by the Soviet Union and I'm very happy today that we are united in freedom as the Federal Republic of Germany and can thus say that we can determine our own policies and make our own decisions and that's very good".

Still, three senior US officials told Reuters that no one in the Pentagon, including Secretary of Defence Jim Mattis, knows what Trump might say in Helsinki. And it comes just days before Trump sits down with Putin at the conclusion of his closely watched European trip. "Hopefully nothing bad happens", she said. "There is no break-up between U.S. and Europe", the source said after Macron & Trump held "friendly" talks.

There are flashpoints between the two leaders on a series of fronts - including Mr Trump's jibe that Britain is "in turmoil" and praise of Boris Johnson after his resignation over the PM's Brexit plans.

'As we engage Russian Federation we must do so from a position of unity and strength, holding out hope for a better future, but also clear and unwavering on where Russian Federation needs to change its behaviour for this to become a reality, ' she said.

Although administration officials point to the long-standing alliance between the United States and the United Kingdom, Trump's itinerary will largely keep him out of central London, where significant protests are expected.

Aides said Mrs May made her position clear on Moscow at a working dinner at the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation summit in Brussels last night.

Woody Johnson, the USA ambassador to the United Kingdom, dismissed the significance of the protests, telling Fox News that one of the reasons the two countries are so close "is because we have the freedoms that we've all fought for. So I think that's inappropriate also", Trump claimed.

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