Ahead of summit, Trump won't label Putin friend or foe

U.S. President Donald Trump jokes with British Foreign Minister Boris Johnson as British Prime Minister Theresa May walks past during a working dinner meeting at the NATO headquarters during a NATO summit of heads of stat

Ahead of summit, Trump won't label Putin friend or foe

Member countries are anxious that Trump will spurn them and threaten to unravel the organization, their fears stemming from the G7 meeting last month. Trump has argued that countries not paying their fair share are freeloading off the US and has threatened to stop protecting those he feels pay too little.

But his trip to Brussels may end up being less controversial, said Dan Michaels, the Wall Street Journal Brussels bureau chief.

"The U.S.is spending many times more than any other country in order to protect them", Trump wrote. "Thank you to all of my great supporters, really big progress being made", Trump tweeted. According to an analysis last month, the US share of NATO's total civil and military budget is 22 per cent, or about one-fifth of the total, compared with 10 per cent for the United Kingdom and France and less than 15 per cent for Germany and the rest from other alliance members.

The organization has in recent years been cleaning up in its act, a strategy that the group will likely tout at the summit to appease Trump.

Tusk too urged the Europeans to increase spending as they have promised, but said: "Dear America, appreciate your allies, after all you don't have all that many".

In a June 27 update on spending, North Atlantic Treaty Organisation said: "Today, the volume of the USA defence expenditure effectively represents some 67 per cent of the defence spending of the Alliance as a whole". "It's very nuts and bolts".

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As we developed our policy on Brexit, I have allowed Cabinet colleagues considerable latitude to express their individual views. May was asked by an opposition lawmaker Monday whether she would contest a vote of confidence if one came rather than resign.

The European Council President said: "I would like to address President Trump, directly, who has been criticising Europe nearly daily".

While departing on Monday, Mr. Trump said his meeting with the Russian leader "may be the easiest" of all his meetings this week in Europe. He believes that many of them are effectively getting a free ride, want the USA to take their security more seriously than they do themselves, and are taking advantage of the U.S. in defense as well as in trade.

"On top of that, we $151 billion on trade with the European Union".

Trump's visit is expected to attract large protests in London and elsewhere in Britain. His good behavior-though hopes in this quarter died long ago-would also help reassure allies before Trump meets with Putin that he will not fall for the Russian leader's blandishments or agree to any grand bargains, perhaps in the Middle East, that would be hostile to core Western interests.

The meeting will be closely watched to see whether Trump will rebuke or embrace Putin, who has repeatedly denied the allegations of election meddling, in spite of evidence to the contrary.

"Russia should be in this meeting", Trump said in June.

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