Demonstrators protest next to the specially erected fence surrounding the USA ambassador's residence, Winfield House, where President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump are staying in London on July 12.
But when we met on Wednesday at his office in Tallinn, the general did not seem bothered by the day's remarks from President Trump, who had reportedly told his allies that unless they start spending much more on defense, they may end up fending for themselves. His attacks against British Prime Minister Theresa May set off the latest round of panic on Friday over the future of transatlantic ties, and his upcoming summit with Putin on Monday has prompted some observers to suggest that Trump is not much more than a Russian sock puppet.
"Putin is not America's friend, nor merely a competitor. Putin is America's enemy - not because we wish it so, but because he has chosen to be", Republican Senator John McCain said. "Failure to do so would be a serious indictment of his stewardship of American leadership in the world". "'We want to find out about Syria" as one of the topics, he said.
Impolitic? Perhaps. But is Trump wrong?
"Our goal must be to demonstrate to the world that the community of democratic nations does not intend to accede to Putin's or any other authoritarian's view of the world. We all agreed we have to deliver on that", Stoltenberg said, later saying: "We have agreed that we need to make good on the pledges we have made".
He also vowed to raise allegations of Russian meddling in the 2016 United States presidential election, amid an ongoing USA investigation into whether his campaign colluded with Moscow.
That was just one of several helicopter rides on the agenda for Trump, whose staff opted to keep him largely out of central London and the swarms of demonstrators who are likely to provide some of the defining images of his first official trip to the United Kingdom.
Trump says North Atlantic Treaty Organisation members have agreed to spending increases
It remains to be seen whether Trump really meant it about consistency, when it comes to soccer, however. Trump listed the top US arms makers, Lockheed Martin Corp, Boeing Co and Northrop Grumman Corp by name.
Trump's comments came in a wide-ranging news conference after attending a special meeting on defense spending. They are also simplistic and crude - and based on Angela Merkel's cool reaction, it looks like they missed their mark.
Trump took another swipe at USA allies when he told reporters in Brussels that he thought his meeting with Putin would be "the easiest" part of his week-long European trip.
When pressed to explain Trump's claims he credited the president with a "new sense of urgency" among allies to "redouble our efforts" to increase defence spending, but did not report any new cash or time commitments.
"The Russian president is a man schooled in treachery and espionage". "Because most of the time you're not sitting next to the president of the United States".
Amid the tumult, British Prime Minister Theresa May sounded a call for solidarity among the allies, saying, "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". Flake asked in a Senate speech.
Asked about pressures on countries with weaker finances, he said, "We have many wealthy countries with us today but we have some that aren't so wealthy and they did ask me if they could buy the military equipment, and could I help them out, and we will help them out a little bit", he told a news conference.
At a later press conference, Trump did not deny that he had made the threat, and said he had the authority to take the US out of North Atlantic Treaty Organisation without Congress approval but that it was "unnecessary".