Ahead of North Atlantic Treaty Organisation summit, Trump takes on European Union over trade spending

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Garima Mohan of the Global Public Policy Institute in Berlin told the South China Morning Post that the US-German trade conflict is "an opportunity for China and Germany to band together" against Washington, though he warned that Sino-German cooperation would be "tenuous" and fragile. Therefore, no delinquency or question of reimbursement.

Yet, France has become a US military ally, and has staged joint military actions to combat Islamic groups around the world - from Iraq to the Sahara. But there are no IOUs to collect from past years. Europe is now the region with the fastest growing real-term defense spending, according to the International Institute for Strategic Studies in London. During her next visit to Washington this year, Trump came out with two kisses on the cheek.

STOLTENBERG: "It's also because of your leadership, because of your carried message".

The unpredictable Trump's affinity for the leaders of NATO's 28 other members carries the potential to further blur the lines between who is a friend and who is a foe. He has criticized the Germans for not spending enough on their own defense and has castigated the country for what he calls an overly liberal immigration policy.

In 2014, North Atlantic Treaty Organisation members agreed to stop cutting their military budgets and set a goal of moving "toward" spending 2 percent of their gross domestic product on their own defense by 2024.

"Some are at 2 percent, others have agreed definitely to go to 2 percent, and some are going back to get the approval, and which they will get to go to 2 percent", he said. European capitals are understandably anxious about the possibility of the USA reducing military activities - and possibly troop numbers - in Europe, in a move similar to what Trump did on the Korean peninsula following his summit with Kim Jong Un. Trump still is angry the allies don't beef up their individual military budgets.

This spring Tusk said that "Someone could even think 'with friends like that, who needs enemies, '" after Trump first threatened to slap tariffs on European Union steel and aluminum exports and reneged on an agreement to stop Iran from developing nuclear weapons.

Across the world, many will be watching Trump's behavior in Helsinki closely to evaluate his approach to Putin, who has repeatedly denied Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election despite evidence from the USA intelligence community suggesting otherwise. He has repeatedly claimed that because of his pressure "billions and billions of dollars are pouring in", which is not true, because there is no such fund for money to pour into.

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Trump, whose spending demands and antagonistic remarks about Germany and Chancellor Angela Merkel at Wednesday's summit opening had already strained relationships with longtime allies, remarked on the "great collegial spirit" among allies as the summit concluded. USA officials said the two sides this time would be discussing Russian election meddling, Russia's incursions in the Ukraine and involvement in Syria.

"Germany is totally controlled by Russian Federation, cause they are getting 60 to 70 percent of their energy from Russian Federation and a new pipeline". They got rid of their coal plants, they got rid of their nuclear, they're getting so much of their oil and gas from Russian Federation. Then he singled out one: "they must do much more". One-third came from renewable energy.

"NATO is an alliance of 29 nations and sometimes there are differences and different views and also some disagreements, and the gas pipeline from Russian Federation to Germany is one issue where allies disagree", said Stoltenberg. But even as Trump hit allies, he also signed on to efforts to strengthen the alliance against the Kremlin and other rivals, as well as a statement that the alliance does not accept Russia's 2014 annexation of Crimea.

Germany plans to retire nuclear plants by 2022 and intends to reduce its reliance on coal. Trump has argued that countries not paying their fair share are freeloading off the USA and has threatened to stop protecting those he feels pay too little.

The possibility Trump could scale back the defense of countries that fall short of 2% "would really be a threat and that would be new".

The iconic visual from the military alliance's 2017 summit was Trump shoving aside the prime minister of new member Montenegro, Dusko Markovic, to get in front of the pack for a group photo. "Germany is at 1%, the U.S.is at 4%".

What NATO partners dispute is Trump's repeated suggestion that the USA gets little in return for its commitment to defend member countries if threatened.

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