World

Moscow drafts a blueprint for the Putin-Trump summit in Helsinki

Moscow drafts a blueprint for the Putin-Trump summit in Helsinki

"To me, this is nearly like propaganda, it really tells you how far out we're getting here and what sort of an influence that Trump is able to exert". And you tell me if that's appropriate, because I think it's not.

"The former chancellor of Germany is head of the pipeline company that's supplying the gas", Mr. Trump said.

In reality, each country determines its own level of military spending, said Ivo Daalder, president of the Chicago Council for Global Affairs and the former US ambassador to North Atlantic Treaty Organisation under former President Barack Obama.

"Germany is paying just over 1% [of its GDP], whereas the United States, in actual numbers is paying 4.2% of a much larger GDP", he said.

In response, Lindsay Koshgarian, program director for the National Priorities Project which tracks Pentagon spending and its social implications, said that European leaders-and the people they represent-should be very wary about Trump's demand to increase military expenditures.

Numerous issues are not new; former President Barack Obama, who enjoyed a close relationship with Merkel, was critical of the German export surplus, its defense spending and the Nord Stream 2 pipeline project with Russian Federation.

"When Germany makes a massive oil and gas deal with Russia", Trump said to Stoltenberg.

The president also singled out Germany for targeted criticism, despite its long history of providing crucial aid to the U.S.

"But I have to bring it up because I think it's very unfair to our country, it's very unfair to our taxpayer", he said.




"Since Trump became president, USA funding for military presence in Europe - the European Deterrence Initiative -has been increased by 40 percent".

Also present was France's President Emmanuel Macron, who tried this year to charm Mr Trump into more harmonious transatlantic relationship, only to see the U.S. president withdraw from the 2015 Iranian nuclear deal and impose tariffs on European goods. "In that we also defend the interests of the United States".

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.

While Trump went after Germany for its ties to Russian Federation, he himself has been accused by critics of being too eager to improve relations with Moscow.

Merkel told reporters on arrival in Brussels on Wednesday, "I have experienced myself how a part of Germany was controlled by the Soviet Union".

"Many countries owe us", he argued. "I am very happy that we are today united in freedom as the federal republic".

"In recent years we've seen Russian Federation stepping up its arms sales to Iran; shielding the Syrian regime's appalling use of chemical weapons; launching cyber-attacks that have caused huge economic damage; and spreading malicious and fake news stories on an industrial scale", she said.

But Trump hit back: "But Germany, as far as I'm concerned, is captive to Russian Federation because it's getting so much of its energy from Russian Federation".


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