Trump sees Putin meeting as easiest of tour

11 July, 2018, 07:57 | Author: Jason Torres
  • U.S. Ambassador to NATO Kay Bailey Hutchison appears on

Donald Trump is scheduled to be in Brussels by late on Tuesday.

Trump on Tuesday wouldn't say if Russian Federation was a friend or foe.

Speaking about his upcoming meetings on his European tour, including his first summit with Putin next Monday in Helsinki, Trump said "frankly, Putin may be the easiest of them all". Imports totaled $592 billion, leading to a $92 billion goods and services trade deficit with the European Union, according to the trade office's data. "We spend on defence much more than Russian Federation and as much as China", he added. Several officials involved in Brexit negotiations have resigned over what has been described as May's mismanagement of the negotiations to get the United Kingdom out of the European Union. "And who is your strategic problem?" They're also anxious about his potential embrace of Russia's Vladimir Putin during a summit in Helsinki.

Similarly, earlier on Tuesday the president tweeted, "Getting ready to leave for Europe".

NATO's European allies have spent more on defense for a second consecutive year in 2017 but the majority of them still failed to meet the target of spending 2 percent of their gross domestic product on defense.

European officials have expressed hopes that member states can paper over their differences, but European Union President Donald Tusk delivered a blunt message to the USA leader on Tuesday. The EU did strike back with retaliatory tariffs on U.S. goods.

"Wow!" And in multiple tweets, he reiterated a familiar theme, complaining that the U.S. is shouldering an unfair share of defense costs overseas: "NATO countries must pay MORE, the United States must pay LESS", he tweeted.

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"The United States continues to devote more resources to the defense of Europe when the Continent's economy, including Germany's, are doing well and security challenges abound".

Trump will meet Putin in the Finnish capital on Monday for their first summit amid an ongoing investigation in the U.S. into possible Trump campaign collusion with Russian Federation.

This week's two-day summit, beginning on Wednesday at Nato's new headquarters in the Belgian capital, is expected to be dominated by U.S. demands for increased spending by other members of the 29-nation alliance.

In a tweet Monday, the president stressed the majority of North Atlantic Treaty Organisation allies have failed to meet their commitments to contribute two-percent of GDP to the budget. He has often been criticized for being too soft on Putin, whom many view as a repressive leader and enemy of the US.

Other NATO countries are also expanding their presence in Eastern Europe, with Canada announcing it would extend its military presence in Latvia for another four years.

Trump's relationship with Putin, and his inconsistent stance on Russia's interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential election, is perhaps one of the most scrutinized aspects of his presidency.

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