Trump says Putin ‘easiest’ of meetings in Europe

A group of Syrian fans at World Cup

European Council President Donald Tusk said on Tuesday in a message to Trump that "it is always worth knowing who is your strategic friend and who is your strategic problem".

Member countries are anxious that Trump will spurn them and threaten to unravel the organization, their fears stemming from the G7 meeting last month. "Previous presidents have complained about alliance burden sharing, it's not like he's the first one to criticize the Europeans for not doing more, but he is the first one to make it the only thing he talks about".

Trump has described North Atlantic Treaty Organisation as "obsolete" on the campaign trail and, since taking office, has pressured the alliance to rebalance the amount of money that member nations pay. He also let USA defense spending fall.

The NATO summit is likely to be dominated by Trump's insistence that member nations step up and pay more for their joint defence. Trump told reporters at the White House as he set out on his trip to Europe.

"Trump goes after the weak people".

With his escalating complaints that the United States contributes more than its fair share to defense, and vague threats to countries that do not spend more, Trump is diluting the alliance's appearance of unity, say diplomats and analysts.

British Prime Minister Theresa May, U.S. President Trump and NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg listen to Belgian Prime Minister Charles Michel speak during a NATO summit in Brussels on May 25, 2017.

"The president was willing to offer concessions to Kim without getting anything specific or concrete in return", said Jeffrey Rathke, deputy director of the Europe Program at the nonpartisan Center for Strategic and International Studies. He believes that many of them are effectively getting a free ride, want the United States to take their security more seriously than they do themselves, and are taking advantage of the United States in defense as well as in trade. The U.S.is spending many times more than any other country in order to protect them.

"I think there will be more give and take but I'm not underestimating the challenges". That has been most plain in his antagonistic approach to Germany, the main host of United States forces in Europe. "Who would think?" he told reporters. On top of that we lose $151 Billion on Trade with the European Union. He also said that his meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Helsinki next week would be the "easiest" of the meetings he'll have while he's overseas.

He will then head to Helsinki for talks with Russian leader Vladimir Putin and some experts have expressed fears the pair will agree the U.S. should station fewer troops in Europe. I would urge other (Nato members) to work towards that'. It is not a protection scheme where the allies pay the United States. Poland, at an estimated 1.99 percent of GDP, was just shy of the goal.

As we have written before, Trump is conflating NATO's direct and indirect spending to claim that the U.S.

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