‘Strange and counterproductive’: Kerry slams Trump’s remarks at North Atlantic Treaty Organisation summit

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Trump said the US wouldn't tolerate countries like Germany that are only spending a little more than 1 percent of their GDP whereas the U.S.

His comments come only hours before he's due to meet German chancellor Angela Merkel on the side lines of the summit in Brussels.

Trump said it was "very inappropriate" that the U.S. is contributing to the defence of Europe when one of its richest countries is supporting a major energy project with Moscow.

"Germany is just paying a little bit over 1 percent, whereas the United States in actual numbers is paying 4.2 percent."

"Your message is having an impact, and we are going to build on that", Mr Stoltenberg told the U.S. president over toast and orange juice, before adding: "Let me also add that a strong North Atlantic Treaty Organisation is good for Europe and it's also good for the United States". But Mr. Trump's claim that Germany is "a captive of Russia" is manifestly false.

His comments were linked to the president's push for other European countries to pay more for its defence needs, in particular Germany.

"This year, since our last meeting, commitments have been made for over $40 billion more money spent by other countries."

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"Russia continues to say they had nothing to do with Meddling in our Election!", he tweeted last month before tearing into the Federal Bureau of Investigation and its former director James Comey.

At the same time, despite his criticism of the pipeline and its links to Russia, Trump has been noncommittal in recent comments about whether he might lift US sanctions on Russia, and told reporters he'd "have to see" whether the USA might recognize Crimea to be part of Russia.

Dignitaries are seen during a show after a dinner at the Parc du Cinquantenaire during the NATO Summit in Brussels, July 11, 2018.

"A lot of porcelain's being broken at the moment and I think, unfortunately, it will take a while until things that have been broken are fixed again", said Sven Halldorn, 52.

Germany is not a captive of anyone, neither Russian Federation nor the US, German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas said in response to US President Donald Trump's description of his country as a "captive" of Russian Federation.

The increased spending predates Trump.

"The president is going to mention the fact that Europe is becoming more and more dependent on Russian Federation for their energy sources, specifically Germany with their invitation to the Nord Stream 2 pipeline", Barrasso told Fox News. On 17 May, the Wall Street Journal reported that Trump is demanding that Germany drop Nord Stream 2 as one of the conditions for a trade deal with Europe that would not include high tariffs on steel and aluminium.

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