Trump heads to Europe, says Putin 'easiest' of his meetings

This week’s summit in Brussels could expose cracks in the Nato alliance

This week’s summit in Brussels could expose cracks in the Nato alliance

President Donald Trump is flying out to Belgium on Tuesday for two days of North Atlantic Treaty Organisation meetings, and if member states - and US allies - were under the impression that he might be rethinking the antagonistic strategy he unleashed during June's G7 summit in Italy, they can forget it.

Before he left Andrews Air Force Base, President Trump reiterated his demand for the U.S. to pay less and other members of the Western military alliance to pay more, and he linked the issue to the EU's trade surplus with the US.

The US commander-in-chief has a familiar stick to wield: the shortfall in defense spending; or as Trump puts it, allies' refusal to "pay what they owe". "This is not fair, nor is it acceptable", Trump tweeted a day before he departs for the summit, which will take place July 11-12 in Brussels. "It's not as much as 2 percent yet, but I think they will recommit more to do more because they realize that Europe does need to do more and they are the strongest of the economies in Europe", Hutchison added. "We spend on defense much more than Russian Federation and as much as China", Tusk wrote on Twitter after tagging Trump's account. "Frankly, Putin may be the easiest of them all". "'And it means a lot more to you than protecting us because I don't know how much protection we get by protecting you'". According to European Union statistics, the EU's trade surplus in 2017 was $140bn (€120bn; £106bn).

"Prior presidents saw America's allies as enhancing US power and really enabling the United States in being the global leader that it has been for so long, especially compared to China and Russian Federation, which have very few allies", said Goldgeier. We're being taken advantage of by the European Union.

The US President has declined to offer support to the embattled Prime Minister after five MPs, including leading Brexiteers Johnson and David Davis, quit their roles in protest of her plan for leaving the EU.

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And It is not to sugarcoat Trump's gross failure to understand that USA power and influence in the world, essential underpinnings of his desire to put "American first", demand that the United States also work effectively with other countries, especially its allies and partners around the world.

The U.S. has been seeking an increased commitment by alliance members to increase defense spending. The U.S. intelligence community has concluded that Russian Federation interfered in the 2016 election to boost Trump's candidacy, and warns of further attempts at interference both in the 2018 midterms and in European elections.

"Getting ready to leave for Europe".

But for months, former real estate magnate Trump, eager to distance himself from both the Democratic and Republican politicians who preceded him, has been preaching a very different message.

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