President Ignored at Summit During Official Group Picture

Arriving in Brussels, he said it was "totally inappropriate" that Germany was paying billions of dollars to Russian Federation for oil and gas while spending little over 1% of its GDP on defence. He's been very, very nice to me.

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".

German Defence Minister Ursula von der Leyen hit back at Trump's truculent remarks: "We have a lot of issues with Russian Federation without any doubt", she told reporters in English.

Stoltenberg said it had been appropriate and understandable for defence spending to fall after the end of the Cold War, but the alliance had now recognised the need to bring it back up, with member countries adding billions to their defence budgets.

The European Council President appealed to Mr Trump to remember who his allies are as the USA leader prepares to meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

"And dear Europe, spend more on your defense because everybody expects an ally that is well-prepared and equipped".

Baltic leaders fearful of any repeat of Russia's annexation of Crimea called for unity as they arrived at the summit, while Slovakia's President Andrej Kiska said his country was "one of the good guys" because he was increasing defense spending.

"We had a great meeting discussing military expenditure".

"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.

"Unfortunately, this motion has become necessary because some of our closest allies have come to question the U.S. commitment to collective self-defense".

Ms. Merkel said they were discussing migration and trade. Jack Reed (D-R.I.), who authored the nonbinding motion.

Refusing to allow reality to interfere with his preferred narrative, Trump insisted Wednesday morning that "many countries are not paying what they should, and, frankly, many countries owe us a tremendous amount of money from many years back". "I am very happy that today we are united in freedom. and that we can therefore also say that we conduct independent policies and can take independent decisions".

But as North Atlantic Treaty Organisation leaders met earlier in the day, Trump took a much different tone on the subject of Germany. Germany now spends about 1.2 percent, while the US spends about 3.6 percent.

"Germany should be committing 2 percent to defense like they agreed to at the Wales conference". It was not a "commitment" or a payment owed to the USA, and not something that alliance members pledged to achieve immediately.

"I am pleased to have this opportunity to be here for this exchange of views", she said, through a translator.

  • Leroy Wright