NATO Leaders Hold Unplanned Emergency Session After Trump Threatens To Withdraw
The last day of the NATO leaders' summit has started off just as dramatically as the first one, when Trump accused Germany of being a "captive of Russia" due to Merkel's imports of Russian gas and her unwillingness to scrap the Nord Stream gas pipeline as Trump has demanded.
According to media reports, one day after Trump repeatedly slammed NATO, demanding that the alliance must "pay 2% of GDP IMMEDIATELY"...
What good is NATO if Germany is paying Russia billions of dollars for gas and energy? Why are there only 5 out of 29 countries that have met their commitment? The U.S. is paying for Europe’s protection, then loses billions on Trade. Must pay 2% of GDP IMMEDIATELY, not by 2025.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 11, 2018
... while also setting a new target of 4% which should also be hit, German dpa news agency reported that President Trump had threatened to pull the U.S. out of NATO if its allies do not "immediately" increase defense spending.
This appears to have had an immediate effect, because just minutes later, in what Bloomberg dubbed an "unexpected twist", NATO leaders held an unscheduled meeting to discuss the alliance budget this morning.
One of the officials said the meeting takes place against the backdrop of Trump threatening allies to “go it alone” unless if they agree to increase their defense budget immediately. A White House spokeswoman wasn’t immediately available to comment.
The question of NATO spending is clearly prevalent, and as Bloomberg further adds, Trump used his session with Ukraine and Georgia to return to the question of NATO members’ defense spending and used a “harsher” tone than yesterday.
He targeted Germany in particular and referred to “Angela” more than once, saying something to the effect that she can do more. He also apparently referred to the cost of the new NATO headquarters.
As a result of this twist, Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg called a session of the NATO leaders.
Meanwhile, as he often does, Trump took his NATO attack directly to the people, tweeted early on Thursday that “billions of additional dollars are being spent by NATO countries since my visit last year, at my request, but it isn’t nearly enough,”