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Merkel responds to Trump: 'I have witnessed' Germany under Soviet control

12 July 2018

Bulgarian President Rumen Radev disclosed that Trump had made the demand and asked what it meant for the future of the alliance that has been the bedrock of European security for 70 years.

As well as Merkel, Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez and Charles Michel, the prime minister of Belgium, were also singled out by Trump for undershooting on their spending targets when US taxpayers, funding a defence budget worth about 3.6 percent of their national income, foot much of NATO's bills.

US President Donald Trump told North Atlantic Treaty Organisation leaders on Wednesday that they should increase their defence spending to 4% of their country's economic output, double the group's current goal of two percent.

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, left, talks to U.S. President Donald Trump as British Prime Minister Theresa May, right watches at the opening ceremony of the NATO summit at NATO headquarters in Brussels.

German Chancellor Merkel hit back immediately, not only denying Trump's contention but suggesting that his comfortable upbringing in the USA gave him no standing to spout off on the world stage about Germany.

"I have to tell you that the atmosphere last night at dinner was very open, was very constructive and it was very positive", Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic, the president of Croatia, told reporters.

NATO leaders called on all nations to maintain "decisive pressure" on North Korea, including by fully implementing United Nations sanctions, to persuade it to give up its nuclear, chemical and biological weapons.

Trump is due to meet Putin on Monday in Helsinki.

Trump tweets: "Why are their (sic) 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.

Regrets mixed with pride as England fans digest World Cup heartbreak
We knew they would fight for everything. "It was a very hard game". "We managed to get through that and regain our composure". Southgate admitted that Croatia deserved to win, having dominated for long periods of the match after Trippier's goal.

Trump says Germany is "totally controlled" by Russian Federation.

Trump has repeatedly slammed Merkel for supporting a new pipeline that would cement Berlin's client relationship with Russian Federation and increase Moscow's influence.

"I am very glad that we are united today in freedom as the Federal Republic of Germany and that we can therefore also make our own independent policies and make our own independent decisions".

"I think we should first get to 2 percent, focus on that now. the good thing is that we are moving to that", NATO Secretary General Stoltenberg told reporters, without speaking directly to Trump's comments. "We have a tremendous relationship with Germany".

Germany, Europe's biggest economy, spends just 1.24 per cent, compared with 3.5 per cent for the US.

Trump will meet the Russian leader in Helsinki on 16 July for their first summit amid an ongoing investigation in the U.S. into possible Trump campaign collusion with Russia.

The mood was already prickly ahead of the summit, prompting a terse exhortation from the European Union's President Donald Tusk for Trump to "appreciate" his allies and reminding him that Europe had come to its aid following the 9/11 attacks.

Trump has spent weeks berating members of the alliance for failing to spend enough of their money on defence, accusing Europe of freeloading off the US and raising doubts about whether he would come to members' defence if they were ever attacked.

Merkel responds to Trump: 'I have witnessed' Germany under Soviet control