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Trump tweets about soybeans, trade during North Atlantic Treaty Organisation summit

12 July 2018

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) warned on Wednesday that President Donald Trump should not meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin one-on-one.

Bloomberg omitted the part where Radev said that Trump spoke first and added a claim from the Bulgarian leader that the USA president left the meeting immediately after his own remarks. "NATO countries must pay MORE, the United States must pay LESS".

"I've experienced myself a part of Germany controlled by the Soviet Union and I'm very happy today that we are united in freedom as the Federal Republic of Germany and can thus say that we can determine our own policies and make our own decisions and that's very good, " she said.

Trump and Merkel later held businesslike talks on the sidelines.

Merkel replied by pointing out that Germany is one of the largest contributors of troops for NATO's missions.

Trump tweets: "Why are their (sic) only 5 out of 29 countries that have met their commitment?"

While answering questions from reporters before the breakfast, Trump drew contrasts between his hard stance on North Atlantic Treaty Organisation and the positions of his predecessors.

Another key takeaway from the first day was President Trump's criticism of Angela Merkel's Germany.

Trump's laser-focus on Germany has unsettled Berlin, which had grown accustomed to a strong relationship with President Barack Obama.

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It also said it would send warning letters to 11 political parties to compel them to audit their data protection practices. A Facebook spokeswoman said the company was cooperating fully with an investigation by Australia's privacy commissioner.

Despite Russia's semi-pariah status among some Americans and USA allies, the Kremlin has always been trying to arrange a summit, betting that Putin and Trump will get on well and stop a sharp downwards spiral in bilateral ties. US Turkish relations have recently been strained because of issues ranging from Syria to Iran, but some diplomats say the two leaders - both criticised for their polarising politics - have established a bond.

Moreover, Stoltenberg argued Wednesday that the US military presence in Europe, through the 29-country alliance, gives it an advantage in dealing with Russian Federation and projecting power in the Middle East and Africa.

"We're protecting Germany, we're protecting France, we're protecting all of these countries".

"They have to step it up immediately". He later returned to ripping Germany, explaining the country is "captive to Russian Federation". Since President Trump took office, he has been highly critical of the spending guideline put in place by the alliance.

How did leaders respond to Trump's tirade?

Trump's comments referred to Berlin's support for the construction of the $12 billion Nord Stream 2 pipeline to bring gas across the Baltic Sea into the European continent.

Yet Trump did not seem to get that message.

But for Russian politicians who erupted in applause on learning that Trump won the US election in hopes of rapprochement only to see ties worsen, Helsinki offers a precious opportunity for a possible thaw in relations.

Trump tweets about soybeans, trade during North Atlantic Treaty Organisation summit