‘Strange and counterproductive’: Kerry slams Trump’s remarks at North Atlantic Treaty Organisation summit

Erika Holt
July 12, 2018

The steady drum of anti-German rhetoric from the United States, one of the country's traditionally closest friends, has people wondering whether to get ready for a messy breakup. First, he said, the president's claim that the U.S.is "spending far more on NATO" than its allies is misleading. According to NATO's most recent report detailing members' defense expenditures, only five countries now satisfy that threshold: the United States, Greece, the United Kingdom, Estonia and Latvia.

Sanders claimed in a statement to press that Trump made the very same ask at convening of North Atlantic Treaty Organisation leaders past year.

"Our armed forces need to be more capable of operating independently, even against a substantial adversary, because that is what a truly sovereign nation must be prepared to do".

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.

Former secretary of state John Kerry blasted President Trump's criticism of Germany in a lengthy statement on Wednesday morning as "strange", "counterproductive", and "disgraceful".

But despite continuing Russian aggression, she told a working dinner of the Brussels summit that the UK's long-term objective was to eventually have a constructive relationship with Moscow.

"It was also because of your leadership", Stoltenberg told Trump. "We put the largest part of our military capabilities at the service of Nato.We are defending the interests of the U.S.".

"We do have disagreements, but most importantly, we have decisions that are pushing this alliance forward and making us stronger", Stoltenberg said.

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"It is good that we are independent".

During a bilateral breakfast with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, President Donald Trump blasted the alliance's other members over lagging contributions to NATO's joint defense spending.

The president appeared to be referring to the Nord Stream 2 pipeline that would bring gas from Russian Federation to Germany's northeastern Baltic coast, bypassing Eastern European nations like Poland and Ukraine and doubling the amount of gas Russian Federation can send directly to Germany.

In the clip shown above, Trump begins by citing German imports of Russian gas as evidence that "Germany is totally controlled by Russia". "And it can't be explained, and you know that".

Without mentioning Trump or his comments specifically, she noted that she had grown up in communist East Germany behind the Iron Curtain.

Trump is reportedly considering imposing sanctions on the five European countries involved in the pipeline project.

Mr Stoltenberg later said that Mr Trump had a "direct language and message on defence spending" but insisted that "we fundamentally all agree" that the burden of defence spending should be shared.

He said Canada should spend more on defence not merely to please Trump - who will just "take, take, take" - but also to serve our own national interests by increasing troop levels, replacing aging equipment, protecting Canadian sovereignty in the Arctic and taking part in humanitarian missions overseas.

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