Trump brands Germany a "captive of Russian Federation", days before he meets Putin

Donald Trump

"Everyone in the room thanked me".

At the summit on Thursday, leaders will discuss ties with Georgia and Ukraine, two North Atlantic Treaty Organisation membership hopefuls that contribute to troop levels in Afghanistan but have seen their chances of joining the alliance hampered by Russian incursions into their territory. Very unified, very strong.

Earlier Thursday, Trump called out US allies on Twitter as he attended a second day of meetings with leaders of the military alliance.

It was not immediately clear what specific new commitments had been made.

North Atlantic Treaty Organisation turns its focus on Afghanistan after Trump's harsh criticism day before
Trump said "actual" USA military spending is 4.2 percent of GDP, without explaining the big discrepancy. The US leader has also singled out Germany for particular criticism over its defence spending.

In a media conference where the US President again called himself a "very stable genius" and referenced his electoral college victory in the 2016 election, Mr Trump said he considers Russian President Vladimir Putin as a "competitor" rather than an enemy. He said leaders committed to go to their parliaments to obtain the spending increases.

USA officials have told Reuters that Washington is preparing another review of strategy, a year after Trump begrudgingly agreed to extend involvement in the 17-year-old war. Trump tweeted an hour before the second day of the summit got under way. A morning of meetings to discuss the situation in Afghanistan, Georgia and Ukraine was scrambled to address Trump's spending concerns. But Nato sources, speaking to Reuters, said he had denied making such a threat. White House officials announced that Mr. Trump would give an unscheduled news conference on Thursday in Brussels amid the tumult over his demands for increased spending.

The 29 allies are due to restate a commitment to try to spend two percent of GDP on defense by 2024, according to excerpts of their final summit declaration seen by AFP.

"Well, what you have is, you have the Germans holding hands under the table with them while we're supposed to be disciplining them and trying to get a handle on it", he said.

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Praising new initiatives to build capacity, NATO Secretary General Stoltenberg estimated that as much as 266 billion additional US dollars would be spent by European allies and Canada on defense by 2024.

"(The) 2 per cent (figure) was a range, a goal, now it's a commitment, it was like this amorphous number out there and now it's a real commitment", he said. Allies will deliver on fairer burden-sharing, he said, pointing out that European Allies and Canada are expected to spend an extra $266 billion on defence between now and 2024.

Trump began his trip here by scolding allies over breakfast Wednesday with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg.

Says Trump: "I think meeting with people is great".

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Trump arrived on the back of a barrage of criticism of Europe on issues ranging from trade to energy and above all his claims that the continent freeloads on the back of America for its defence.

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