United States 'has been far tougher on Putin that anybody' says President Trump


I think it is a horrific thing that is being done, where you are feeding billions and billions of dollars from Germany primarily - and other countries - but primarily from Germany into the coffers of Russian Federation when we are trying to something to have peace in the world.

Instead, he said, the other 28 allies had agreed to increase their defence spending more quickly to meet a North Atlantic Treaty Organisation target of two percent of their national income within a few years.

NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg "has therefore convened a meeting in Atlantic Council format, which involves all 29 countries in the alliance".

Trump said the allies "made a tremendous amount of progress" and "they really stepped up their commitment and stepped it up like they never have before".

The Russian intelligence officers were charged with hacking the Democratic National Committee and Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign - the latest charges brought in Special Counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into Russia's interference in the 2016 presidential election.

After the session, Trump said North Atlantic Treaty Organisation member states had agreed to quickly increase spending.

"Our presence there (Latvia) is a very meaningful, strong important contribution and this new contribution ... it's another sign of Canada stepping up".

"We agreed that it's important to engage Russian Federation from the position of strength and unity and that we should continue to deter and counter all efforts to undermine our democracies", she said.

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Trump, in his proclamation of the annual event, said the USA stands "in solidarity with those who continue to suffer under governments that stifle basic freedoms and deny the opportunity to build a better life".

Despite the most recent indictment, the Trump-Putin meeting is "still on", White House press secretary Sarah Sanders said.

But French president Emmanuel Macron denied any change in policy as a result of Mr Trump's involvement, saying the allies had simply reaffirmed their earlier commitment to increase defence spending to two per cent of gross domestic product by 2024.

Trump added, "All NATO Nations must meet their 2% commitment, and that must ultimately go to 4%!"

Moreover, Trump's remarks on North Atlantic Treaty Organisation seem to suggest that Europe must pay the United States for protection from Russian Federation, when this is not how the alliance is meant to function.

Trump heads to Britain on Thursday, where the government is in crisis over Brexit and where tensions with Russian Federation have spiked after London blamed Moscow for the death this month of a British woman from contact with the Novichok nerve agent.

Trump's next stop will be London, where he'll be meeting with Queen Elizabeth II and British Prime Minister Theresa May. "I don't know that is what they voted for". Beyond that, he said, there's little anyone outside the USA can do to rein in the president's behaviour.