US President Donald Trump overshadowed the agenda of the NATO summit that was taking place in Brussels by blasting allies for not spending enough on defense, calling them “delinquent” and even suggesting that they should double their commitments. Declaring in the opening breakfast of the two-day summit with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg that “Germany is a captive of Russia,” President Trump also slammed Germany for “getting so much of their oil and gas from Russia … It certainly doesn’t seem to make sense that they paid billions of dollars to Russia and now we have to defend them against Russia.”
Regarding the “delinquency” of the NATO allies, US president was insisting on military spending of at least 2 percent of gross domestic product, which is, however, not a current requirement of the membership. Donald Trump claims that he secured 2% commitments of each Alliance member but his intended timeline of ‘sooner than 2024’ was quickly debunked by NATO leaders. The allies, however, agreed to commit to the 2024 target, which was also part of the final communiqué.
Beyond Trump’s remarks, the summit ended with an agreement on reinforcing the Alliance’s deterrence and defense to counter Russia and with a vow to boost its counterterrorism capacity and an approval of a plan to improve mobilization capabilities. Observers have criticized US President for his behavior during the summit and called the gathering a missed opportunity to unify the NATO’s position towards Moscow ahead of his upcoming summit with Vladimir Putin in Helsinki. Instead, the American leader used the summit to feud with his European allies.