Trump stokes tensions with United States allies ahead of North Atlantic Treaty Organisation summit

President Donald Trump meets with Prime Minister Mark Rutte of the Netherlands in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington

But European Council President Donald Tusk was more direct in anticipating that Trump may have designs on sowing discord, delivering a stinging warning to the visiting Americans president.

Ahead of the NATO meetings that begin here Wednesday, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg tried to strike an optimistic note and play down the simmering disputes. In this sense, all of the member states provide protection for one another. Trump often rails against NAFTA as the worst trade deal ever signed. That means the US share for all three combined would be around $590 million, at most.

Mr Trump told reporters before leaving Washington there were "a lot of things going on" in the United Kingdom at the moment.

In a new assessment of the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation spending and burden-sharing issues, the Center for Strategic and International Studies called Trump's language "uniquely divisive" and said North Atlantic Treaty Organisation members' contributions should be measured by more than simple budget numbers.

Since Russia's 2014 annexation of Crimea, the country has built up its forces close to Baltic states.

"When he says the Brexit dream is dying, he's really talking about the perspective he had on Brexit, but in my view that was never a live possibility in any instance".

In an earlier Twitter posting, the president singled out Germany for contributing just 1 per cent, which he said is one-fourth of what the U.S.is spending.

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Yet NATO's continued ability to protect its member states and bolster global stability can not be taken for granted. "Europeans spend on defence many times more than Russia and as much as China, and I think you can have no doubt, Mr President, that this is an investment in common American and European defence and security, which cannot be said with confidence about Russian or Chinese spending".

On July 16, President Trump will travel to Helsinki, Finland to meet with his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin.

The foregoing is not meant to rationalize Trump's meat-axe approach to decades of U.S. leadership in creating, maintaining, nurturing, and developing the worldwide system of relations among states.

"Well, we do have a lot of allies but we can not be taken advantage of, we are being taken advantage of by the European Union", he said.

European officials have expressed hopes that member states can paper over their differences, but European Union President Donald Tusk delivered a blunt message to the USA leader on Tuesday.

Although administration officials point to the long-standing alliance between the United States and the United Kingdom, Trump's itinerary will largely keep him out of central London, where significant protests are expected. Trump will press for more European defense spending at this week's meeting, which is likely to be contentious. Trump has slapped tariffs on billions of dollars worth of steel and aluminium imports from China, the European Union, Canada and others, prompting retaliation against United States products.

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