When Trump Meets Putin: The Neophyte And The Black Belt

NATO Braces For Trump, White House Says Business As Usual

German Officials, Trump Exchange Criticism Ahead Of NATO Summit

The two leaders are due to meet on July 16 in Finland, and CNN previously reported Trump plans to meet Putin one-on-one before bringing in others to join their discussions.

"I don't think he has a choice".

Instead, we can look forward to Trump continuing his uninformed commentary about nations failing to "pay their dues"-as if North Atlantic Treaty Organisation was one of his country clubs-and musing about whether the USA should even stay in the alliance".

Trump's comments come the day after U.S. NATO Ambassador Kay Bailey Hutchison said efforts to prod members into increasing their defense spending are finding success. Trump has already met with Putin twice as president, including a meeting on the sidelines of a summit in Germany that stretched for more than two hours.

Germany's defense minister last week rebuffed Trump's twinning of trade and European defense spending.

Trump directly addressed German Chancellor Angela Merkel at the rally in the USA state of Montana, saying: "You know, Angela.we are protecting you and it means a lot more to you.because I don't know how much protection we get by protecting you".

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While noting that "we need to do more" on defence spending, Hutchinson noted that more than half of NATO's members were on track to achieve the target set by the alliance of two per cent of gross domestic product spent on defence by 2024.

Another point of concern for NATO allies is Trump's planned meeting with Russian President Putin immediately after the summit in Brussels, drawing parallels with Trump's post-G7 meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un. The leaked conversations of President Trump in which he asks the feasibility and cost of the high degree of withdrawal from Europe is one such matter. But Trump's "obsession with it, the constant harping on it, and the exclusive focus on it - that's pretty new", said Goldgeier. On Putin's wish list: an end to USA military exercises in Europe and the scaling back of US forces there. And he's ready to try to regularize things with Putin.

Will Trump ignore all of this in pursuit of a new U.S. -Russia alliance?

McFaul said Putin could be persuasive, armed with his arguments and lots of confidence.

I wrote at the time, and still believe, that Trump was right to meet with Kim.

A total of 40% of those surveyed expressed a negative attitude towards the U.S., while 29% said they viewed America positively.

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