The European Union and the United States lashed out at one another yesterday in a row over defence spending, one day before a Nato summit gets under way in Brussels with the issue expected to dominate the agenda.
US President Donald Trump, who arrived in Brussels late yesterday for a tour that will also include a trip to Britain and a meeting with Russia’s Vladimir Putin, has been calling on European allies to increase their defence expenditure.
Nato states have pledged to spend 2% of gross domestic product on defence, a goal that only eight of them are expected to meet this year.
“Getting ready to leave for Europe. First meeting - Nato. The US is spending many times more than any other country in order to protect them. Not fair to the US taxpayer,” Trump tweeted.
“Nato countries must pay MORE, the United States must pay LESS. Very unfair!” Trump added later.
Meanwhile in Brussels, European Council President Donald Tusk took the US president to task for “criticising Europe almost daily.”
“Dear President Trump: America does not have, and will not have a better ally than Europe,” Tusk said at a press conference.
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