U.S. Demands for More NATO Spending Annoy Russia


The Washington Post reported last week that the Pentagon is assessing the cost and impact of removing USA forces from Germany, after Trump expressed interest in the idea.

"The President has determined that now is the time for direct communication between himself and President Putin and that it is in the interest of the United States. and that's the way he's proceeding", the official said.

"There is nothing being said at all about the troop alignment in Germany or anything that would change the 32,000 troop force that we have in Germany", said a senior administration official, speaking on condition of anonymity.

Critics accuse President credulity and draw attention to the fact that his personal rhetoric against Russian Federation and Putin differ from the actions of his administration.

Last month, a G-7 meeting in Canada turned sour when Trump disparaged allies and refused to sign a joint statement.

Der Spiegel magazine reported on Saturday that a new study suggests Germany would have to boost defense spending by more than 80 million euros by 2024. "I wouldn't underplay at all the importance of actually sitting down for the first time in a meeting, summit environment".

Separately, U.S. Representative to NATO Kay Bailey Hutchison told reporters Thursday that the alliance is moving forward together, and "everyone has the same goal, and that is a strong deterrent and an alliance that is unified" against threats like Russian Federation and China.

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The Trump administration has been supportive of North Atlantic Treaty Organisation and European countries at a tactical level - actions generally credited to Defense Secretary Jim Mattis.

Poland, Romania and the Baltic nations of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania have been asking the US for additional troops for several years.

But Hutchinson, and the USA ambassador to Russia Jon Huntsman, gave upbeat assessments of the upcoming meetings.

Members of the western military alliance have agreed on a goal of each country devoting 2 percent of GDP to defense within a decade.

Asked about the letter, Russian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said that it was "not an isolated action" and that the wider trend of Washington lobbying for more defense spending from European allies was problematic for Moscow.

"My guess is that that will be part of the discussion as well, but I don't want to get ahead of the possible summit conversations", Huntsman said.

According to Pew Research Data, more than 60,000 USA troops are now stationed in Europe, including 35,000 in Germany, 12,000 in Italy, 8,500 in Britain, and 3,300 in Spain, with thousands more rotating into other European countries as needed.