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Trump claims victory over North Atlantic Treaty Organisation allies to hike spending on defence
13 July 2018, 08:46 | Erica Roy
World leaders meet for the NATO summit
As he flew off to the United Kingdom on Thursday for the next leg of his European tour, it was left to President Emmanuel Macron of France to correct the record following Trump's freewheeling press conference in which he claimed to have pushed allies into new defence spending commitments. Trump said of May's plan for a "soft Brexit" as opposed to a hard break from the European Union: "I don't know if that's what they voted for".
Five Western firms have invested in Nord Stream 2 - Wintershall (BASFn.DE) and Uniper (UN01.DE) of Germany, Austria's OMV (OMVV.VI), Anglo-Dutch Shell (RDSa.L), and France's Engie (ENGIE.PA).
May said that she "welcomed" Trump's meeting with the Russian president, saying he should go into the summit "as he is", in a "position of strength". In June, after Trump called for Russian Federation to be readmitted to the G7 (after being booted over Crimea), Obama national security adviser Susan Rice called Trump's comments "very destructive". "That is a guarantee of stability and future development".
"This is nothing more than an attempt to force European buyers to purchase more expensive liquefied gas that can be supplied from alternative places", Peskov said, arguing that consumers should have the right to choose their own gas suppliers.
Ahead of the meeting, which has already provoked concerns among US, UK and Germany officials, Trump called Putin a "competitor". "They're going to up it at levels they've never thought of before".
He also took aim at Turkish Stream, a pipeline in construction created to bring Russian gas under the Black Sea to the European territory of Turkey.
Iran's presence in Syria would be discussed on Monday, he said.
Stoltenberg, stepping in - not for the first time - as peacemaker between Trump and the other 28, called a special closed-door session, the first in a decade, with most officials and the invited guests ushered out, to allow the alliance's principal leaders to remonstrate with Trump.
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"We haven't had nuclear testing, missile launches, rocket launches...we got back hostages and prisoners", Trump listed.
"We are not prisoners, neither of Russian Federation nor of the United States", Germany's Foreign Minister Heiko Maas told reporters.
"What is important, is to control the borders and determine who comes into our border", she said.
But French president Emmanuel Macron denied any change in policy as a result of Mr Trump's involvement, saying the allies had simply reaffirmed their earlier commitment to increase defence spending to two per cent of gross domestic product by 2024.
So far, five countries - the US, UK, Estonia, Greece and Latvia have reached the target.
Trump, asked if he thought he could withdraw from North Atlantic Treaty Organisation without backing from Congress, said he believed he could but it was "unnecessary".
Mr Stoltenberg said the president had injected a "new sense of urgency" into the discussions on "burden-sharing".
Trump is set to meet his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin for their first ever summit in Helsinki on July 16 though Moscow said the former's remarks were unlikely to affect what was always going to be a hard summit between two countries known to have several differences, the Reuters report added.
The president said he wanted to develop a relationship with Putin, which he said would be "good for Russian Federation, good for everybody".
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