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European leaders have condemned Donald Trump’s suggestion that the US would not defend NATO members who fail to meet the alliance’s spending targets.


The former US president and current Republican leader suggested at a South Carolina rally that he would “encourage” Russia to attack any NATO country that does not contribute 2% of its GDP to the alliance’s coffers.

He claimed that the president of an unnamed “big country” in Europe had asked him: “If we don’t pay, and Russia attacks us, will you protect us?”

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Trump said his response was: “No, I will not protect you. In fact, I will encourage them (Russia) to do whatever they want to do. You have to pay. You have to pay your bills. Will have to do.”

Speaking in Brussels on Monday morning, EU foreign policy and defense chief Josep Borrell said: “Let’s be serious. NATO cannot be an ‘a la carte’ military alliance. (It) cannot be a military alliance that Humorous works based on who was the President of the United States in those days.”

He said, “I will not waste my time commenting on any foolish idea that comes up during this campaign in America.”

Trump’s inflammatory comments were also condemned by European Council President Charles Michel. Mitchell said, “Reckless statements on NATO security and Article 5 solidarity only serve Putin’s interests.” Said On social media platform X.

Article 5 requires each of the military alliance’s 31 countries to come to the aid of any member who is the victim of an armed attack. It has been invoked only once, in the wake of the 9/11 terrorist attacks on America.

Mitchell added, “They don’t bring much security or peace to the world.” “On the contrary, they emphasize the need for the EU to urgently develop its strategic autonomy and invest in its defence. And to keep our alliance strong.”

Thierry Breton, European Commissioner for the Internal Market, told French TV channel LCI said Trump’s comments showed that American democracy was “sick”.

“We can’t put our security at stake every four years,” Breton said, referring to US presidential elections.

He also claimed Trump’s comments related to his conversation with European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen while she was in office in 2020. Trump reportedly told him that the US would not help if Europe was attacked.

According to Breton, Trump said during the 2020 World Economic Forum in Davos, “You need to understand that if Europe is attacked we will never come to help you and support you.” He said, “By the way, NATO is dead.”

The Foreign Ministry of Germany – one of NATO’s biggest spenders, whose expenditure nevertheless does not reach the target of 2% of GDP – said that “This NATO cult protects more than 950 million people – From Anchorage to Erzurum.”

Belgian MEP Guy Verhofstadt, who sits in the Parliament’s delegation for relations with the United States, also moved to x It called on the EU to “coordinate and integrate defense efforts from procurement to deployment” to reduce dependence on Washington.

Officials in Brussels are worried that Trump’s return could seriously disrupt the West’s hard-line policy on Ukraine and erode NATO’s influence.

The bloc is looking to boost its defense industry and military capabilities to boost its so-called “strategic autonomy”.

There are also concerns that Trump could reimpose punitive trade tariffs on EU products entering the US. Trump has vowed that if elected he would raise taxes on all foreign imports to 10%, and impose even higher taxes on Chinese-made goods.

A European Commission spokesperson said on Monday that the executive was “setting up a structured internal procedure to prepare for all possible outcomes of the US presidential elections,” but gave no further details.


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