Germany's Maas: 'we are not prisoners' of Russia, nor the U.S.

President Donald Trump gestures as he walks away after being greeted by NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg left before a summit of heads of state and government at NATO headquarters in Brussels on Wednesday

President Donald Trump gestures as he walks away after being greeted by NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg left before a summit of heads of state and government at NATO headquarters in Brussels on Wednesday

Hannity pointed out that Germany is spending billions of dollars on an energy pipeline between them and Russian Federation, and that the country's former chancellor, Gerhard Schröder, is the one leading the business effort.

Bloomberg omitted the part where Radev said that Trump spoke first and added a claim from the Bulgarian leader that the USA president left the meeting immediately after his own remarks.

In a tweet today after a day of meetings, in which he lashed out at allies for insufficient defense spending, Trump calls on member nations to immediately boost spending. "The United States is paying far too much and other countries are not paying enough".

It was just the latest in Trump's demands and insults that critics fear will undermine a decades-old alliance launched to counter-balance Soviet aggression after World War II.

Trump kicked off the NATO Summit in Brussels by lashing out at Germany for being "held captive" by Russian Federation.

The president, in a testy exchange with NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg that kicked off his visit, took issue with the USA protecting Germany as it strikes deals with Russian Federation.

"It's very sad when Germany makes a massive oil and gas deal with Russia where we're supposed to be guarding against Russia, and Germany goes out and pays billions and billions of dollars a year from Russia", Trump said at the time.

Trump's aides seated around the table, including chief of staff John Kelly and the US ambassador to NATO, Kay Bailey Hutchison, looked visibly uncomfortable at points. Germany is the largest economy in the EU.

"We should first get to 2 pct", NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg, adding that eight of the 29 allies were meeting that target, while others had a plan to do - turning a leaf on years of defense budget cuts. He was USA ambassador to North Atlantic Treaty Organisation and the State Department's third-ranking official under former President George W. Bush. It's expected to be online at the end of 2019.

Boys rescued from Thai cave recovering with sunglasses and chocolate
Four boys and their 25-year-old football coach "will be extracted on Tuesday", rescue chief Narongsak Osottanakorn said . They were discovered by a team of British divers on Monday, prompting an urgent, meticulously-planned rescue operation.

Ms. Merkel said they were discussing migration and trade.

Yet Mr. Trump's warnings about the pipeline's strategic dimension would be more persuasive if he weren't also as busy as Mr. Schröder playing down the strategic threat posed by Mr. Putin.

"I have great confidence they'll be spending more", he said.

"Trump at NATO Summit: It's not just bad, it's a catastrophe", the influential Sueddeutsche Zeitung headlined its story online.

The alliance set a goal in 2014 for each country to reach the 2% of GDP spending target by 2024. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall.

Back in the US, Democratic congressional leaders Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer issued a joint statement describing Trump's "brazen insults and denigration of one of America's most steadfast allies, Germany", as "an embarrassment".

United States ambassador to NATO Kay Bailey Hutchison urged allies to look beyond Trump's rhetoric and focus on the summit declaration for the alliance's future work - which the USA is expected to back.And she said she expected Trump to recommit to one of the founding articles of NATO - Article 5 - which holds that an attack on one member is an attack on them all.

Mr Trump earlier claimed that Germany was "captive to Russia".

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