Donald Tusk, the president of the European Council, responded sturdily to the claim of the US President Donald Trump that the member countries of NATO do not spend enough money in defense.
In a tweet, Tusk wrote: Dear @realDonaldTrump. US doesn’t have and won’t have a better ally than EU. We spend on defense much more than Russia and as much as China. I hope you have no doubt this is an investment in our security, which cannot be said with confidence about Russian & Chinese spending :-)
During statements offered on Tuesday in Brussels, Tusk asked Trump to remember the long relationship between the United States and NATO, and urged the president to "appreciate his allies," adding that "after all, he does not have many."
Before boarding Air Force One on Tuesday to travel to a meeting with NATO leaders in Brussels, Trump dismissed Tusk`s remark about the lack of US allies.
"We have many allies," Trump told reporters. "But we cannot take advantage of them, the European Union is taking advantage of us."
Earlier on Tuesday, Trump criticized the NATO member nations. The US president said on Twitter that "Getting ready to leave for Europe. First meeting - NATO. The U.S. is spending many times more than any other country in order to protect them. Not fair to the U.S. taxpayer. On top of that, we lose $151 Billion on Trade with the European Union. Charge us big Tariffs (& Barriers)! "
Since taking office in 2017, Trump reaffirmed the commitment of the United States to the defense of NATO allies but has continued to criticize the contribution of funds from the Atlantic Alliance, arguing that Washington is assuming a large part of the financial burden.
During a demonstration last week in Montana, Trump promised that he would "tell NATO: `They have to start paying their bills.`" The president also said that Americans were "the fools who are paying for everything."
NATO says the United States provided 70% of the funds for expenditures in 2017.
The 29 NATO members contribute to the organization according to the size of their economies. The members of NATO committed in 2006 to spend 2% of their Gross Domestic Product.