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NATO summit: Alliance maintained unity with differences

Саммит НАТО:  Альянс сохранил единство при разногласиях

In Brussels on 11-12 July, the NATO summit. His second day will be devoted to Ukraine, Georgia and Afghanistan, and for the first day of the discussions of the unity of the Alliance. NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg following the meeting recognized that within the organization there is disagreement and debate. But to achieve the consent of the participants managed. “The decisions we have taken today, shows that Europe and North America working together,” said Stoltenberg.

The commitment to collective defence

The fact that the summit will not be cloudless, it was clear in advance. In Brussels, no one has forgotten how the US President Donald trump in may last year, chastised his colleagues for what they do on defense. Moreover, trump then did what he was expected, – has declared his commitment to the collective defence of NATO.

But this time the leaders of all 29 countries of the Alliance have adopted a joint Declaration. In it they reaffirmed their commitment to the core principle: an attack on one would mean an attack on all. In addition, the summit decided to expand the structure of NATO more than 1,200 employees and to increase the combat readiness of its troops. Perhaps the most attention in the Declaration is paid to Russia, “where aggressive actions, including threats and the use of force to achieve political goals, challenge the Alliance, and undermine Euro-Atlantic security and rules-based international order”.

The document also reaffirmed the target adopted at the summit in Wales in 2014. Then all NATO countries have agreed to try to bring defense spending to 2 percent of GDP. Since that time much has changed: after years of spending cuts are now all members of the Alliance raising them. This year, eight countries achieved or close to 2 percent.

But trump sees the decision differently Wales – as a duty to reach two percent until 2024, and not just to aspire to it. On the way to the summit in Brussels, he said that many NATO countries not only failed to fulfil their obligation to spend two percent of GDP on defense, but also “owed payments for many years.” What was referring to trump, it is not clear, because any debts on payments to the budget of the organization, as confirmed by DW in NATO, member countries no.

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Germany “under the control” of the Russian Federation?

On the morning of 11 July, the situation became even more acute. During Breakfast with Stoltenberg trump called Germany a “hostage” of Russia. “Germany was entirely controlled by Russia, because she gets 60-70 percent of its energy from Russia”, – said the President of the United States. Russia really is the largest supplier of gas to Germany, but its share is around 40 percent. Although the orders of the President of the United States at the difference in defense spending true. According to NATO, Washington has allocated for these needs about 3.5 percent of GDP, Germany – 1.24%. “It is expected that we will defend you from Russia, you just pay Russia billions of dollars,” said trump. The main object of his dissatisfaction is the construction of “Nord stream-2”, the second stage of the pipeline from Russia to Germany under the Baltic sea.

Stoltenberg tried to reassure the interlocutor, saying that the position of the trump contributed to the increase in expenditures of NATO countries on defense. But the U.S. President did not calm neither this nor the figure of 266 billion dollars – so much needs to be additional defence spending of European NATO members and Canada.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel (Angela Merkel) is not forced to wait for your answer. At the summit she remembered how she lived in the GDR, which was controlled by the USSR. And said that she was glad that now the Berlin “can conduct an independent policy”. And the foreign Minister of Germany Heiko Wt (Heiko Maas) later added: “We are not held hostage to either Russia or the United States. We are one of the guarantors of the free world, and this will continue”.

The German government regularly emphasizes its contribution to NATO. It plans to 2024 to increase defense spending to 1.5 percent of GDP. Then for ten years the growth will be 80 percent. Germany provides for missions and operations of the Alliance are the second largest contingent of troops. In addition, two new command centers, which decided to establish NATO, one will be in Germany. He will coordinate and facilitate the movement of troops within Europe.

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“Grand relations”

Then Merkel and trump held a bilateral meeting, after which suddenly decided to communicate with the media. No animosity between them was not appreciable. Moreover, trump said relations with Merkel “very very good”, and US relations with Germany – “Grand”. And the Chancellor was glad that she was able to talk with trump. “It is important that we partner and we can collaborate”, she added.

The leaders discussed the issues of trade, defense spending, and migration. They did not pass and “Nord stream-2”, and is scheduled for July 16 meeting trump with the President of Russia Vladimir Putin. However, details are not disclosed.

That completely overcome disagreements, the parties failed, evidenced by the text of the final Declaration. “Nord stream-2” it is not mentioned, but a lot of attention paid to the need to diversify energy sources. Energy in a document called the primarily responsibility of the “national authorities”, but at the same time, States that she “may have significant implications for policy and security of member countries and to influence partners.”

In the end, after all the assurances in a wonderful relationship, trump again took to Twitter. When all the leaders were heading for dinner, one of the main themes of which were Russia, the US President wrote: “What good is NATO if Germany pays Russia billions of dollars for gas and energy?.. The US pay for the defense of Europe, and then lose billions on a trade. Have to pay two per cent of GDP immediately, but not before 2025”.

The range of trump to raise the target from two to four percent of his colleagues are not supported. In response to the question of journalists about that Stoltenberg proposed first to focus on the current promise. “There are disagreements, discussions, there are differences, but NATO took action, and we achieve results”, – concluded the Secretary General.

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