US President Donald Trump did not threaten the US withdrawal from NATO at today’s emergency session of the alliance in Brussels, French President Emmanuel Macron said. There was no direct threat, Macron told Reuters.
The Wall Street Journal reported, citing its own diplomatic sources, that the US president said that he “will do his own thing” unless other NATO countries immediately increase defense spending to 2% of GDP. Those present in the hall did not understand whether this was a threat to pullout from the alliance or change the role of the US in it.
Trump outlined the best possible outcome of the meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin, which will be held in Helsinki on July 16. “What would be the ultimate? Let’s see. No more nuclear weapons anywhere in the world, no more wars, no more problems, no more conflicts. … That would be my ultimate,” Trump told journalists in Brussels.
Trump did not elaborate on his statement at a press conference after the session, saying only that he took a pretty tough stance towards the allies. In addition, the US president mentioned that the allies “I probably could [withdraw from NATO], but this is not necessary: today the partners decided to increase [expenses] like never before,” Politico reported.
“All the allies clearly and clearly heard the message of President Trump. We understand that the American president is very serious about the cost of defense,” NATO chief Stoltenberg said.
“I think NATO has emerged from these last few days much stronger,” French President Macron said in conclusion of his press conference.