July 11, 2018 / 9:15 AM / 5 months ago

NATO chief says despite differences, alliance 'stronger together'

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg gestures as he talks to the press at the Alliance's headquarters ahead of the NATO summit in Brussels, Belgium July 11, 2018. REUTERS/Paul Hanna

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - NATO members disagree on many issues including a new Russian gas pipeline to Germany, but the alliance is stronger together and will deliver on boosting defence spending, NATO secretary-general Jen Stoltenberg said on Wednesday.

Speaking to reporters an hour after U.S. President Donald Trump accused Germany of ‘being captive’ to Russian energy supplies, Stoltenberg said it was not up to NATO to decide on the pipeline and that it was a national decision.

He also said while Trump had very direct language on defence spending, the allies all agreed on burden sharing and 2017 saw the biggest increase in defence spending in a generation.

“Despite disagreements, I expect that we will agree on the fundamentals that we are stronger together than apart,” he told reporters.

Reporting by Humeyra Pamuk; Editing by Alissa de Carbonnel

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