July 11, 2018 / 5:18 PM / 2 months ago

Trump says NATO countries must pay 2 percent of GDP immediately

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. President Donald Trump said on Wednesday NATO countries must immediately pay 2 percent of their country’s economic output for defence, tying the issue to trade and energy in a Twitter post as he attended the alliance’s summit in Brussels.

U.S. President Donald Trump talks to Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan at NATO headquarters in Brussels, Belgium July 11, 2018. Tatyana Zenkovich/Pool via REUTERS

Trump earlier told alliance leaders they should raise their defence spending to 4 percent of their gross domestic product, or GDP.

“What good is NATO if Germany is paying Russia billions of dollars for gas and energy?” Trump wrote. “The U.S. is paying for Europe’s protection, then loses billions on Trade. Must pay 2% of GDP IMMEDIATELY, not by 2025,” he added.

Reporting by Susan Heavey; Editing by Mohammad Zargham

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