February 26, 2024

Nato chief says Trump’s Russia comments ‘put US and European soldiers at risk’

Nato head Jens Stoltenberg says Donald’s Trump’s suggestion that the US mustn’t shield allies who fail to spend sufficient on defence “undermines all of our security”.

Speaking at a rally in South Carolina on Saturday, the previous US president mentioned he remembered how as president he informed an unidentified Nato member that he would “encourage” Russia to do because it needs in instances of what he known as “delinquent” Nato allies.

The Republican presidential frontrunner mentioned Russia ought to have the ability to do “whatever the hell they want” to alliance members who don’t meet their defence spending targets.

“‘You didn’t pay? You’re delinquent?’” Trump recounted saying at his Conway rally.

“‘No, I would not protect you. In fact, I would encourage them to do whatever the hell they want. You gotta pay. You gotta pay your bills.’”

The Nato secretary-general contradicted the comments from Mr Trump, who’s in search of to return for a second time period as US president, and mentioned that every one 31 allies of the Nato bloc had been dedicated to defending one another.

“Nato remains ready and able to defend all allies. Any attack on Nato will be met with a united and forceful response,” he mentioned.

He added Mr Trump’s remarks “put American and European soldiers at increased risk”.

“Any suggestion that allies will not defend each other undermines all of our security, including that of the US, and puts American and European soldiers at increased risk,” Mr Stoltenberg mentioned on Sunday.

“Regardless of who wins the presidential election, the US will remain a strong and committed Nato ally,” he mentioned.

Mr Trump mentioned he had knowledgeable his allies he would “encourage” Russia to assault any Nato member not assembly the alliance’s agreed defence spending goal of two per cent of their GDP.

At least 19 of 30 member nations within the Nato bloc are spending lower than that, information from Nato confirmed in 2023.

These nations embrace Germany, Norway and France.

Mr Trump’s comments triggered a wave of concern in Poland, which is going through elevated danger of assault from Russia. The central European nation has been underneath Russian management most of the time for the reason that finish of the 18th century.

Defence minister Władysław Kosiniak-Kamysz warned that “no election campaign is an excuse for playing with the security of the alliance”.

While the German authorities didn’t formally remark, its overseas workplace printed a press release on Sunday morning highlighting the precept of solidarity governing Nato.

“‘One for all and all for one.’ This Nato creed retains greater than 950 million individuals secure – from Anchorage to Erzurum,” the overseas ministry mentioned on X, previously Twitter.

Mr Trump’s remarks had been additionally condemned by his successor Joe Biden, who mentioned that his comments would embolden Vladimir Putin and that a second Trump administration could contribute to a widening conflict in Europe.

Donald Trump’s admission that he intends to present Putin a inexperienced mild for extra struggle and violence, to proceed his brutal assault in opposition to a free Ukraine, and to develop his aggression to the individuals of Poland and the Baltic states, [is] appalling and harmful,” he mentioned.

While in workplace, Mr Trump had already threatened not to come to the aid of any country underneath assault that he deemed to not be assembly its Nato commitments.