NATO Leader Worried About Trump’s Remark on Russia

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The leader of NATO cautions that Donald Trump’s actions are jeopardizing the safety of both U.S. troops and their allies.

The NATO leader criticized Donald Trump for suggesting Russia could act freely against NATO members who don’t meet defense spending targets, warning it risks U.S. troops and allies’ safety.

Trump’s remarks alarmed Poland’s Defense Minister, who stressed that the election campaigns shouldn’t compromise alliance security.

During a rally in Conway, South Carolina, Trump recounted a scenario where he advised an unnamed NATO member that Russia should have the freedom to act if NATO allies failed to meet their commitments. He emphasized the importance of fulfilling financial obligations to receive protection.

NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg reaffirmed the alliance’s dedication to mutual defense, emphasizing a united response to any attack. He stressed the significance of allies standing by each other for collective security, warning that any suggestion otherwise jeopardizes the safety of American and European troops.

Stoltenberg further stated that he anticipates continued strong commitment from the United States to NATO, irrespective of the presidential election outcome.

While the German government refrained from direct comment on Trump’s statements, the country’s foreign office released a statement on Sunday emphasizing NATO’s principle of solidarity.

“The NATO principle ‘One for all and all for one’ safeguards the safety of over 950 million individuals worldwide, from Anchorage to Erzurum,” the Foreign Ministry communicated via X, previously known as Twitter.

In an editorial, the German daily Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung expressed concern that if Trump were to win the U.S. presidency again, his remarks could heighten the likelihood of Putin expanding conflict. He suggested the Europeans take action by investing in their military security in line with the seriousness of the situation.

NATO’s frontline nations, including Poland and the Baltic states of Lithuania, Latvia, and Estonia – which were either under the control of Moscow or fully incorporated into the Soviet Union during the Cold War  – are particularly alarmed by Trump’s remarks. Further, Russia’s invasion of Ukraine fuels their apprehension.

During his presidency, Trump had previously warned of withholding aid from nations he deemed insufficiently contributing to NATO and defense spending, further unsettling the alliance, especially those neighboring Russia.

Under NATO’s mutual defense clause, Article 5 of its founding treaty, all member nations pledge to assist any ally that comes under attack. This clause has been invoked only once in history, by the United States following the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.

Following Russia’s annexation of Ukraine’s Crimean Peninsula in 2014, NATO leaders decided to cease the defense spending reductions implemented after the Cold War and to aim to allocate 2% of their gross domestic product to military budgets. It’s important to note that no nation owes a debt to another or NATO.

NATO has initiated its most extensive military reinforcement since the Cold War, a response triggered by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February 2022.

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