As Trump slams North Atlantic Treaty Organisation, ambassador says Europeans are 'stepping up' on funding

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More than half of Russians (56%) anticipate no significant results from the upcoming meeting between Russian President Vladimir Putin and his U.S. counterpart Donald Trump in Helsinki, the All-Russia Public Opinion Research Center said in a statement on Monday.

"We are seeing Russian Federation with malign activities on so many fronts right now, especially the hybrid area where they are through social media sowing discontent and even false information to try to divide our allies and take them away from the West and toward some dissidents and then hopefully they think influenced by them", the Envoy says. Since the 2016 campaign and before, Trump has repeatedly expressed a perplexing affection for Putin, despite the authoritarian leader's brutal hold on power in his country and his disregard for democratic values. However, many members pitch in far less than that figure, while the US puts in more than 3 percent of its GDP.

I'll leave it to special counsel Robert S. Mueller III to say whether there are sinister motives for Trump's consistent willingness to look past Putin's many transgressions - to name a few, Putin's attempts to subvert Western democracies, including ours; his illegal annexation of Crimea; his human rights violations and muzzling of free speech, including the press; and his alleged assassinations of dissidents overseas, including an attempt to kill a former intelligence agent in Britain with a Soviet-era nerve agent.

The 28 other North Atlantic Treaty Organisation leaders fear a repeat of what happened at last month's G7 summit, which ended in disarray when Trump abruptly rejected the closing statement.

"I think the president will encourage Vladimir Putin to start changing their behavior to be - we'd like for Russian Federation to be an ally a trading partner".

"I don't think he has a choice".

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In direct costs, the USA now pays about 22 percent of NATO's "principal budgets" that are funded by all alliance members based on a cost-sharing formula that factors in the gross national income of each country.

Donald Trump reportedly urged Vladimir Putin to ignore the "stupid people" in his administration who had advised him against not to congratulate the Russian leader on his election victory.

Trump has said he intends to discuss Crimea, election meddling and other contentious issues when he meets with Putin in Helsinki.

Trump's obsession with military costs would make sense if it were part of an attempt to reduce the USA defense budget.

"We have a 2.5 percent tariff on them".

But, given a general wariness towards Russian Federation among American voters and Congressional lawmakers, Trump is unlikely to concede too much to Putin, said Michaels. The European governments are also curious about the road map of US foreign policy in regards to its relation with Russian Federation. Which means his words and deeds during his European swing will drive policy - especially since aides have acknowledged Trump has few goals for the two summits.

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