EU officials criticize Trump for turning a blind eye to Russian attacks on NATO allies who do not pay enough

Two European officials criticized Donald Trump on Sunday following comments the former US president made about not protecting under-paid NATO allies from a potential Russian invasion.

EU Internal Market Commissioner Thierry Breton was asked in a French television interview about the comments by Trump, who is likely to be the Republican nominee in this year’s US presidential election.

“We cannot flip a coin on our security every four years depending on this or that election, specifically the US presidential election,” Breton said, adding that EU leaders realize that the bloc needs to boost its spending and military capabilities.

Polish Defense Minister Władysław Kosniak-Kamyś also participated in the matter.

He wrote on the social media platform “X”: “NATO’s slogan ‘One for all, all for one’ is a concrete commitment. Undermining the credibility of allied countries means weakening the entire NATO.”

He added: “Any electoral campaign cannot be considered an excuse to manipulate the security of the coalition.”

“No, I won’t protect you.”

Officials at NATO headquarters in Brussels did not immediately respond to a request for comment. The NATO Treaty contains a clause that guarantees the mutual defense of member states in the event of an attack.

NATO member states have committed to contributing at least 2% of their GDP annually to the bloc’s defense, but not all of them will do so – in 2023, only 11 out of 31 countries It is estimated to reach a threshold of two percent. That was an increase from seven countries in 2022, as spending from non-U.S. members grew by an estimated 8.3 percent last year.

Trump, who was speaking during a political rally in South Carolina on Saturday and appeared to recount a meeting with NATO leaders, quoted the president of an unnamed “major country” as saying: “Well, sir, if we don’t pay up, and we’re under attack from Russia, Will you protect us?”

I said: Why did you pay? Are you late on your payments? He said: Yes, suppose that happened. “No, I won’t protect you. In fact, I’d encourage them to do whatever the hell they want. You have to pay.”

The comments are “appalling,” says a White House official

“We’ve heard it before…there’s nothing new under the sun,” Britton said.

“Maybe he has problems with his memory; she was actually president, not of a country, but of the European Union,” he added, referring to European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen and the conversation she had with Trump in 2020.

Asked about Trump’s comments, White House spokesman Andrew Bates said: “Encouraging murderous regimes’ invasions of our closest allies is horrifying and disruptive — and puts American national security, global stability, and our economy at home at risk.”

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