Moscow, which denies having any expansionist or aggressive agenda, accuses NATO of trying to destabilize central Europe and has respond by forming four new military divisions to strengthen its western and central regions and stepping up exercises.
GERMANY POLITICS: Ursula von der Leyen Rejects Trump’s Claim It Owes NATO and US ‘Vast Sums’ For Defense
“Defense spending goes into UN peacekeeping missions, into European missions and into our contribution to fight against IS terrorism,” von der Leyen said.
Merkel, who officials say has prepared carefully for the encounter, is likely to press Trump for assurances of support for a strong European Union.
GERMANY POLITICS: Ahead of Talks between Merkel and Trump Germany Wants Change to NATO Two-Percent Budget Goal
Germany’s defence minister called for changes to the way NATO members’ commitments to budget targets are assessed, in the face of bigger demands from Trump.
“If my going will increase tensions, let it be. I am a foreign minister and I can go wherever I want,” Mevlut Cavusoglu Turkish Foreign Minister said.
After Kosovo war, relations between Belgrade and Pristina remain strained and Serbia continues to regard Kosovo as a renegade province.
“We are building today much … stronger strategic communications inside here in the government,” Estonian Prime Minister Juri Ratas said.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov wants global leaders to embrace a new world order where the U.S. and other western nations are not calling the shots.
“I think Flynn issue obviously shows in many respects this administration is in disarray and they’ve got a lot of work to do,” said Senator John McCain.
“We are the most secure and most prosperous when both the U.S. and Europe are strong and united,” the adviser said, previewing Pence’s trip.
“It has been the American message for many, many years. I am very much against letting ourselves be pushed into this,” Juncker said in a speech on the sidelines of the international Munich Security Conference.
“NATO’s own figures clearly show that the UK spends over 2 percent of its GDP on defence,” a spokesman for the Ministry of Defence said in a statement.
European allies are growing confident. They are reassured by Trump’s remarks to U.S. forces in Florida this week, when he said: “We strongly support NATO.”
German leader Angela Merkel urged Russia’s Vladimir Putin in a telephone call on Tuesday to use his influence on separatists in eastern Ukraine to stop the violence there, and the two agreed on the need for new ceasefire efforts, a German government spokesman said.
European Union will keep sanctions on Russia until Moscow drops its support for the separatist rebellion in Ukraine, foreign ministers said.
U.S. President Donald Trump agreed to meet alliance leaders in Europe in May in a phone call with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg that also touched on the separatist conflict in eastern Ukraine, the White House said.
NATO is helping Western Balkan governments build up intelligence and defence bodies to resist foreign, especially Russian, political influence, alliance Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said.
Russia has reportedly launched an investigation after a mysterious drone – believed to be a model designed for defence purposes was found in the Black Sea.
“Serbia’s intention is to use this train, which was donated by Russia to help carve away the northern part of Kosovo,” Kosovo’s President Hashim Thaci said.
Donald Trump says. “It’s obsolete because it wasn’t taking care of terror. I took a lot of heat for two days. And then they started saying Trump is right.”