16:52 GMT19 September 2020
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    MOSCOW (Sputnik) - The position expressed by US President Donald Trump before and during the most recent NATO summit puts the security of the NATO member states in danger, German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas told German media in an interview.

    "It is not about abrupt tweets or high ratings. It is about our collective security. Europe cannot accept the fact that something, which has been building for decades, would be deliberately destroyed because of the desire to provoke," Maas told Der Spiegel magazine.

    The German foreign minister added that Europe would continue working on maintaining and building balance in its relations with Washington, but the continent must also become strong in the meantime.

    "Europe has no other choice but to boost its significance in defense and security," Maas said.

    Before the NATO summit, which took place on Wednesday and Thursday, Trump posted tweets saying that the United States was spending far more on NATO than any other member state, even though the European Union had a trade surplus with the country. During the summit, the US president also questioned NATO's usefulness.

    Trump has repeatedly pressed other NATO member states to meet their annual defense spending obligations within the alliance since taking office in January 2017.

    READ MORE: In Search of Lost Time: How France May Facilitate Russia-NATO Rapprochement

    Last year, only six of the 29 NATO members — the United States, Greece, Estonia, the United Kingdom, Romania and Poland — spent 2 percent of their GDP on defense, the target set by the alliance.


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