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    British Prime Minister Theresa May, U.S. President Donald Trump and NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg listen to Belgian Prime Minister Charles Michel as he speaks during a working dinner meeting at the NATO headquarters during a NATO summit of heads of state and government in Brussels on Thursday, May 25, 2017

    'Continued Underspending': Trump Slams NATO Over Inadequate Defense Expenditures

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    US President Donald Trump has sent letters to the leaders of some NATO states expressing Washington's discontent over the countries' non-compliance with their obligations to increase defense spending, The New York Times reported.

    The letters to NATO allies, including Belgium, Canada, Germany and Norway, have been sent as early as last month, The New York Times newspaper reported on Monday.

    "As we discussed during your visit in April, there is growing frustration in the United States that some allies have not stepped up as promised…Continued German underspending on defense undermines the security of the alliance and provides validation for other allies that also do not plan to meet their military spending commitments, because others see you as a role model," Trump's letter to German Chancellor Angela Merkel, in particular, said as quoted by the media outlet.

    Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said amid the report that NATO was created in the era of confrontation and was therefore fully tailored to this purpose.

    "NATO is the child of the era of confrontation, this is the organization which was created for the purposes of confrontation, it was completely tailored to these purposes… We see that the NATO military infrastructure is approaching our borders. Our position in respect to this process is well-known, it has not changed," Peskov told reporters.

    Last week, Donald Trump reiterated that NATO allies should increase defense spending. Trump said the United States was paying "much more disproportionately to anyone else" in the alliance, which sets a spending target of 2 percent of a member state’s gross domestic product (GDP).

    In 2014, NATO allies pledged to end cuts to their defense spending, and gradually increase it toward the alliance's designated 2-percent GDP target within a decade.

    Trump has repeatedly called on NATO allies to respect this commitment, threatening, otherwise, to decrease Washington's participation in the programs aimed at ensuring the security of NATO member states.

    READ MORE: Prof Not Ruling Out That 'Fragmentation of EU & NATO is on the Horizon'

    So far, only five countries have reportedly met Trump's requirement; Apart from the United States, the United Kingdom, Greece, Poland, and Estonia have confirmed.

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    critics, spending, budget, defense, security, NATO, Donald Trump, United States
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