06:17 GMT +321 October 2018
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    U.S. President Donald Trump receives a football from Russia's President Vladimir Putin during their joint news conference after a meeting in Helsinki, Finland, July 16, 2018

    Trump Says His Meeting With Putin Was Better Than NATO Summit

    © REUTERS / Kevin Lamarque
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    162017

    On Monday, the first full-fledged summit between US President Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin took place, just days after a NATO summit.

    The US president, on his Twitter account, praised his own efforts during the NATO summit in Brussels to hold all member states accountable to their defense spending commitments.

    "NATO was weak, but now it is strong again (bad for Russia)," he wrote, adding, however, that the media allegedly failed to report it.

    He went on hailing the NATO summit, though stressing that the meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin was "even better."

    The statement comes a day after Trump held his first bilateral meeting with Putin in Helsinki, which he characterized as "very successful, productive talks."

    READ MORE: Germany on Putin-Trump Meeting: We Can't Let Russia, US Stop Talking

    During the NATO summit, which took place earlier in the month, the US president repeatedly questioned NATO's usefulness and posted tweets saying that Washington was spending far more on NATO than any other member state, even though the EU had a trade surplus with the country.

    The US president also demanded that the alliance's member states increase defense spending up to 4 percent of GDP. However, as of 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 previously set by Trump.

    The president's criticism of his NATO allies sparked resentment from US lawmakers, who argued that Trump should display more commitment to European allies in light of growing threats from Russia, China and other countries.

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    Tags:
    summit, NATO, Vladimir Putin, Donald Trump, United States, Russia
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