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US Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump's views on the United States role in NATO are out of touch with the real state of affairs, former Germany's Representative to NATO Hans-Friedrich von Ploetz told Sputnik.
MOSCOW (Sputnik) — Trump has repeatedly advocated in his campaign speeches for the United States to leave NATO unless other countries start footing more of the bill for its defense. He has also claimed the Alliance is obsolete because it fails to deal adequately with terrorism. Trump stressed all US and NATO allies should absorb their fair share of collective security costs during his presidential nomination acceptance speech at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland in July and reiterated this idea many times since then.
"What Trump said about America's engagement in NATO is in considerable difference to the present reality. When NATO developed its new strategy in 2010, after consultations with Russia, we had extensive consultations also in Washington, including [then] Secretary of State [Hillary] Clinton. I was part of the group to develop the strategy, and I think I know pretty well what her views are on NATO. They are in line with the traditional American policy," von Ploetz, who also served as German ambassador to the United Kingdom and Russia, said.
He also stressed the importance of the Alliance for both the United States and the European Union and described it as one of the pillars of stability in the Transatlantic area.
"The Western alliance is important for both parts [US and Europe], and will remain so. The fact that we (NATO) are determined to protect our member collectively serves as a war-preventing deterrence. That is the most important agenda," von Ploetz concluded.
Since 2014, NATO has been building up its military presence in Europe, particularly in Eastern European countries bordering Russia, using Moscow's alleged interference in Ukraine as a pretext.
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