Trump says North Atlantic Treaty Organisation summit was 'truly great'

U.S. President Trump waits for reporters to leave the room after speaking about his summit with Russia's President Putin in meeting at the White House in Washington

Asked about a closed-door meeting in which officials said Trump told allies to reach a North Atlantic Treaty Organisation target or the United States would "go it alone", Stoltenberg said: "We had a very frank and open discussion".

But Mr Macron said his U.S. counterpart had not threatened to leave, insisting: "President Trump never at any moment, either in public or in private, threatened to withdraw".

In a letter of June 19 to the Norwegian Prime Minister, Erna Solberg, Trump wrote that her country "does not have a reliable plan" to spend 2 percent of its gross domestic product on defense.

French President Emmanuel Macron said the summit atmosphere was "much calmer than everyone had said" and he saw a will to maintain the unity of the alliance, while Croatian President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic said Trump was "constructive".

"Trump said things plainly as is normal between friends and allies".

Trump's comments came in a wide-ranging news conference after a special meeting on defense spending.

Trump said the allies "made a tremendous amount of progress" and "they really stepped up their commitment and stepped it up like they never have before". Russian Federation has since been supporting them financially and militarily.

At the end of the first session of a two-day summit, NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said the aim first was to reach 2 percent, but moments later Trump tweeted that allies were undercutting the U.S. on trade and needed to immediately boost spending.

Expert analysis of the Trump-Putin meeting
The two leaders met and shook hands this afternoon in the Finnish capital as they headed into the private meeting . He also presented the president with a World Cup football, joking the "ball is in your court" over Syria.

He said the Kremlin viewed the US's objections to the new pipeline project were part of its strategy to force Europe to buy costlier liquefied natural gas from its own shores, the report added.

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg holds a news conference after participating in the NATO Summit in Brussels, Belgium July 12, 2018.

According to the reports, president Donald Trump, the most powerful president in the world arrived later in the meeting.

"Presidents have been trying unsuccessfully for years to get Germany and other rich NATO Nations to pay more toward their protection from Russian Federation".

This above statement from Donald Trump led to cancellation of the Thursday meeting in order to have an emergency private meeting between the US president and Stoltenberg.

Still, three senior USA officials told Reuters that no one in the Pentagon, including Secretary of Defence Jim Mattis, knows what Trump might say in Helsinki. "All I can do is say "Did you?' and 'Don't do it again" - but he may deny it". "I think 4 percent is the right number".

At the same time, he insisted Vladimir Putin was a "competitor" rather than an "enemy", ahead of their meeting in Finland next week after his four-day trip to the UK. He chose to invade Ukraine & annex Crimea.

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