WASHINGTON D.C. – NATO’s secretary-general says President Donald Trump is “committed” to the military alliance and that his “clear message” about members contributing more money is “having an impact.”
Trump in the past has suggested he could probably withdraw from NATO if he wanted to, and he’s complained that members don’t pay their fair share of alliance defense expenses, leaving the U.S. with much of the burden.
NATO’s Jens Stoltenberg tells “Fox News Sunday” that NATO countries “have heard the president loud and clear and now NATO allies are stepping up.”
He says NATO is “united because we are able to adapt to deliver” and that North America and Europe “are doing more together now than before.”
He said the harsh tactics were needed given Russia’s extraordinary aggression.“this is a clear message to Russia and I think they see that.”
“What he’s doing is to help us adapt the alliance, which we need because we live in a more unpredictable world with a more assertive Russia using violence and force against a neighbor, Ukraine,” Stoltenberg said. “And therefore NATO has to adapt.”
On Twitter Sunday, President Trump highlighted Stoltenberg’s comments, and then re-posted another user’s message that “stronger people stand up for others” and that the president was “Standing up for America.”
“Jens Stoltenberg, NATO Secretary General, just stated that because of me NATO has been able to raise far more money than ever before from its members after many years of decline,” the president wrote. “It’s called burden sharing. Also, more united. Dems & Fake News like to portray the opposite!”
Earlier this month, a head-turning piece in The New York Times, citing unnamed “senior administration officials,” reported that “last year, President Trump suggested a move tantamount to destroying NATO: The Withdrawal of the United States.”
On Friday, Stoltenberg warned Friday that Russia was showing no sign of respecting a major Cold War-era missile treaty and that the future of the pact is in danger as the U.S. readies to start pulling out of it this week.
In October, Trump warned that the U.S. would abandon the treaty because of alleged Russian violations. If Moscow doesn’t return to compliance, Washington is due to start the six-month process of leaving the pact from Feb. 2.
“The responsibility to preserve the treaty lies on Russia because Russia is now violating the treaty by developing and deploying new missiles,” Stoltenberg said.