On Saturday, Donald Trump said he had taken “a significant first step” towards “improving relations” between the United States and Russia during a phone call with Vladimir Putin. He reassured his allies that NATO was of “fundamental importance”. The Russian and American Presidents had a “positive” hour long talk. This was a first step “towards improving relations between Russia and the United States, which need to be worked at” according to the White House.
The United States’ allies are wary of Washington and Moscow becoming close. They do not want Russia’s international sanctions to be revoked, and are worried the US could back out of NATO.
Europeans have concerns about critical statements Donald Trump made regarding the Atlantic Alliance during his campaign. At the time Europe was worried about Russia, and NATO – which is mainly directed by the US – appeared to be the only barrier against Putin. Clearly wanting to reassure them, Donald Trump said NATO was of “fundamental importance” during a telephone call with the German Chancellor Angela Merkel.
The two leaders, who talked for 45 minutes, agreed that NATO, “our common defence, needs appropriate military investment to ensure all the allies contribute to our security in an equal manner”. Mr Trump accused the allies of wanting to benefit from America’s protection without paying for it.