The former president of the United States, Donald Trump, caused controversy with his recent statement in which he suggested that he would support Russia in attacking any NATO member that fails to meet its financial obligations to the North Atlantic Alliance.
According to a Guardian report, Trump floated the controversial idea while campaigning for the presidential nomination in South Carolina. At the NATO meeting, Trump reportedly stated that the United States under his leadership would not defend countries that fail to meet their financial obligations to the alliance.
Additionally, Trump stated that he would "encourage" Russia to attack such countries, calling them "delinquents." "One of the presidents of a large country stood up and asked: Sir, if we don't pay and Russia attacks us, will you protect us?" Trump said, adding that he told that president: "You didn't pay, you're a criminal? No , I wouldn't protect you, I would encourage them to do whatever they want.
You need to pay. You need to pay your bills," the The Guardian reported. The statement drew sharp criticism from the White House, which described Trump's statement as "appalling and inappropriate." White House spokesman Andrew Bates condemned Trump's statement, stressing that supporting attacks on allies would be appalling, and that such actions would threaten American national security, global stability and the economy of the United States of America.
Bates recalled the provisions of NATO, which guarantee the common defense of the members in case of an attack on any of them, as reported by Reuters. Trump has been known for his criticism of NATO during his presidency, often pointing out that the United States pays a larger share of the alliance's costs than other members.
In addition, Trump has repeatedly threatened to withdraw the US from NATO. The current President of the United States, Joe Biden, has condemned Trump's past actions and has continued to strengthen military alliances after taking office in 2021.
Bates highlighted the Biden administration's efforts to renew America's military alliances, arguing that NATO is now "the strongest and most vital it has ever been." Although Trump's statements are causing concern and criticism, it seems that efforts to strengthen allies remain a priority for the current US administration.
It is expected that this incident will further fuel the debate about the American role in NATO and the future of transatlantic relations.