Donald Trump provided an overview of his future international policy during a meeting in South Carolina on Saturday. The Republican candidate for the American presidential election threatened that, if he returns to the White House, he will not guarantee the protection of NATO countries against Russia.
Article 5 of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization states that if a NATO country is the victim of an armed attack, each member of the Alliance shall regard the act of violence as an armed attack directed against a NATO country. All members and it will take. It feels necessary to come to the aid of the attacked country. But the former US president, who regularly criticizes his NATO allies for not giving the organization enough credit, sidestepped the issue during their meeting on Saturday.
Reporting a conversation with a NATO head of state, without naming him, Donald Trump declared: “One of the presidents of a major country stood up and said: Well, sir, if we don’t pay and we’re going to be attacked. By Russia, you Protect us?”, the billionaire said before revealing his answer: “No, I will not protect you. In fact, I will encourage them to do whatever they want for you. You have to pay your debts.”
Donald Trump has angered the White House by appearing to encourage Russia to attack any NATO member that fails to pay its fair share of the alliance’s budget. pic.twitter.com/IgEMUXs8Ti
— TRT World Now (@TRTWorldNow) February 11, 2024
The sweeping announcement, released just days before the second anniversary of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, was immediately condemned by the pro-democracy camp. “It is appalling and senseless for a murderous regime to encourage the aggression of our closest allies,” White House spokesman Andrew Bates responded in a statement released shortly after. President Joe Biden, for his part, called the comments “sad and dangerous” on Sunday. The fact that Donald Trump admits that he wants to give Putin the green light for more war and violence, to continue his brutal assault on a free Ukraine, and to extend his aggression to the people of Poland and the Baltic states is saddening and dangerous. , he said in a press release.
Donald Trump’s comments are “reckless”, the president of the European Council, Charles Michel, declared. “The Transatlantic Alliance has supported the security and prosperity of Americans, Canadians and Europeans for 75 years,” he recalled. “Reckless statements about NATO security and Article 5 unity only serve Putin’s interests” and “do not bring more security or more peace to the world,” he added.
NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg also warned against comments that “undermine our security”: “Any suggestion that allies will not defend each other undermines the security of all of us, including states. At risk,” Jens Stoltenberg said in a statement.
Block aid to Ukraine
Donald Trump’s comments also came after the former US president pressured Republican elected officials in Congress to bury a bill to pay for a new aid package to Ukraine, Israel and Taiwan.
The bulk of this envelope is devoted to helping Ukraine replenish its stocks of ammunition, weapons and other essentials. But Donald Trump has often been skeptical, sometimes hostile, about continuing American aid to Ukraine and has even threatened to quit NATO if he returns to the White House.
Largest deportation operation in US history
During the meeting, Donald Trump also raised the burning issue of immigration, another major contentious topic in the election campaign. Under their pressure, Republican elected officials appear to have decided to block any reform of immigration policy before the presidential election.
The former president, who built his popularity by promising to build a wall between the United States and Mexico, has confirmed that deporting migrants will be one of his priorities if he returns to the White House. “On day one, I will end all open border policies of the Biden administration and we will begin the largest domestic deportation operation in US history. We have no choice,” he said.