Get up to speed on your payments to NATO or I will encourage Russia to “do whatever the hell it wants.” The shocking words of Donald Trump, pronounced while he was president to a leader of a country of the alliance, freeze the White House and the allies, confirming the never hidden adversity of the former president towards NATO and causing fear for Ukraine in the event that the tycoon won the presidency. “Encouraging the invasion of our closest allies by murderous regimes is baffling and foolish. This puts American national security, global stability and the economy at risk”, is the immediate comment from the White House spokesperson. Andrew Bates. This is echoed by the Secretary General of NATO, Jens Stoltenberg. «We remain ready to defend all our allies. Any statement that talks about the possibility that member countries will not defend each other puts the security of all of us at risk, including that of the USA, and exposes American and European soldiers to increasing risks”, observes Stoltenberg.
The President of the European Council Charles Michel describes Trump’s statements as “reckless”. The Republicans try to downplay it and point out that many countries in the alliance are not in compliance with their defense spending and that almost all American presidents have periodically complained about it. Although it is not the first time that Trump refers to the anecdote of the 2018 NATO summit, this time what is surprising is the language with the use of the term “I would encourage” Russia, which has been engaged in the invasion of Ukraine for two years, to act. «One of the leaders of a great country stood up and asked me; ‘if we don’t pay and are attacked by Russia will you defend us? I told him: you haven’t paid, you are in default. He replied: yes. And I replied that no, I wouldn’t defend them, I would have encouraged “Russia” to do whatever the hell it wanted”, Trump said during a rally in South Carolina to the applause of his base.
Statements that, according to critics, confirm the foresight of Congress in having approved a law that prohibits any American president from unilaterally withdrawing from NATO. And which – they add – are an invitation to Vladimir Putin and its expansionist ambitions beyond Ukraine, which it continues to bomb incessantly. In the last 24 hours alone, a woman was killed in a Moscow raid in Kherson, and Kiev at least partially foiled a drone attack in nine regions, shooting down 40 of 45 unmanned aerial vehicles.
The tycoon’s words put the aid package for Ukraine that the Senate is trying to approve even more at risk. The measure will then pass to the House where the Maga Republicans are stronger, effectively making the process even more complicated. Without American aid, Kiev risks not being able to defend itself from Vladimir Putin, the Russian president with whom Trump has always said he has a good relationship. And above all that the former president believes more than his own intelligence, as he demonstrated during their meeting in Helsinki in the midst of the scandal of Russian interference in the elections. Their friendship has been going on for some time and has forcefully returned to the fore with the interview with Putin by Tucker Carlson, the former well-known face of Fox and one of Trump’s potential vice presidents.