Trump encouraging Russia to attack puts allies at risks - NATO leader
A NATO leader warned on Sunday that Donland Trump was putting allies at risk after the Republican front-runner said he would "encourage" Russia to attack NATO members that did not meet military spending targets.
Speaking at a rally, Trump said that during his presidency he told a leader the US would not protect a NATO member that failed to pay their bills if they were attacked by Moscow.
Instead, he "would encourage” Russia “to do whatever the hell they want”.
“‘You didn’t pay? You’re delinquent?’” Trump recounted saying. “‘No I would not protect you. In fact, I would encourage them to do whatever the hell they want. You gotta pay. You gotta pay your bills.’”
The remarks of possibly the US's next president caused deep concern in Poland, a country in central Europe that has been under Russian control more often than not since the end of the 18th century.
Polish Defence Minister Władysław Kosiniak-Kamysz said “no election campaign is an excuse for playing with the security of the alliance.”
NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said that the 31 allies are committed to defending each other.
“NATO remains ready and able to defend all allies. Any attack on NATO will be met with a united and forceful response,” Stoltenberg said. “Any suggestion that allies will not defend each other undermines all of our security, including that of the U.S., and puts American and European soldiers at increased risk.”
Stoltenberg added in his statement that he expects that, “regardless of who wins the presidential election, the U.S. will remain a strong and committed NATO ally.”
NATO states are obligated to come to the aid of other member states. Many experts argue NATO is a key defence alliance that has helped reduce war and conflict.