The US defends NATO from Trump: It assures that the alliance is not ‘a charity project’

The ambassador of United States before NATO, Julianne Smith, He assured this Tuesday that the Alliance is not “a charity project” and considered “irresponsible” the statements of former US President Donald Trump in which he stated that he would encourage Russia to attack allies that do not spend enough on defense.

“For seven decades we have had several Democratic and Republican administrations in the United States united in one belief and that belief is that alliances, in particular NATO, truly are the cornerstone of United States foreign policy,” declared the diplomatic during a press conference prior to the meeting of NATO defense ministers taking place on Thursday in Brussels.

“These alliances are the strength of the United States. They are not a charity project. “They serve the interests of the United States directly and they serve the interests of our allies directly,” she added.

Donald Trump criticized NATO countries on Saturday for not funding the bloc’s collective defense enough, by failing to reach the commitment to allocate 2 percent of its GDP to military spending.

During an electoral rally, the former president said that, in the event of a possible Russian attack on any of the countries that do not comply with this objective, he would not only refuse to protect them, but that he would “encourage” Russia to “do whatever it wants.” ” with them.

Smith said that encouraging the Kremlin to attack a NATO country or allied territory “really puts our soldiers, American soldiers, and our allies’ soldiers in greater danger.”

“Making those types of statements is dangerous and, frankly, irresponsible,” he said.

Could Russia attack NATO countries?

Asked if he sees a military conflict possible between Russia and NATO in the coming years, the ambassador responded that since Moscow launched the large-scale invasion of Ukraine, The Alliance has taken measures “to improve its deterrence and defense capabilities.”

“In real time we are preparing for all eventualities,” he said, adding that NATO considers Russia its main threat, “in addition to the threat of terrorism.”

Before the meeting of allied defense ministers in Brussels on Thursday, a new meeting of the Contact Group for the Defense of Ukraine led by the United States.

However, US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin has canceled his trip to the Belgian capital after he was hospitalized on Sunday with a bladder problem.

Smith assured that Austin “plans to attend a virtual meeting ofl Contact Group for the Defense of Ukraine” on Wednesday.

The diplomat hoped that in this new meeting of the contact group, Washington’s allies and partners will offer new support to kyiv to defend itself from the Russian invasion.

On Thursday, the meeting of NATO ministers will have a first session dedicated to progress in the implementation of the Alliance’s new military plans, work with the military industry or defense spending.

On that point, Smith said that the last decade has seen nine consecutive years of increases in military investment and that trend is accelerating.

“We believe that we are going to have considerably more allies reaching the 2 percent by the end of this year”, he commented.

The second session on Thursday will be a new meeting of the NATO-Ukraine Councila forum for consultation and decision-making in which both parties participate as equals.