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Head of Nato warns Trump is putting the safety of US and allied troops at risk

NATO secretary-general Jens Stoltenberg has accused Donald Trump of putting the safety of alliance members in jeopardy.

This came after the Republican presidential frontrunner said Russia should be able to do “whatever the hell they want” to members of the Western alliance who fail to meet their military spending targets.

On Sunday, Mr Stoltenberg said: “Any suggestion that allies will not defend each other undermines all of our security, including that of the US, and puts American and European soldiers at increased risk.”

Speaking at a rally in Conway, South Carolina, the previous day, Mr Trump bragged that during his presidency he had told an unidentified Nato member that he would “encourage” Russia to do as it wished with “delinquent” Nato countries.

“You didn't pay? You’re delinquent?” Mr Trump is claimed to have said. 

“No, I would not protect you. In fact, I would encourage them to do whatever the hell they want. You gotta pay your bills.”

Under Nato’s mutual defence clause, all member states are committed to help if any of them comes under attack. 

In 2014, Nato allies pledged to move towards spending 2 per cent of GDP on defence by this year. 

According to Nato estimates in early 2023, just 10 of the 30 members at the time were close to or above the 2 per cent mark.

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