Jens Stoltenberg, the Secretary General of the Nato, said that Trump’s comments, where he said that the US should not give protection to allies who fail to spend enough on defence, “undermines all of our security”.
Speaking at a rally in South Carolina on Saturday, the likely Republican candidate said he would “encourage” Vladimir Putin to attack Nato members who are failing to meet the alliance’s agreed defence spending target of 2 per cent of their GDP.
He also claimed he once told a leader, of whom he did not specify, that he would not protect a nation behind on its payments.
Nato boss Jens Stoltenberg has slammed Trump's Russia comments that 'put US and European soldiers at risk'
“I said: 'You didn't pay? You're delinquent?'... 'No I would not protect you, in fact I would encourage them to do whatever they want. You gotta pay.’”
Nato members are obliged to defend any nation in the bloc which is attacked.
Stoltenberg said in a statement: “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. I expect that regardless of who wins the presidential election, the US will remain a strong and committed Nato ally.”
He said Nato remained “ready and able to defend all allies”.
Trump said he would “encourage” Vladimir Putin to attack Nato members who are failing to meet the alliance’s agreed defence spending target
The White House said Trump's remarks “promoted dangerous chaos”, which would encourage Putin.
“President Biden has restored our alliances and made us stronger in the world because he knows every commander in chief's first responsibility is to keep the American people safe and hold true to the values that unite us,” it said.
“Encouraging invasions of our closest allies by murderous regimes is appalling and unhinged – and it endangers American national security, global stability, and our economy at home.
“Rather than calling for wars and promoting deranged chaos, President Biden will continue to bolster American leadership and stand up for our national security interests – not against them.”
While an EU diplomat told Politico: “Let’s be absolutely clear. These remarks are of course utterly crazy coming from a potential US president, while speaking about allies.”
At least 19 of 30 member nations in the Nato bloc are spending less than that, data from Nato showed in 2023.
Nato Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said that they are 'ready and able to defend all allies'
These nations include Germany, Norway and France.
However, most countries bordering Russia or Ukraine, are exceeding this guideline, with Poland in particular spending 3.9 per cent of its annual GDP on defence.
Following Stoltenberg's comments, Biden said: “Donald Trump's admission that he intends to give Putin a green light for more war and violence, to continue his brutal assault against a free Ukraine, and to expand his aggression to the people of Poland and the Baltic states, [is] appalling and dangerous.”