Alwaght- US President Donald Trump criticized on Friday his French counterpart Emmanuel Macron who suggested idea of building a "real European army" to protect itself from Russia, China and the United States.
"President Macron of France has just suggested that Europe build its own military in order to protect itself from the US, China and Russia. Very insulting, but perhaps Europe should first pay its fair share of NATO, which the U.S. subsidizes greatly!” Trump tweeted shortly after landing in Paris to attend a ceremony commemorating 100 years since the end of World War I.
Trump was referring to the Tuesday interview Macron gave to Europe 1 radio, in which he outlined the idea of a combined European army that would be able to protect Europe from Russia, China… and the US.
"We have to protect ourselves with respect to China, Russia and even the US," Macron said after Trump announced that the US was withdrawing from a nuclear weapons agreement with Russia.
“When I see President Trump announcing that he’s quitting a major disarmament treaty which was formed after the 1980s euro-missile crisis that hit Europe, who is the main victim? Europe and its security,” Macron said.
The relationship between Trump and Macron, once described as a 'bromance', has long since soured amid the US imposing steep tariffs on EU imports and threatening European businesses with secondary sanctions for dealing with Iran.
The rationale behind the idea of creating a European army, which has been floated repeatedly through the years but has yet to materialize, is to lessen Europe's dependence on the whims of the US politicians, Macron indicated.
Trump's calls for Europe to pay up are one of his favorite topics. Since the beginning of his term, Trump has been urging US NATO allies in Europe to up their defense spending. Trump argued that the current target of 2 percent of GDP, which only five NATO members have met this year, is too low and must be doubled.
The US president believes that his country has been treated unfairly and "taken advantage" of by the EU on trade as well. He went as far as to brand the EU a "foe" alongside Russia and China, in wake of the NATO summit in July.