The day before the leaders of the NATO member states in London reflect on the 70th anniversary of the world’s largest military alliance, the atmosphere is by no means festive.
Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg traveled to Paris on Thursday for a meeting with French President Emmanuel Macron. NATO had recently called it “brain death,” and it arrived hard in Brussels.
Macron showed no remorse next to Stoltenberg and said not to worry about apologies. “The questions I raised are legitimate and deserve an answer,” the president said at a press conference in the Élysée. With his brain death, Macron mainly referred to the passive way in which the Turkish invasion of Northern Syria was reacted.
“You cannot say on the one hand that you are allies and want solidarity,” Macron said of fellow Member State Turkey, “and on the other hand presenting the threat of international anti-terror operations as a fait accompli.”
That Turkey so far refuses to sign for a treaty to protect the Baltic states against “Russian influences” is also wrong in Europe.
Ankara is obstructed about this: “We are not opposed in itself,” said Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavusoglu, “but we also want the protection that the Baltic States receive.” YPMA Kurdish militia in Syria. Given Macron’s outburst of anger about that, that support seems out of the question.
As usual, the largest split fungus of all seems to be the compulsory payment of member states. During the last NATO meeting in Brussels, US President Donald Trump ruthlessly lashed out at colleagues who, in his view, did not contribute enough. Of NATO’s assets, 22 percent come from Washington every year. A new thunderstorm on that may be omitted. According to CNN, Trump will soon announce that it will reduce the US contribution to around 16 percent, just slightly more than the 14.8 percent of Germany, which has a smaller economy.
According to the broadcaster, the gap that falls due to American spending cuts is being taken care of by other member states. They will have to.
Trump paid a surprise visit to soldiers in Afghanistan on Thursday and repeated there that he wants to limit the American presence in the Middle East as much as possible. That, and the pity about money, recently tempted Macron to say that the United States is turning its back on Europe under Trump.
Now even more important
German Chancellor Angela Merkel is still positive about NATO. In the Bundestag, she called it this week “at least as important as during the Cold War, if not more important.” Stoltenberg is also optimistic. NATO has always solved disputes, he said. Then it must also work with this.
On Tuesday and Wednesday the ruffs sit at the table with the British queen. There they can discuss that immediately.