President of the European Council Donald Tusk took aim at Donald Trump for his criticisms of Europe as he warned the US needed to appreciate the few allies it has. Mr Tusk took offence to Mr Trump’s claims that Europe was “living off the US” and failing to invest enough in defence to the detriment of the United States. The European Council also warned Mr Trump to be wary of Russian leader Vladimir Putin in his next meeting as he argued he may represent a “strategic problem”.
Mr Tusk said: “I would like to address President Trump directly.
“Who, for a long time now has been criticising Europe almost daily for, in his view, insufficient contributions to the Common Defence Capabilities and for living off the US.
“Dear President Trump America does not have and will not have a better ally than Europe.
“Today Europeans spend on defence many times more than Russia and as much as China.
“And I think you can have no doubt, Mr President, that this is an investment in common American and European defence and security, which can’t be said with confidence about Russian or Chinese spending.
“First of all, dear America, appreciate your allies, after all, you don’t have that many.
“And dear Europe, spend more on your defence because everyone respects an ally that is well prepared and equipped.
“Many is important but generally solidarity is even more important.
“870 brave European men and women sacrificed their lives including 40 soldiers from my homeland, Poland.
“Dear Mr President pleasure remember this when we meet at the NATO summit.
“But above all when you meet President Vladimir Putin in Helsinki, it is always worth knowing who is your strategic friend and who is your strategic problem.”