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Ukraine-Russia war live: Trump tells Nato ‘you’re on your own’ if they don’t increase spending


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Donald Trump has warned Nato members they will be on their “own” unless they increase their defence spending if he wins a second term.

The former US president and 2024 candidate said his message to the military alliance was: “If you’re not going to pay, then you’re on your own”.

Mr Trump, who has long complained that the US shoulders an undue financial burden within Nato, has previously questioned Article Five of the treaty, the alliance’s principle of collective defence.

Earlier this year, he went further in suggesting Russia could “do whatever the hell they want” to Nato allies who did not spend enough on collective defence.

In a wide-ranging interview with Time magazine, published on Tuesday, Mr Trump said he stood by the remarks.

The 77-year-old said that if he regained the White House in November’s election, continued US aid to Ukraine would be contingent on Europe matching the contributions.

Washington has so far sent more than $100 billion to Ukraine, backed by Joe Biden and bipartisan support in Congress.

‘We have an ocean, they don’t’

Mr Trump did not say whether he would end all US funding, but said: “I wouldn’t give unless Europe starts equalising”.

“If Europe is not going to pay, why should we pay? They’re much more greatly affected. We have an ocean in between us. They don’t,” he said.

Nato allies agreed this month to secure a long-term package for Ukraine, which some of the alliance’s diplomats believe could be done via “Trump-proof” $100 billion five-year fund.

Mr Trump also signalled he would reconsider America’s long-standing military support for a number of allies if he wins a second term in office.

He suggested that he could withdraw US troops stationed in South Korea to serve as a deterrence against Kim Jong-Un’s regime.

Mr Trump said the current setup “doesn’t make any sense”. “Why would we defend somebody? And we’re talking about a very wealthy country,” he told Time.

When it comes to the Middle East, Mr Trump said he would defend Israel if the country was attacked by Iran.

But he criticised Benjamin Netanyahu’s approach to its war against Hamas, and the Israeli Prime Minister’s failure to prevent the terror group’s Oct 7 attack. “It happened on his watch,” Mr Trump said.

He declined to rule out withholding US military aid to Israel to force an end to the conflict, but suggested he does not support the pursuit of a Palestinian state.

“There was a time when I thought two-state could work,” he said. “Now I think two-state is going to be very, very tough.”

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