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The unlikely European country that's about to stand up to Donald Trump over NATO


The possible return of Donald Trump to the White House has prompted concerns among European members of NATO.

The Republican presidential candidate has expressed his scepticism towards the Western military over recent months.

During a rally in February, Mr Trump claimed to have once told an unnamed politician he would “encourage” Russia to attack any NATO country member failing to reach the alliance’s spending target – two percent of GDP.

As US President Joe Biden appears to be trailing behind in polls four months before the US election, NATO countries are focusing their efforts on locking in support for war-torn Ukraine and the military alliance itself.

The leader of a Nordic country, however, appears unfazed by the possible return of Mr Trump to the White House, as he stated there are “two main lessons” to be drawn at the moment, no matter which administration will be leading the US next year.

Norway’s Prime Minister Jonas Gahr Støre told Politico: “One is that Europe has to take a greater responsibility inside NATO. And we are, I think, showing how we do that by significantly investing.

“Secondly, I think what you have to do in any alliance is to prove the relevance of why we are doing this together.”

Mr Gahr said that during Mr Trump’s time in office between 2016 and 2020, several European countries including Norway, Denmark, and the Netherlands were “pretty good” at explaining to him why the alliance “made sense”.

Indeed, Mark Rutte, the outgoing Prime Minister of the Netherlands soon to become the new NATO Secretary-General, was dubbed “Trump whisperer” after a successful official visit to the US he carried out while the Republican candidate was at the White House.

Concerned over NATO members not paying their dues, Mr Trump would likely be pleased by the 12-year plan unveiled by Norway to spend £118billion ($152billion) on defence, with much of it focused on the production of artillery and missiles.

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