Updated February 19th, 2024 at 10:00 IST

NATO Should Kick Out Underpaying Members, Says US senator Backing Trump

Graham's remark echoed Trump’s stance on withdrawing support for NATO member states who do not pay and letting Russia “do whatever the hell they want.”

Reported by: Digital Desk
Former US President Donald Trump and US Senator Lindsey Graham. | Image:AP
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US Senator on Sunday, backing former US President Donald Trump, said that members of the NATO military bloc who fail to meet their financial obligations should be kicked out from the alliance. Lindsey Graham proposed the expulsion of countries from the US-led military bloc if their defense budget does not meet the bloc’s spending criteria, RT reported. His remark echoed Trump’s stance on withdrawing support for the bloc and letting Russia “do whatever the hell they want.”

NATO states who do not pay ‘shall not be entitled to the military protection’: Graham

The NATO investment criteria states that each member state must commit to paying at least 2 percent of their Gross Domestic Product (GDP). Some of the EU states have failed to achieve their spending targets. Graham pointed that 19 out of 31 members are not meeting their payment commitments. He said he supported Trump who insisted that all “NATO nations” should pay “their bills” or otherwise shall not be entitled to the military protection under the collective defense of Article 5.

“President Trump is right to want NATO nations to meet their obligation of 2 percent. We need to turn it into an obligation that means something,” the lawmaker said. He added that he wants “a system where, if you don’t pay, you get kicked out.” Graham added, “I’m a big fan of NATO. But there’s $70 billion to $80 billion left on the table. If you’re in NATO, pay the 2 percent.”

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Earlier, Haley slammed Trump for his remark on NATO that he would convince Russia to do “whatever the hell it wants” to the EU states who fail to meet financial obligation. Haley slammed the “bone-chilling” statements made by Trump, saying that he has been empowering Russian President Vladimir Putin. “When you hear Donald Trump say in South Carolina a week ago that he would encourage Putin to invade our allies if they weren’t pulling their weight, that’s bone-chilling because all he did in that one moment was empower Putin,” Haley said Sunday on ABC’s “This Week.” 

 

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Published February 19th, 2024 at 10:00 IST