Joe Biden denounced, on Sunday February 11, the “distressing and dangerous” comments made the day before by his rival Donald Trump, who said he would “encourage” Russia to attack NATO countries if they They didn’t pay their share.
During a meeting in South Carolina, Donald Trump reported a conversation he had with one of the heads of state of NATO, without naming him. “One of the presidents of a big country stood up and said, ‘Sir, if we don’t pay and we’re attacked by Russia, will you protect us?'” he said. ex-Republican president before revealing his response: “No, I would not protect you. In fact, I would encourage them to do what they want. You have to pay your bills.”
Donald Trump, who will likely face Joe Biden in November’s presidential election, regularly criticizes the North Atlantic Treaty Organization allies for not keeping their commitments on military spending. During the campaign, he had already threatened several times to leave NATO if he returned to the White House.
For the Democrat, the words of the former Republican president clearly signified “his desire to abandon America’s allies who are members of NATO in the event of a Russian attack.” “The fact that Donald Trump admits that he intends to give Putin the green light for more war and violence, to continue his brutal assault on a free Ukraine and to extend his aggression to the people of Poland and the Baltic states is distressing and dangerous,” Joe Biden said in a statement.
“Unfortunately,” these remarks “are predictable coming from a man who promised to govern like a dictator, like those he praises, from the first day of his return to the Oval Office,” he said. added.
His comments on Saturday also caused outrage and dismay in Europe and within the organization. For the President of the European Council Charles Michel, “reckless declarations on NATO security and the solidarity of Article 5 only serve Putin’s interests” and “bring neither more security nor more peace in the world”.
Article 5 states that if a NATO country is the victim of an armed attack, each member of the Alliance will consider this act of violence as an armed attack directed against all members and will take the measures it deemed necessary to come to the aid of the attacked country. NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg warned against comments that “undermine our security”. “Any suggestion that Allies will not defend each other undermines all of our security, including that of the United States, and places American and European soldiers at increased risk,” he said.
The White House responded on Saturday to Donald Trump’s statements by praising the efforts made by Joe Biden to strengthen alliances around the world. “Encouraging the invasion of our closest allies by murderous regimes is appalling and senseless,” responded Andrew Bates, a White House spokesperson, on Saturday evening.
Donald Trump’s last rival in the Republican primaries, Nikki Haley, denounced the ex-president’s rhetoric. “We want NATO allies to pay their share, but there are ways to get that without […] tell Russia: ‘do what you want with these countries,'” she declared. Republican senator Marco Rubio, for his part, tried to minimize Donald Trump’s statements, explaining that the former president never spoke “like a traditional politician.” “I have no concerns,” added the elected official from Florida about the future of the Alliance in the event of Donald Trump’s victory in the presidential election.
The ex-president, who maintains a significant hold on the Republican Party, has put pressure in recent weeks on elected officials from his camp in Congress to bury a bill providing for the payment of new aid to the Ukraine, but also Israel and Taiwan, as well as a reform of migration policy. A similar bill, but without mention of reform to migration policy, passed a crucial stage in the Senate on Sunday, but risks encountering a categorical refusal from Trumpist Republicans in the other chamber of Congress. Of the planned $95 billion, a large majority would go to Ukraine to replenish its stocks of munitions, weapons and other essential needs as the country enters a third year of war. Donald Trump has often been hostile to continued American aid to Ukraine.