NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg urged the United States to stick together with Europe as the Western military alliance turned 75 on Thursday menaced by an aggressive Russia and the spectre of Donald Trump's return to power.

The Kremlin's full-scale invasion of Ukraine in 2022 re-invigorated NATO as it was confronted by one of the most serious challenges since it emerged from the ashes of World War II to counter the Soviet Union.

The alliance has bolstered its forces across eastern Europe and grown to 32 members after Finland and Sweden joined its ranks.

But while the war has refocused NATO's attention on its old nemesis Moscow to the east -- there is also another threat unnerving allies from leading power the United States in the west.

That's the possible return to the White House of Trump, who undermined NATO's collective defence guarantee by saying he'd encourage Russia to attack any members not spending enough on defence.

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"I do not believe in America alone, just as I don't believe in Europe alone," Stoltenberg said at a ceremony at NATO's Brussels headquarters.

"I believe in America and Europe together in NATO, because, fundamentally, we are stronger and safer together."

In a bid to stave off Trump's criticisms, NATO has showcased increased spending by its European allies -- with 20 members this year set to hit a target of two percent of GDP for defence.

"North America also needs Europe," Stoltenberg said, after a Belgian military band played the NATO anthem.

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The United States has been the chief military backer of Ukraine in its war against Russia, but Congress had not approved large-scale funding for its ally for nearly a year and a half.

"Through NATO, the United States has more friends and more allies than any other major power."

- Ukraine wants air defence -

While Trump looms over the future of the alliance, NATO countries face the more pressing challenge of ensuring Ukraine does not lose its fight to push back Russia.

Alliance members have thrown their weight behind Kyiv -- which is bidding to join NATO -- by sending Ukraine weapons worth tens of billions of dollars.

But those supplies have now dwindled as crucial US support remains blocked by political wrangling. On the frontline, Ukraine's outgunned forces have been pushed onto the back foot.

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In the face of surging Russian missile attacks on its infrastructure, Kyiv is pleading with its Western backers to send all the Patriot defence systems they can spare.

"I don't want to spoil the party, but of course my main message today will be Patriots," Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba said before talks with his NATO counterparts.

"Saving Ukrainian lives, saving the Ukrainian economy, saving Ukrainian cities depends on the availability of Patriots and other air defence systems in Ukraine."

Any prospect of a potential defeat for Ukraine has sent shivers through NATO allies close to Russia who fear they could be next in the Kremlin's sights.

"Unfortunately, it could be that NATO's biggest battles and fights are still in the future," said Lithuania's foreign minister Gabrielius Landsbergis.

"If those battles come and we are not prepared, that will be the biggest mistake that we can ever have."

In a bid to ensure long-term support for Kyiv in the face of a possible return by Trump, Stoltenberg has proposed NATO members set up a 100-billion-euro ($108-billion) five-year fund.

As part of the plan he is also pushing to get NATO as an organisation more directly involved in coordinating deliveries.

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That is something the alliance has so far refused to do out of concern it could drag it closer to war with Russia.

NATO countries gave the go-ahead to work on the plan Wednesday, but there still remain many questions over financing and how far the alliance is willing to go to thrash it out before a summit in Washington in July.

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Comments (4)

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Thomas
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Really looking forward to the great Donald J Trump returning to his rightful place in the White House. All you haters will be eating a bag of dicks.

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John
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@Troll jack KISSING putinrumps RUMP, 



Yes putinrump praised putin's invasion on day one. He would have gift wrapped Ukraine for putin. 



I'm surprised you've forgotten about putinrumps nefarious ties and adoration for putin already troll 'jack'. You seem a bit slow on the uptake as I've educated you many times on this now. Did you need more info than that I just posted below to MRGA troll CHRIS....I've previously posted probably 50 pages worth so its no big deal for me to re-paste ....what to pick...what to pick? 



Maybe you could spend some of your precious nano seconds and give me guidance on what particular putinrump debacle you would like to learn more about? There's no point boring the other readers with the long malfeasant putinrump history they already well know. Especially if there remain just a few gaps in your own awareness.



In contrast Biden's Admin provided advance intelligence on putin's intended invasion, coordinated allies (something putinrump does not have in democratic circles anyways), got weapons to Ukraine immediately, and continues to provide cyberwar and intelligence support while further USA aid is stalled by MRGA minions at putinrump's request.

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American Chris
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Trump's Javelins saved Kyiv and Ukraine.

John
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@American Chris,

Wrong again MRGA troll... It was allied and also USA congress approved weapons.

Seems you have also forgotten the part about how putinrump tried to use these congressionally approved weapons, to blackmail Zelensky (and apparently other nations) into lying about his political opponent so he could win the election. How soon trolls forget putinrumps 2 russian agenda aligned impeachments.

I'm wondering if from your russian point of view you are able to shed some light on what putin and putinrump discussed in their 17 private meetings during his presidency. Apparently no other president have been allowed (or showed the poor discretion) to meet privately with the leader of a USA's enemy. We know putinrump is a good friend of putin;

- having lavished praise on putin +80 times,
- condoned his Ukraine invasion as "Genius" and "Wonderful",
- instructed his MRGA GOP House team to stall further USA aid to Ukraine,
- publicly stating if elected again he would not aid Ukraine....

At any rate we remain perplexed as to what plans they made they made in those secretive meetings. Perhaps within your MRGA circles you have a better understanding.

Please share.

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Ukraine Fan
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LOL, Trump tried to extort Zelensky with Javelins and Trump LOST as the LOSER he is, a LOSER, forever condemned to LOSE in perpetuity. When Ukraine wins, Trump will still be a loser..

John
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@Ukraine Fan, you nailed that one. Putinrump is prime rump loser.

Sadly a loser's losses are lost on other losers (MRGA trolls). They require re-education frequently.

Cheers!

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KYIV POST KISSING JOE BRIBEN’s ASS
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Go fuck you fucked up attitudes towards Trump assholes. This war would have never begun had he not been forced into exile by massive voter fraud. Mark Zukerburg spent $419 million buying votes for Joe BRIBEn. Why do you kiss Joe BRIBEn’s ass Kyiv Post?

Ukraine Fan
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@KYIV POST KISSING JOE BRIBEN’s ASS,

John
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@MRGA trolls KISSING putinrump rump, 



Hi MRGA troll jack (poster above Ukraine Fan)....I posted my response at the top of this comment section. That way I can also add the additional information your education still requires at the top of this thread. Just waiting for you too clarify what further info you need on congenitally lying, 4091 lawsuit, sex offender, putin aligned, criminal putinrump. I know you like attention and this topic will get you more at the top of the forum. Just thinking of your best interests.

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