On the eve of his meeting with Russia’s Vladimir Putin, US President Donald Trump rattled allies once more by labelling the European Union a “foe” with regard to trade.
“Well, I think we have a lot of foes. I think the European Union is a foe, what they do to us in trade. Now, you wouldn’t think of the European Union, but they’re a foe. Russia is a foe in certain respects. China is a foe economically, certainly, they are a foe. But that doesn’t mean they are bad. It doesn’t mean anything. It means that they are competitive,” Mr Trump said at his golf club in Turnberry, Scotland.
For US President Donald Trump, a summit with Vladimir Putin risks a political backlash at home and abroad. For the Russian president, however, the fact the summit is even happening is already a big geopolitical win.
In a News interview, Mr Trump also continued to criticize the special counsel’s Russia investigation, saying it is having an impact on America’s standing in the world. “I think we’re greatly hampered by this whole witch hunt that’s going on in the United States,” the president said. “I think it hurts our relationship with Russia. I actually think it hurts our relationship with a lot of countries. I think it’s a disgrace what’s going on.”
The Helsinki summit, which comes at one of the most crucial junctures for the West since the 1991 fall of the Soviet Union, has alarmed some NATO allies who fear Putin might seek a grand deal that would undermine the US-led transatlantic alliance.
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