tv Amanpour on PBS PBS July 13, 2018 12:00am-12:31am PDT
tonight we're outside parliament as president trump kicks off his visit to the u.k. but he'll bypass this capital city. meantime nato allies say they never agreed to double their military contributions as the president reportedly demanded. my conversation with the man at the center of all secretary-general ian stoltenberg. plus preparing to send their message to trump right here, i speak to the head of the foreign office about the future of their relationship, simon fraser joins us. ♪
welcome to the program, everyone. i'm christiane amanpour in london where president trump arrived for a controversial visit. he'll be channelling churchill, taking tea with the queen and dodging protesters here in london before setting off to meet russia's vladimir putin in helsinki on monday. what could have been a disastrous nato summit like what happened at the g-7 in fact ended better than expected with trump reaffirming his commitment to the 70-year-old military alliance but also claiming that allies had made much bigger spending than they actually had done. >> for years presidents have been coming to these meetings and talked about the expense, the tremendous expense for the united states. and tremendous progress has been made. everyone's agreed to substantially up their commitment. they're going to up it at levels they've never thought of before.
>> but are they upping it so substantially? since those comments the canadian prime minister justin trudeau and the french president emmanuel macron say they are raising their defense spending but in line with their 2% commitment they made at the 2014 summit. i spoke with nato's secretary-general ian stoltenberg about that magic number. secretary-general ian stoltenberg, thank you so much for joining me from brussels. welcome to the program. >> thak you so much for having me. >> can i first start by asking you all the allies were really concerned and nervous hoping this summit was not going to devol evolve into a debacle. how could you say you assess the
unity of this summit? >> this was a good summit because we had open and frank discussions. there's no problem to have different views and open discussion as long as we're able to conclude and deliver efficiently. yes, there have been different views. we've been discussing different issues, but we've agreed how to strengthen nato with the forces stepping up to reform terrorism, our command structure and we need to spend more. there's a new sense of urgency on the importance of investing more in our defense. >> so let's take that issue, the new sense of urgency. president trump as we know and saw it publicly throughout the summit keeps demanding this 2%. in fact he demanded more, up to 4%. he demanded more to happen immediately rather than 2024 as you nato allies have agreed. so first and foremost, has
president trump secured a pledge from nato allies as he said today to immediately spend more, up to 4% or putting down a huge market, he himself said $34 million more. have he and allies agreed specifically to figures demanded by the president today? >> the allies have heard his message loud and clear and his strong message on defense spending is having a real impact. just since last time president trump was in brussels at the nato meeting last may european allies and canada have added $41 billion extra in defense funding. so we have turned a corn. before the trend was down. now the trend is really going up. and all allies agree that we have to make good on the commitments we have made and we need to increase defense
spending substantially. but also all allies need to stand united in nato. for me this was a good summit because we all expressed our support to nato, also the president. but also we expressed our support to investing more in defense. >> let me be specific again. i want to hear an answer from you, please. president macron denies that the allies agreed to up their spending beyond the 2%. can you confirm to us what are the facts? we need to know the facts. >> the fact is we have a commitment to increase defense spending, and we all agreed that we have to deliver on that. there's a new sense of urgency on the importance of delivering that. but perhaps even more important is that we have actually started to invest more, more than $40 billion just since last year.
and it is my thought to make sure that we deliver, that we have a substantial increase in defense spending in the years ahead and our work together with all allies but also work closely with president trump and his leadership, his strong message is having an effect. allies are increasing defense spending. >> which is what you said before. in fact, 100% of allies are increasi increasing spending. it's up to 2.5% collectively. the question is are you going to raise individual spending by 4% or more than 2%? >> we have agreed that we need to make good on the pledges we have made. the problem has been before that, you know, we have seen promises are being made but not always being followed up. now we have to make sure that we follow-up, that we implement,
that we deliver. and i'm an optimist partly because we have seen all our allies have started to increase. last year was the biggest increase in a generation in defense spending across europe and canada. but also because i witnessed the discussion we had both yesterday and today at the nato summit, and allies understand that we really need to step up and redouble our efforts. so i see it both the issues we have made but the common understanding we have made on delivery. >> so i'm going to take what you say you are committed to 2% and nothing further at this time? am i correct? >> we have a commitment to spend 2%. the importance now -- the important thing now is that we need to invest more, we need to get more money. and the good thing is that since -- very much because of
that clear message from president trump on this meeting i think allies understand there's a need to do that -- there's an urgency, there's a sense of urgency when it comes to delivering that. >> can i ask you whether it is correct that president trump said that he would make a decision, he would go it alone if he didn't get the commitment that he was demanding? any kind of implication that the united states would pull back in any way whatsoever? >> well, as the president said himself, he didn't say that. he actually said he's very committed to nato. and i think the fact that we have made very important decisions on increased revenues, stepping up against terrorism and a new command structure combined with more defense spending makes nato stronger. and we are more united because we had open and frank discussions. i think that actually helps us to really create a real unity in the alliance. >> so can i just say a little
back and forth that you and president trump had during your morning meeting, and of course it's all about what president trump accused germany of. he said do you remember because you were sitting opposite him, that germany was captive, totally controlled by russia because of a commercial natural gas pipeline that's being built and was started as, you know, 15 years ago. this is the back and forth and i would like you to talk about it afterwards. >> we are strong together than apart. >> how can you be together when a country is getting its energy from the person you want protection against or from the group that you want protection against? >> because we understand that when we stand together also in dealing with russia we are stronger. i think we have seen -- >> no, you're just making russia richer. you're not dealing with russia. you're making russia richer. >> so how did you take that? did you find it to be apples and
oranges? do you thing the president had a point about this pipeline, and obviously what do you feel about germany being captive or control to russia? >> there have been very strong views and petitions when it comes to this gas pipeline from russia to germany. and within nato there are nations with different positions. it's not for nato to decide on gas pipelines. we are a defense alliance. i welcome the fact that president trump and chancellor merkel sad down during the nato summit to have an open discussion about these issues, and they left each other agreeing they will support nato despite their disagreement on the gas pipeline. with nato what's important is allies are focused on energy
supplies, that we invest also in renewables which can reduce the need to import energy, and that we also protect our energy infrastructure. but it's not for nato to decide on specific energy projects. that's for nations to do. >> so i was speaking to the former u.s. ambassador to nato, victoria newlen, and she's also written that this summit and then the summit with president putin will either show america's commitment to leadership of the western alliance or it will kill off american leadership. she was very concerned by the sort of disarray that the meeting started with, the back and forth between you all over the breakfast. as she sort of suggested that this was music to putin's ears, this discord. and that in her words to me, president trump's sort of disruption to this alliance, for
whatever reason he wants to do that, leaves those on the opposite side of the fence, quote, drooling. are you concerned about his meeting with putin? >> president trump has a different style. i think that has helped allies to hear his message especially on defense spending. i welcome the fact that he will meet with president putin because i have been strongly in favor of dialogue or nato strongly in favor of dialogue with russia. for us dialogue is not a sign of weakness. dialogue is a sign of strength. so as long as we organize it and are firm with russia we should also sit down and talk with russia. even without the better relationship with russia we need to manage a difficult relationship with russia. so tensions are high as they are now, it's even more important to talk. we need to avoid incidents,
accidents, miscalculations, and we need to have dialogue with russia to make sure we try to keep tensions down. >> let me just get your reaction to two things president trump said during his press conference. one, that he was open to potentially considering permanent annexation of crimea by russia, that russia's claim to own crimea now, he could potentially consider accepting that. and two, that he might also consider calling a halt to the joint nato exercises, you know, around the baltics, those very important exercises there. what is your reaction to that? >> well, we had a very good meeting with the president where we reiterated our support to uy ukraine, to the sovereignty of ukraine, that includes crimea. and all allies have expressed
again and again that we do not and will not recognize the illegal annexation of crimea. when it comes to exercises actually what we do now is we are exercising more together. i think we have to understand that the military presence of nato forces and u.s. forces together in europe, it's about protecting europe, but europe is also important for projecting stability beyond europe into the middle east, africa. so the u.s. presence in europe is also about power projections for the united states beyond europe. >> so just explain that for the sake of american voters because president trump is always saying that the europeans, the allies get much, much, much more out of nato than the u.s. does. you wrote an op-ed saying you live in brussels not far from some of the bloodiest
battlefields of world war ii and how that has convinced you of a number of issues in this regard. so what will you say to the american people about the value of nato for them? >> nato is important for europe but nato is also important for north america and the united states. nato is an alliance that provides shefriendship of 28 friends and allies of the united states. meaning that european soldiers and canadian soldiers have been th american soldiers on the battlefields of korea and afghanistan and iraq today. and the presence of u.s. forces in europe helps to protect europe but is also the platform that the united states has used to project power into the middle east or africa. and then there are forces, infrastructure, bases, intelligence in europe that also helps to protect the united states. so we are together, and as long as we are together we are safe and secure. nato allies together are half of
the world's military might and half of the world's economic might. so as long as we are together we are able to deal with any potential. >> can you just give me a yes or no, have nato allies agreed to a 4% share of their military gdp spending? >> we have agreed to make good on the commitments we have made, meaning increasing defense spending substantially and there's a new sense of urgency, and new money is coming in just since last time. more than $40 billion has come in. >> thanks so much for joining us from brussels, secretary-general ian stoltenberg. >> thank you. >> just to be clear nato allies are saying that they have committed to that 2% over the next two years up until 2024, which is what was called for
during the summit when they agreed on this back in 2014. as we said president trump and the first lady here now are being hoested by prime minister theresa may at the blenheim palace. on friday they'll have a working lunch or rather prime minister may and president trump will at checkers, which is far far drive away from massive protests which are planned in london. trump shrugged all of that off telling reporters that the british agreed with his policies. take a listen. >> going to a pretty hot spot now with a lot of resignations. there might be protests, but i believe that the people in the u.k., scotland, ireland. as you know i have property in ireland, property all over. i think that those people, they like me a lot. and they agree with me on
immigration, and i think that's why you have brexit in the first place. >> so let us get down to the expectations and the tone today around the long-time special relationship. simon frazier, the former held of the foreign office joins me live. thanks for being here. >> pleasure. >> so right out of the bat, what do you make of the value of this visit. it has been controversial. it's not a state visit, a working trip far away from london. how important nonetheless? >> i think it's important. but i think it's good that president trump is coming to the u.k. let's talk about the special relationship and maybe deal with that first of all. because i think people get too hung up on the label. i will say it is an exceptional and special relationship between these countries on a whole range of issues. therefore it's entirely sensible and appropriate that the president of the united states, which is the most important country of the world, the most powerful country and closest ally of this country should
visit. >> let's put that to the test because britain's always punched above its weight, including the closeness to europe occupying that space. how relevant will it be out of the eu? >> well, i think it's true that the special relationship or the relationship between our countries is going through some testing times. for two reasons, really. first of all, because let's face it a lot of people in this country don't agree with a lot of the policies of president trump internationally, and some of them don't actually appreciate him as an individual greatly either. but also because as you identify we are leaving the european union. and so the leverage that this country has traditionally had both in washington and in the capitals of europe is likely to be reduced and i think that's a challenge for us. >> when it comes to the prime minister of great britain and his closest allies, president trump has sort of talked out of
both sides of his mouth. he's polite about it and tweets against her. he talks about it's up to the british people to decide about brexit and then he said actually in coded language that's not what the british people voted for. and we know how he retweeted racist offensive videos by a britain first group. how difficult is it to figure out is he friend or foe? >> i think people in this country and elsewhere have gotten used to his tweeting habits and discount a lot of the tweets. he has as you say said different things about the prime minister and this country. i don't know what their personal relationship is. but i do think that as president of the united states and prime minister to this country it's really important that they work together. they're having this lunch tomorrow -- we're told there's a long agenda of international affairs on the discussion. i welcome that. as for brexit, frankly, i'm not sure that president trump is
very well placed to know what the british people vote for. i'm not sure the british people themselves know what they voted for. >> and yet how appropriate do you think it is that president trump's now closest allies, steve bannon, is here right now. he's invited a whole load of brexiteers and national populist leaders here at the hotel and they are trying to stir up this kind of, well, very nationalist populous policies. it's all over europe that's what bannon is doing. >> people are allowed to express their views. we welcome other people to express their views in this country as in the united states. that's not the same in moskow. >> it is not indeed. we talked about you hope there's a deep agenda for the checkers
lunch tomorrow, but what about the agenda for the meeting with president putin? we haven't really seen an agenda. you've heard what he's been saying about russia in the days and weeks and even including suggesting he might accept the annexation of crimea, might call a halt or suspension to some joint nato military exercises. what do you make of that? >> i don't know what that conversation is going to be. what i would say is this, we know russia has been engaged in a lot of really unacceptable activities in crimea, in ukraine, in this country. somebody died last week because of a novichok incident and of course people in the united states as well. so i hope when president trump talks to president putin he doesn't forget that. i agree it's acceptable for the president of the u.s. and president of russia to meet and have dialogue. that's much better than there not being dialogue. but i do think president trump
needs to bear in mind the realities of russian behavior. >> and what do you think what president putin has of what came out of nato? >> i think as you have said yourself that the outcome of the nato summit was better than many of us had feared. president trump started off in quite an aggressive mode. but in the end clearly there'd been an agreement of stepping up burden sharing across the alliance, of which i think he has a point. so i think a signal of solidarity would have been sent from nato and after all there were some initiatives agreed including a readiness package for nato defense deployments. i hope president trump will see. >> can i ask to flesh out a bit this whole idea of burden sharing, and going back to kennedy has said u.s. pays too
much, the u.s. pays too little. but the americans have never wanted europe to have a stand alone army. they quite like being the benefactor and a great protector. so it's a difficult needle to thread particularly as europe sort of pulls back a little bit after what we see were the peace dividends from the fall of the soviet union. >> i think there's some american ambivalence. you're right to say the u.s. has not favored europe becoming strongly autonomous in defense and security matters. but as the u.s. is facing a new new set of geopolitical issues in china and parts of the word i think they're going to step up a bit and i think it's a reasonable request. and among other things president trump would get a better response if he moderated the manner and way in which he made his requests. >> and stuck with the 2% rather
than moving the goal post to 4% by tomorrow. >> and not being rude about the people he's asking to pay money. >> and he says this is democracy. what do you think about the process sort of planned here and just the protests planned for his visit? but he's not going to be in london. >> he is staying in london. >> but in a fortified compound. >> people are allowed to express their views on the streets peacefully. the may of london has asked for it to be peaceful, and that's what will happen. tony blare had many more people on the streets demonstrating against him and he was the prime minister of this country. so i'm sure that president trump will understand the political tradition here. >> and finally in just the few seconds we have left, what do you make of the disruption on the international stage right now? people don't quite know which way is up. >> i think it's really worrying. there are so many moving parts. things are changing very fast.
the really big issue in the world is the reality of chinese power now both economic and other senses which is preoccupying america. and the one thing i'm concerned about is it's not just about personalities and president trump. there is a structural, potentially shift divergence between the geopolitical occupation of america towards china and the issues which are affecting the europeans, and that would be difficult. >> and china filling in a vacuum which is perceived to be left by the united states. >> and that may happen. >> simon frazier, thank you very much for joining us. that's it for our program tonight. thanks for watching "amanpour" on pbs and join us again next time.
katty: you are watching "beyond 100 days." donald trump is on his way to a dinner with the prime minister hours after attacking her brexit plan. not the most auspicious start to a visit. christian: the president arrived in london at lunchtime and went to the u.s. ambassador's residence. despite plans for protests, he says he's confident of a warm reception. >> there might be protests, but i believe the people in the u.k. like me a lot. christian: he is on his way to blenheim palace. katty: also on the program, the president left the nato