Trump’s message to NATO allies spark global response


WASHINGTON (AP) — Reactions are pouring in from around the world to Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump saying the U.S. may revisit NATO’s longstanding policy of defending its allies against possible Russian aggression if he becomes president.

Trump told The New York Times he would decide whether to protect the Baltic republics against any incursion by Russia based on whether those countries “have fulfilled their obligations to us.”

The response from many leaders in the U.S. and abroad, as well as from citizens in Baltic countries:

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“I will not interfere in the U.S. election campaign, but what I can do is say what matters for NATO. Solidarity among allies is a key value for NATO,” he said. “This is good for European security and good for U.S. security. We defend one another.” — NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg

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“The phrase about Russia even hypothetically attacking someone is unfortunate wording.” — Dmitry Peskov, spokesman for Russian President Vladimir Putin

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“Trump on NATO: deeply dangerous will dismay our closest Allies but great cheer in Kremlin: I can hear Vladimir Putin chortling from here.” — Tweet by James Stavridis, retired four-star Navy admiral who served as the 16th supreme allied commander of NATO

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“His words were irresponsible, and they inspired fear in me. I’m worried about the world’s future, about Poland’s future. There is the threat from Russia, Turkey is restless, the Islamic world threatens us. So I think that we should stick together and refrain from making such unjustified declarations.” — Lidia Zagorowska, 39, a school teacher in Warsaw, Poland

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“I can only imagine how our allies in NATO, particularly the Balkan states, must feel after reading these comments from Mr. Trump. I’m 100 percent certain how Russian President Putin feels – he’s a very happy man.” — Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C.

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“This is a longstanding commitment that has been strengthened under the leadership of President Obama. The cornerstone of that alliance is the pledge that all of the allies have made to mutual self-defense. … The U.S. commitment to that pledge is ironclad.” — White House spokesman Josh Earnest

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“Ronald Reagan would be ashamed. Harry Truman would be ashamed. Republicans, Democrats and Independents who help build NATO into the most successful military alliance in history would all come to the same conclusion: Donald Trump is temperamentally unfit and fundamentally ill-prepared to be our commander in chief. The president is supposed to be the leader of the free world. Donald Trump apparently doesn’t even believe in the free world.” — Hillary Clinton’s senior campaign policy adviser Jake Sullivan

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“We expect that regardless of who wins the presidential elections, the U.S. will remain a firm and reliable partner within NATO.” — Czech Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka

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Trump’s comments were “clearly meant for a domestic audience.” — Acting Estonian Prime Minister Jevgeni Ossinovski

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“Regardless of who will be the president of America, we will trust in America. The United States always stood with nations which were under attack and it will continue doing so.” — Lithuanian President Dalia Grybauskaite

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“Nothing new, nothing deep. Trump would say anything that would suit his electorate’s interest of America first. One day, he can say whether it pays defending Baltic states and on another day he might say that the U.S. would shoot down Russian jets over Baltic Sea.” — Linas Kojala, director of the Vilnius-based Eastern European Studies Center