GOP candidate, Donald J. Trump stated on Wednesday in an interview his views on supporting U.S. allies in the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) agreement. The republican sparked controversy and alarmed U.S. allies across Europe.

Donald Trump, who has recently accepted his Republican nomination for the presidency, gave a 45-minute interview to the New York Times in which he addressed foreign policy issues and the U.S. help to NATO allies. The NATO agreement has been in function since April 4, 1949, in which countries have pledged to help each other in a military way if needed. The alliance means a collective defense system in case a member needs it.

Republican US presidential candidate Donald Trump. Image credit: Kamil Krzaczynski / Reuters

In 2001, the Atlantic alliance invoked the “Article 5” commitment between all parties in the organization. The article states that “an armed attack against any member state in Europe or North America, shall be considered an attack against them all,” it was used after  the 9/11 attack.

The United States have offered full support to its allies, especially with threats of Russian invasion to several countries such as Estonia. Yet GOP candidate has put in doubt America’s alliance with Europe.

Trump’s NATO statements

Donald J. Trump told The New York Times the United States would have to take “a closer look” before deciding to help any nation in the NATO agreement. Putting in doubt the country’s credibility.

The candidate also stated, that if Russia were to attack any of this countries the U.S will have to evaluate if the nations had “fulfilled their obligations to us,” in that case America would provide backup.

Mr. Trump dedicated to state the conditions where the United States would have to question before helping a European nation from the NATO agreement. While saying America had to “fix its own mess” before helping others.

The GOP candidate also assured that America will have to be “reimbursed for the tremendous cost” that it will take to defend other countries that are “extremely rich,” and if the case comes he would tell those nations : ‘Congratulations, you will be defending yourself”

As reported by The New York Times, this has been the first time a U.S candidate for president has questioned the nation’s commitment to a legal agreement signed decades ago. Trump’s comments have sparked controversy inside and outside the country.

Estonian President, Toomas Hendrik Ilves, took Twitter to state his country had fought “with no caveats” when operating under NATO’s fifth article in Afghanistan.

As for the Lithuanian President, Dalia Grybauskaite, assured his country trusted America since it had always defended nations in the past and it will do so in the future.

In America, Trump’s backers such as Newt Gingrich, defended Trump with the press assuring that NATO allies should worry about any commitment since countries don’t “pay their fair shares”.

Source: NY Times