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NATO summit in Brussels

July 13th, 2018

Two conservative columnists call on Europe to strengthen its geopolitical independence. A former US State Department advisor fears that President Trump will weaken NATO. 

In Magyar Idők, Levente Sitkei thinks that the diplomatic dispute between Donald Trump and Germany is business as usual. The pro-government commentator thinks that President Trump, who has criticized Germany for not spending enough on its military and maintaining too close ties with Russia, wants to promote American interests in Europe. Germany too puts it national interest first when it defends its sovereignty in foreign policy and rejects the sanctions against Russia. Sitkei agrees that members states should spend more on NATO, but at the same time, he thinks that it is unwise to link NATO membership and economic relations.

Magyar Hírlap’s Mariann Őry believes that the dispute between the US and Germany shows that Europe needs to strengthen its geopolitical influence. The pro-government columnist agrees with the Hungarian government that Europe cannot successfully defend its economic and diplomatic interests unless it has its own military. In an aside, Őry accuses the EU of applying double standards. She recalls that the EU criticized the South Stream pipeline that would have helped Central Europe to increase its own energy security, but stands behind the North Stream pipeline project that serves the interests of Germany.

In Népszava, Charles Gati wonders whether US President Trump and Russian President Putin will broker a deal at their meeting next Monday. The former US State Department advisor fears that President Trump may recognize the annexation of Crimea, agree to keep Ukraine as a neutral state, and let Russia keep Syria in its own sphere of interest. Gati speculates that if Russia has compromising materials on President Trump, President Putin may want to use this to force the US President to weaken NATO and lift the sanctions against Russia.

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