EU's Borrell dismisses Trump's 'silly idea' that encourages Russian attacks on NATO

White House hopeful Donald Trump's remark on Saturday that he would "encourage" Russia to attack members of NATO who had not met their financial obligations has drawn a fierce reaction from the EU.

Trump ignited a political firestorm and sent a chill through the United States' European allies on Saturday when he said he would "encourage" Russia to attack any NATO country that does not meet financial obligations.

"Let's be serious. NATO cannot be an a la carte military alliance, it cannot be a military alliance that works depending on the humour of the president of the US day to day", Josep Borrell, the EU's High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, said.

"It exists or it does not exists," he said, adding that he was not going to keep commenting on "any silly idea" emerging from the US presidential election campaign.

US President Joe Biden called Trump's comments "appalling and dangerous".

NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg warned Sunday that "any suggestion that allies will not defend each other undermines all of our security, including that of the US".

Trump, 77, is all but assured of the Republican nomination for the White House in the November vote against Biden, 81.

EU's 'strategic autonomy'?

Trump's remark may help strengthen Europe and push it to become more independent of the United States.

The paper argues for "enhance[d] Europe's defence capabilities."

He did not get much support from other EU countries. Berlin was reluctant and other countries simply didn't give it much thought.

But after the Trump presidency (2017-2021) and, later on, after Russia's invasion of Ukraine in 2022, the plan entered the spotlight again.

(With newswires)

Read more on RFI English

Read also:
EU must defend Ukraine, Macron says during state visit to Sweden
Turkey's bid to join EU back on the table at upcoming summit
Can the Shanghai club act as a counterweight to NATO?