Outgoing Dutch PM tells Europe to stop "moaning" about Trump

Rutte stressed the importance of Europe increasing its defense investments, regardless of who occupies the White House in the future.

Outgoing Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte, a frontrunner to be NATO’s next secretary general, urged his European colleagues to drop complaints about Donald Trump and focus on regional issues.

During the Munich Security Conference held this Saturday, Rutte stressed that the decision on who will be the next president of the United States rests exclusively with the American people and suggested that persisting in the debate over presidential candidates is meaningless.

We should stop moaning and whining and nagging about Trump,” Rutte said, emphasizing the need for Europe to increase its defense spending, regardless of future developments in the White House.

“We do not spend more on defense, or we ramp up ammunition production because Trump might come back (...) It’s up to the Americans. I’m not an American; I cannot vote in the US. We have to work with whoever is on the dancefloor,” he added.

Rutte’s statements come after the Republican Party’s frontrunner warned that the United States could reconsider its commitment to NATO if European countries do not significantly increase their defense contributions to the North Atlantic alliance. These comments sparked outrage among several European diplomats, including Jens Stoltenberg, current NATO secretary general.

According to Stoltenberg, Trump’s statements “undermine” the security of NATO members. “The whole idea of NATO is that an attack on one ally will trigger a response from the whole alliance, and as long as we stand behind that message together, we prevent any military attack on any ally. Any suggestion that we are not standing up for each other, that we are not going to protect each other, that does undermine the security of all of us,” he opined.

However, despite the controversy generated by Trump’s comments, the international organization announced increases in the Defense budget above 2% for 18 countries shortly after the former president’s warning.