(Dan Tri) – Former US President Donald Trump once again announced that if he is re-elected, Washington will not protect a NATO member from the risk of attack from Russia if that member does not contribute enough budget.

Former US President Donald Trump (Photo: Reuters).

In an interview with British media on March 19, former US President Donald Trump, a prominent Republican presidential candidate, affirmed that Washington will only support NATO members from the risk of attacks.

`Why do we have to protect countries with lots of money while America has to pay most for NATO,` Mr. Trump said.

Asked whether the US would protect its NATO allies if they started `paying their fair share`, he said: `Yes. But the US should only pay its fair share.`

In February, Mr. Trump also made a similar statement and received criticism from allies.

White House spokesman Andrew Bates criticized: `Encouraging other countries to attack our closest allies is a terrible and crazy act that endangers America’s national security and economy.`

According to Article 5 of collective defense in the NATO Treaty, any attack against a member of the bloc is considered an attack against the entire alliance and NATO will coordinate a response.

However, while in office, Mr. Trump repeatedly declared that he would not comply with Article 5 if NATO members did not meet the target of spending a minimum of 2% of GDP on defense.

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg also emphasized that any opinion that members of the bloc do not protect each other will weaken the strength of this military alliance, putting the forces in a dangerous situation.

Estonian Prime Minister Kaja Kallas on March 19 even called on NATO allies to increase defense spending to more than 3% of GDP.

The issue of NATO’s defense spending became even more of a concern after Russia’s annexation of the Crimea peninsula in 2014. European officials warned that if Russia wins the current conflict in Ukraine, NATO members will

Polish President Andrzej Duda said that by 2026, Russia may have enough military capacity to attack NATO.

He emphasized: `We only have 2-3 more years to increase efforts, reserve artillery shells, and produce weapons to maximize Europe’s security and be ready to deal with conflict scenarios.`