Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump said the United States should significantly cut spending on the NATO military alliance.
"We certainly can't afford to do this anymore," the GOP frontrunner told The Washington Post on March 21.
"NATO is costing us a fortune, and yes, we're protecting Europe with NATO, but we're spending a lot of money."
The United States has long called on NATO allies to step up their spending on the alliance, which has been a lynchpin of U.S. foreign relations for nearly 70 years.
U.S. military spending accounted for 72 percent of the NATO total last year. NATO countries have pledged to increase their spending to 2 percent of gross domestic product, but only five member states currently meet that target: Britain, Estonia, Greece, Poland, and the United States.
"We are paying disproportionately. It's too much and frankly it's a different world than it was when we originally conceived of the idea," Trump told CNN.
While pulling back from NATO, Trump has said he would work more closely with Russian President Vladimir Putin, whose military intervention in Ukraine has increased tensions with NATO.
Based on reporting by dpa and Reuters