U.S. Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump says if he were president he would not automatically come to the aid of the Baltic states if they were invaded by Russia.
Trump said in an interview with The New York Times published on July 20 that he would first review whether such countries had "fulfilled their obligations to us" before deciding whether come to their aid in the event of an attack by Russia.
The comments follow previous statements by Trump questioning the commitment of unnamed NATO members who he has said are not contributing as much as they should to the alliance, complaining that Washington was shouldering too much of NATO's financial burden.
Not coming to the aid of a NATO ally under attack would violate Article 5 of the alliance's North Atlantic Treaty, which states that an attack on any member state is considered an attack on every NATO member.
Trump said U.S. allies would "adjust to his approach" and he would "prefer to be able to continue" existing agreements. But he said that would only be possible if U.S. allies stop taking advantage of Washington's generosity to always foot the bill, which he said the country can no longer afford.
Based on reporting by AFP and The New York Times