Donald Trump has made US an 'untrustworthy' ally – Nato insider warns Putin handed 'gift'

faces an impeachment probe over allegedly asking a foreign leader to investigate a political rival, something the US President has described as a "joke" case. There have been equally damning consequences for Ukraine, whose President - Volodymyr Zelensky - has since agreed to a deal with Russia President Vladimir Putin for a mechanism for elections in disputed Crimea, which the Kremlin controversially annexed in 2014. US military aid had helped Kiev's cause in the region, but now as Trump withdrew this support momentarily it raises doubts over US diplomatic reliability.

Jim Townsend worked in the Barack Obama administration as Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for European and NATO Policy, and is now a senior fellow in the CNAS (Center for a New American Security) Transatlantic Security Programme.

Mr Townsend believes that Trump's policy on Ukraine has hurt trust in the US while playing right into s hands.

He said: "The gift to Putin is that it has made Ukraine not trust the US in terms of our commitment and predictability of our assistance.

"No matter the President of the US going forward, the Ukrainians will feel that US assistance and commitment to Ukraine is not a sure thing, that it can be used as leverage and something they can't depend on.

"That's horrible because that's one thing the US has built up since the end of World War II and we've all come to depend on it.

"With Ukraine, the assistance has been released now, it shows there are strings attached, one would hope that a country with Russian troops on its soil wouldn't see our aid as conditional.”

This is particularly troublesome for the US and NATO allies because of what Mr Townsend describes as "bullying" by Russia in the region as they look to control a region on the doorstep of the Western alliance.

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"It's given Putin a gift and he hasn't even had to pay for it. "

With Putin challenging NATO allies in Europe, the Middle East and the Arctic, the lack of trust in Washington diplomacy could have devastating consequences for Trump.

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