LONDON (Reuters) - Britain hopes to raise the issue of NATO with U.S. President-elect Donald Trump at any early engagement, Prime Minister Theresa May's spokeswoman said on Tuesday.


Trump criticized NATO allies during his campaign for not paying enough for their own defense and suggested the United States was paying a disproportionate amount that was too much.


The spokeswoman told reporters that Britain was hoping to build on links with Trump and "in particular some of the areas that we would want to be working with that administration on ... would be the approach to NATO, the importance of NATO".


She also said Britain would also raise relations with Russia "in the context of the Syria conflict" and "the importance of standing up for free trade".


(Reporting by Elizabeth Piper, Editing by Kylie MacLellan)