Donald Trump accused Germany of being “captive” of the Russians on Wednesday as the leaders of the West gathered for the NATO summit. The US President has also made it clear that he wants his European allies to pay more for their defenses.
Trump said to NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg that Germany should not have supported the $11 billion Baltic Sea pipeline while not contributing enough to NATO defense spending that would contribute to the defense of Europe from Russia.
More specifically the US President said while at the residence of the US Ambassador to Belgium: “We’re supposed to be guarding against Russia and Germany goes out to and pays billions and billions of dollars per year to Russia.”
German Chancellor Angela Merkel has given political backing to the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline whose manager is Former Chancellor of Germany Gerhard Schröder(1998-2005), whose deals with Gazprom and Rosneft are known, along with his support for Putin.
After the two day summit in Brussels Trump will meet Russian President Vladimir Putin in Helsinki on Monday. He said that it would probably be “the easiest” of the meetings.
To further put pressure to Germany said “If you look at it, Germany is a captive of Russia. They got rid of their coal plants, they got rid of their nuclear, they’re getting so much of their oil and gas from Russia. I think it is something that NATO has to look at.” and ” They have to step it up immediately. Germany is a rich country, they talk about increasing it a tiny bit by 2030. Well they could increase it immediately, tomorrow, and have no problem.”
Merkel responded immediately after arriving at NATO HQ: ” I have experience myself how a part of Germany was controlled by the Soviet Union. I am very happy that today we are united in freedom, the Federal Republic of Germany. Because of that we can say that we can make our independent policies and make independent decisions. That is very good, especially for people in eastern Germany.” she also added that “Germany does a lot for NATO.”
“Germany is the second largest provider of troops, the largest part of our military capacity is offered to NATO and until today we have a strong engagement towards Afghanistan. In that we also defend the interests of the United States.”
This definitely is looking to be the most tumultuous NATO summit in recent years, but appearances are unfortunately not everything in politics.
Bilateral Breakfast with NATO Secretary General in Brussels, Belgium… pic.twitter.com/l0EP3lzhCM
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 11, 2018