'Germany is totally controlled by Russia': Trump at North Atlantic Treaty Organisation meeting

11 July, 2018, 19:58 | Author: Myra Gill
  • At NATO Trump lashes Germany for being Russian'captive'More

German Chancellor Angela Merkel appeared to hit back at US President Donald Trump's claim that "Germany is a captive of Russia" by drawing on her own upbringing in Soviet-controlled East Germany.

Germany is totally controlled by Russia, Trump said.

Others think Trump's comments Wednesday will have the opposite effect and anger Putin: "By suggesting that Putin "controls" Germany, Trump is impugning Russia's motives in a way that undercuts his upcoming effort to forge a cooperative relationship with Putin in Helsinki", says Charles Kupchan, senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations.

Merkel said it was very important to have such exchanges like the meeting she and Trump were having because "after all, we are partners".

"NATO is an an alliance of 29 nations and sometimes there are differences and different views and also some disagreements, and the gas pipeline from Russian Federation to Germany is one issue where allies disagree", said Stoltenberg.

Trump said it was "very inappropriate" that the USA is contributing to the defence of Europe when one of its richest countries is supporting a major energy project with Moscow.

'It should never have been allowed to happen.

"The United States is paying far too much and other countries are not paying enough - especially some", the President said in a thinly veiled criticism of Germany which is intransigent on raising spending. "And I think that leaders are also looking forward to your thoughts about the meeting with President Putin later on".

Trump also ruffled some British feathers before he left Washington, saying Theresa May's government is in "turmoil" and that it was "up to the people" to decide if she should keep her job.

Trump used Germany as an example. "But other presidents never did anything about it because I don't think they understood it or they just didn't want to get involved".

Pressed by Trump, Stoltenberg said the president's frequent criticism was having an impact, encouraging countries to spend more.

Trump has complained bitterly about Europe's lagging defense spending, saying that North Atlantic Treaty Organisation nations were taking advantage of US military largesse at the same time they were offering unfair trade terms to USA businesses.

Past year saw the biggest increase in defence spending in a generation, he said. "He may be the only one, but that's OK with me", he said. He'll attend a working dinner with some of the same leaders he berated over trade during his last world leaders' summit in Canada last month.

Meanwhile, he told reporters on Tuesday that his meeting with Putin "may be the easiest of them all".

"Dear America, appreciate your allies".

Despite Russia's aggressive moves in Ukraine and confirmed election meddling in the US, the president wouldn't say before he left on Tuesday whether Putin was friend or foe.

Even Stoltenberg - a mild-mannered former Norwegian prime minister who has cultivated a positive relationship with Trump - appeared reduced to spluttering as Trump cut him off after he started to explain that allies traded with Russian Federation even during the Cold War.



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