Trump lashes Germany over Russian Federation deal

12 July, 2018, 14:34 | Author: Myra Gill
  • Toru Hanai  Reuters

He complained the United States "pays tens of Billions of Dollars too much to subsidize Europe" and demanded that member nations meet their pledge to spend 2 percent of GDP on defense, which "must ultimately go to 4%!"

Trump took to Twitter to say publicly what he told North Atlantic Treaty Organisation leaders privately on Wednesday, calling on all allies to meet a commitment agreed in 2014 to spend 2 percent of economic output on defense to counter threats ranging from Russia's military modernization to militant attacks on European cities.

"We're supposed to be guarding against Russia, and Germany goes out and pays billions and billions of dollars a year to Russia", Trump said in the presence of reporters.

The U.S. president has taken an aggressive tone during the summit, questioning the value of an alliance that has defined decades of American foreign policy, torching an ally and calling for a massive increase in European defense spending.

Trump's pipeline criticism was an unusual line of attack for a president who has appeared eager to improve relations with Putin and dismissed the US intelligence community's assessment that Russian Federation tried to undermine Western democracy by meddling in the 2016 USA presidential election to help Trump win.

Trump has repeatedly slammed Merkel for supporting a new pipeline that would cement Berlin's client relationship with Russian Federation and increase Moscow's influence.

It is not yet decided whether they will meet at the Kremlin or at the stadium where France is set to play the victor of Wednesday night's semi-final between England and Croatia, the aide said.

Although administration officials point to the long-standing alliance between the United States and the United Kingdom, Mr. Trump's itinerary will largely keep him out of central London, where significant protests are expected. Energy exports represent Russia's main source of revenue, and Trump argues that the pipeline undermines NATO's objective, as it's created to counter Russian aggression.


Trump, interjecting, asked why that was - and Stoltenberg responded it was "because of your leadership and your message".

"Germany will have nearly 70 per cent of their country controlled by Russian Federation with natural gas..."

"President Trump's brazen insults and denigration of one of America's most steadfast allies, Germany, is an embarrassment".

"You know, we're protecting Germany, we're protecting France", Trump said.

As well as Merkel, Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez and Charles Michel, the prime minister of Belgium, were also singled out by Trump for undershooting on their spending targets when US taxpayers, funding a defense budget worth about 3.6 percent of their national income, foot much of NATO's bills.

"Because of me they've [NATO] raised about $40 billion over the previous year", the U.S. leader told journalists standing next to NATO Secretary General.

The defense minister agreed with Trump about defense spending.

Mrs Merkel told reporters: "I am very happy that today we are united in freedom as the Federal Republic of Germany. He may be the only one, but that's OK with me".

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