Why Trump slammed Germany for gas pipeline deal with Russian Federation

12 July, 2018, 14:14 | Author: Dominic Spencer
  • Trump Germany held captive by Russia

Invited leaders from non-NATO countries Afghanistan and Georgia were asked to leave along with most North Atlantic Treaty Organisation leaders' retinues of officials, as the heads of state and government of the Western alliance sought to deal with the man whose nation commands much of the budget and forces for Europe's defence.

Under fire for his warm embrace of Russia's Vladimir Putin, Trump on Wednesday turned a harsh spotlight on Germany's own ties to Russian Federation, alleging that a natural gas pipeline venture with Moscow has left Angela Merkel's government "totally controlled" and "captive" to Russian Federation.

US President Donald Trump accused Germany on Wednesday of being a "captive" of Russian Federation due to its energy reliance and its support for the plan to double capacity of the Nord Stream pipeline under the Baltic Sea to Germany, bypassing traditional routes through Ukraine.

"Everybody's talking about it all over the world, they're saying we're paying you billions of dollars to protect you but you're paying billions of dollars to Russian Federation".

"[Russia is] trying to sneak offshore, go through the Baltic Sea, come on shore in Germany, not get caught bribing governments or the European Union to get the pipeline over land", he said. Trump tweeted an hour before the second day of the summit got under way.

Not only did Trump demand on Twitter on Thursday that countries meet the 2% level by this year, not 2024, but he also said all countries should eventually hit 4%, which is more than even the USA now spends.


Hitting back at Mr Trump's "captive of Russia" comments, Mrs Merkel said afterwards that having experienced life in Soviet-controlled former East Germany, she was glad her country could now "determine our own policies and make our own decisions". "President Trump wants to see our allies share more of the burden and at a very minimum meet their already stated obligations". So, in a stroke, he shifted attention away from his own ties to the Kremlin just days before he meets one-on-one with Putin.

He described the current situation as "disproportionate and not fair to the taxpayers of the United States". "Must pay 2% of GDP IMMEDIATELY, not by 2025".

Leaders will be keen to hear more about Trump's military approach to Afghanistan, which he revamped last August to include a surge in air strikes to force Taliban militants to the negotiating table.

Although Trump administration officials point to the long-standing alliance between the United States and the United Kingdom, Trump's itinerary in England will largely keep him out of central London, where significant protests are expected. US Turkish relations have recently been strained because of issues ranging from Syria to Iran, but some diplomats say the two leaders - both criticised for their polarising politics - have established a bond.

Woody Johnson, the USA ambassador to the United Kingdom, dismissed the significance of the protests, telling Fox News that one of the reasons the two countries are so close "is because we have the freedoms that we've all fought for". So I think the secretary-general likes Trump.

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