North Atlantic Treaty Organisation summit: Donald Trump says Germany is 'captive of Russians'

Lester Mason
July 12, 2018

"Germany is totally controlled by Russia because they will be getting from 60 percent to 70 percent of their energy from Russia, and a new pipeline, and you tell me if that's appropriate because I think it's not and I think it's a very bad thing for Nato", Trump said, adding that "Germany is a captive of Russia".

"Many countries are not paying what they should, and, frankly, many countries owe us a tremendous amount of money from many years back", Trump said at a breakfast meeting with NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg. "And I am very happy that we are today unified in freedom as the Federal Republic of Germany", she said in an arrival statement at the NATO Summit Wednesday, according to an English translation of her remarks.

Asked about Trump calling Germany Russia's "captive", Cornyn said: "I would not choose that word but I understand what he's getting at".

Germany is extremely reliant on Russian gas, and the new Nord Stream 2 pipeline in the Baltic Sea, which Germany approved in March, will only increase its dependence.

His comments were linked to the president's push for other European countries to pay more for its defence needs, in particular Germany.

Stoltenberg, who is a former Norwegian prime minister and not German, told Trump that allies traded with Russian Federation even during the Cold War, the Post reported. That is more than current USA spending as a proportion of GDP - and Pentagon budgets maintain bases and deploy fleets around the world, something that shouldn't be expected from Estonia or Spain.

Referring to the 97-2 vote Tuesday in the U.S. Senate affirming its support for NATO, Kerry called on Republican lawmakers to call Trump on his actions. "Germany should be committing 2 percent to defense like they agreed to at the Wales conference".

In recent days, Trump has complained about a perceived lack of defense spending on the part of North Atlantic Treaty Organisation members other than the US, using figures that don't always add up.

Diplomats were already anxious about the summit ahead of time, not least because of an abrasive G7 meeting last month, when Mr Trump renounced a summit communique that had previously been jointly agreed.

"I think it's very unfair to our country", Trump said.

"I subscribe the view that we shouldn't be criticizing our president when he's overseas", said House Speaker Paul Ryan. "Why are there only 5 out of 29 countries that have met their commitment?" An investigation into Russia's meddling and its links to the Trump campaign is ongoing. "The U.S. presence in Europe helps to protect Europe but it also helps the United States project power to the Middle East, to Africa".

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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