World At NATO, Trump lashes Germany for being Russian "captive"

16:09  11 july  2018
16:09  11 july  2018 Source:   reuters.com

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U.S. President Donald Trump accused Germany of being a " captive " of Russia on Wednesday as Western leaders gathered in Brussels for a NATO His comments appeared to substantially overstate German reliance on Russian energy and to imply the German government was funding the pipeline

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - U.S. President Donald Trump accused Germany of being a “ captive ” of Russia on Wednesday as Western leaders gathered in Brussels for a NATO summit where Trump wants Europeans to pay up more for their own defense.

Donald Trump wearing a suit and tie: U.S. President Donald Trump gestures as he is greeted by NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg before a bilateral breakfast ahead of the NATO Summit in Brussels© REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque U.S. President Donald Trump gestures as he is greeted by NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg before a bilateral breakfast ahead of the NATO Summit in Brussels US President Donald Trump accused Germany of being a "captive" of Russia on Wednesday as Western leaders gathered in Brussels for a NATO summit where Trump wants Europeans to pay up more for their own defense.

In a startling public outburst, Trump told NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg that Germany was wrong to support a new $11-billion Baltic Sea pipeline to import Russian gas while being slow to meet targets for contributing to NATO defense spending that was intended to protect Europe from Russia.

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In a startling public outburst, Trump told NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg that Germany was wrong to support a new -billion Baltic Sea pipeline to import Russian gas while being slow to meet targets for contributing to NATO Trump said: “If you look at it, Germany is a captive of Russia .

Donald Trump has accused Germany of being “ captive ” to Russia and questioned why America should continue to fund Nato in a blistering attack at the Gazprom, the Russian state-owned energy company which has former German chancellor Gerhard Schroder on its books, is behind the project.

"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 at a pre-summit meeting at the residence of the U.S. ambassador to Belgium.

His comments appeared to substantially overstate German reliance on Russian energy and to imply the German government was funding the pipeline, which is a commercial venture.

With tensions in the Western defense alliance already running high over Trump's demands for more contributions to ease the burden on U.S. taxpayers, and a nationalistic stance that has seen trade disputes threaten economic growth in Europe, the latest remarks will fuel concerns among allies over the U.S. role in keeping the peace that has reigned since World War Two.

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Trump appeared to catch NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg off guard as he abandoned the polite formality of a breakfast meeting and lashed out at Berlin and other allies for failing to pay their way. “ Germany is captive of Russia because it is getting so much of its energy from Russia ,” Trump said

US President Donald Trump lashed out at Germany on Wednesday morning, branding it a “ captive of Russia ” because of a “very inappropriate” gas pipeline deal. Speaking at a breakfast with the Nato chief Jens Stoltenberg in Brussels, Mr Trump said it was unfair that the US spent more on the transatlantic

After the two-day summit in Brussels, Trump will meet Russian President Vladimir Putin in Helsinki on Monday.

German Defence Minister Ursula von der Leyen hit back at Trump's remarks: "We have a lot of issues with Russia without any doubt," she told reporters in English. "On the other hand, you should keep the communication line between countries or alliances and opponents without any question."

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U.S. President Donald Trump is greeted by NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg before a bilateral breakfast Trump was due to meet German Chancellor Angela Merkel at the summit later in the day and will meet Russian President Vladimir “If you look at it, Germany is a captive of Russia .

Stoltenberg later told reporters that Trump had used "very direct language" but that all NATO allies were agreed that the cost of defense spending must be spread around and that last year had seen the biggest increase in a generation.

"Despite disagreements, I expect that we will agree on the fundamentals that we are stronger together than apart," he said.

"DEPENDENCE" ON RUSSIA

Trump said Germany's closure of coal and nuclear power plants on environmental grounds had increased its dependence, like much of the rest of Europe, on Russian gas.

Trump said: "We're protecting Germany, we're protecting France, we're protecting all of these countries. And then numerous of the countries go out and make a pipeline deal with Russia where they're paying billions of dollars into the coffers of Russia ... I think that's very inappropriate."

German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who meets Trump at the summit, has given political backing to the Nord Stream 2 pipeline to import more gas, despite criticism from other EU governments. However, Berlin insists it is a privately funded commercial project with no input of public money.

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US President Donald Trump accused Germany of being a " captive " of Russia on Wednesday as Western leaders gathered in Brussels for a NATO summit where Trump wants Europeans to pay up more for their own defence.

In a startling public outburst, Trump told NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg that Germany was wrong to support a new 9.4 billion euro Baltic Sea pipeline to import Russian gas while being slow to meet targets for contributing to Trump said: "If you look at it, Germany is a captive of Russia .

Trump 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 NATO has to look at."

However, his comment that "Germany is totally controlled by Russia because they are getting 60 to 70 percent of their energy from Russia and a new pipeline" appeared to mis-state German energy use -- about 20 percent of which is accounted for by oil and gas imports from Russia.

Trump also renewed his call for other NATO allies, including Germany, to "step it up" and pay in more to the Western alliance after years in which U.S. taxpayers have, he said, borne an "unfair" share of military spending

"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," Trump said.

Pictures: Donald Trump's Europe tour


Trump claims credit for defence boost after reportedly threatening to quit NATO .
US President says his demands had resulted in $US33 billion more spending on defence among America's NATO allies.Brussels: Donald Trump has reportedly threatened to take the United States away from NATO, forcing the defence pact’s leaders into an emergency session in Brussels.

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