Trump Claims Germany 'controlled' by Russia

Clay Curtis
July 11, 2018

Trump set a confrontational tone at the start of NATO's two-day summit in Brussels on July 11, saying Germany was making natural-gas pipeline deals worth "billions of dollars" with Russian Federation while expecting the United States to "protect them against Russian Federation".

"Germany, as far as I'm concerned, is captive to Russia because it's getting so much of its energy from Russia", Trump told NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, in a fiery on-camera exchange that was almost without precedent in the history of the post-World War II alliance.

"If we look at the gas pipeline, Germany is an independent country where energy supply is concerned, we diversify, but the main overarching topic is the summit - we want a summit that sends out the message of unity".

Trump is set to meet with both German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Emmanuel Macron on Wednesday, according to press secretary Sarah Sanders. Budget increases started after Russia's 2014 annexation of Ukraine's Crimean Peninsula, and they have accelerated in the Trump era in response to the US President's criticism.

Before he left Andrews Air Force Base, President Trump reiterated his demand for the USA to pay less and other members of the Western military alliance to pay more, and he linked the issue to the EU's trade surplus with the US.

"Billions and billions of dollars being paid to the country we are supposed to be protecting you against", Trump said to Stoltenberg.

The EU Council leader said pointedly that when Mr Trump did meet Mr Putin on 16 July "it is always worth knowing who is your strategic friend and who is your strategic problem".

Brussels is the first stop of Trump's week-long European tour that will include a visit to Britain and a meeting in Finland with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

"We're supposed to protect Germany but they're getting their energy from Russian Federation". Tusk said that he did urge European allies to increase spending per their promises.

This is not the first time Trump has taken aim at Nord Stream 2.

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The NATO chief revealed the "main topic" of this week's summit will be how to make "further progress on burden sharing".

But even the Heritage Foundation, a conservative think tank, appears anxious about how Trump will behave at the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation summit and in the one-on-one meeting with Putin.

The U.S. has opposed the project because of its political implications, but work has begun regardless.

"So I think the secretary-general likes Trump".

The host Olga Skabeeva opened the segment with footage of Trump and Melania getting on their Europe-bound plane together, holding hands.

Mr Trump predicted as he departed Washington that the "easiest" leg of his journey would be his scheduled sit-down with Mr Putin. "'And it means a lot more to you than protecting us because I don't know how much protection we get by protecting you'". "We can't put up with it", he said.

Trump said: "We're protecting Germany, we're protecting France, we're protecting all of these countries".

"Dear America, appreciate your allies, after all you don't have that many", Tusk said, before reminding Trump that European troops had fought alongside Americans in Afghanistan following the September 11, 2001 attacks on the United States.

The prime minister said: "NATO is as vital today as it ever has been and our commitment to it remains steadfast".

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