Trump, at North Atlantic Treaty Organisation summit, says Germany is ‘captive’ of Russian Federation
“I look forward to having words with President Trump”. However, Merkel insists the project is a private commercial venture and is not funded by German taxpayers.
And he vowed not to be “taken advantage” of by the European Union, which he accuses of freeloading by relying on the United States for its defence while restricting USA imports into the bloc, the world’s biggest market.
Germany’s energy relationship with Russian Federation has long frustrated Washington and Eastern Europe, who fear that the Nord Stream 2 pipeline, which will bypass the Baltic nations and Poland, could be used to cut them off from crucial energy supplies.
Moreover, Stoltenberg argued Wednesday that the USA military presence in Europe, through the 29-country alliance, gives it an advantage in dealing with Russian Federation and projecting power in the Middle East and Africa. “Who would think? Who would think?” the president said outside the White House before his departure. Doc seems to agree with our president that the U.S.is getting the short end of the deal by spending significantly more on defense than our allies. “That is very good, especially for people in eastern Germany”. He said the pipeline arrangement goes back to 2002 “when everybody viewed Russian Federation in a benign way”. Germany and other European NATO partners argue, however, that they have boosted their contributions to the military alliance and plan to kick in more in coming years. European diplomats are feeling exhausted and disrespected after the Trump tornado came to town, but at least he hasn’t pulled USA troops out of Germany.
But Trump dismissed this as not enough on Wednesday morning.
In response to Trump’s comments, Germany’s defense minister, Ursula von der Leyen, said that her country can “cope with” the criticism. Despite growing EU-China tensions and threats of EU trade sanctions against Chinese metal exports, Beijing and Berlin united in making overt criticisms of USA trade war measures. In a gesture that would be scrutinized for its meaning, Trump brushed the shoulders of the French president’s pristine suit before one of their photo ops. But these countries were too small to tackle the Soviet power and when in 1948, the democratic government of former Czechoslovakia was toppled by the communists, the West European countries sought a joint military defence strategy and it got a positive response from the U.S. which was wary of the spread of communism in Europe.
US President Donald Trump and German Chancellor Angela Merkel pose for a photograph prior to a bilateral meeting on the eve of the G-20 summit in Hamburg, northern Germany on July 6, 2017. “The transatlantic bond is not one, there are many ties, some of them have been weakened”. Yet the U.S. chooses to spend more on defense and not all of the funds go towards NATO-related expenses.
He vowed not to be “taken advantage” of by the European Union, which he accuses of freeloading by relying on the United States for its defence while blocking USA imports into the bloc, the world’s biggest market.
That’s not how the spending works.
Trump then went on to bash Germany’s defense spending, which stands at just 1.24% of its GDP.
Trump threw cold water on the love fest by pulling out of the Paris climate agreement and a nuclear accord with Iran, two initiatives the Obama administration signed onto in 2015 and Macron strongly backs.
On this point, the defense minister conceded that Trump’s emphasis on defense spending was valid.
“We all agree that we have to do more”, he said, describing a year ago as marking the biggest increase in defense spending across Europe and Canada in a generation.
Arriving for his meeting with Stoltenberg, Trump told the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation chief that “because of me they’ve raised about $40 billion over the past year”.
He will travel to most of those meetings by helicopter, meaning he can likely avoid the large-scale protests in central London, including a giant “Baby Trump” blimp.
Trump will meet the Russian leader in the Finnish capital on July 16 for their first summit amid an ongoing investigation in the USA into possible Trump campaign collusion with Russia.
He said that of the high-stakes meetings of his trip, “Putin may be the easiest of them all”. “That’s probably the worst-case scenario right now”, the official said.