“Germany is totally controlled by Russia”, Trump said, contending the European country gets up to 70 percent of its energy from the Russian pipeline.
Trump is due to meet Putin on Monday in Helsinki.
United States President Donald Trump on Wednesday accused Germany of becoming “a captive of Russia”, while criticising Berlin for supporting a Baltic Sea gas pipeline deal with Moscow, Reuters reported. That hasn’t proved true with its closest friends: Since the end of the Cold War in 1991, the United States has reduced its military forces in Europe by about 85 percent.
While answering questions from reporters before the breakfast, Trump drew contrasts between his hard stance on North Atlantic Treaty Organisation and the positions of his predecessors. The president argued this is not fair to USA taxpayers and “we’re not going to put up with it”.
Despite the harsh criticism of the president, Kerry agreed that United States allies need to increase their defense spending. “Frankly, Putin may be the easiest of them all”, Trump said Tuesday before departing for Brussels.
Meanwhile, NATO members in Europe contributed a total of $249.7 billion to their defense budgets and spent an average of 1.46% of GDP.
“We’re protecting Germany, France and everybody. this has been going on for decades”, Trump said.
“Instead of worrying what other countries are spending on their militaries, the president should worry about the ways his own military wastes funds that could be used to solve problems at home”. “You tell me, is that appropriate?”, he asked, while Stoltenberg listened. “And gas from Russian Federation to Germany is where the allies disagree”. “How can you be together when a country is getting its energy from the person you want protection against or from the group that you want protection against?”
“I think once the trend started changing in 2014, that created momentum even before he became president”, says American University’s Martin.
Despite Russia’s semi-pariah status among some Americans and US allies, the Kremlin has always been trying to arrange a summit, betting that Putin and Trump will get on well and stop a sharp downwards spiral in bilateral ties.
Looking for news you can trust? At breakfast he had spoken of Germany as a “captive” of Russian Federation because of the two countries’ energy relationship, which he labelled “inappropriate”.
His comments about Germany and Russian Federation drew a tart riposte from German Chancellor Angela Merkel as she arrived later at the summit.
“Because of given circumstances, I want to point out one thing: I experienced Soviet occupation of one part of Germany myself”. Despite Merkel’s tough talk over Russia’s annexation of Crimea and sponsorship of separatist rebels in eastern Ukraine, she has defended the $11 billion pipeline deal to supply her country’s energy shortfall.
The increased spending predates Trump.
“He should concentrate on his own country before he judges others”, added Nicole Urban, 26, echoing a widespread sentiment among Germans. So we improved a lot but there’s still work to be done.