TRUMP TAKES EUROPE: The President Says Germany 'A CAPTIVE' of Russian Federation

Frederick Owens
July 12, 2018

German Chancellor Angela Merkel and U.S. President Donald Trump are seen as they pose for a family photo at the start of the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation summit in Brussels, Belgium July 11, 2018. So we're protecting Germany, we're protecting France, we're protecting all of these countries and numerous countries go out and make a pipeline deal with Russian Federation where they're paying billions into the coughers of Russian Federation.

"When Germany makes a massive oil and gas deal with Russia", Trump said to Stoltenberg. And you tell me if that's appropriate, because I think it's not.

German Prime Minister Merkel hit back immediately, not only denying Trump's contention but suggesting that his comfortable upbringing in the USA gave him no standing to spout off on the world stage about Germany. Not fair to the USA taxpayer. "We're discussing military expenditure. talking about trade", Trump told reporters who were allowed in to the meeting room. "The United States is paying far too much and other countries are not paying enough". "In that we also defend the interests of the United States".

"They will spend more", he later predicted. "Given those facts, I confidently join this summit".

And with that, he went on to push allies at the summit to double their commitment on defence spending. Trump has long argued that improving relaxations with Russian Federation would be good for both nations.

House Intelligence Committee member Eric Swalwell of California used a tweet to weigh in, writing that "Germany at least gets energy out of its relationship with Russian Federation". "I think we have to talk to Germany about it". Germans wouldn't agree with that. "That is very good, especially for people in eastern Germany".

"We do have disagreements, but most importantly, we have decisions that are pushing this alliance forward and making us stronger", Stoltenberg said.

Trump's 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 misstate German energy use - about 20 percent of which is accounted for by oil and gas imports from Russia. Trump tweeted after his meeting with Merkel.

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True to form, Merkel, who became chancellor almost 13 years ago when George W. Bush was president, reacted stoically to the accusation as she arrived at the summit.

File image of Donald Trump.

Stoltenberg said he expected a "open and frank" debate about defence spending at the summit but tried to play down the differences opening up between allies.

The attack on the Skripals was an example of a growing disregard for "the norms and laws that help to keep us safe", she said, and undermined her vision for a rules-based global order.

Mr Trump also spent time with Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who has recently been reelected and gained new powers as his country's executive president.

In a bilateral breakfast meeting with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, in front of reporters, Trump immediately launched into a tirade about the pipeline.

Trump took issue with Nord Stream 2, a new $11-billion pipeline to bring Russian gas across the Baltic Sea that Berlin has supported despite qualms from other European Union states. Why are their only 5 out of 29 countries that have met their commitment?

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