Monday, 19 November, 2018

Trumps slams gas pipeline deal, calls Germany Russian ‘captive’

Nato forces including US troops take part in Sabre Strike exercise in Poland in June Nato forces including US troops take part in Sabre Strike exercise in Poland in June Credit Georgina Stubbs PA
Gerardo Duncan | 13 July, 2018, 07:47

"The United States was not being treated fairly, but now we are", Trump said. So she's happy to say that today a united Germany is completely free from outside influence, and they make their own decisions.

He says, "I think Putin may be the easiest of them all". The outburst specifically targeted Germany, who Trump called a "captive" of Moscow for importing natural gas from Russian Federation. And if he sees the weakness, the disunity, between the USA and Europe, who knows what will happen in the Balkans for example?

North Atlantic Treaty Organisation will want to show unity by signing off on several measures prepared in advance, including a high-readiness initiative that would enable North Atlantic Treaty Organisation to mobilize 30 land battalions, 30 air squadrons and 30 combat vessels within 30 days. "I think that two world wars and the Cold War taught us that we are stronger together than apart", he told the president, trying to calm tensions.

From tweets to rants at political rallies, Trump has made his grievances about member countries' defense spending known.

He then laced into German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who will be in attendance in Brussels, complaining about how much the United States put toward Germany's defense: "And I said, you know, Angela, I can't guarantee it, but we're protecting you, and it means a lot more to you".

"I have experienced myself how a part of Germany was controlled by the Soviet Union", she said, without mentioning Trump by name.

The New York Democrat says it's even worse for Trump to meet with "a very, very clever, out for himself man like President Putin alone". During the campaign, Trump often resorted to the tactic of falsely accusing his opponents of things he had been criticized for doing.

"The pipeline gets cheap Russian gas to Germany while bypassing smaller Eastern European nations, allowing Russia to pressure them while Germany is held harmless", he tweeted, adding: "No amount of preening in Berlin will cover this nakedly selfish policy".

Trump's verbal attack on Germany came in his first official event in Brussels Wednesday, setting a combative tone for the two-day summit of the alliance in Brussels.

The United States pays 22 percent of NATO's budget, which covers things like offices, salaries and some equipment used in joint operations. NATO acknowledges an "over-reliance" on the U.S. What NATO partners dispute is Trump's repeated suggestion that the U.S. gets little in return for its commitment to defend member countries if threatened. They're getting so much of the oil and gas from Russian Federation. "I've said that many times for many years".

The moment flew by as a bit of off-the-cuff commentary after a news report by MSNBC White House correspondent Kristen Welker.

That's not how the spending works.

"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. Instead, a series of events - a black-tie dinner with business leaders, a meeting with Prime Minister Theresa May and an audience with Queen Elizabeth II - will happen outside the bustling city, where Mayor Sadiq Khan has been in a verbal battle with Trump.

"It's also because of your leadership, because your clear message", Stoltenberg responded. "He may be the only one, but that's OK with me".

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.

Brussels is the first leg of a weeklong European tour that will include stops in London and Scotland, as well as a highly anticipated meeting next week with Russia's Vladimir Putin.

Ukraine has secured USA assurances that President Donald Trump will not betray its interests when he holds his first bilateral summit meeting with Russian leader Vladimir Putin in Helsinki on July 16.

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