Trump Attends NATO Summit- Brussels
On Wednesday, President Donald Trump called out Germany at a NATO breakfast.
Trump stated that NATO allies must increase their defense spending. Increased spending would ensure a more equal of the burden amongst NATO members in protecting Europe from Russia.
President Trump explained that Germany obtains its energy supply from Russia. Trump declared that “Germany is a captive of Russia,” going on to point out that Germany pays “billions and billions of dollars” to receive energy from Russia.
Trump then claimed that there is no reason for a country such as Germany, which has such a large GDP, to require assistance or protection from Russia. Trump then asserted that “Germany is totally controlled by Russia.”
Trump didn’t even let the NATO allies settle after these explosive and insulting comments. According to NBCNews:
“His rhetorical fusillade was delivered even before the pomp-filled welcoming ceremony opening the NATO summit, as he and NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg spoke to reporters before having breakfast together.”
Angela Merkel, the Chancellor of Germany, opposed President Trump’s remarks. According to NBCNews, Merkel asserted that Germany operates independently from Russia. She explained that Germany has remained free from the clutches of Moscow. She also countered Trump’s claim that Germany’s lacks defense spending, stating that Germany contributes significantly to the mutual defense of its member nations.
German Defense Minister Ursula von der Leyen also disagreed with Trump’s allegations, stating:
“We have a lot of issues with Russia, without any doubt, but on the other hand you should keep a communication line between countries or alliances and opponents without any question. So I’m curious to listen in-depth in the meeting what the American president is meaning by that.”
Nord Stream Pipeline 2
Trump seems to have been referring to the Nord Stream 2 pipeline with his incendiary remarks.
The Nord Stream 2 pipeline will bring gas from Russia to Germany’s northeastern Baltic coast. This pipeline has received much criticism from the U.S. as well as from some E.U. member nations. Those who oppose the pipeline believe that it will give Russia greater leverage over Western Europe.
Regardless, Trump’s comments at the NATO summit have not been well-received.
A senior fellow at the German Marshall Fund and a foreign policy adviser to Hillary Clinton’s 2016 campaign, Laura Rosenberger stated:
“While concerns about Nord Stream 2 are real, accusing Germany of being captive to Russia is patently false — and frankly feels like a bit of projection coming from Trump. But more broadly, the fact that he chose to start off the summit’s events by attacking one of our allies, instead of stressing our unity … is itself a win for Putin.”
Featured Image via Wikimedia Commons