Germany ‘totally controlled by Russia,’ Trump tells North Atlantic Treaty Organisation chief

Emmanuel Macron and Donald Trump review French tanks during the Bastille Day military parade in Paris on July 14 2017

Trump told NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg that Germany was wrong to support a new Baltic Sea pipeline to import Russian gas while being slow to meet targets for contributing to NATO defence spending meant to protect Europe from Russia.

"They pay billions of dollars to Russian Federation and we have to defend them against Russian Federation".

Trump was referring to a 2015 agreement between Russian gas giant Gazprom and Germany to build a pipeline under the Baltic Sea. Their concerns had already set in ahead of Trump's arrival on the continent, following weeks during which the US President has increasingly and vociferously aired out his grievances against many of them.

The US now spends more than 3.5% of its GDP on defence and pays about 22% of Nato's running costs but European officials say just 15% of America's overall defence spending happens in Europe on North Atlantic Treaty Organisation business.

"This has been going on for decades and it is disproportionate and not fair to the taxpayers of the United States and we're going to make it fair". At the conclusion of that meeting, Trump retracted his endorsement of the group's final joint statement and blasted Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau as "very dishonest and weak".

The summit closes on July 12 with a meeting by countries involved in the NATO-led Resolute Support mission in Afghanistan.

As he left the White House to travel to Europe on Tuesday morning, President Donald Trump had more harsh words for the multi-country military alliance that was has been a punching bag throughout his campaign and into his presidency. On 17 May, the Wall Street Journal reported that Trump is demanding that Germany drop Nord Stream 2 as one of the conditions for a trade deal with Europe that would not include high tariffs on steel and aluminium.


That would send the alliance into a tailspin, damaging security by opening the question of whether NATO's most powerful member is still willing to defend its allies if one were attacked.

But Trump hit back: "But Germany, as far as I'm concerned, is captive to Russian Federation because it's getting so much of its energy from Russian Federation".

"At the summit we expect to agree an ambitious package of measures to strengthen our deterrence and defence, increase our efforts on tackling terrorism and address the threats presented by cyber and hybrid warfare".

John Kelly, Mr Trump's chief of staff, and Mike Pompeo, his secretary of state, sat silently alongside Mr Trump as he delivered the criticism across the table to Mr Stoltenberg. Very supportive. And maybe we'll speak to him when I get over there. "On that point the American friends have a point", von der Leyen said. In recent weeks, various European leaders have also threatened to retaliate against USA tariffs and filed complaints to the World Trade Organization. 'I think its a very bad thing for NATO, ' Trump said. "So, I think that's inappropriate also".

Trump's attack comes at a time when Germany, Europe's biggest economy, spends little on defense and has a woefully unprepared and inoperable military.

He was met with a sharp rebuke from European Council President Donald Tusk, who accused the president of criticising Europe "almost daily". "And, we're going to make it fair, so that will be it".

The prime minister said: "NATO is as vital today as it ever has been and our commitment to it remains steadfast".

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