‘We have issues with Russia’ Germany tells Trump

Lewis Collier
July 12, 2018

Before the summit, European Union President Donald Tusk hit back at Trump for his "daily" criticisms of Europe, pointing out that the EU spends more on defense than Russian Federation and nearly as much as China, and telling him to "appreciate your allies".

"I've never seen a president say anything as odd or counterproductive as President Trump's harangue against North Atlantic Treaty Organisation and Germany", Kerry began.

"NATO and the transatlantic geographical area is only a part of what the United States military does". And I think you can have no doubt, Mr President, that this is an investment in common American and European defense and security.

Germany and other European Nato partners argue, however, that they have boosted contributions to the military alliance and plan to kick in even more in coming years.

During the president's remarks, he suggested countries not only meet their minimum commitment of 2 percent but increase it to 4 percent, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, White House press secretary said in a statement.

His comments come only hours before he's due to meet German chancellor Angela Merkel on the side lines of the summit in Brussels.

". Vladimir Putin will give a real master class to the inexperienced politician Donald Trump", he said.

He accuses European member states of not spending enough on defence and has questioned why the U.S. should continue to pay so much.

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.

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"Everybody's talking about it all over the world, they're saying we're paying you billions of dollars to protect you but you're paying billions of dollars to Russian Federation".

A joint declaration said: "We are committed to improving the balance of sharing the costs and responsibilities of alliance membership".

"We're protecting Germany, we're protecting France, we're protecting all of these countries". Germany's leadership has said the pipeline is a private business decision and they have been reluctant to interfere.

"We are not prisoners, neither of Russian Federation nor of the United States", Germany's Foreign Minister Heiko Maas told reporters. Since President Trump took office, he has been highly critical of the spending guideline put in place by the alliance.

"There is no break-up between America and Europe", the source said after Macron and Trump held "friendly" talks.

How did leaders respond to Trump's tirade?

The Trump administration is now trying to derail a German-Russian project to double the capacity of the underwater Nord Stream gas pipeline.

That means that if Trump really wants to pull out of US commitments here, he's going to have to take several steps.

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