U.S. President Donald Trump wasted no time calling out another European ally at the NATO annual summit. Upon his arrival, Trump lambasted Germany for supporting the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline from Russia:
“It’s very sad when Germany makes a massive oil and gas deal with Russia where we’re supposed to be guarding against Russia and Germany goes out and pays billions and billions of dollars a year to Russia.”
President Trump went so far as calling Germany a “captive of Russia”; implying the country’s dependence on Russia:
“If you look at it, Germany is a captive of Russia, because they supply – they got rid of their coal plants, got rid of their nuclear, they’re getting so much of the oil and gas from Russia. I think it’s something NATO has to look at.”
NATO leaders have expressed concern that President Trump’s presence may undermine the value of the organization’s decades-old alliance. Many believe the summit may follow the way of last month’s G7 meeting in Canada where Trump launched a verbal attack versus Canada.
Trump then withdrew his inclusion from the summit’s official communiqué after receiving a scathing response from Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.
Trump has long blamed America’s burgeoning trade deficit with unfair arrangements with the world’s largest trading group:
“Many countries owe us. The United States is paying far too much and other countries are not paying enough. This has been going on for decades, for decades. It’s disproportionate and not fair to the tax payers of the United States.”
President Trump is scheduled to meet Russian President Vladimir Putin in Finland the following week.
NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg sought to put out the fire lit by Trump’s incendiary comments versus Germany:
“NATO is an alliance of 29 nations and sometimes there are differences and different views and also some disagreements, and the gas pipeline from Russia to Germany is one issue where allies disagree.
“But the strength of NATO is despite the differences, we have always been able to unite around our core task, to protect and defend each other, because we understand we are stronger together than apart.”