Published: Wed, July 11, 2018

North Atlantic Treaty Organisation summit: Energy deal makes Germany a Russian captive, says Donald Trump

North Atlantic Treaty Organisation summit: Energy deal makes Germany a Russian captive, says Donald Trump

President Trump gestures while speaking to NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg during their bilateral breakfast on Wednesday in Brussels, Belgium.

"We're supposed to be guarding against Russia and Germany goes out and pays billions and billions of dollars a year to Russia", Trump said.

Poland is reportedly encouraging Trump to oppose the pipeline because of Warsaw's own anti-Russian motivations. Journalists will not be allowed to cover either meeting, she said.

"Germany is captive of Russia because it is getting so much of its energy from Russia", Mr Trump said. -European relations to end the unfair trade practices, and balance-out the transatlantic security cooperation. "We have highlighted the importance of this diversification of supplies to make sure that our energy systems are resilient".

Stoltenberg acknowledged that Trump had expressed himself in "very direct language" but insisted that away from the fiery rhetoric the allies all agree on fundamental issues: the need to boost NATO's resilience, fight terror and share the cost of defence more equally.

European diplomats fear a repeat of the G7, when Trump clashed with his Western allies, withdrawing from a joint statement and calling Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau "dishonest and weak" before meeting North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un at a summit afterwards and praising him as "very talented".

"I think these countries have to step it up, not over a 10-year period, but they have to step it up immediately", Trump said, pointing to Germany in particular as a "rich country" that "could increase (defense spending) immediately tomorrow and have no problem". "He may be the only one, but that's OK with me".

Trump has preferred to take aim at allies. "We're being taken advantage of by the European Union". The pipeline has been a source of contention for over a year, pitting the United States and a small number of Eastern European countries, including Poland, Ukraine, Lithuania and others, on one side, against Russian Federation and major EU members, led by Germany, on the other.

Overall, NATO members will spend an average 2.40 percent of GDP on defense this year compared with 2.42 percent in 2017, the alliance said.

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.

Crucially, they do not include Germany, Europe's biggest economy and prime target for Trump's invective, which is on course to spend just 1.24 percent of GDP on defence in 2018.

President Donald Trump will likely declare USA support forNATO's mutual defense doctrine while pressing for increased spending commitments from NATOallies at a high-stakes summit in Brussels, a senior administration official said on Tuesday.

Asked by a reporter whether Putin was a "a friend or foe", Trump responded: "I really can't say right now. As far as I'm concerned, a competitor - a competitor". "And I think that leaders are also looking forward to your thoughts about the meeting with President Putin later on".

Of his meetings in Brussels and Britain and with Putin, he said: "Frankly, [the meeting with] Putin may be the easiest of them all - who would think?" Trump tweeted on Tuesday, quickly following up that tweet with one accusing the European Union of "making it impossible for our farmers and workers and companies to do business in Europe".

She added that "Trump is also bringing Putin a "little" present-why 'little, ' I don't know". In his tweets, the POTUS has continuously stated that the USA pays too high of a price for the alliance, while our partners do not contribute enough.

Trump has ramped up his rhetoric ahead of the talks - including in three separate tirades on Twitter on Monday and Tuesday - making the summit one of the most hard in years for the military alliance that has underpinned European security since World War II.

The NATO summit is part of a seven-day, three-nation trip for the president.

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