Published: Thu, July 12, 2018

Trump brands Germany a "captive of Russian Federation", days before he meets Putin

Trump brands Germany a

President Trump didn't let up Wednesday on his attacks on North Atlantic Treaty Organisation leaders for failing to cough up enough money for defense spending, lashing out on Twitter at allies about fulfilling their commitment between meetings and an official dinner.

Trump has long complained that European NATO members do not pay enough for their own defence, singling out Germany for particular criticism.

"The President needs to remember that, as Commander-in-Chief, his duty is to protect the American people from foreign threats, not to sell out our democracy to Putin", they concluded. "I don't remember any pro-Russian (U.S.) presidents, but I want to remind you that he (Trump) is one of the most pro-Russian politicians at the moment in the United States". "So if you go back 10 or 20 years, you'll just add it all up, it's massive amounts of money is owed".

NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg acknowledges the disagreement over funding between the United States and other countries but is staying out the spat. "Well, they could increase it immediately - tomorrow - and have no problem", he said of Germany.

Referring to the 97-2 vote Tuesday in the U.S. Senate affirming its support for NATO, Kerry called on Republican lawmakers to call Trump on his actions. Therefore, no delinquency or question of reimbursement.

"In recent years we've seen Russian Federation stepping up its arms sales to Iran; shielding the Syrian regime's appalling use of chemical weapons; launching cyber-attacks that have caused huge economic damage; and spreading malicious and fake news stories on an industrial scale", she said.

While nobody on either side expects big breakthroughs, including on USA sanctions, the summit is seen by Moscow as US recognition of Russia's status as a great power and an overdue US realization that its interests must be taken into account. But there are no IOUs to collect from past years.

President Donald Trump shared on Twitter Wednesday a video of sharp words he directed toward NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg about Germany being "totally controlled by Russia" regarding their energy relationship. Says Stoltenberg: "We have agreed that we're committed to the pledge increasing defence spending to 2 percent".

TRUMP: "Why was that past year?"

How did leaders respond to Trump's tirade?

"Germany is just paying a little over 1 percent" of its GDP annually to the alliance's budget, Trump griped. She said she and Obama discussed the topic.

The Kremlin hopes to increase the dependence of Germany and Western Europe on Russian gas while depriving Ukraine and other inconvenient states of the transit fees Russia must pay to use current pipelines. "So I think that's inappropriate also".

Germany imports roughly 94% of its natural gas. One-third came from renewable energy.

Germany plans to retire nuclear plants by 2022 and intends to reduce its reliance on coal.

"You know, we're protecting Germany, we're protecting France".

Only six of the 29 nations in the alliance can fully integrate with the the air, on land, at sea and with the special forces.

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