Published: Thu, July 12, 2018
Entertaiment | By Mabel Barber

Trump slams Russia's 'captive' Germany over gas deal ahead of North Atlantic Treaty Organisation summit

Trump slams Russia's 'captive' Germany over gas deal ahead of North Atlantic Treaty Organisation summit

German Defense Minister Ursula von der Leyen told NPR on Wednesday that Trump makes a fair point that Germany should spend more but is not the first US president to urge that.

Germany is not a prisoner of Russian policy, German Defence Minister Ursula von der Leyen said today, reacting to US President Donald Trump's accusation that Germany is "totally controlled" by Moscow.

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg noted Wednesday that member countries have already been increasing their defense spending. "I think that's very inappropriate". Trump tweeted after his meeting with Merkel.

Speaking to reporters Tuesday, Trump predicted his meetings with North Atlantic Treaty Organisation members might be more contentious than his Helsinki summit with Putin on Monday.

"Take a look at the chart", Trump instructed the reporter, explaining the owed a mass of money for decades of delinquent allied payments.

Trump, who later arrived at NATO's new billion-dollar headquarters in his presidential limousine, appeared to substantially overstate German reliance on Russian energy and to imply the German government was funding the pipeline, which Berlin says is a commercial venture.

Trump, who has long criticised Berlin for not spending enough on NATO's mutual defence and for alleged unfair trade practices noted Germany's "tremendous success".

Britain's Prince Louis christened without Queen
William encouraged George and Charlotte to "shake hands" with the Archbishop of Canterbury, before telling her: "Well done". The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge also announced their youngest son's godparents a few hours before the service.

In a bilateral breakfast meeting with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, in front of reporters, Trump immediately launched into a tirade about the pipeline.

"I think we can cope with it", von der Leyen said. "So we're protecting Germany, we're protecting France, we're protecting all of these countries and then numerous of these countries go out and make a pipeline deal with Russia where they're paying billions of dollars into the coffers of Russia", Trump said.

"Many countries are not paying what they should", he said.

Even Stoltenberg - a mild-mannered former Norwegian Prime Minister who has cultivated a positive relationship with Trump - appeared reduced to spluttering as Trump cut him off after he started to explain that allies traded with Russian Federation even during the Cold War.

The alliance as a whole increased defense spending for the first time in two decades in 2015. "But other presidents never did anything about it because I don't think they'd up it or wanted to get involved", Trump said. "Since Trump became president, US funding for military presence in Europe - the European Deterrence Initiative -has been increased by 40 percent".

Trump took issue with Nord Stream 2, a new $11-billion pipeline to bring Russian gas across the Baltic Sea that Berlin has supported despite qualms from other European Union states.

Leaders will be keen to hear more about Trump's military approach to Afghanistan, which he revamped last August to include a surge in air strikes to force Taliban militants to the negotiating table.

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