Trump slams ‘captive’ Germany at NATO summit - 7khmernew

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Trump slams ‘captive’ Germany at NATO summit

Brussels (AFP) – US President Donald Trump launched a blistering attack on Germany at the start of a tense NATO summit yesterday, accusing Berlin of being “captive” to Russia and demanding it and other allies immediately step up defence spending.
“Germany is captive of Russia because it is getting so much of its energy from Russia,” Mr Trump said at a breakfast with NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg. “They pay billions of dollars to Russia and we have to defend them against Russia.””
The two-day meet in Brussels was already shaping up to be the alliance’s most difficult in years, with Europe and the US engaged in a bitter trade spat and Mr Trump demanding that NATO allies “reimburse” Washington for the cost of defending the continent.
European allliance members were braced for criticism from Mr Trump on defence spending, but his furious tirade at what should have been an amicable breakfast meeting appeared to take even NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg by surprise.
Mr Trump took particular aim at the proposed Nord Stream II pipeline.
“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 Russia.”
Mr Trump has long complained that European NATO members do not pay enough for their own defence, accusing them of freeloading on America and singling out Germany for particular criticism.
Europe’s biggest economy spends just 1.24 percent of GDP on defence, compared with 3.5 percent for the US, well below the NATO guideline of two percent.
“We’re protecting Germany, France and everybody… this has been going on for decades,” Mr Trump said. “We’re not going to put up with it and it’s inappropriate.”
NATO officials and diplomats will try to promote an image of unity at the summit in the face of growing unease about the threat from Russia, but after Mr Trump’s attack it may prove difficult to paper over the cracks.
Mr Trump ramped up his rhetoric ahead of the talks, explicitly linking NATO with the transatlantic trade row.

“The European Union makes it impossible for our farmers and workers and companies to do business in Europe (US has a $151 Billion trade deficit), and then they want us to happily defend them through NATO, and nicely pay for it. Just doesn’t work!” he tweeted as he arrived in Brussels.

No comments:

Post a Comment