Trump Calls Germany’s Relationship With Russian Energy Industry ‘Inappropriate’
President Donald Trump said Wednesday that Germany’s tight relationship with Russia on energy matters is a big problem considering the U.S. is obligated to defend them against Russia.
“Germany is a captive of Russia,” Trump said at a meeting with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg ahead of the summit of a military alliance in Brussels. “It’s very inappropriate.” Germany is raking in “billions” from energy payments while expecting protection from Russia, he added.
Stoltenberg rebuked the Trump. “We are stronger together than apart,” the NATO secretary general said. Trump then asked how the NATO alliance could be stronger when Germany is “making Russia richer.”
The president has made similar remarks in the past. Trump told world leaders during a visit to Poland in 2017 that the U.S. wants to make it easier for companies to ship natural gas products to Eastern Europe. He reportedly wants to break up Russia’s energy monopolization in Europe.
Germany is heavily dependent on Russia for its gas and energy supply, using Russian gas as baseload energy to stabilize the less reliable green energy industry. Some evidence also shows that Germany’s reliance on green energy subsidies has caused damage to the country’s electrical grids.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel rejected the need for EU-Russia talks on the pipeline in June 2017, accusing the U.S. of politicizing its economic interests in pushing Russia out of Europe’s natural gas market.
Investigations into intelligence findings that Russia meddled in the 2016 U.S. presidential race could complicate the White House’s policy. Still, many Republicans who want Trump to hold a hardline against Russia are generally supportive of the president’s position.
Moscow relies on revenue from oil and gas sales to prop up the country’s bloated budget.
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