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Trump Calls Germany ‘Captive of Russia’ Over Multi-Billion Gas Pipeline Deal

Trump Calls Germany ‘Captive of Russia’ Over Multi-Billion Gas Pipeline Deal

“They pay billions of dollars to Russia and we have to defend them against Russia.”

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W_KrwW1Knms&t=176s

President Donald Trump questioned Germany’s growing dependency on Russian energy supplies and described Berlin as a “captive” of Russia. “They pay billions of dollars to Russia and we have to defend them against Russia,” President Trump said. He also criticized Chancellor Angela Merkel’s continued refusal to spend enough on Europe’s security.

The remarks were made today during a meeting with the NATO secretary general, Jens Stoltenberg. Trump is in Brussels to attend the two-day NATO summit.

“Opening salvo at the NATO Summit: Trump attacks Merkel government over its gas deal with Putin,” reported the German newspaper Bild Zeutung. “Given this prelude, there is lot be discussed at the upcoming bilateral meeting between Trump and Merkel on Wednesday afternoon.”

“The summit is going to get uncomfortable for Merkel,” predicted the German daily Die Welt, while reporting Trump’s comments. The newspaper added:

Most of all, Chancellor Angela Merkel must brace herself for sharp and direct criticism. Despite significant rise in the defense spending in recent years, Trump regards German spending far too low. According to comparative figures issued by NATO, the United States spends 13-times more money for [NATO] defense than Germany. (…)

Germany has raised the [defense] spending from 1.18 percent in 2014 to 1.24 percent. In the case of the US that figure is at 3.6 percent and covers two-thirds of the NATO budget. [Translation by the author]

The German public broadcaster Deutsche Welle reported Trump’s comments and elaborated the details of the Russo-German gas pipeline:

US President Donald Trump on Wednesday lashed out at Germany over a gas pipeline deal with Russia, as NATO countries prepared to meet in Brussels for one of the most challenging summits in years.

“Germany is captive of Russia because it is getting so much of its energy from Russia,” Trump said, referring to Berlin’s Nord Stream 2 deal with Moscow. “They pay billions of dollars to Russia and we have to defend them against Russia.”

Berlin hopes the 1,200-kilometer (750-mile) Baltic Sea pipeline will provide direct delivery of more than 55 billion cubic meters (2 trillion cubic feet) of Russian natural gas starting in late 2019.

Germany’s state-run broadcaster Deutschlandfunk accused Trump of “driving a wedge between the allies.”

The leading German weekly Der Spiegel reported the comments with the headline “Sustained Fire: Trump versus Germany.” “Right at the onset of the NATO summit, U.S. President Trump makes it clear what he wants to achieve during his trip to Europe: attack Merkel without respite,” the weekly added.

The remarks made by Trump in Brussels are consistent with his long-held position on NATO. Before flying to Europe for the summit, he urged the NATO partners to contribute more to their defense spending on Twitter:

In case of Germany’s refusal to shoulder its security burden, Trump may consider ways to lower the US spending towards Berlin’s defense. According to the media reports published last week, the US Department of Defense is evaluating the cost of maintaining troops in Germany. Reports suggested that the US may look at shifting “some or all 35,000 US troops to the US or Poland.”

Many in Merkel’s coalition government are opposed to higher defense spending and would instead like to divert those resources to welfare programs, refugee welfare, or have it earmarked to create a “European Army.” Her junior coalition partner SPD rejects the NATO-mandated increase in the defense budget to reach the 2 percent of GDP as “completely unnecessary and unrealistic.”

Trump, however, is right when he points out the German and European hypocrisy on defense spending. While it may be a laudable aim to bolster German welfare state, the Merkel government cannot expect the US taxpayers to cough up money for its security. If Germany can afford to spend tens of billions of dollars each year on its open doors policy for migrants, it can certainly foot its own defense bills.


[Cover image via YouTube]

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Comments

inspectorudy | July 11, 2018 at 11:10 am

Trump is right about Germany being captive to Russia. Can you imagine an industrial country like Germany with its major source of energy coming from a totalitarian country like Russia? In times of national threats, Germany would be at the mercy to Russia and Russia would most likely be the source of the threats. Germany has lost its identity and has become a retail country. They have surrendered their national identity and culture with the invasion of immigrants and now they are surrendering their national security to the only threat they face.

    txvet2 in reply to inspectorudy. | July 11, 2018 at 11:26 am

    We’re in the same boat. We depend on Russia for uranium, and on China for pretty much everything else but energy.

      Arminius in reply to txvet2. | July 11, 2018 at 4:44 pm

      Gee, maybe if Hitlery didn’t sell 20% of US uranium supply to Putin’s cronies for what really was a small bribe considering we wouldn’t be so dependent on them.

        Milhouse in reply to Arminius. | July 12, 2018 at 2:20 am

        How so? Leaving aside the fact that she didn’t sell anything to them, all the uranium produced by the Russian-owned mines in Wyoming stays in the US, and does not contribute to our imports. It would do exactly the same no matter who owned those mines. We don’t depend on Russia for that uranium; we control where it goes, they don’t.

        It’s like when some people got upset over European investors owning the canals; as saner people pointed out, if push ever came to shove, they had paper and we had canals. It’s not as if they could take them away.

          inspectorudy in reply to Milhouse. | July 12, 2018 at 4:30 pm

          Unfortunately millie, you are wrong. There has already been a massive shipment that disappeared. It was supposed to go to Canada but never arrived and no one knows where it went. What you are claiming is that if we have speed limit signs on the highways then we won’t have any speeding.

          “The more that surfaces about this deal, the more questions it raises,” Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) said in a statement released after this story was published. Grassley, the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, has launched an investigation into Uranium One.

          “It now appears that despite pledges to the contrary, U.S. uranium made its way overseas as a part of the Uranium One deal,” Grassley said in the statement. “What’s more disturbing, those transactions were apparently made possible by various Obama Administration agencies while the Democrat-controlled Congress turned a blind eye.

    Close The Fed in reply to inspectorudy. | July 11, 2018 at 11:55 am

    Didn’t Russia already pull this stunt a few years ago, or a decade ago? Put the squeeze on supplies?

    Trying to remember the details.

      Tom Servo in reply to Close The Fed. | July 11, 2018 at 2:50 pm

      They did, and that should have been fair warning to the Germans of what was going to come later. The gorilla in the room, that Trump didn’t even need to mention but which everyone there knew full well, is that Germany now HAS to buy Russian oil and gas to keep their industry running, because Germany has so totally screwed up its energy sector by worshiping at the altar of Global Warming. Their “big push” to run off renewables has been a Big Failure, and what’s worse is that they’ve been working to shut down all their coal plants and nuke plants anyways.

      Any surprise that Russia is eager to take commercial advantage of these idiots? Oh, but to change this they would have to admit that Trump was Right and they were Wrong about the Paris Accord. But we can’t have that, can we? And so Germany will willingly become an economic slave to Russia, just to avoid admitting that Trump was Right.

      Bottom line: Merkel, and many Germans, would much rather be vulnerable to Russia than vulnerable to the United States. It is a preference and a choice.

Merkel and these NATO bureaucrats don’t know it yet, but Trump’s making 2020 campaign ads.

Am looking forward to when he takes on the UN and the disproportionate amount the US. To my way of thinking, any amount greater than zero to the UN is disproportionate. Get US out of that odious group and move it back to its League of Nations building in Geneva. Or more appropriately, since the Muslims control the UN voting, to Mecca.

“Reports suggested that the US may look at shifting “some or all 35,000 US troops to the US or Poland.”

Why aren’t our troops in Poland instead of Germany if Russia is the problem? You don’t have be General Patton to figure out which would work better.

That and a map of Europe.

Oh gee, You would want your troops stationed somewhere in the vicinity where they would cross the continent wouldn’t you, Holy shinola this stinks of Establishment deals and insider BS to still be in Germany.

    stevewhitemd in reply to Conan. | July 11, 2018 at 12:25 pm

    Putting most/all of our forces in Poland creates a logistical problem. The Russians have the ability to close the Baltic Sea in a fight (anti-air and anti-sea missiles from Kaliningrad, for example). One would have to bring supplies in by air (risky in a big fight) or overland through Germany. The Russians would target that as well.

    Plus, consider the scenario in which Russia probes or attacks Poland or the Baltics, and Germany (perhaps threatened by the loss of vital NG supplies) declares neutrality and won’t allow us to resupply our units under attack in Poland. Imagine the pickle we’re in then.

    Hmm, that would be a good techno-military-spy-thriller novel…

      Arminius in reply to stevewhitemd. | July 11, 2018 at 4:59 pm

      https://3.bp.blogspot.com/-FAXChHohQeg/TuAuBb43bkI/AAAAAAAACr8/G7hSy8-xnx4/s1600/europe-political-map.gif

      A map of Europe. Yes, there would be logistical problems. But not insurmountable ones. We could resupply our forces in Poland without Germany if the Russians tried, TRIED, sez the Sailor-Navy-Blue-Through-And-Through to close the Baltic. For instance, what’s wrong with the Italy-Austria-Czech route? I see a couple of other options as well.

      Arminius in reply to stevewhitemd. | July 11, 2018 at 6:21 pm

      “…Plus, consider the scenario in which Russia probes or attacks Poland or the Baltics, and Germany (perhaps threatened by the loss of vital NG supplies) declares neutrality and won’t allow us to resupply our units under attack in Poland.”

      Steve, I hope I haven’t said anything too flippant. In fact, I think you make very good points. There are three sources of catastrophic failure in warfare.

      1. Failure to learn the lessons of the past.
      2. Failure to adapt to changing conditions on the battlefield.
      3. Failure to anticipate future events.

      Point three doesn’t mean you need a crystal ball. Again, you make very good points. I’m reminded of how our French “allies” lobbied the Turks to not let us invade northern Iraq through their territory in 2002. And nobody had a contingency plan. So when the Turks refused to let us through we were back on our heels.

      The writing is on the wall. Merkel has made Germany a virtual vassal state of Putin’s Russia. I’m retired now but somebody at DoD better be coming up with plan B; waging war around the German roadblock. Also, plans C and D.

      See, no crystal ball required.

        Arminius in reply to Arminius. | July 11, 2018 at 6:24 pm

        One possible contingency plan. Since the Germans can’t be bothered to maintain their tanks and jets because they have other social spending priorities, just seize a German port and drive right on through to Poland. They can’t do anything.

    alaskabob in reply to Conan. | July 11, 2018 at 12:26 pm

    Times have certainly changed. The joke was having the French Army at our rear when facing the Russians while we were in Germany. Now we would not be in a joking matter if we are in Poland and the German Army is controlled by Merkel. Talking about colluding with the Russians for a few more BTUs.

      Arminius in reply to alaskabob. | July 11, 2018 at 5:43 pm

      Actually it is kind of a joking matter, having the Bundeswehr behind us.

      https://www.defencetalk.com/german-military-short-on-tanks-for-nato-mission-71483/

      “German Military Short on Tanks for NATO Mission
      By
      German Radio –
      February 19, 2018

      The German military is under-equipped to take on its upcoming role as leader of NATO’s anti-Russian defense force, a leaked document shows. Opposition politicians say the defense minister is to blame.

      The German military has secretly admitted that it can’t fulfill its promises to NATO, according to documents leaked to Die Welt newspaper on Thursday.

      The Bundeswehr is due to take over leadership of NATO’s multinational Very High Readiness Joint Task Force (VJTF) at the start of next year, but doesn’t have enough tanks, the Defense Ministry document said…

      …The German air force is also struggling to cover its NATO duties, the document revealed. The Luftwaffe’s main forces — the Eurofighter and Tornado fighter jets and its CH-53 transport helicopters — are only available for use an average of four months a year — the rest of the time the aircraft are grounded for repairs and rearmament…”

      It’s a bad joke, and it’s on us. But this is what happens when a country says “F**k our military we’re spending on welfare payments for not only our own no-loads but we’re going to import a few million more from third world rape cultures.”

      But the good news is Vlad is a paper tiger. Poland is one of only five out of the 28 countries that is meeting its defense spending commitments.

      In honor of the memory of Tadeusz Kosciuszko and to make up for the shameful way we abandoned our Polish allies to Stalin after WWII ended (why are Democrats too eager to abandon our allies to their enemies; see the fall of Saigon) we can not abandon Poland again. Plus if

      I would wager to bet that if we started planning now we could build up the capability to keep the Skagerrak and Kattegat open quicker than Vlad can build up the power to close them.

      Howzabout an nice forward deployed fleet homeported in Gdansk. With USAF basing rights. Bet we could neutralize the Kaliningrad threat and, besides, Polish girls when they’re young really are beautiful. And it was only communism that turned them into fire plugs as they aged.

      Arminius in reply to alaskabob. | July 11, 2018 at 5:56 pm

      We, the allies collectively, treated the Poles like shit after WWII. They had fought with consummate bravery and skill on our side. Then we betrayed them to Stalin.

      https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/b/b8/Monte_Cassino_-_the_Polish_War_Cemetery_-_closer.JPG

      While the Americans and British were celebrating winning the war, the Poles who trusted us were ruing the day they thought they could trust us. They had lost their war by fighting on the winning side. I’m having the same reaction to Germany I had to the Philippines when they were bad mouthing US Forces. Fine, I don’t stay anywhere I’m not wanted. I’ll go where I’m appreciated. I say, move the forces out of Germany to Poland. We’ll figure out a way to keep them supplied. And Putin isn’t stupid. Do you think he wants to attack our forces in Poland only to lose Vladivostok?

    pwaldoch in reply to Conan. | July 11, 2018 at 2:43 pm

    Also, we have longstanding bases in Germany that take time to pack up and move. First the Poland-USA has to have talks with a end result and then we can start relocating. PDT has only been around for 18 months. This is gonna take time.

      oldgoat36 in reply to pwaldoch. | July 11, 2018 at 5:30 pm

      Sure it will take time, but Germany makes money off those troops being there, the threat of leaving would have those towns and areas around those bases in a panic, as it would curb their incomes by a decent amount.

      Merkel is in a tight spot, but the US shouldn’t be helping to fund their defenses. I am sure the military has some plans for pulling out of there, even if it is staged – reduction of forces each month, which shows intent, and allows heat to build on Merkel.

    pfg in reply to Conan. | July 11, 2018 at 6:26 pm

    “Shinola?”

    Hey, Joe, now you’re on the trolley. What say, you and me go sandpaper the anchor?

Close The Fed | July 11, 2018 at 11:57 am

It’s been decades since WWII. Germany needs to defend itself 100%. We’re in debt and not as well off as we’d be, subsidizing these European socialists.

What a total waste of our effort.

Put our troops on our Southern Border. Defend OUR NATION.

    At 29 Palms we routinely hosted Army units rotated through for Combined Arms Exercises. Fort Irwin too. We played the OpFor, Ruskies. Civilians wandering into the live fire training areas (artillery and airstrikes) were easily identified and intercepted.

    Seems like a win-win to dual use that by relocating a few Air-Ground Combat Centers (MCAGCC) to a few key areas along the Arizona and Texas borders.

“divert those resources to welfare programs, refugee welfare”

Friedman was spot on – open borders or welfare state, pick one.

I’ve read other analysis that this is just Trump prepping the battlespace on free trade.

Although recent reports claim Germany’s Air Force is a ghost.

Why are we still spending money and lives occupying Germany? While they are committing national suicide? I say we depart before Sharia is enacted. Spend that money on our own people.

Plus, it always bugged this Marine that Army gets Berlin while we get Mogadishu. Spoiled rich kids (shakes head)

    Whitewall in reply to Fen. | July 11, 2018 at 1:54 pm

    It’s almost like Trump is speaking to the wider EU audience than to protected and sheltered politicians.

I would suggest that perhaps the reason we’re still in Germany is for the benefit of the rest of Europe as well.

Who could imagine a German leader dictating borders, internal policies, or even threatening them to accept an invading army?

I know, ridiculous right? When has Germany ever caused problems for Europe or dictated terms?

    stevewhitemd in reply to forksdad. | July 11, 2018 at 12:27 pm

    That was the justification for NATO in the 1950s — “to keep the US in, the Russians out, and the Germans DOWN.”

It’s odd. Germany even tried to to this back in the 80s, when there was a real Cold War on. NATO members managed to get them to back off, as it seemed like a monumentally stupid idea at the time. Amazing what sort of radioactive half-life stupid ideas have.

German tank unit forced to use painted broomsticks to simulate their weapons in recent NATO exercise. The unit is supposed to be in C-1 readiness status to be immediately deployed to the aid of any NATO member under attack (paraphrasing because copy txt didn’t work on their site)

https://www.thesun.co.uk/news/6743568/germany-soldiers-broomsticks-nato-donald-trump-angela-merkel-defence-spending/

“If Germany can afford to spend tens of billions of dollars each year on its open doors policy for migrants, it can certainly foot its own defense bills.”

I’m not sure that’s wise. Every time you put a rifle into the hands of a German, he marches to France…

Good for Trump. A president that tells it like it is. Unique concept.

    oldgoat36 in reply to Barry. | July 11, 2018 at 5:39 pm

    Diplomats will probably go nuts, as they seem to think the world would fall apart if we used plain language to convey our position on things. Of course, diplomats are quite wise, they stopped WWI and WWII, Korea, Vietnam, the Middle East….

    Diplomats have their place, but when a President talks like this, it reaches the people of the affected countries, and might wake them up to what their leaders are doing.

    Diplo-talk is similar to legalese – difficult to parse for any not in the club. Trump just lays it out there, no question on what he means and where he stands.

It is the height of hypocrisy to accuse Trump of being in the back pocket of the Russians WHILE having their entire industry almost single handedly reliant on Russian energy to function!

Its like Europe’s leaders are completely removed from reality!?!?!

And another thing while Im on a roll 🙂

You better believe moving those 35,000 troops out of Germany will have a HUGE impact on the German local economy where those soldiers are based!

As the Philippines found out when America closed their bases…its lovely having all that regular moolah coming in not only from direct support of the troops but all the ancillary services that crop up around supporting such a large force of foreign soldiers on your door step.

I think perhaps Trump should move the soldiers and spread them between Poland, Hungary and who ever else wants help enforcing their borders cause sure as fuck the EU isn’t going to secure its borders!

I was just checking in on Fox. Shepard ” I am a moderate Republican, which means I’m to the left of Joe Scarborough” was beating up on Trump for this.
It tells me Trump is doing something right.
( actually he is doing a lot that’s right. )

tarheelkate | July 11, 2018 at 4:46 pm

When the Germans used the excuse of a tsunami in Japan to close their nuclear plants, I knew they had really, truly, lost their minds.

Is Merkel positioning Germany for a grand reunification with the east or are her actions merely coincidental?

When Turkey finally conquers Germany and makes it a Muslim country Russia will need that leverage. It’s almost a good thing Germany is short on tanks, the Turks won’t be able to use them to take out whoever is left to oppose them.

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