The NATO summit is underway in Brussels, Belgium, and it kicked off with a breakfast during which President Trump did not hold back his thoughts on Germany’s relationship with Russia.
“Germany is totally controlled by Russia” when it comes to gas and energy, President Trump said Wednesday morning, pointing out how the country will get “60 to 70 percent” of its energy from Russia, as well as a new pipeline as part of an upcoming project, while the United States is guarding Germany and other countries against Russia.
Trump was referring to an $11 billion Baltic Sea gas pipeline deal with Russia that Germany supports.
While Berlin has given its political support for the Nord Stream 2 pipeline project that will bring Russian gas across the Baltic Sea, German Chancellor Angela Merkel has insisted the project is commercial in nature and will not be funded by German taxpayers.
Watch Trump’s remarks on Germany here:
Bilateral Breakfast with NATO Secretary General in Brussels, Belgium… pic.twitter.com/l0EP3lzhCM
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 11, 2018
The United States protects Germany and other countries against Russia, Trump pointed out, yet the country has made a “massive oil and gas deal” with Russia.
“I think that’s very inappropriate,” the President said.
“When Germany makes a massive oil and gas deal with Russia,” he continued. “We’re supposed to be guarding against Russia, and Germany goes out and pays billions and billions of dollars a year to Russia. We’re protecting Germany, we’re protecting France, we’re protecting all of these countries. And then numerous of the countries go out and make a pipeline deal with Russia where they’re paying billions of dollars into the coffers of Russia.”
“So we’re supposed to protect you against Russia and you pay billions of dollars to Russia, and I think that’s very inappropriate,” Trump said.
Ultimately, Germany will be about 70-percent controlled by Russia as far as gas goes, Trump said.
“Germany will have almost 70 percent of their country controlled by Russia with natural gas. You tell me, is that appropriate,” he said. “Germany is totally controlled by Russia, cause they are getting 60 to 70 percent of their energy from Russia and a new pipeline.”
“It should have never been allowed to happen. Germany is totally controlled by Russia,” he continued. “It’s a very bad thing for NATO. And I don’t think it should have happened.”
“I think it’s very unfair to our country, and very unfair to our taxpayers,” Trump added.
Trump was slated to meet with Merkel later in the day on Wednesday, and he will meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin on Monday in Helsinki.
Watch the full NATO breakfast here: