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12 July 2018, 01:34 | Erica Roy
Berlin has given political support to the building of a new, $11-billion pipeline to bring Russian gas across the Baltic Sea called Nord Stream 2, despite qualms among other European Union states. Also present was France's President Emmanuel Macron, who tried this year to charm Mr Trump into more harmonious transatlantic relationship, only to see the United States president withdraw from the 2015 Iranian nuclear deal and impose tariffs on European goods.
"So we're supposed to protect you against Russian Federation but they're paying billions of dollars to Russian Federation and I think that's very in inappropriate", Trump said. "They got rid of their coal plants". "You tell me, is that appropriate?" But Mr. Trump's claim that Germany is "a captive of Russia" is manifestly false.
"We have a very, very good relationship with the chancellor".
The comments come amid wide expectations of a turbulent summit-Trump has long criticized the 29-member alliance, calling it "obsolete", and is extremely critical of countries that are failing to meet the target of 2% of their GDP as defense spending.
Merkel countered by noting that Germany is one of the biggest troop contributors to North Atlantic Treaty Organisation missions.
He added: "We're protecting Germany, France and everybody. this has been going on for decades".
Before the summit, European Union President Donald Tusk hit back at Trump for his "daily" criticisms of Europe, pointing out that the EU spends more on defense than Russian Federation and nearly as much as China, and telling him to "appreciate your allies".
Environmental-conscious Germany is trying to reduce its reliance on coal and is phasing out nuclear power by 2022, so it hopes to use natural gas to partially fill the gap until the country's electricity grid can cope with fluctuating levels provided by renewable energy.
"There is no ledger that maintains accounts of what countries pay and owe", says former Obama administration National Security Council staffer Aaron O'Connell. The U.S.is paying for Europe's protection, then loses billions on Trade. "I think that two world wars and the Cold War taught us that we are stronger together than apart", he told the president, trying to calm tensions.
The US president was similarly effusive when he met German chancellor Angela Merkel. However, Merkel insists the project is a private commercial venture and is not funded by German taxpayers. Because of me, they've raised about $40bn over the past year.
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