"Germany Is A Captive Of Russia": Trump Slams German Hypocrisy Over Russian Pipeline

President Trump came out swinging in Brussels after arriving on Air Force One for his second NATO summit. Speaking with journalists before a meeting with the NATO secretary general Jens Stoltenberg - and all caught strategically on video -  Trump slammed Germany for expecting the US to foot the bill for Europe's security in the face of Russian aggression while Germany and others cut massive energy deals with Russian energy companies, per RT.

Germany is so dependent on Russia for energy, Trump said, that it's essentially being "held captive" by Vladimir Putin and his government, Trump said during his breakfast with Stoltenberg having himself been the object of withering critique for the past two years by the US liberal media that he himself is a Putin pupet.

"Germany is captive of Russia because it is getting so much of its energy from Russia. They pay billions of dollars to Russia and we have to defend them against Russia," said Trump at a breakfast with NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg.

Trump even tweeted a video of the exchange for public consumption:

As muni expert Cate Long commented after the exchange:

"President Trump called out Germany for expecting the US to pay for their defense against Russia while they cut a massive oil and natural gas deal with Russia. The simplicity and elegance of his argument cannot be overstated. The duplicity of the German govt is outrageous."

Merkel wasted no time to respond to this direct attack by Trump saying "I have experienced myself how a part of Germany was controlled by the Soviet Union. I am very happy that today we are united in freedom ...  Because of that we can say that we can make our independent policies and make independent decisions."

Despite Merkel's best efforts to iron out the winkles, the bad blood between the US and Germany started flowing early.

Trump is , of course, correct: Germany like much of central Europe, is held hostage by Russian energy exports, a reality of life in Europe and what many believe was the initial cause for the proxy was in Syria which sought to push a Qatar gas pipeline across Syria and Turkey to reduce Europe's reliance on Russia, and is the reason why most Europeans have been pushing to ease sanctions against the Kremlin. Meanwhile, the US has been struggling to butt into the European energy market, with the Trump administration doing everything in its power to send more LNG exports Europe's way, benefiting US companies.

In an effort to lighten the tension (and also rib Trump for his complaints about NATO members not paying their fair share) following what was described as a "contentious" breakfast, Stoltenberg told reporters that he enjoyed"some nice fruit salad, paid for by the United States."

The pipeline has been a frequent target of attacks by Trump, who threatened to escalate the trade war against Germany several months ago if it supported the construction of the pipeline, which the Trump administration has claimed would grant Russia a quasi-monopoly over European energy markets.

LNG

With the completion of the pipeline, Russian LNG has become cheaper and more reliable than US energy exports, helping Russian energy firms muscle out their US rivals in the European market. Back in May, the Trump administration threatened sanctions against German companies who participated in the construction of the pipeline, while Trump reportedly warned German Chancellor Angela Merkel that the US could impose punitive trade measures against Germany in retaliation for its support for the pipeline. The pipelinewhich carries gas directly from Russia under the Baltic Sea.

Trump bashed Germany again for supporting the pipeline, calling it a "very sad" state of affairs, according to Bloomberg.

"It’s very sad when Germany makes a massive oil and gas deal with Russia where we’re supposed to be guarding against Russia and Germany goes out and pays billions and billions of dollars a year to Russia," Trump said before meeting with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg on Wednesday morning.

German Defense Minister Ursula von der Leyen responded to Trump's criticisms of the Nord Stream pipeline in an interview with the BBC in Brussels: "We can cope with it. We’ve heard him before and seen the tweets. We have an independent energy supply, we are an independent country, we are just diversifying."

Trump also reiterated his criticisms of NATO partners whom he has accused of shirking their financial obligations to the alliance.

"Many countries owe us," Trump said in Brussels, before attending the summit at NATO headquarters. "The United States is paying far too much and other countries are not paying enough...This has been going on for decades, for decades, it’s disproportionate and not fair to the taxpayers of the United States."

Here, too, Trump is correct as the following map shows, although it is unclear if the US is truly losing from an arrangement where the US military-industrial complex benefits disproportionately from US domination of NATO, which in turn send MIC stocks to all time highs, making shareholders and management especially rich... largely at the expense of US taxpayers.

Map

As Bloomberg pointed out, Trump's aggressive rhetoric suggested that the NATO summit will follow the same trajectory as the G-7 summit in Canada earlier this summer, where Trump's allies joined together to try and counter his criticisms.

"NATO is an an alliance of 29 nations and sometimes there are differences and different views and also some disagreements, and the gas pipeline from Russia to Germany is one issue where allies disagree," said Stoltenberg. "But the strength of NATO is despite these differences we have always been able to unite around our core task, to protect and defend each other, because we understand we are stronger together than apart."

However, at least one diplomat agreed with Trump's concerns about Nord Stream. Polish Foreign Minister Jacek Czaputowicz said Trump has a point: "Some countries are too close" to Russia, he said on a panel at a parallel event to NATO, accusing Russia of using proceeds from the pipeline to fund its military.

Comments

Ignatius Bulgars Wed, 07/11/2018 - 07:51 Permalink

Let's check the history...

In '41 Hitler sends the full force of the Wehrmacht against the commie Russians, hundreds of divisions, and where were the Allies?  Oh yeah that's right, supporting the great humanitarian, Stalin.

Fuck me, it's hard to listen to any of this shit.  Straight power politics.

So, getting back on script, Russia bad....

In reply to by Bulgars

Teja Ignatius Wed, 07/11/2018 - 07:55 Permalink

Allies? Whose allies? Russia at the time had no allies, only a pact with a populist dictator which proved to be not worth the paper it was printed on.

Later the US and UK decided it would make strategic sense to support Stalin against Hitler, and they became allies of sorts.

But regarding Trump, as a German, I have to agree with him in regards to Northstream. Northstream is designed to f*ck Ukraine and Poland. On the German side, former Social Democratic Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder is now its greatest lobbyist, bought by Russia. F*ck him.

Only that you never know with Trump - maybe he just wants to raise his price for his deals with Putin.

In reply to by Ignatius

Looney Teja Wed, 07/11/2018 - 07:58 Permalink

 

... we’re supposed to be guarding against Russia

Guarding Germany against Russia?

Q: When was the last (or the first) time Russia, the USSR, or the Russian Empire attacked Germany?

A: Never (that's a fucking long time).   ;-)

Looney

In reply to by Teja

Keyser Freeze These Wed, 07/11/2018 - 08:13 Permalink

The irony is so thick you can cut it with a knife... Trump's point is priceless that Germany pays Russia billions for energy, yet is afraid they will invade... Russia have never invaded western Europe and in this age of geo-political / economic ties between nations, it will never happen... This is just more theater from the EU whores to keep NATO alive and well, along with their remaining at the punch bowl at America's expense... NATO should have been dissolved 25 years ago... 

In reply to by Freeze These

Klassenfeind Keyser Wed, 07/11/2018 - 08:19 Permalink

What Trump really means is: Germany should be captive of the US MIC and Deep State!

It's not Germany and Europe that wanted sanctions against Russia, it is the US and their lapdog the UK that is actively fanning the flames of Cold War 2.0.

Question for all the Trumptards: you want your military, your Petro-Dollar, your CIA/NSA, your trade wars, and your regime changes? Well fine, you can keep your military, your Petro-Dollar, your CIA/NSA, your trade wars, and your regime changes!

...but you can also fucking pay for it!

In reply to by Keyser

Mr.Sono Klassenfeind Wed, 07/11/2018 - 08:32 Permalink

Russia does not have a population to invade Europe. NATO is useless, unless it wants to invade Russia. But Russia does have the capability to defend its self and destroy who ever is planning to do so. After trade wars, there will be a world war. How its going to play out...... we shall see in next decade or two. But my bet is on USA vs China and Russia vs Europe.

In reply to by Klassenfeind

DPLETTENBERG Mr.Sono Wed, 07/11/2018 - 09:19 Permalink

It's time to end Nato. It's just these kind of mutual defense arrangements that caused the last two world wars.

End Nato and let europe buy energy from who ever they want. With the money we save from nato we could build our own over the north pole pipeline to europe.

In reply to by Mr.Sono

strannick Billy the Poet Wed, 07/11/2018 - 10:39 Permalink

 

Trump is , of course, correct: Germany like much of central Europe, is held hostage by Russian energy exports,

Trump better be careful or peace might break out in Europe. Germanys problem isnt Russian gas, its American military.

Germany is a hostage to NATO while the CIA makes war in Ukraune. Trump wants Germany hostage to US energy exports.

These politicians dress their goals in gibbledegook..and dumb assed pundits like this author gobble it up.

In reply to by Billy the Poet

Billy the Poet strannick Wed, 07/11/2018 - 11:03 Permalink

Duh. Germany is a hostage to NATO while the CIA makes war in Ukraune. Trump wants Germany hostage to US energy exports.

 

But Trump wants to defund NATO and part of his rationale is that European energy dependence on Russia shows that there is little risk of conflict. If Trump's plan was to supplant Russian gas in Europe with US gas then he would be building up NATO and European dependence on the US rather than seeking to end it.

Now, if in the meantime some European nations decided to diversify their energy supply by increasing US gas imports that's just a bonus for the American bottom line.

In reply to by strannick

Offthebeach HowdyDoody Wed, 07/11/2018 - 13:29 Permalink

Delivered at Europe US LNG is near lowest Russian gas.  Trend lines for US is down as hugh excess now being burnt off( once dark at night Dakotas now look like S. Korea lit up at night).  As more pipelines, and near tripple export terminals come on line, prices will fall.  

The nice thing abiut ships are they can go anywhere, any time.

And, really, the US doesn't care, as we ship to Asia, even the ME.

Anyway, lets work out the lovey, dovey Germany/Russia all in future.  

Say the US, again, packs up and leaves.   What little is spent can now be sucked up by the German Deep State. ( Sorry, no NATOxit tax breaks ) And entire army's of political hacks will become Gerard Shepherd sell outs.  

With friends like Turkey and Russia,....you're gonna be fine.

 

 

In reply to by HowdyDoody

Billy the Poet resistedliving Wed, 07/11/2018 - 10:53 Permalink

Following the Qadhafi regime’s targeting of civilians in February 2011, NATO answered the United Nations’ (UN) call to the international community to protect the Libyan people. In March 2011, a coalition of NATO Allies and partners began enforcing an arms embargo, maintaining a no-fly zone and protecting civilians and civilian populated areas from attack or the threat of attack in Libya under Operation Unified Protector (OUP). OUP successfully concluded on 31 October 2011.

https://www.nato.int/cps/ic/natohq/topics_71652.htm

 

PS -- I have no idea why people are down voting this evidence that NATO itself was involved in foolish Middle East wars. Can anyone explain?

In reply to by resistedliving

keep the basta… Billy the Poet Wed, 07/11/2018 - 17:00 Permalink

Billy, blaming Qaddafi for the mercenary destabilisation...that’s the downvote reason...you have seen it in Ukraine and in Syria since then. You have seen it in funding of Antifa.

Sure NATO participated in the destruction of a stable prosperous country with wonderful rise from 5 to 95% literacy under its leader, great free schooling, medical, dwelling given on marriage, income equivalent to peers if graduated and unemployed and then a decion to help other African countries climb out of poverty plus the gold backed dinar. All good reasons for “civil” war and nato destruction.

Libya destroyed running open slave markets and that’s caused by NATO.

In reply to by Billy the Poet

OverTheHedge Mr.Sono Wed, 07/11/2018 - 11:06 Permalink

I'm thinking that trump is showing how the core reason for nato no longer exists. It serves no useful purpose. Everyone knows this. Demands to pour vast amounts of money into a pointless exercise may be entirely to force everyone into admitting that NATO is now a dinosaur, long past its sell-by date. 

With NATO gone, USA loses its instant ally "coalition of the willing", which makes more worldwide meddling harder. Trump wins, and MIC loses. Damn! I'm thinking like TMosley now!

In reply to by Mr.Sono

Terminaldude Mr.Sono Wed, 07/11/2018 - 10:04 Permalink

Germany is already captive of the US.   The US has 35,000 troops stationed in Germany.  I would call that a captive.

I am not totally sold, but I think somewhere in the background Trump and his advisers are working to reduce the US foot print Militarily around the world. 

He has been trying to make nice with North Korea and bring home the 20 some thousand troops in South Korea (another captive).  He is pissing off the Germans and NATO which will make bringing the 35,0000 in Germany home much easier.

He is trying to make friends with Russia, which will reduce the boogey man that the MIC needs.

Slowly slowly slowly, these things are coming together.  You cannot just go and do all these things over 2 months or he would be KILLED.  Plain and simple.  These things need to be done slowly, so the SHEEP back home can start thinking a bit and demand it.

Trumps statement about Germany giving Russia Billions for Oil but being afraid they will attacked is PRICELESS.  That one statement will make a lot of Brain Washed idiots start to open their minds a bit.

In reply to by Mr.Sono

swmnguy Terminaldude Wed, 07/11/2018 - 10:21 Permalink

Totally agree.  And this is the one area where I see Trump's policies, inarticulate though they are, as a big positive.

Since Trump is so intellectually disorganized and undisciplined, and he's playing several layers of double-games, it's hard to tell what the hell he's actually talking about and trying to do.  The things he says are self-contradictory gibberish and fantasy.  Just campaign posturing.  He's actually done very little, other than putting rhetorical pressure on weak points and fracture lines.  He's setting processes in motion for sure, but without any coherent statement of strategy, he seems to be letting events run policy rather than the other way around.  

But I'm opposed to War, opposed to Empire, opposed to global domination by finance.  The events Trump appears to be setting in motion look likely to end all that.  I can't tell if Trump is doing this intentionally, since the things he says don't make any damn sense and contradict one another Tweet by Tweet.  But it's possible Trump pulls the US out of NATO; pushes Russia and China to pull out of the US-dominated and USD-denominated global system, taking Iran, India, Korea etc. with them; removes US troops from much of the world; all those things would be fantastic and I would support them whole-heartedly.

The short and medium-term impacts on the US and the lifestyle of Americans would be crushing, but managing the decline of US Empire is far better than pushing it to over-reach and collapse, which seems to be the Oligarchs' favored alternative.

In reply to by Terminaldude

Billy the Poet swmnguy Wed, 07/11/2018 - 10:41 Permalink

I can't tell if Trump is doing this intentionally, since the things he says don't make any damn sense and contradict one another Tweet by Tweet.  

 

Politics is a game of deception. Trump has outraged and confused his opponents since the primaries and it works most of the time. Trump's adversaries aren't sure at which point to counter-attack and consistently underestimate Trump's strength because they think he's disorganized, stupid or crazy.

In reply to by swmnguy

Terminaldude swmnguy Wed, 07/11/2018 - 11:47 Permalink

Trump is a Billionaire Showman.

Don't underestimate how smart he truly is.  He throws shit out every morning and sees where it lands and who picks it up or who goes mental over it.

He is playing the Deep State and Oligarchs by forcing them to "out" themselves.  

Just look at how much more informed about what is actually going on in the world people are seeing since Trump has been tweeting.

There would have been a war in Syria if Clinton had won the election and who knows what else.

He plays the fool (I believe) to keep his opponents off guard and unsure as to what to do.  They are used to everyone (NWO-one world types) playing by the same playbook and working toward the same end (yes, they would bicker a bit but the result would still be the same).

Trump has put the NWO, migrant invasion, Global Warming BS into limbo.  The Soro's of the world are beside themselves as to

"What the hell is going on"?.   They are afraid and confused and I think that is exactly what Trump has hoped for. 

When people are afraid and confused, they do and say things they normally wouldn't (which reveals them and their plan).

Keep up the confusion I say.

In reply to by swmnguy