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Wednesday, 11 July 2018

Trump and Merkel meet after he calls Germany a 'captive' of Russia'

Trump and Merkel meet after he calls Germany a 'captive' of Russia'
US President Donald Trump has held talks with German Chancellor Angela Merkel on the sidelines of a NATO summit in Brussels, hours after he fiercely criticised German policy on defence spending and gas imports from Russia.


The tone of their remarks when they jointly addressed reporters afterwards appeared business like, after Mr Trump had said Germany's reliance on Russian energy left it "in the control" of Moscow.

Mrs Merkel responded, saying that Germany makes "independent decisions", and referred to her youth in Soviet-run East Germany to insist Berlin was now fully sovereign.

"We're having a great meeting. We're discussing military expenditure ... talking about trade," President Trump told reporters who were allowed in to the meeting room.

"We have a very, very good relationship with the chancellor. We have a tremendous relationship with Germany," he added, saying he had raised his concerns about a new gas pipeline planned from Russia to Germany.

Mrs Merkel said she had discussed migration and trade with President Trump and looked forward to further exchanges as the United States remained a partner of Germany.

Earlier, at the start of the NATO summit, President Trump said that Germany's "inappropriate" gas deal with Moscow made it a "captive" of Russia.

He appeared to catch NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg unaware as he abandoned the polite formality of a breakfast meeting and lashed out at Berlin and other allies for failing to pay their way.

"Germany is captive of Russia because it is getting so much of its energy from Russia," Mr Trump said.

"They pay billions of dollars to Russia and we have to defend them against Russia."
 (rte)
 11/7/18

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