In Brussels, Trump Attacks Germany & NATO Secretary

Germany is Russia's 'captive', Trump says in new outburst at NATO allies

Trump and first lady Melania Trump arrived in Belgium Tuesday for the summit, ahead of meetings with British Prime Minister Theresa May in Britain and Vladimir Putin in Russian Federation.

Donald Trump unleashed his fury on NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg on Wednesday for defending Germany's energy partnership with Russian Federation and threatened Berlin with USA action over the deal that he said is wholly inappropriate. After all, you don't have that many.

"Germany is a captive of Russia because it is getting so much of its energy from Russia", Trump said, taking particular aim at the proposed Nord Stream II gas pipeline, which he has previously criticised. "I think that's very inappropriate".

"We're supposed to protect Germany but they're getting their energy from Russian Federation". We're protecting everybody. this has been going on for decades.

Some others are trying to put an intellectual veneer on Trump's words, claiming that the rant was actually a trenchant observation about German energy policy in the wake of policies pursued by former German Chancellor Schroeder. "It is good that we can now make our own decisions".

"We have a very, very good relationship with the Chancellor".

Stoltenberg said he expected a "open and frank" debate about defence spending at the summit but tried to play down the differences opening up between allies.

"Putin has for so long wanted to find ways to undermine the West and to create divides between the United States and Europe", says James Goldgeier, visiting senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations. He credited Trump, saying North Atlantic Treaty Organisation countries are investing more on defense because of his leadership.

She admitted that his criticism of Germany's low spending on defense was fair, but appealed to his background as a businessman to consider Germany's defense contribution in a wider light.

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And he said: "Dear America, appreciate your allies - after all you don't have that many". "After years of cutting defense budgets, they have started to add billions to their defense budgets".

"Last year was the biggest increase in defense spending across Europe and Canada in that generation", he added.

Schumer (D-N.Y.) and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) speak to young undocumented immigrants in Washington a year ago.

"It's also because of your leadership, because of your carried message", Stoltenberg replied. "I have to bring it up because it's unfair to our country or our taxpayers".

"I am pleased to have this opportunity to be here for this exchange of views", she said, through a translator. "But other presidents never did anything about it because I don't think they understood it or they just didn't want to get involved".

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, whose country also lags on the two per cent pledge, said the focus should be on "outputs" rather than on how much is spent. "They talk about they're going to increase it a tiny bit by 2030".

Pressed by Trump, Stoltenberg said the president's frequent criticism was having an impact, encouraging countries to spend more. "But let me say a couple of things".

At the pre-summit breakfast meeting he launched straight back to his theme. But some experts question Trump's strategy in raising the issue on Wednesday, days before he's due to meet with Russia's leader.

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

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