Wednesday, 19 September, 2018

‘Strange and counterproductive’: Kerry slams Trump’s remarks at North Atlantic Treaty Organisation summit

‘Strange and counterproductive’: Kerry slams Trump’s remarks at North Atlantic Treaty Organisation summit ‘Strange and counterproductive’: Kerry slams Trump’s remarks at North Atlantic Treaty Organisation summit
Melinda Barton | 12 July, 2018, 09:45

But with tensions in the Western alliance smouldering over Trump's trade tariffs on European steel and his demands for more contributions to ease the burden on USA taxpayers, his earlier remarks fuelled concerns among allies for the United States role in keeping the peace that has reigned since World War II.

Ambassador Lincoln Bloomfield (Ret.) on President Trump's public attack against Germany over its gas pipeline deal with Russian Federation.

He said the deal meant that Germany was now "totally controlled" by Moscow. Today, he had this new argument that because Germany is somewhat dependent on Russian Federation for its energy supplies - in particular, this natural gas deal that they struck three years ago - that somehow, that makes Germany captive to Vladimir Putin and Moscow.

What NATO partners dispute is Trump's repeated suggestion that the US gets little in return for its commitment to defend member countries if threatened.

Hannity pointed out that Germany is spending billions of dollars on an energy pipeline between them and Russian Federation, and that the country's former chancellor, Gerhard Schröder, is the one leading the business effort.

'It should never have been allowed to happen.

Additionally, companies in Western Europe, including Germany, are helping to build the Nord Stream 2 - a new pipeline from the Baltic Sea to Europe that is likely to boost Russia's natural-gas exports. "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. He said, look; America's spending on the defense of Europe is good for Europe, but it's good for the United States, too.

He saidthey discussed defense investment and trade, adding: "We have a tremendous relationship with Germany".

Mr Trump dominated the day and is set to stay in the spotlight as he visits the United Kingdom and prepares for a summit with Russian president Vladimir Putin.

The pair later met for a one-on-one meeting and while Trump insisted they had a "very very good relationship", their frosty body language suggested otherwise.

Another key takeaway from the first day was President Trump's criticism of Angela Merkel's Germany.

The NATO statement also extended an invitation to Macedonia to join the alliance following its landmark settlement of a long-running name dispute with NATO member Greece. The secretary general has "worked very hard on this problem", Trump said. This is the same percentage North Atlantic Treaty Organisation countries agreed to back in 2014 - though Trump has widely criticized North Atlantic Treaty Organisation countries for not meeting the 2% threshold, even though the deadline is six years away.

"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 in the presence of reporters.

Macedonia, however, which was formally invited to start accession talks on Wednesday, will be part of a special ceremony on Thursday as the alliance sets the stage for expanding to its 30th member state.