US President Donald Trump has criticized Germany over its support for the Nord Stream 2 natural gas pipeline, claiming this gives Russia power over European energy.
“It is a tragedy. I think it is a horrific thing thats being done when youre feeding billions and billions of dollars from Germany primarily… into the coffers of Russia,” Trump said at a news conference on Friday after talks with UK Prime Minister Theresa May.
“I think its a horrible thing that Germanys doing. Its a horrible mistake. How can you be working for peace and working from strength when somebody has that kind of power over you,” the US president said. “Youve given up all of your strength. I think its very bad for Germany. Its very bad for the German people. And I dont think its very good for NATO, if you want to know the truth.”
The $11-billion pipeline seeks to double the existing Nord Stream pipelines current annual capacity of 55 billion cubic meters and is expected to become operational by the end of next year. Both Germany and Russia have insisted that project is a private business affair.
“I believe that Germany is going to be getting 50, 60 or even… 70 percent of its energy coming in from Russia,” said Trump, pointing out Germany's growing reliance on Russian energy.
This is not the first time Trump has bashed Germany over the Nord Stream 2 pipeline. Just on Wednesday, Trump called Berlin “a captive of Russia” for participating in the project.
Trumps attack on Nord Stream 2 has triggered harsh reaction in Germany. The German Committee on Eastern European Economic Relations (Ostausschuss), which unites members accounting for about a fifth of the countrys total foreign trade, has accused the US of trying to interfere in Germanys foreign affairs.
According to the committee, Trumps remarks were “an assault on business relations between German and European countries and Russia,” while assumptions that Nord Stream 2 would help Russia control the European gas market were “factually wrong and politically absurd.”
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