The Strategist

Trump warns Europe off Russian Nord Stream gas pipeline

07/12/2018 - 09:17

President of the United States Donald Trump, who participated in the NATO summit, criticized the European countries for supporting the Nord Stream-2 gas pipeline project from Russia to Germany and insufficient contributions in the North Atlantic bloc’s development. "NATO countries spent additional billions of dollars at my request since my last visit last year, but that's not enough. The US is spending too much. European borders are bad! The investment of pipeline dollars to Russia is unacceptable!" Trump wrote in his Twitter on the results of the discussions.

Michael Vadon via flickr
Michael Vadon via flickr
The main object of criticism of the American president was Germany. Previously, Trump accused the country of that the German energy policy is making the country a "hostage" to Russia, and called the support of Nord Stream-2 a mistake. "We are not anyone's hostages, neither Russia nor the United States," replied Germany's Foreign Minister Heiko Maas.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel considers Nord Stream 2 a commercial project and insists on independence of Berlin's policy. "I have first-hand experience of how part of Germany was controlled by the Soviet Union. I am very glad that today we are a united and free Federal Republic of Germany. Thanks to this, we can say that we are pursuing an independent policy and we are making independent decisions," she stated at the NATO summit.

"What's good for NATO, if Germany pays Russia billions for gas and energy," Trump retorted on Twitter. "We need to defend ourselves against Russia, and Germany goes out and spends billions and billions of dollars a year on Russia," reads another statement.

Other members of NATO were also criticized for the fact that their payments to the alliance's budget are not growing fast enough. Only 5 of the 29 members of the alliance fulfilled their obligations on deductions to the NATO budget of 2% of the national income, he said. Trump insists that this should happen "now, but not in 2025". Meanwhile, Washington would prefer that these deductions accounted for 4% and were equal to the costs of the US, said Trump at the summit.

Meanwhile, a representative of the State Department warned European companies about the risk of sanctions for participation in Russian pipeline projects. "We made it clear that the firms working with the Russian energy pipeline sector are subject to the sanctions risk," said the representative of the US foreign ministry.

A similar statement was made on June 29. Then the representative of the Ministry of Economy of Germany said: "We received assurances that the gas pipeline projects will be withdrawn from the sanctions." Nevertheless, the State Department repeated the warning.

In May, The Wall Street Journal wrote that Trump, in an April meeting with Merkel, tried to convince her to give up supporting the Nord Stream. Recall, the pipeline will be able to transport 55 billion cubic meters of gas per year. According to unnamed European officials, Trump wants the US to become the main supplier of gas to European countries instead of Russia.