After President Donald Trump criticized German Chancellor Angela Merkel by saying Berlin was “totally controlled by Russia,” Merkel responded with personal experience of East Germany being formerly controlled by the Soviet regime.
“I have experienced myself how a part of Germany was controlled by the Soviet Union,” Merkel said, talking about first-hand experience during her youth.
“I am very happy that today we are united in freedom, the Federal Republic of Germany,” Merkel said, according to Reuters. “Because of that we can say that we can make our independent policies and make independent decisions. That is very good, especially for people in eastern Germany.”
While Trump has called out the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) for allowing the U.S. to bear most of the costs in past years on Wednesday, Merkel defended Germany’s active role. (RELATED: Trump RIPS Merkel Over Hypocrisy On Russia)
“Germany is the second largest provider of troops, the largest part of our military capacity is offered to NATO and until today we have a strong engagement toward Afghanistan. In that we also defend the interests of the United States,” Merkel said, according to Reuters.
Trump insists that it “doesn’t seem to make sense that they paid billions of dollars to Russia and we have to defend them against Russia,” according to CNN on Wednesday, as Trump spoke with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg.
He also is calling out countries that fail to spend 2 percent of their gross domestic product (GDP) on defense spending, the standard agreement allies are to meet by 2024, while the U.S. spends 4.81 percent, almost double of what the U.K. and Greece contribute individually.
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