Russia pushed back at U.S. President Donald Trump and his comment in which he called Germany a “captive of Russia” because of its energy dependence and support of a costly Baltic Sea gas pipeline.
“Supplies of pipeline gas do not lead to dependence of one country on another but to complete mutual dependence. That is a guarantee of stability and future development,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told Reuters on Thursday. He claimed Trump is trying to bully Europe into buying American energy supplies over Russia’s.
Trump called out Germany for being willing to accept plans for obtaining Russian natural gas through the Baltic Sea’s $11-billion Nord Stream 2 pipeline during the North Atlantic Treaty Organization summit, according to Reuters.
Trump said Germany is a wealthy country and asked why the U.S. should “protect [Germany] against Russia” with defense support when the two countries already work together, according to NBC News. (RELATED: Merkel Claps Back At Trump Saying Germany Controlled By Russia With Memory Of East Germany)
The NATO target agreement for defense spending is 2 percent, while the U.S. spends 3.5 percent, around double of what other countries spend.
Russia is still planning to follow through on the pipeline deal with Germany, according to Reuters.
A spokesman for the U.S. Department of State said the U.S. opposes the project, telling Reuters that Western firms invested in the pipeline should be warned of sanctions pending.
Peskov said Russia regarded Trump’s objections to the new pipeline as self-interest. The U.S., he said, is trying to stiff arm European countries to buy costlier U.S. natural gas, and that “the buyers must take their own decision,” Reuters reported.
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