FLASHBACK: Trump Ripped Germany’s Cozy Relationship With Russia To The NATO General Secretary’s Face


Anders Hagstrom White House Correspondent
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Former President Donald Trump ripped Germany’s cozy relationship with Russia in 2018, a relationship some argue contributed to Russia’s decision to invade Ukraine.

Numerous current and former German officials have stated that their efforts to create a “special relationship” with Russia since 2014 was a mistake and that Germany’s Russia policy is now in “ruins.” Trump warned Germany that its relationship with Russia could turn sour during a 2018 meeting with German and NATO leaders. (RELATED: Trump To Pull Nearly 12,000 Troops Out Of Germany And Bring More Than Half Back Home)

“It’s very sad when Germany makes a massive oil and gas deal with Russia. Where, you’re supposed to be guarding against Russia and Germany goes out and pays billions and billions of dollars a year to Russia,” Trump said at the time. “So we’re supposed to protect you against Russia, but they’re paying billions of dollars to Russia, and I think that’s very inappropriate.”

“Germany is totally controlled by Russia because they will be getting 60-70% of their energy from Russia and a new pipeline, and you tell me if that’s appropriate, and I think it’s not,” he said, addressing NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg.

Trump maintained a critical tone against Germany throughout his presidency, accusing the country of “delinquency” in its NATO payments in 2020.

Germany, Hungary and Italy have reportedly stood in the way of the U.S. and NATO imposing the most stringent sanctions against Russia for its invasion of Ukraine this week. President Joe Biden alluded to the situation Thursday, saying that removing Russia from the international SWIFT banking system “is not a position that the rest of Europe wishes to take.”

Germany has since halted the certification of the Nord Stream 2 pipeline from Russia to Germany following Russian President Vladimir Putin’s decision to move forward with a full-scale invasion of Ukraine.

Biden also announced that the U.S. would sanction Putin personally Friday, one day after reporters pressed the White House on why it hadn’t already taken the step.

Russia carried out coordinated airstrikes on Ukrainian military bases across the country beginning Thursday morning. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky gave a general call-to-arms to his citizens Thursday, saying the government will provide weapons.

“We will give weapons to anyone who wants to defend the country,” Zelensky tweeted early Thursday. “Be ready to support Ukraine in the squares of our cities.”

Biden’s Thursday sanctions package included blocks on technology exports to Russia, as well as sanctions against four major Russian banks, among other measures.

While the U.S. has ruled out deploying troops directly to Ukraine, Biden has increased the number of U.S. troops in NATO countries near Russia. Biden has threatened that if Putin goes beyond Ukraine and invades a NATO country, Russia will face the full force of American power, a threat he reiterated Thursday.