Germany ‘Captive to Russia’ for Power, Trump Claims

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By charging that Germany is in thrall to Moscow, Mr. Trump gave the impression to be trying to deflect criticism that he’s too accommodating towards President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia, who he meets on Monday in Helsinki, Finland, urged Derek Chollet, a former assistant secretary of protection who’s now with the German Marshall Fund in Washington.

“That is like throwing a match on kindling, since Germany was anticipating one thing like this after the Group of seven” assembly in Canada, the place Mr. Trump was equally mocking, however in personal, Mr. Chollet mentioned. “Trump went out of his approach in his first assembly to ship this unprovoked assault.”

Mr. Trump and Ms. Merkel talked later in a bilateral assembly that lasted an hour, and appeared to exit their method to be cordial, although it’s broadly identified that they’ve a strained relationship.

Ms. Merkel, fact-based and unemotional, was a powerful ally of President Barack Obama, which is a supply of friction with Mr. Trump. German officers say that when the 2 leaders converse on the cellphone, Mr. Trump harangues her at the beginning about navy spending and the commerce surplus nearly earlier than the standard pleasantries and the principle substance of the decision.

“We’ve a really, superb relationship with the chancellor, we have now an incredible relationship with Germany,” Mr. Trump mentioned. “We’re having an important assembly. We’re discussing navy expenditure, we’re speaking about commerce.” Noting Germany’s “great success,” Mr. Trump added: “And I imagine that our commerce will improve and plenty of different issues will improve, however we’ll see what occurs.”

Requested if the pipeline situation had come up, Mr. Trump mentioned that it had. For her half, Ms. Merkel was nonconfrontational. “I’m happy to have this chance to be right here for this alternate of views,” she mentioned, which prolonged to economics, migrations and “the way forward for our commerce relations.” She concluded: “We’re companions, we’re good companions, and want to proceed to cooperate sooner or later.”

Mr. Trump had been promoting his intention to learn the Riot Act to NATO allies about navy spending, calling People “the schmucks which might be paying for the entire thing” and vowing final week: “I’m going to inform NATO — you bought to start out paying your payments. The US just isn’t going to handle the whole lot.”

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