Donald Trump, at Nato summit, says Germany is ‘captive’ of Russia

BRUSSELS: US President Donald Trump launched a blistering attack on Germany at the start of a tense Nato summit Wednesday, accusing Berlin of being “captive” to Russia and demanding it and other allies immediately step up defence spending.
The two-day meet in Brussels was already shaping up to be the alliance’s most difficult in years, with Europe and the US engaged in a bitter trade spat and Trump demanding that Nato allies “reimburse” Washington for the cost of defending the continent.
European allliance members were braced for criticism from Trump on defence spending, but his furious tirade at what should have been an amicable breakfast meeting appeared to take even Nato chief Jens Stoltenberg by surprise.
“Germany is a captive of Russia because it is getting so much of its energy from Russia,” Trump said, taking particular aim at the proposed Nord Stream II pipeline.
“Everybody’s talking about it all over the world, they’re saying we’re paying you billions of dollars to protect you but you’re paying billions of dollars to Russia.”
Trump has long complained that European Nato members do not pay enough for their own defence, accusing them of freeloading on America and singling out Germany for particular criticism.
Europe’s biggest economy spends just 1.24 percent of GDP on defence, compared with 3.5 percent for the US, well below the Nato guideline of two percent.