The negative implications of Germany, and other European countries, being too beholden to Russia for energy should concern President Donald Trump and the broader NATO alliance, according to a former diplomat who advised both Republican and Democratic administrations.
But for the U.S. president to say “Germany is a captive nation of Russia, that's just a gross insult to [German Chancellor Angela Merkel] and the German people,” Nicholas Burns told CNBC on Wednesday. He was U.S. ambassador to NATO and the State Department's third-ranking official under former President George W. Bush.
Speaking in Brussels Wednesday at the summit of NATO leaders, Trump said, “Germany is totally controlled by Russia,” citing as "inappropriate” the Nord Stream 2 natural gas pipeline that would run directly from Russia to Germany under the Baltic Sea. “They will be getting between 60 and 70 percent of their energy from Russia and a new pipeline.”
After a later bilateral meeting with Merkel, Trump said he brought up the nat gas pipeline, as well as military spending and trade, with the German leader. He added the U.S. and Germany have a good relationship.