Earlier this year, Germany approved the construction of a Russian gas pipeline called Nord Stream 2, which was supposed to expand on an existing pipeline under the Baltic Sea.
"Germany is captive of Russia because it is getting so much of its energy from Russia", Trump said, referring to Berlin's deal for the gas pipeline. That said, the works have been scheduled in close co-ordination with Nord Stream AG's upstream and downstream partners so that gas supply to European customers during that period is ensured via the alternative transportation route. "I think that's very inappropriate", he said as Upstream went to press.
Since its start, the Nord Stream pipelines have enabled the stable delivery of natural gas for Europe. "We're supposed to be protecting you from Russian Federation, but why are you paying billions of dollars to Russian Federation for energy?"
But Trump's harsh criticism of Germany echoes statements from US officials from past administrations, including Kerry himself, according to recently resurfaced videos, the Washington Free Beacon reported.
"The Nord Stream 2 is not an economic project, the project is absolutely political".
The pipeline has caused splits within the European Union, with Poland and other eastern states fearing it could be used as a tool to boost Russian influence over the bloc.
It's not clear whether Trump's goal in targeting Merkel this morning was to shame Germany into putting more money into North Atlantic Treaty Organisation or to encourage the Germans to buy more natural gas from the United States.
European Union gas imports come mainly from Russian Federation, which accounts for 41 per cent of them, then Norway at 35 per cent, North Africa at 12 per cent and LNG suppliers at 12 per cent.
"For decades Russian Federation has shown and continues to show it is a reliable supplier of energy security to Europe", Peskov added.
Russian President Vladimir Putin's spokesman, Dmitry Peskov, countered Thursday, saying "natural gas pipelines lead not to a dependence of one country from another, but to mutual interdependence".
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