Trump and Merkel meet on the sidelines of the NATO summit

The US President Donald trump on Wednesday met with Chancellor of Germany Angela Merkel on the sidelines of the NATO summit in Brussels, after which they spoke to reporters. According to trump, they discussed such issues as military spending and trade. The President expressed the opinion that trade between the two countries will develop.

“We had a great visit. We are discussing military spending… talking about trade, – said trump journalists admitted to the room where the negotiations took place. – We have a very good relationship with the Chancellor. We have excellent relations with Germany”.

Merkel added that the meeting discussed the problems of migration and trafficking, and expressed commitment to continue discussions with the United States, which remain the partner of Germany.

Earlier, Merkel responded to the criticism of President trump, who said that energy cooperation with Russia, making the country its “captive”. Arriving at the summit, she recalled that remembers the days when East Germany was under the control of the Soviet Union, however, energy transactions do not put Berlin in a subordinate position.

“I am very pleased that today we are United in freedom as the Federal Republic of Germany. In this regard, we can say that conduct an independent policy and take independent decisions,” said the Chancellor.

Trump had previously expressed outrage that Germany “is paying Russia billions and billions of dollars a year.” “How can you be together when one country receives energy from the country that you want protection?” – said the American leader. According to him, Germany “get rid of coal-fired power plants, from nuclear technology and gets lot of oil and gas from Russia.”

“In my opinion, NATO should pay attention to it”, – he added.

Support the construction of offshore gas pipeline from Russia, worth 10 billion dollars insist that it will enhance the energy security of Europe, will promote diversification and help to reduce the elections of carbon dioxide.

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg was in a difficult situation because of the need to smooth out the differences between the US and the rest of the 28 members of the bloc, which trump blames inadequate funding of the Alliance. “My main task is to keep us together and I’m doing this, trying to find common ground,” – said Stoltenberg.

NATO Secretary General acknowledges that between the allies there are significant differences. “The gas pipeline from Russia to Germany – one of the issues where opinions diverge allies, – said Stoltenberg, commenting on the statements of trump. – However, despite these differences, the strength of NATO is that we have always managed to rally around its main task – to protect and defend each other, because we understand that we are stronger together than apart.”

According to Stoltenberg, although the distribution of the financial burden in the Alliance remains uneven, the situation is changing.

“Europe and North America are doing more together, we faint not” – he stressed, adding that since joining trump in the position of financial contribution of the United States in the defense of Europe “grew by 40 percent.” According to the White house, during the summit, trump will also hold several personal meetings with European leaders.

July 16, President Trump will meet in Helsinki with Russian President Vladimir Putin, which, as stated by the President himself on Tuesday, may be the simplest stage of his European tour.

Answering a question on whether he considers Putin a friend or foe, the President said: “I can’t answer this question. In my view, is a competitor”.

Meanwhile, a group of U.S. senators on Wednesday introduced a draft resolution condemning the ongoing occupation of Crimea by Russia.

“The United States continues to support Ukraine in the face of Russian aggression, – said one of the authors of the resolution, Republican Senator Rob Portman. – Crimea was illegally annexed by Russia, and the United States should never recognize this illegal occupation. It violates not only the rights of the Ukrainian people, but also fundamental principles of international order that America proudly led for more than 70 years. Crimea – part of Ukraine. While Russia does not recognize this fact and will not return Crimea under the control of Ukraine, the U.S. should maintain sanctions against Russia.”

“At that time, as President trump goes into this trip, which is becoming more delicate in nature, we present this resolution to reaffirm our common and strong position against the illegal occupation of the Crimea. Our country must not accept this aggression and should strengthen sanctions against Russia until Crimea is returned under control of Ukraine, – said democratic Senator Bob Menendez came under Russian sanctions because of its efforts to attract Russian President accountable for his actions. – The American people and our allies expect that the President will protect our democracy and national security. This includes the support of our friends in Ukraine, who only achieve sovereignty and territorial integrity.”