U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May pledged at Friday’s joint press conference to keep the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline from Russia to Germany a topic at the E.U. table as long as the U.K. still has a seat.
May spoke to reporters from Chequers alongside U.S. President Donald Trump Friday morning after a private meeting between the two. Trump made the security issue of the Nord Stream pipeline a hot topic of this week’s NATO summit in Brussels, Belgium.
A reporter asked May at the press conference if she shared the concerns about the pipeline that President Trump expressed at the NATO summit.
After some discussion and back and forth with Trump, May said the U.K. has been talking about the pipeline: “On the Nord Stream — we’ve been talking to the Germans about this; we’ve been talking to other countries within the European Union about this.”
“While we continue to sit around the E.U. table, this will be something that will be discussed at the European Union table,” May continued. “And obviously, we’ll make our views known there.”
Trump also responded to the question, calling the pipeline situation a “tragedy.” He echoed the concerns he had expressed from his first event in Brussels, a breakfast meeting with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, “I think it’s a horrific thing that’s being done, where you’re feeding billions and billions of dollars — from Germany primarily, and other countries, but primarily from Germany — into the coffers of Russia when we’re trying to do something so that we have peace in the world.”
“I think it’s a horrible mistake,” Trump said of Germany’s actions with the pipeline. “As much as I like Angela, I was very open in saying it.”
“I think it’s a horrible thing that you have a pipeline coming from Russia, and I believe that Germany is going to be getting 50, 60, or even, I’ve heard, numbers of 70 percent of their energy coming in from Russia,” Trump said, highlighting the security conflict the pipeline poses. “And how can you be working for peace and working from strength when somebody has that kind of power over your country?”
Trump does not think that’s good. “You’re not working from strength; you’ve given up all of your strength. I think it’s very bad for Germany, very bad for the German people.” He added that not only is it not good for Germany, but that it is not good for NATO: “And I don’t think it’s very good for NATO, if you want to know the truth.”
During the breakfast meeting with Stoltenberg at NATO, Trump emphasized the conflict of having former German Chancellor Gerhard Schröder serving on the board of the Nord Stream 2 energy company “supplying the gas.”
President Trump is scheduled to meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin on Monday, July 16, in Helsinki, Finland. He concluded his trip in England on Friday afternoon after a gala and meetings with Prime Minister May Thursday and Friday and tea with Queen Elizabeth II and first lady Melania Trump on Friday afternoon. He will spend two days at his golf resort in Turnberry, Scotland, before continuing on to Finland for the meeting with Putin.