President Donald Trump told reporters in a late-breaking news conference Thursday that the pipeline from Russia to Germany was discussed “at length” during the NATO conference.
“Nobody brought it up but me and we all are talking about it now,” Trump said of security threats posed with Germany paying Russia for the new gas pipeline and depending on Russia as an energy source.
The president had very directly brought up the pipeline with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg at a breakfast meeting on Wednesday, Trump’s first event at the summit. He not only voiced concern over the payments from Germany to Russia for the pipeline, and the problem of dependence on Russia as an energy source, but the conflict that it presents when the U.S. and other NATO partners spend large amounts to help defend against Russia.
Trump stated during his press conference that “Germany has increased very substantially their time period” for reaching a two percent minimum for defense spending on NATO.
“And Germany’s coming along and we still have to figure out what’s going on with the pipeline because the pipeline is coming in from Russia so we’re going to have to figure that out,” said Trump.
“Nobody brought it up but me and we all are talking about it now. And actually, I think the world is talking about it now maybe more than anything else,” he continued. “But we’re going to figure that out.”
“And frankly maybe everybody’s going to have a good relationship with Russia so there’ll be a lot less problem with the pipeline,” he added. “But to me, that was a very major point of contention. We discussed it at length today.”
President Trump is scheduled to hold a bilateral meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin on July 16 in Helsinki, Finland.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 12, 2018