Opening the NATO summit in Brussels with a bang Wednesday, President Trump blasted Germany for a pipeline project that he said made Germany “totally controlled by Russia.”
“I think it’s very sad when Germany makes a massive oil and gas deal with Russia where we’re supposed to be guarding against Russia,” Mr. Trump said at a breakfast with NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg.
Mr. Trump said Germany was “captive to Russia” and urged NATO to look into the issue.
“The former chancellor of Germany is head of the pipeline company that’s supplying the gas,” Mr. Trump said. “You tell me, is that appropriate? I’ve been complaining about this from the time I got here.”
The president was calling out the planned Nord Stream 2 pipeline from Russia to Germany’s northeastern Baltic coast, which would bypass Eastern European nations and double the amount of gas that Russia can pipe directly to Germany.
The pipeline already has opponents among some NATO nations.
“Very bad thing for NATO,” Mr. Trump said. “I think we have to talk to Germany about it.”
Mr. Trump’s charges flipped the narrative about Russia, which previously centered on his praise of Russian President Vladimir Putin. Mr. Trump’s summit next with with Mr. Putin in Helsinki, Finland, has been criticized for giving Moscow and NATO equal billing.
Mr. Trump also criticized Germany for failing to spend the agreed upon 2 percent of GDP on NATO defense.