Kremlin rejects Trump's description of Germany as Russian 'captive'

Firms invested in Russian pipeline project are at the risk of sanctions, warns US

Germany budgets about 1.2 percent of its GDP on the military, whereas the US spends closer to 4 percent, a gap Trump has repeatedly criticized.

"The Nord Stream 2 is not an economic project, the project is absolutely political".

"The framework conditions for the energy cooperation between Russian Federation and Europe are determined by the European countries themselves - and not by third-party countries", he said in August 2017.

Democrats criticized President Donald Trump this week after he called Germany "a captive to Russia" over the Baltic Sea pipeline project - even though prominent Democrats John Kerry and Joe Biden have expressed the same concerns.

"We are supposed to be protecting you from Russian Federation, but why are you paying billions of dollars to Russian Federation for energy?" Russian President Vladimir Putin said later that the project's implementation did not imply the end of the Ukrainian gas transit if it proved economically feasible.

"As for Germany's dependence (on Russia) as a major gas buyer we can not agree with this premise", Peskov told reporters on a conference call. He said that the deal makes Germany convict to and absolutely administered by Russian Federation and he advocated North Atlantic Treaty Organisation leaders to observe closely at it.

The Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline is scheduled to be put into operation in late 2019. "And you tell me if that's appropriate, because I think it's not". And the last discussion about customs tariffs on metals (aluminium, steel) they really care. "Canada has been clear in our global conversations with many countries". Ukraine it will be very profitable.

"They will use that to weaken the European Union, to divide the European allies", warned Andriy Shevchenko, Ukraine's ambassador to Canada.

The previous Barack Obama administration nonetheless pointed out the disconnect from a Germany that could sign on to EU-US sanctions against Russian Federation over Ukraine and pursue energy deals with Moscow. "The two-week shutdown allows us to maintain our highest standards", Nord Stream AG's Managing Director Alexey Zaytsev pointed out.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel - who grew up behind the Iron Curtain in communist East Germany - shot back at Trump.

"I'm very happy today that we are united in freedom as the Federal Republic of Germany, and can thus say that we can determine our own policies and make our own decisions - and that's very good".

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