At the NATO Summit yesterday, President Trump targeted German Chancellor Angela Merkel
. Trump accused the Chancellor of being “captive” to Russia due to Germany’s plans to build Nord Stream 2, a natural gas pipeline built by the Russian state-owned oil company Gazprom
. Germany is the single biggest consumer of Russian natural gas with that figure expected to double with the addition of this pipeline.
Germany is set to act as the European distribution site for Russian gas, making Ukraine and other Eastern European states
concerned that increasing German and European dependence on Russian natural gas will impede their willingness to speak out against Russian aggression. After the Russian annexation of Crimea, gas was cut off to Kiev which Ukraine alleges was a political move.
The administration’s stance on the pipeline is consistent with previous US foreign policy, though Trump’s rhetoric of captivity is much more extreme.