Trump Threatens Sanctions On Germany Over Russian Pipeline
Many stories about President Donald Trump can slip under the radar in the hectic, 24-hour news cycle, but some recent comments about Germany and Russia deserve closer attention. The President suggested Wednesday that he could consider sanctions on Germany, a key trading partner.
The administration doesn’t want Germany to go ahead with a planned pipeline that will bring Russian gas into the country. Russian gas is cheap and a pipeline would go a long way to meeting Germany’s energy needs, but the administration is worried.
“We’re looking at it,” Trump told reporters at the White House. “It really makes Germany a hostage of Russia if things ever happened that were bad.
The Trump administration has threatened to move 2,000 American troops out of the country and into Poland, arguing that the US is protecting Germany from Russia but that Germany isn’t doing enough. It’s worth noting that in any conflict, American troops in Poland would effectively be defending Germany.
Another point of contention is Germany’s NATO spending. NATO members commit to spending 2% of their GDP on defense, but Germany, like many others, hasn’t met that goal. Trump has previously complained about this but frequently misunderstand NATO, talking about it as if it’s a dues-paying club.
Sanctions on Germany would quickly backfire. Germany is the largest economy in the EU and central to the EU’s decision-making process. There is also a level of hypocrisy at play. The Trump administration wants to punish Germany for working with Russia, while Trump himself has made friendly overtures to Russian President Vladimir Putin.