German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who grew up in Soviet-controlled East Germany, fired back at President Trump’s accusation that Germany was “captive” to Russia, saying that it is “united in freedom” and makes independent policies and decisions.
“I have experienced myself how a part of Germany was controlled by the Soviet Union,” Merkel said on Wednesday, referring to her childhood in communist East Germany. “I’m very glad that today we are united in freedom … because of that we can say that we can make our independent policies and make independent decisions.”
Her remarks came in response to earlier attacks at the beginning of the NATO summit from Trump, who said that Germany was “totally controlled” by and “captive to” Russia.
“I have to say, I think it’s very sad when Germany makes a massive oil and gas deal with Russia, where you’re supposed to be guarding against Russia, and Germany goes out and pays billions and billions of dollars a year to Russia,” Trump said at a breakfast with NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg.
“If you look at it, Germany is a captive of Russia because they supply,” he continued. “They got rid of their coal plants. They got rid of their nuclear. They’re getting so much of the oil and gas from Russia. I think it’s something that NATO has to look at. I think it’s very inappropriate.”
— TIME (@TIME) July 11, 2018
Trump appeared to be referencing the Nord Stream 2 pipeline that would deliver gas from Russia to parts of northern Germany.