Kremlin Accuses Trump of Trying to Bully Europe into Buying US LNG

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US President Donald Trump

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Trump's statement marked an escalation of a USA campaign to talk down Russian gas supplies to Europe in an attempt to push the US energy sector instead.

Tensions between Washington and Berlin over the pipeline flared in May, with State Department envoys warning that the USA might impose sanctions to prevent the Gazprom-sponsored Nord Stream 2 pipeline.

Most Eastern European countries have expressed their concern over the pipeline project over the years, claiming it directly threatens the security of their countries as Russian Federation will able to use its vast energy resources as a way to have leverage over Western Europe.

"Germany is captive of Russia because it is getting so much of its energy from Russia", Trump said, referring to Berlin's deal for the gas pipeline. "We're supposed to be protecting you from Russian Federation, but why are you paying billions of dollars to Russian Federation for energy?" Trump is meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin next Monday.

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It's not clear whether Trump's goal in targeting Merkel this morning was to shame Germany into putting more money into North Atlantic Treaty Organisation or to encourage the Germans to buy more natural gas from the United States.

"I don't know what he means by that", she said.

The Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline is scheduled to be put into operation in late 2019.

"It will be very beneficial for Ukraine". And the recent discussion on tariffs for metals [aluminum and steel] really concerns them. In Department believe that the pipeline would undermine energy security and stability of Europe.

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Freeland has been a vocal opponent of Russian meddling in the affairs of democratic countries.

"We discussed it with Ukraine", Freeland said. "The two-week shutdown allows us to maintain our highest standards", Nord Stream AG's Managing Director Alexey Zaytsev pointed out.

"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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