By: Jessica Kramer
After President Donald Trump criticized German Chancellor Angela Merkel by saying Berlin was “totally controlled by Russia,” Merkel responded with personal experience of East Germany being formerly controlled by the Soviet regime.
Merkel spoke of a time in her youth when East Germany was under communist control by the former Union.
“I have experienced myself how a part of Germany was controlled by the Soviet Union,” Merkel said.
“I am very happy that today we are united in freedom, the Federal Republic of Germany. Because of that we can say that we can make our independent policies and make independent decisions. That is very good, especially for people in eastern Germany,” Merkel said, according to Reuters.
While Trump has called out North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) for allowing the U.S. to bare most of the costs in past years on Wednesday, Merkel defended Germany’s active role.
“Germany is the second largest provider of troops, the largest part of our military capacity is offered to NATO and until today we have a strong engagement toward Afghanistan. In that we also defend the interests of the United States,” Merkel said, according to Reuters.
Trump insists that it “doesn’t seem to make sense that they paid billions of dollars to Russia and we have to defend them against Russia,” according to CNNon Wednesday where Trump spoke with the NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg.
He also is calling out countries that fail to spend 2 percent of their Gross Domestic Product (GDP) on defense spending, the standard agreement allies are to meet by 2024, while the U.S. spends 4.81 percent, almost double of what the U.K. and Greece contribute.
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