As Germany was the main opponent of the US in Europe.
One of the key themes which began on Wednesday a two-day online consultations of defense Ministers of the NATO countries was the decision of the President of the United States Donald trump to withdraw from Germany 9.5 thousand American soldiers. The White house had previously said he did not understand why the United States should be spent to protect Germany from Russia, while the Germans are buying Russian gas. The partners in NATO have been puzzling, but the greatest annoyance is the position of Washington, of course, is in Berlin. From a loyal ally of Germany becomes almost the main opponent of the US in Europe. Russia is at hand.
on the eve of the Ministerial consultations, the NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg assured the public that “transatlantic unity firmly as ever in the presence of us troops in Europe are in the interest of European countries and USA”, and “should be judged not by words but by deeds”. But it sounded unconvincing. On Monday, Donald trump announced plans to reduce the American continent, in Germany up to 25 thousand people (from the current 34.5 thousand). The President of the United States has made it clear that this way of punishing Germany.
It is, in his words, “guilty”. first, buys Russian gas instead of the us.
secondly, in Germany, according to Donald trump, “billions of dollars in debt” to the United States and NATO, because Berlin cannot bring their defense spending to 2% of GDP (as required by the decision of the NATO summit 2014). In 2019, Germany on the military spent of 1.38% of GDP.
as for stationed on the territory of Germany, American soldiers, according to estimates by the RAND Corporation, the maintenance costs per year amount to $3.5 billion Of which about $1 billion covers itself Germany. However, Donald trump has repeatedly made it clear that he believes this contribution is insufficient.
In Berlin, the US administration’s decision on the reduction of contingent received with regret and bewilderment. A separate criticism of German politicians and experts have received the fact that on the forthcoming withdrawal of troops of the German government learned from the us media. Foreign Minister of Germany Heiko Maas called German-American relationship “complicated.” And the Minister of defence of Germany Annegret crump, Karrenbauer said that “NATO is not a trade organization, and security is not a commodity”. She listed the mission of the Alliance in which German soldiers are involved along with the us (including in Afghanistan and in the fight against banned terrorist group “Islamic state”). And stressed American soldiers in Germany to ensure the security of the entire NATO, including the United States.
Between those from Germany shared with the United States interests during the administration of Donald trump is getting smaller. The United States stopped participating in the Paris climate agreement — Germany is actively supporting the agreement. The United States out of the Iranian “nuclear deal” — Germany continues its efforts to rescue her. Washington announced its intention to leave the Treaty on open skies — Berlin criticized this decision in an open letter.
the American raised customs tariffs — the Germans considered it inconsistent with current standards protectionism. The white house has threatened sanctions to the staff of the International criminal court investigating crimes of the U.S. troops in Afghanistan, the German government stated that they are “strong supporters” of this body.
Most harshly, the USA and Germany clashed in the energy sector. In the heart of the dispute turned out to be the gas pipeline from Russia to Germany “Nord stream-2”, against which Washington is not the first month of threatening to impose sanctions. If the restrictions are adopted, they will affect the European, including German companies. Now “Gazprom” continues active preparation for the laying of the Danish phase of the sea gas pipeline.
“the Federal government is unknown how the project will be implemented from a technical point of view, it comes from the fact that the project “Northern stream-2″ is completed. The government will continue to support politically involved in the project of the company”, — stated in the government in may, and the German foreign Ministry then called on the American side, “not to spin a sanctions spiral”. After submission of a bill on sanctions for the consideration of Congress in the Bundestag urged to impose sanctions against U.S. senators — authors of the initiative. And beyond.
for Particular criticism in Germany has been former US Ambassador in Berlin Richard Grenell (he resigned a couple of weeks ago), allowing themselves to interfere directly in the internal Affairs of the country and doing extremely undiplomatic attacks on the authorities of Germany. Have not improved the image of the United States and the White house attempt to outbid the German pharmaceutical company CureVac, so that it was developing a vaccine for the coronavirus was available only to the United States.
Executive Director German-American friendship society Atlantic Bridge David Gassner said recently in an interview with the Augsburger Allgemeine Zeitung that the relations of the two countries “at the lowest level since the end of world”.
public opinion Surveys in Germany confirm these findings. In the course of sociological studies conducted in Germany on behalf of the Fund named Cerberus in April, 75% of respondents reported deterioration in their opinions about the United States. In the ranking of the key countries—partners of Germany though and took the second m��hundred, but far away from China and Russia: France (44%), USA (10%), China (6%), Russia (4%), Austria (3%), other EU countries and the United Kingdom — from 2%. In surveys Pew Research Center, 75% of Americans polled still think the relationship with Germany was “good”.
NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg as he could to smooth things over. According to him, the final decision regarding the withdrawal of us military from Germany not accepted. The hope that Washington will change his mind, was expressed by the defense Ministers of the European member countries NATO. Even the Polish government, a long time calling for the U.S. to increase the number of its troops on their territory, I emphasize that I would not like this to happen due to the relocation of Germany.
Judging by the statements of German politicians, they are not calculated to improve bilateral relations by Donald trump. So, the head of fraction social Democrats in the Bundestag Rolf Mutzenich said that Berlin received another proof that Donald trump’s “reliable partnerships are not built”. Deputy head of the faction of the Christian Democrats said that the policy in the White house “weakens NATO” and his logic is “faulty”. The head of the faction “Left” Dietmar Bartsch, and even stated about the “transatlantic blackmail.”
But in Moscow, the prospects of reducing the U.S. military presence in Europe, frankly happy. The official representative of Russian foreign Ministry Maria Zakharova said that the downsizing of the military contingent of the USA in Germany “would contribute to the reduction of confrontational capacity and military and political tensions in the region.”
According to Maria Zakharova, Russia is convinced that the European countries are able to independently ensure its security “without Intrusive American patronage”. In the event, “if Washington is really going to gradually liberate German soil from parts of the U.S. armed forces,” spokesman of the Russian foreign Ministry urged Americans “to bring its nuclear weapons stationed on the territory of Germany”.
Elena Chernenko Galina Dudina