In 2018, President Donald Trump issued a stern warning to other NATO members states about Europe’s reliance on Russia.
Speaking during a meeting with NATO leaders at the July summit in Brussels, Belgium, Trump engaged in a heated exchange with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg.
Trump blasted Stoltenberg over European nations, particularly Germany, for enriching Russia by engaging in energy commerce with the country.
A video of Trump’s firm warning to Stoltenberg and NATO leaders has now resurfaced as Russia continues its full-scale invasion of Ukraine.
The clip has been making the rounds on social media as sanctions don’t appear to have deterred Russian President Vladimir Putin at all so far.
“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 began.
“So, we’re protecting Germany, we’re protecting France, we’re protecting all of these countries, and then numerous of the countries go out and make a pipeline deal with Russia where they’re paying billions of dollars into the coffers of Russia.”
Trump continued, asking Stoltenberg if that was “appropriate,” and saying that Germany was “totally controlled” by Russia as a result of paying for, and becoming reliant on, Russian energy.
“Now, if you look at it, Germany is a captive of Russia because 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,” the 45th president added.
Stoltenberg responded, suggesting that while there will be differences of opinion among the 29 NATO nations, they are stronger together.
Trump pushed back, asking how these nations can be “together” if one is being supplied energy by another nation from which they want protection.
Stoltenberg argued that during the Cold War, nations traded with Russia, to which Trump responded that trade is different than energy, and pointed to another European nation that wasn’t accepting Russian energy.