“Look at my policies on energy… I’m opening up our country to natural gas and oil. It is competition for Russia,” Trump said in an interview with Fox Business.
Trump emphasized that it was him who had raised the issue of Germany paying “billions of dollars” for Russian natural gas.
“Everyone knew about it, but no one talked about it. I made it a big issue,” he added.
Donald Trump earlier said that Germany was completely controlled by Russia through natural gas supplies.
He believes it absolutely impermissible for Germany to pay billions of dollars for Russian gas and planning to build a new pipeline to bring it in (Nord Stream 2) while the United States must defend it as a NATO ally by disproportionally spending more on defense than Berlin does.
Speaking at a conference hosted by the Aspen Institute, Foreign Ministry State Secretary Andreas Michaelis, railed against Washington’s attempts to influence the European Union’s energy agenda. He said that Germany will move forward with the Nord Stream 2 plan regardless of what the US has to say.
“This is part of European core interests,” Michaelis said Tuesday. “I don’t want European energy policy to be defined in Washington,” he added.
The Nord Stream 2 project envisages the construction of two pipelines to deliver 55 billion cubic meters of Russian natural gas annually to the European Union across the Baltic Sea to Germany.
An extension of the existing Nord Stream pipeline, Nord Stream 2 will run across the territories of Russia, Finland, Sweden, Denmark and Germany.
Of all the countries involved in the project, Denmark is the only one which has yet to approve its construction.
Some countries, afraid of losing revenues from Russian gas transit, above all Ukraine, are opposed to Nord Stream 2.
Latvia, Lithuania and Poland have jointly come out against the project which they see as a politically-motivated.
The project is also facing opposition from the United States, which wants European countries to start importing American liquefied natural gas and has threatened to sanction European companies that invest in the pipeline.
The Nord Stream pipeline is scheduled to become operational by the end of 2019.