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    German Chancellor Angela Merkel listens as President Donald Trump speaks during their joint news conference in the East Room of the White House in Washington, Friday, March 17, 2017

    Merkel to Face Trump's Pressure Over Nord Stream 2 During Visit to US - Reports

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    Washington and Berlin are at odds over a range of issues, from trade to Iran to Nord Stream 2 to NATO spending.

    German Chancellor Angela Merkel risks being dressed down by her US host Donald Trump when she visits Washington on Friday, Der Spiegel wrote.

    There are two things the two leaders may disagree on: one is the implementation of the Nord Stream 2 project, which Washington doesn’t like, with the second being NATO’s demand that its members bring their defense spending to two percent of their GDP.

    The US State Department earlier threatened to make its rift with Germany public if Berlin refuses to budge, the newspaper wrote.

    According to the newsmagazine, Merkel and her advisors are careful not to bring things to a head and want to defuse tensions with Washington.

    Doing this won’t be easy, as the share of German defense outlays is bound to shrink as the country’s economy picks up.

    As far as the Nord Stream 2 project goes, the author says her hands are tied.

    “A permission to build the pipeline has already been given. Besides, with energy security being a vital priority for Germany, Berlin simply can’t afford to nix the project,” the article said.

    Nord Stream 2 is a joint project to deliver 55 billion cubic meters of Russian natural gas per year to the EU, through a pipeline across the Baltic Sea to Germany, laid along the existing Nord Stream 1 pipe.

    Germany gave its go-ahead to Nord Stream 2 late last month.

    The project is facing strong opposition from Ukraine, which fears that it will lose its earnings from the transit of Russian gas through its territory, and also from Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia, whose leaders see it as a political project.

    The US, which is keen on exporting its own gas to Europe, is also opposed to the project.

    READ MORE: US Interested in 'Fueling Conflict' Over Nord Stream 2 — German MP

    In 2014, bending under strong US pressure, all NATO members pledged to bring their defense outlays to at least 2 percent of their GDP within the next decade.

    Only eight of the 29 NATO states currently meet this requirement. These are Britain, Greece, Romania, the three Baltic countries, France and Turkey.


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    NATO spending, sticking points, Nord Stream 2, talks, NATO, Angela Merkel, Donald Trump, Germany
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