According to Forbes, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said that Nord Stream 2 construction is not NATO's business when he met with US President Donald Trump over breakfast in the US embassy in Brussels on Wednesday.
"It's not for NATO to decide; this is a national decision," he noted, adding that NATO allies were trading with Russia, even during the Cold War.
Mr. Stoltenberg countered that although NATO allies have "different views" sometimes, NATO has always been able to "unite around our core task to protect and defend each other."
His remarks came in response to another stinging Donald Trump attack on the Nord Stream 2 pipeline project. The president called Germany a "captive of Russia", claiming that an "inappropriate" gas deal with Russia that has left Berlin "totally controlled" by the Kremlin.
POTUS lamented that under the Nord Stream 2 project, Germany is paying "billions and billions of dollars" to Russia, the country the US is supposed to defend Germany against. Trump urged NATO to look into the matter.
In March, Germany approved a Gazprom-led project to construct the Nord Stream 2 pipeline to carry Russian gas to Germany under the Baltic Sea, citing its positive impact on European energy security.
Donald Trump has been a vocal critic of Nord Stream 2. In May, he demanded that Germany drop the pipeline project to secure a trade deal that would not include high aluminum and steel tariffs.
Trump has been promoting American liquefied natural gas (LNG) in a bid to lift its exports to Europe. In July 2017, he pitched the product to 12 Central and Eastern European nations as an alternative to energy imports from other suppliers. "You can never be held hostage to a single supplier," he told a news conference commending American LNG.