A meeting of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization began on a confrontational note on Wednesday with U.S. President Trump singling out Germany for criticism, accusing the largest and wealthiest Europeanmember of the defense alliance of being a â€œcaptiveâ€ of Russia.
During a breakfast meeting with NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg, Trump pointedly criticized Germany for allowing Russian energy company Gazprom to construct the Nord Stream 2 pipeline through its waters.
Trump on Wednesday also kept up his demands for NATO members to contribute more money to the defense alliance that has been the linchpin of the Westâ€™s post-World War Two military cooperation.
NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg finds himself in the uncomfortable position of trying to bridge differences between the United States and the other 28 members of the alliance. â€œMy main task is to try to keep us together and I do that by trying to find common ground,â€ explained Stoltenberg.