Trump said that Russia “owns” Germany because of the Nord Stream 2 Russia-to-Germany gas pipeline.
As president, Trump imposed sanctions on the construction of the pipeline, which Biden subsequently lifted.
The pipeline is under increased scrutiny amid growing fears about a Russian invasion of Ukraine.
Former President Donald Trump said Russia controls Germany because of its dependence on Russian gas and said the Russia-Ukraine crisis is a “European problem.”
“Europe should be totally involved,” Trump told conservative radio host Glenn Beck on Saturday, speaking about growing fears of a possible Russian invasion of Ukraine.
“Germany made a deal with Russia with the pipeline, and Nord Stream is a disaster,” Trump said, referring to an undersea Russia-to-Germany gas pipeline.
“And I’m the one that brought that up. Nobody even knew about it. I used to talk about it all the time. Then they’d say, ‘Oh, he’s weak on Russia.’ Putin would say, ‘you’re killing me with this pipeline.’ But I got it stopped.”
The controversial gas pipeline Nord Stream 2 is designed to double the gas flowing directly from Russia to Germany, bypassing the typical transit route through Ukraine.
The project has faced criticism across Europe and the US for giving Russia possibly dangerous leverage over Europe. Ukraine has also criticized the pipeline, depriving it of billions in gas transit fees.
As president, Trump approved sanctions targeting firms building Nord Stream 2, but President Joe Biden waived them last May.
The $11 billion pipeline finished in September but is not yet operational, pending German certification.
Speaking to Glenn Beck, Trump said that the pipeline was “one of the dumbest moves I’ve ever seen” and claimed that Germany would get “70% or more” of their energy from Russia.
“That means Russia controls them. Russia owns Germany,” Trump said.
“They’re getting their energy from Russia, so Russia has total control over Germany, and Germany’s saying, ‘oh well, we don’t want to fight them.’ They can’t fight them because of what’s happening with the energy.”
As tensions simmer following a Russian military buildup on the Ukraine border, the US and Germany have threatened to halt the opening of Nord Stream 2.
However, critics have accused Berlin of prioritizing the pipeline and not going far enough to support Ukraine in the face of Russian aggression.
This week Ukraine denounced Germany’s offer to send only 5,000 helmets in response to a request for military equipment to defend against Russian forces, calling the paltry offer a “joke.”
In his interview with Glenn Beck, Trump criticized Biden’s negotiation tactics and suggested that Russian President Vladimir Putin was now emboldened to invade Ukraine.
“I think two weeks ago. He had no intention of doing it. He was just negotiating and doing his schtick, which he likes to do,” Trump said.
“And now, he’s seeing it’s like a clear path because of the stupid people he is dealing with.”
Trump often expressed admiration for autocratic leaders like Putin while criticizing US allies and institutions like NATO throughout his presidency.
He was also impeached in 2019 over a scandal involving the withholding of military aid to Ukraine while pressuring it to investigate his political rivals.
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