Former President Donald Trump said Wednesday night that his successor’s summit meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin was “a good day for Russia” and added that “I don’t see what we got out of it.”
“We didn’t get anything. We gave a very big stage to Russia, and we got nothing,” Trump told Fox News’ “Hannity”. “We gave up something that is unbelievably valuable. I stopped the pipeline, Nord Stream [2], and that pipeline was stopped. It was given back and nothing was gotten for it.”
The Biden administration announced last month that it had waived sanctions against the Russia-owned, Switzerland-based company Nord Stream 2 AG, which is overseeing the construction of a natural gas pipeline connecting Russia and Germany under the Black Sea. Lawmakers from both parties consider Nord Stream 2 a security risk that undermines NATO and American interests by binding Germany closer to Russia and depriving Ukraine of key revenue.
“To go ahead and impose sanctions now, I think, would be counterproductive now in terms of our European relations,” Biden told reporters on May 26. “And they know how strongly I feel. And I hope we can work on how they handle it from this point on.”
Trump, who imposed the sanctions when he signed the annual defense bill in late 2019, blasted Germany and America’s other European allies for turning to Russia for their energy needs.
Former President Donald Trump meets with Russian President Vladimir Putin in 2018.
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“I went to Germany and I said, ‘Listen, we protect you with NATO at a very low cost’ … we have 52,000 soldiers over there, which is like a major, major city, frankly. They make a fortune with us, and then they go and they pay Russia billions and billions of dollars for energy.
“So I said, ‘Let’s get this straight’ — to Angela [Merkel] — I said, ‘we protect you and the people that we protect you from, the country, you’re paying billions of dollars. How does that work?’”
The former president went on to claim that European nations “screw us on trade. That’s the only word that’s really descriptive enough, because they are in many ways worse than China, or as bad as China on trade.
President Joe Biden and Vladimir Putin meet in Geneva, weeks after Biden waived the sanctions on the Nord Stream 2 pipeline.
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“How many Chevrolets are being sold in Berlin? Not too many. How many Chevrolets are being sold in Paris? Not too many, maybe none. And yet, we sell their products — their wines and their cars and their Mercedes and their BMWs and everything else — we sell it all over our country.”
Turning back to the summit between Biden and Putin, Trump told host Sean Hannity that he “got along really well” with the Russian leader.
“I think we had a great shot at having an unbelievable relationship with Russia,” the former president said. “It could have been fantastic. It could have been really beneficial to both countries. You know, they need economics and we need things that they have. They have very valuable land in terms of mineral rights and many other things, and a lot of good things could have happened.
“I had a very good relationship with Putin, but nobody treated him tougher.”
Trump said he got along well with Putin while criticizing Biden for waiving sanctions against Nord Stream 2 AG.
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