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Der Spiegel: Merkel-Trump meeting promises to be stormy

GERMANY (OBSERVATORY) – Angela Merkel could be severely reprimanded by Donald Trump during their next meeting, said Der Spiegel, recalling the disagreements of Berlin and Washington on the Nord Stream 2 project and the increase in military spending of NATO member countries.

The German Chancellor could be disputed on Friday, the day of his visit to Washington, by the US President, said the German weekly Der Spiegel. The paper points out that there may be significant differences over two issues, namely, the implementation of Nord Stream 2 (a project the US fiercely opposes) and NATO’s demand for increased military spending. member countries to 2% of their GDP.

“The permit for the construction of the gas pipeline has already been issued under Gerhard Schröder. In addition, the guarantee of energy security is vital for Germany, which means that Berlin can not give up the project, “says the author of the article in Der Speigel.

According to the newspaper, the State Department had previously warned that in case of refusal of any concession from Berlin, Washington would spread the conflict, showing everyone the break between Germany and the United States.

Angela Merkel and her advisers are trying to avoid the scandal at all costs and are looking for ways to reduce tension, although their possibilities are reduced, says Der Spiegel. Thus, given Germany’s economic growth, the share of military spending in GDP will only decline. As for Nord Stream 2, the permission for construction being issued, she has her hands tied, said Der Spiegel.

The Nord Stream 2 pipeline will cross the Baltic Sea, connecting Russian suppliers with European consumers for more than 1,200 km. The pipeline will have a capacity of 55 billion cubic meters of gas per year. The project has an estimated cost of nearly 10 billion euros. At the end of March, the construction of a 30 km section was authorized by the Federal Maritime and Hydrographic Agency of Germany in accordance with German legislation.

The project is strongly criticized by several countries, including Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, as well as Ukraine, the latter country doing everything to bury the Nord Stream 2 project which threatens to end its transit state status depriving it of its main lever in its relations with the EU and Russia. The United States is also involved because they want to export their gas to Europe.

In 2014, the NATO member countries pledged to increase their military spending in the next ten years to 2% of their GDP, a figure recommended for each NATO country . At present, only 8 of the 29 members of the Alliance respect this figure: they are the United Kingdom, Greece, Romania, France, Turkey and the three Baltic countries.