Sen. John Barrasso, R-Wyo. strongly backed President Donald Trump’s hard stand at the NATO summit.
Barrasso’s comments came during a Wednesday interview on Fox News.
“I agree with the president on both fronts,” he said. “Number one is that they (NATO nations) aren’t paying as much as they should. We shouldn’t be paying more in the United States to defend Europe than they are willing to spend in their own defense.”
And he supported Trump’s comments about Germany becoming too dependent on Russia for its energy source.
Trump has said Germany is “totally controlled” by and “captive to Russia” because of a pipeline project.
“The president is unique and unconventional in his approach but he’s absolutely right in what he is saying,” said Barrasso, a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. “Germany decided to get rid of all its nuclear power plants and as a result became more dependent on Russia for energy.
“Energy is called the master resource for a reason. It powers economies. It powers countries. It is a force multiplier. It is an instrument of power. When Germany is more dependent on Russia for energy that gives Russia that much more power over Germany and over the European Union as well.”
He noted NATO was established in 1949 as a deterrent to the Soviet Union.
“But the same applies today with Russia,” he said. “Vladimir Putin is cunning. He’s aggressive. He is opportunistic.
He will use everything he can to gain an advantage and when he has an opportunity to use energy as a geopolitical weapon to gain an advantage he will do so. That’s why I believe President Trump is absolutely right to bring the fight as he is.”
And Barrasso added: “I think it’s a detriment to the European Union and specifically to Germany to be that dependent on Russia for its energy sources. Germany may say well in the short run there are some advantages in terms of the finances of the cost of the energy but in the long run the dependence on Russia can only lead, in my opinion, to disaster.”
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