NATO summit: Chancellor Merkel fires back at Trump, says Germany makes 'independent decisions'

File photo. Photograph:( Reuters )

WION Web Team Brussels, Belgium Jul 11, 2018, 04.52 PM (IST)

German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Wednesday said her country makes "independent decisions", firing back at US President Donald Trump after he accused Berlin of being a "captive" of Russia.

"I myself have also experienced a part of Germany being occupied by the Soviet Union," Merkel, who grew up in communist East Germany, said as she arrived at a tense NATO summit.

"I am very glad that we are united today in freedom as the Federal Republic of Germany and that we can therefore also make our own independent policies and make our own independent decisions."

Earlier in the day, Donald Trump launched a stinging attack on Germany at the start of a NATO summit saying an "inappropriate" gas deal with Moscow made it a "captive" of Russia.  

"Germany is captive of Russia because it is getting so much of its energy from Russia," Trump said at a breakfast with NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg. "They pay billions of dollars to Russia and we have to defend them against Russia."

"Everybody's talking about it all over the world, they're saying we're paying you billions of dollars to protect you but you're paying billions of dollars to Russia.

Trump added that "Germany is totally controlled by Russia."

Trump previously said his efforts had pushed other NATO countries to contribute more to the Western defence alliance but it was still not enough to offset the burden on US taxpayers.

(With inputs from AFP)