Brussels, July 12: German Chancellor Angela Merkel found herself in the middle of yet another round of conflict with US President Donald Trump at the two-day Nato summit being held in Brussels on Wednesday, July 11, and Thursday, July 12. She hit back at Trump after the latter accused Germany of being "totally controlled by Russia" on the first day, saying it was not the case and Berlin takes its own independent decisions.
Merkel, who has been facing stiff challenges both at home and in Europe over the migration issue, said she required no lessons while dealing with authoritarian regimes. She also recalled that she was brought up in the former East Germany, the part of post-War Germany which was under the Soviet Union's shadow during the Cold War.
The German chancellor reached the Nato headquarters hours after Trump bashed Germany in blunt words, saying she had the experience of seeing a part of Germany getting controlled by the former Soviet Union but she was happy to see Germany as a united entity now which makes its independent policies.
The 63-year-old leader also responded to Trump's criticism that Germany did little for European defence, saying her country never fell short of carrying out its responsibility for Nato. She also pointed out that Germany is the second biggest supplier of troops for Nato operations and has remained engaged in Afghanistan for many years now. "In that, we also defend the interests of the United States," Merkel was quoted as saying.
Trump, who has made it routine to bash Washington's old allies, had accused Berlin of being "a captive of the Russians" owing to its dependence on energy supplies. He also called Russia's relation with Germany to be "inappropriate".