Moscow, July 13: After German Chancellor Angela Merkel hit back at US President Donald Trump for taunting Germany as "Russia's captive" for its alleged overdependence on Moscow for energy saying Berlin took its independent decisions, the Kremlin also lashed out at the American president over the same, saying Trump said so to bully Europe into buying its own energy, Reuters reported.
Trump launched his blunt attack against Germany on the very first day of the Nato summit that took place in Belgium on Wednesday and Thursday, saying it was wrong to back importing more Russian gas and not meeting the Nato's target for defence spending.
Trump is set to meet his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin for their first ever summit in Helsinki on July 16 though Moscow said the former's remarks were unlikely to affect what was always going to be a difficult summit between two countries known to have several differences, the Reuters report added.
Moscow is eager to go ahead with the Nord Stream 2 pipeline for it can double the gas exports to Germany under the Baltic Sea while Washington is upset with the idea, even saying that firms that invested in the pipeline risked sanctions, the report added.
Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov said Trump's remarks showed the US was eyeing to scuttle Russia's gas supplies to Europe to push its own energy sector, the report said. Peskov said supplies of gas doesn't make one country dependent on another but only completes "mutual dependence" which he said guaranteed "stability and future development", Reuters added.
He said the Kremlin viewed the US's objections to the new pipeline project were part of its strategy to force Europe to buy costlier liquefied natural gas from its own shores, the report added.
US Secretary of Energy Rick Perry said in Brussels that he did not hear any of the European Union countries viewing Nord Stream 2 positively, the report said.