Trump Claims Germans Could ‘Be Left Without a Country’ Due to Energy Crisis
09:06 GMT 18.09.2022 (Updated: 11:51 GMT 18.09.2022)
Earlier this month, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz voiced hope that Germany will “probably” make it through this winter if Russia halts its gas supplies to the country.
The Germans could "be left without a country" due to the reduction in Russian energy supplies, former President Donald Trump said during his Save America rally in Youngstown, Ohio, on Saturday.
He added that he had long warned Germany about such a threat, recalling that he even once gave former Chancellor Angela Merkel a white flag to "surrender" to Russia.
"If you're getting 72% of your energy from Russia, here is the white flag, because you will be surrendering very quickly. Who the hell thought it was gonna happen this fast, right?" Trump said.
The former POTUS also noted that Berlin is currently being forced to return to such “old-fashioned things” as using coal as fuel because it has no other choice.
The 45th US president spoke after German Chancellor Olaf Scholz
earlier this month rejected the possibility of Berlin suspending gas imports from Russia even though only small volumes are currently coming in.
“[…] It will be more difficult if we give up what is coming [from Russia] albeit in small quantities. My personal opinion is that we should not over-complicate our lives,” Scholz said.
He added that Berlin had made timely decisions on storing gas in Germany's underground gas storage facilities, launching coal-fired power plants, and constructing liquefied natural gas terminals. The German Chancellor also argued that “if Russia halts deliveries, which it keeps reducing, then we can increase supplies from Norway, the Netherlands, from the Western European direction.”
The remarks came after the Russian gas giant Gazprom
announced that it had received a warning from the country’s technical watchdog Rostekhnadzor about a malfunction of the only remaining working engine for the Nord Stream 1 gas pipeline, and that the facility has been shut down indefinitely until the issues are resolved.
12 August 2022, 10:49 GMT
Nord Stream 1, the main pipeline supplying Europe with Russian natural gas, was operating at 40% of its capacity since mid-June and at 20% from the end of July.
Gazprom attributed lower volumes to problems with the maintenance and repair of the Siemens turbines amid the West’s anti-Russian sanctions, which were imposed shortly after Russia launched its ongoing special operation
to demilitarize and de-Nazify Ukraine on February 24.
This followed Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov stressing that Western sanctions had led to the suspension of Nord Stream 1's operations. He underlined that Moscow and Gazprom “have been committed and remain committed to their obligations and contracts," but that they “simply cannot fulfill them at present because of the restrictions and sanctions” slapped by the US and its allies.
The fallout from the sanctions sent gas and electricity prices surging to record levels in Europe amid record high inflation, including in Germany, where it increased to a 40-year high of 8.8 percent in August.
Amid a spate of recommendations to save water in their apartment buildings, Germans were also warned against having a hot shower on a daily basis.
“You will have to ask yourselves a question, whether you really need to take a hot shower seven days a week – with gas heating,” Klaus Mueller, the head of the Federal Network Agency of Germany, told the news outlet n-tv in April.
The leading Munich-based think-tank Ifo has meanwhile warned that the surge in energy prices was “wreaking havoc” on the German economy and may lead to a 0.3% decline in the country’s gross domestic product next year, a significant deterioration from an estimate of 3.7% growth, made in June.