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Kremlin sees Helsinki summit as ‘difficult’ but ‘unlikely anything else can complicate it’

July 12, 14:02 UTC+3 MOSCOW

The Kremlin says the talks between Russian President Vladimir Putin and his US counterpart Donald Trump on July 16 in Helsinki will be complex

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© Sergei Savostianov/TASS

MOSCOW, July 12. /TASS/. The talks between Russian President Vladimir Putin and his US counterpart Donald Trump on July 16 in Helsinki will be complex and it is unlikely that anything else will further complicate them, Kremlin Spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on Thursday.

The Kremlin spokesman thus commented on Trump’s remarks about Germany’s dependence on Russia’s Nord Stream-2 gas pipeline.

"They [the negotiations] will be difficult and you know the extent of the disagreements on the agenda, so it’s unlikely that anything else can complicate it now," the Kremlin spokesman said.

US President Trump strongly criticized NATO counties on Wednesday for approving the construction of the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline. While talking to reporters ahead of a meeting with the NATO secretary general in Brussels, he bashed Germany, calling it "a captive of Russia."

"We're protecting Germany, we're protecting France, we're protecting all of these countries. And then numerous of the countries go out and make a pipeline deal with Russia where they're paying billions of dollars into the coffers of Russia," Trump said.

"Germany is a captive of Russia. They got rid of their coal plants, they got rid of their nuclear, they're getting so much of their oil and gas from Russia. I think it is something NATO has to look at," he added.

"So we're supposed to protect you against Russia and you pay billions of dollars to Russia and I think that's very inappropriate," Trump noted.

"Germany is totally controlled by Russia cause they are getting 60 to 70% of their energy from Russia and a new pipeline," he said, adding that former German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder was the chairman of Nord Stream AG, which was also inappropriate.

"Germany is a rich country, they talk about increasing it [defense spending - TASS] a tiny bit by 2030. Well they could increase it immediately, tomorrow, and have no problem," the US president said.

Nord Stream 2 project

The Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline is scheduled to be put into operation in late 2019. Each of the pipeline’s two stretches will have a capacity of 27.5 bln cubic meters. The pipeline, set to run from the Russian coast along the Baltic Sea bed to the German shore, is expected to connect the Russian resource base with European customers. The total project cost of the Nord Stream 2 is estimated at €9.9 bln.

The gas pipeline will not cross transit countries such as Ukraine, Belarus and Poland, running through the exclusive economic zones and territorial waters of Russia, Finland, Sweden, Denmark and Germany.

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