Trump launches fresh attack on Germany but praises increasingly authoritarian Poland
Donald Trump has praised Poland for âstanding up for their independenceâ, a day after the European Union (EU) referred the country to court for firing judges in sweeping reforms.
he US president also attacked Germany, which he suggested would become âtotally dependentâ on Russian energy following the completion of a joint gas pipeline, during a speech at the United Nations general assembly.
âReliance on a single foreign supplier can leave nations vulnerable to extortion and intimidation and that is why we congratulate European states such as Poland for leading construction of a Baltic pipeline so that nations are not dependent on Russia to meet their energy needs,â Mr Trump told world leaders in New York.
âGermany will become totally dependent on Russian energy if it does not immediately change course."
Russian state-owned energy company Gazprom is developing an 800-mile pipeline, Nord Stream 2, designed to double natural gas volumes pumped from Russia to Germany through the Baltic Sea, avoiding traditional transit route of Ukraine.
Eastern European countries, including Poland and Ukraine, fear Russia will exploit the gas route for political reasons. They argue the pipeline could ultimately limit supply to and the energy security of the EU.
Poland, which currently buys most of its gas from Gazprom, is working on its own Baltic Sea pipeline connected to Norwegian gas deposits via Denmark. The â¬2.1 billion (Â£1.88 billion) project is aimed at reducing the countryâs reliance on Russian energy.
Mr Trump returned to Poland later in the speech with further praise, which some have read as a pointed dig at the EU.
âIn Poland, a great people are standing up for their independence, their security, and their sovereignty,â he said.
Hours earlier, the European Commission referred Poland to the European Court of Justice over violations of judicial independence.
In April, the Polish government introduced controversial law reforms which lowered the retirement age of the countryâs Supreme Court judges and forced many, including courtâs president, out of their positions.
The move was the latest sign of the countryâs shift towards autocracy under the right-wing, populist Law and Justice party, which holds a slim parliamentary majority.