European countries should seriously think about a new reality, where the United States may not seek to be a world leader. This was made by German Chancellor Angela Merkel in an interview with a number of European publications, including The Guardian.
“We grew up with a certain understanding that the United States wants to be a world power. If the United States now wants to stop playing this role of its own free will, we would need to seriously think about it,” Merkel said.
She added that American troops in Germany help protect not only the European countries of NATO, but also the interests of Washington, and promised to continue to build up military capabilities.
According to the Chancellor, there are good reasons to remain committed to NATO and the “common nuclear umbrella.” “But, of course, Europe must bear a greater burden (of expenses. – Ed.) Then during the Cold War,” Merkel said.
Previously, the German Chancellor has already criticized the United States. In particular, in September, she said that Europe itself needs to think about its security because the United States will not automatically protect it, as it was during the Cold War.
Earlier, the President of the United States, Donald Trump, promised to reduce the number of US troops in Germany from 34.5 to 25 thousand people, since Berlin has delayed payments to NATO. He also wondered why the United States should spend money on protecting Germany from Russia when Berlin buys Russian gas.
Poland expressed its readiness to finance the deployment of American troops on its territory. She proposes the adoption of an armored division, which will require one and a half to two billion dollars. Moreover, Warsaw put forward this proposal outside NATO, bilaterally.
German Defense Minister Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer noted that in the event of the possible transfer of American troops from Germany to Poland, it is important to remember the 1997 Russia-NATO Founding Act. She emphasized that it is important for alliance countries to remain “physically united” and adhere to the signed agreements.