BERLIN – Germany’s Chancellor Angela Merkel described on Sunday the decision of US President Donald Trump to withdraw his support for the joint statement of the G7 Summit “depressing.”
“We had been talking seriously about key issues, we had reached an agreement and then the way the president withdrew his support, through a tweet, was like a cold and even depressing shower,” Merkel said on German television channel ARD.
Merkel reiterated that Europe has to take its destiny in their hands, sometimes together with Japan and Canada, in the face of a US president who has a clear agenda.
Amid the ongoing trade dispute with the US, Merkel called on European countries to remain united and to continue their efforts to prevent an escalation.
Asked whether she could imagine the idea of a complete abolition of tariffs proposed at some point with Trump, Merkel said that in an ideal case this could be achieved, but cautioned that the issue of subsidies should also be taken into account.
“The issue of tariffs cannot be looked at in isolation, we must also think about issues such as subsidies,” she said.
On Russia’s possible return to the G7, Merkel said she could imagine it in the future, but that the conditions had to be right for that.
However, Merkel stressed that she will continue talking with Russia in other forums on certain issues such as disarmament and the Ukrainian crisis.
Merkel also pointed out that despite the current situation, transatlantic relations remain important, although it will no longer be possible to fully rely on US support.