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Merkel responds to Trump accusations of Russian influence, says Germany is independent

German Chancellor Angela Merkel arrives for a summit of heads of state and government at NATO headquarters in Brussels on Wednesday, July 11, 2018. NATO leaders gather in Brussels for a two-day summit to discuss Russia, Iraq and their mission in Afghanistan. (AP Photo/Francois Mori)

BRUSSELS (AP) — German Chancellor Angela Merkel is defending her country's independence following comments from President Donald Trump suggesting that Berlin was operating under Russian influence.

Heading into a NATO meeting in Brussels, Merkel noted that she had grown up in communist East Germany.

Without mentioning Trump's comments specifically, she told reporters Wednesday: "I've experienced myself a part of Germany controlled by the Soviet Union and I'm very happy today that we are united in freedom as the Federal Republic of Germany and can thus say that we can determine our own policies and make our own decisions and that's very good."

Earlier, Trump had suggested that because of a new pipeline deal to bring more Russian gas to Germany, "Germany as far as I'm concerned is captive to Russia."


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