Poll: Most Germans think US backing not needed to defend Europe

Poll: Most Germans think US backing not needed to defend Europe
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More than half of Germans think that Europe does not need to rely on the United States for defense, according to a new poll from the Berlin-based Forsa Institute

Even in the western part of Germany — a region with a history of deep security ties to the U.S. — 55 percent of respondents said Europe did not need to depend on the U.S. for military backing, according to Reuters, which viewed the poll.

There was little difference among respondents in the east, with 60 percent saying that Europe did not need to rely on Washington.

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About 37 percent of respondents said Europe did need the U.S. for military support, Reuters reported. 

The survey of 1,004 people came nearly two weeks after President TrumpDonald John TrumpHouse Republican threatens to push for Rosenstein impeachment unless he testifies Judge suggests Trump’s tweet about Stormy Daniels was ‘hyperbole’ not defamation Rosenstein faces Trump showdown MORE repeated demands at the annual NATO summit in Brussels that allies in Europe begin spending more on their own defense, insisting that the U.S. was bearing an unfair burden of Europe's security costs.

He also accused Germany of being "captive" to Russia, because of the country's reliance on Russian natural gas and the proposed construction of the Nord Stream 2 Baltic Sea pipeline. 

That project, however, has wide support among Germans, with two-thirds saying that the pipeline is a good thing because it would help give Germany a more reliable supply of natural gas, according to Reuters.

An overwhelming majority of respondents — 92 percent — also said they believe Trump went after Germany for its use of Russian natural gas in order to promote U.S. liquefied gas in Europe.