July 11, 2018 / 3:02 PM / 5 months ago

Germany's Maas - 'we are not prisoners' of Russia, nor the U.S

FILE PHOTO: Germany's Foreign Minister Heiko Maas speaks during a news conference in Dublin, Ireland, April 12, 2018. REUTERS/Clodagh Kilcoyne/File Photo

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - Germany’s Foreign Minister Heiko Maas shot back at U.S. President Donald Trump’s accusation that Berlin was “captive” to Russia on Wednesday, saying “we are not prisoners” of Moscow or Washington.

“We are not prisoners, neither of Russia nor of the United States,” he told reporters on the sidelines of a NATO summit in Brussels. “We are one of the guarantors of the free world and that will stay that way.”

He added that Berlin plans an increase in defence spending of 80 percent by 2024, saying “that is of such a magnitude that it should be recognised.”

Reporting by Robert-Jan Bartunek and Alissa de Carbonnel; Editing by Robin Emmott

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