“President Trump’s often-criticized effort to forge better relations with Russia has morphed into a confrontational stance that this week scored economic and national security wins.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel announced that her government is backing construction of a shipping depot for importing liquefied natural gas from the U.S., bowing to Mr. Trump’s demand that she loosen Russia’s grip on the country’s energy supply.
Mr. Trump then went directly after Moscow. He announced that the U.S. was pulling out of the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty that for the past 31 years limited the development and deployment of missile or launch systems that can threaten Russia’s European neighbors.
The president accused Russia of violating the missile system ban for years and, to the Kremlin’s dismay, vowed to force an expensive new arms race.
Russian President Vladimir Putin was riled.
At a meeting Tuesday in Moscow with National Security Adviser John R. Bolton, Mr. Putin described the developments as “unprovoked moves that are hard to call friendly.”
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