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He took aim especially at Germany, highlighting in particular the incongruity between its military spending and huge trade surplus with the U.S. A relatively recent dimension to the diatribe is the attack on Germany’s large imports of gas from Russia, a divisive issue within Europe, particularly after the threats posed by Moscow’s regional ambitions. Besides putting Chancellor Angela Merkel in a spot, it served to deflect attention [ from criticism across the Atlantic of Mr. Trump’s proximity to Russian President Vladimir Putin and their bilateral meeting in Helsinki.]

What does the bracketed part mean?

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Of is being used in one of its regular prepositional meanings.

"criticism of her hair" = saying her hair is bad.

I think this can be analysed as a form of "objective genitive" with a noun indicating an action (criticism = the act of criticising) and the noun functioning as the object using a genitive form (of ...)

So in the example, we have "criticism [...] of [...] Trump's proximity to Putin" = "saying Trump's proximity to Putin is bad".

The criticism is coming from across the Atlantic (ie from critics in America as Trump is currently in Europe)

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  • Yep. The criticism is coming from across the Atlantic; the criticism is being made about Trump's closeness to Putin.
    – V2Blast
    Jul 16 '18 at 7:49

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