By Pepe Escobar
November 17, 2021:
Informationclearinghouse.info - As much
as with “brain dead” NATO (copyright Emmanuel
Macron) no one ever lost precious assets betting on
the incompetence, narrow-mindedness and cowardice of
political “leaders” across the Atlanticist EU.
There are two main reasons for the latest German
legalese gambit of suspending the certification of
the Nord Stream 2 pipeline.
- Retaliation, directly against Belarus and
Russia, “guilty” of the disgraceful refugee
drama at the Poland-Belarus border.
- Politicking by the German Greens.
A high-ranking European energy executive told me,
“this a game where Germany does not hold a winning
hand. Gazprom is very professional. But imagine if
Gazprom decided to deliberately slow down their
deliveries of natural gas. It could go up tenfold,
collapsing the entire EU. Russia has China. But
Germany does not have a workable contingency plan.”
This ties up with a proposal that is sitting at a
crucial desk in Moscow for approval for two years
now, as I reported at the time: an offer by a
reputable Western energy firm of $700 billion for
Russia to divert their oil and gas exports to China
and other Asian customers, away from the EU.
This proposal was actually the key reason for
Berlin to resolutely counteract the U.S. drive to
stop Nord Stream 2. Yet the torture never stops.
Russia now faces an additional hurdle: a carbon tax
on exports to the EU which include steel, cement and
electricity. That may well be extended to oil and
Every sentient being across the EU knows that
Nord Stream 2 is the easiest path to lower natural
gas prices across Europe, and not the EU’s blind
neoliberal bet of buying short term in the spot
going to freeze”
Seems like the Bundesnetzagentur, the German
energy regulator, woke up from a deep slumber just
to find out that the Swiss-based company Nord Stream
2 AG did not meet the conditions to be an
“independent transmissions operator” and could be
certified only if it was “organized in a legal form
under German law.”
The fact that neither the Germans nor the Swiss
company were aware of it during the long, previous,
always turbulent stages is very hard to believe. So
now it looks like Nord Stream 2 AG will have to
establish a subsidiary under German law only for the
German section of the gas pipeline.
As it stands, the company is not “in a position”
to comment on details and especially “the timing of
the start of the pipeline operations.”
Nord Stream 2 AG will have to transfer capital
and personnel to this new subsidiary, which will
then have to present a full set of documentation for
certification all over again.
Translation: gas from Nord Stream 2 will be
absent during the coming winter in Europe and the
pipeline, at best, might start running only by
And that certainly ties in with the politicking
angle, as the German regulators are de facto waiting
for the new German ruling coalition to emerge,
including the neoliberal Greens who are viscerally
anti-Nord Stream and anti-Russia.
The European energy executive did not mince his
words on a quite possible scenario: “If Germany does
not obtain their oil and natural gas by land now
they cannot fashion a fall back position, as there
is not sufficient LNG capacity or oil for that
matter to supply the EU this winter. They are going
to freeze. Much of their economy will be forced to
shut down. Unemployment will soar. It would take
four years to build up LNG capacity for natural gas
but who will build it for them?”
Germany has zero margin of maneuver to dictate
conditions to Gazprom and Russia. The gas that
Gazprom won’t sell to northern Europe will be sold
to eastern and southern Europe via Turk Stream, and
most of all to Asian clients, which do not engage in
blackmail and pay much better than the Europeans.
What is also clear is that if by a misguided
political decision Nord Stream 2 gas is eventually
blocked, the fines to be collected by Gazprom from
the European consortium that begged for the
construction of the pipeline may exceed 200 billion
euros. The consortium is made up of Engie, Shell,
Uniper, Wintershall Dea and OMV.
It’s against this background that the offer on
the table in Moscow becomes even more than a
game-changer. The bold recommendation to the Kremlin
– with financing already in place – is that Russia’s
natural resources including oil and natural gas
should be redirected to China, as part of the
Russia-China strategic partnership.
The proposal argues that Russia needs no trade
with the EU, as China is way ahead of them in most
advanced technologies. That certainly provides
Moscow with the upper hand in any negotiations with
any German government. As I mentioned it to the
European energy executive, his terse comment was, “I
doubt they will desire to commit suicide.”
It would be too much to expect from German and EU
politicians the clear-sightedness of the government
of Serbia, which is considering importing 3 billion
cubic meters of Russian natural gas annually for 10
years. Gazprom has been on the record for years
demonstrating the practical, reliable and
cost-conscious aspects of long-term contracts.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov,
commenting on the migrant crisis at the
Poland-Belarus border, noted how “Poland behaves
outrageously, while the leadership in Brussels
applies double standards that are so apparent and
naked that they can’t fail to understand that they
are embarrassing themselves.”
The case of Nord Stream 2 adds extra layers to EU
self- embarrassment as it concerns the wellbeing of
populations already living inside Fortress Europe.
Let them freeze, indeed – or pay virtual fortunes
for natural gas that should be readily available.
As we all know, Germany, Nord Stream 2, Ukraine,
Belarus, it’s all interlinked. And according to a
Ukrainian lunatic profiting from an
Atlanticist platform, it’s all Putin’s fault –
guilty of conducting hybrid war against the EU.
It will be up to the “resolve of Poland and
Lithuania” to “counter the Kremlin threat”. The
ideal framework in this case should be the Lublin
Triangle – which unites Poland and Lithuania with
Ukraine. These are the lineaments of the new Iron
Curtain, erected by the Atlanticists, from the
Baltic to the Black Sea, to “isolate” Russia.
Predictably, German Atlanticists are a crucial part
of the package.
Of course, to be successful, these actors should
“also seek greater U.S. and UK engagement”, with
every movement complementing “the role of NATO as
the ultimate guarantor of peace in the region”.
So behold, EU mortals: a “perfect storm of
Russian aggression during the coming winter months”
is all but inevitable. Watch it on your screens
while you properly freeze.
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