Tag Archives: Nord Stream 2

Putin Takes Nord Stream 2 Victory Lap: “Either Buy Cheaper, Cleaner Gas From Us” Or “Dubious” US Shale, by Tyler Durden

Putin has outsmarted American and European politicians many times, but it never gets old. From Tyler Durden at zerohedge.com:

On Friday Russian President Vladimir Putin hailed the successful reaching of a major milestone in the Nord Stream 2 Russia to Germany natural gas pipeline despite an aggressive US sanctions campaign toward thwarting the project which began under the Trump administration (and ironically somewhat softened under Biden, at least on the German side), which will imminently bring the controversial project to completion.

In an address to the St. Petersburg Economic Forum, which is often referred to as “Russia’s Davos”, Putin said “I am pleased to say that today, just two-and-a-half-hours ago, we have completed laying the pipes for the first section of Nord Stream 2, and works are advancing on the second segment.”

Just days ago TASS cited the governor of the Leningrad region, where the pipeline originates, as saying testing will begin as early as next week. At the end of March, Russia’s energy giant Gazprom had declared it to be 95% complete.

Via AP

Continue reading→

Merkel Flips Off Biden’s Protest — to Buy Putin’s Gas, by Patrick J. Buchanan

The US doesn’t make too big a deal about its disproportionate contribution to NATO because NATO folds in perfectly with the US government’s desire for empire. Nord Stream 2 will go through because there’s no way the US will exact any real price on Germany, it’s an essential part of the empire. From Patrick J. Buchanan at buchanan.org:

When the U.S. created NATO, a primary purpose of the alliance was to serve as a western wall to defend Germany against the 400,000 Russian troops on the eastern side of the Elbe River.

Seventy years later, Germany has decided to double its dependence on Vladimir Putin’s Russia for the natural gas needed to run the German economy, despite the opposition of her great protector, the USA.

The Biden administration decided to waive sanctions on Matthias Warnig, the ally of Putin whose company, Nord Stream 2 AG, is laying the pipeline beneath the Baltic Sea from Russia to Germany that is now 95% complete.

When done, Nord Stream 2 will make Moscow Germany’s principal supplier of natural gas, and cut Kyiv out of hundreds of millions in transit fees it annually receives for letting Russian gas pass through Ukraine to Germany.

Previously, Joe Biden and Secretary of State Anthony Blinken had seemed resolute in opposition. Said Blinken:

“We think the (Nord Stream 2) pipeline is a bad idea. It advances Russia’s interests and undermines Europe’s interests and our own. It actually goes against the very principles that the EU has set out in terms of energy security and not being too dependent on any one country, notably, in this case, Russia.”

As late as March, the Biden administration had made clear its commitment to complying with sanctions legislation put in place with bipartisan support in Congress, and had called on companies involved in Nord Stream 2 to “immediately abandon work on the pipeline.”

Continue reading→

Germany’s Political Crisis And The Future Of Nord Stream 2, by J. Hawk

So far the Biden administration is neither winning friends nor influence people in Europe. Trying to diplomatically bludgeon Germany into abandoning the Nord Stream 2 pipeline is generating fierce blowback. From J. Hawk at southfront.org:

Germany’s Political Crisis and the Future of Nord Stream 2

In a Blinken of an Eye

The Biden Administration entered the White House accompanied by hopes that it would return to some kind of normal in its relations with the European Union. While Biden, unlike Obama, would not score a Nobel Peace Prize solely for his existence, his victory was warmly welcomed in capitals around Europe as a sign that liberalism would vanquish populism ushering in a new era of “business as usual” in the form it was practiced during the Obama Administration.

Once in office, however, the Biden Administration has been working overtime in order to dispel any notion of a relationship of mutual respect between two more or less equal allies, US and EU. Instead, Biden officials have acted as if US and EU are a contemporary version of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, two countries with ostensibly separate political systems linked by a personal union in the form of the Emperor (Biden), held together by a common army (NATO) whose main task is preventing any separatism by “Hungary” (the EU) and whose foreign policy is made wholly in “Austria” (United States). Events like Brexit merely represent a part of the empire moving from “Hungary” to “Austria” for a variety of cultural and racial reasons. In practice it meant that, in addition to Biden replying affirmatively to a court journalist’s question whether Vladimir was a “killer” and Blinken provoking a major row with a Chinese delegation by informing them the US intended to deal with China from a “position of strength”, Blinken also issued a blunt warning to European companies working on Nord Stream 2 could be subject to US sanctions if they did not immediately withdraw from the project.

To make matters worse, at the EU summit Blinken pointed out that his threats aimed at Nord Stream 2 are a reflection of US Congress laws demanding any and all firms participating in its construction to be sanctioned, though omitting that the Executive Branch has considerable freedom of action in implementing legislation impinging on the presidential foreign policy prerogatives.

Continue reading→

Europe is rebelling against American power, by Stephen Kinzer

Are the Europeans getting tired of being America’s poodle? From Stephen Kinzer at The Boston Globe:

President Biden faces a test: What to do when one of our closest allies gets tighter with Russia?

Pipes meant for the Nord Stream 2 natural gas pipeline from Russia to Germany are being stored on the island of Ruegen, Germany.
Pipes meant for the Nord Stream 2 natural gas pipeline from Russia to Germany are being stored on the island of Ruegen, Germany.Jens Buettner/Associated Press

High-stakes global drama is unfolding on the seabed beneath the frigid waters of the Baltic Sea. It is shaping up as the biggest clash between Europe and the United States since the end of World War II.
This underwater confrontation foreshadows the coming century. European countries are steadily less subservient to Washington. They see their future elsewhere.
The project that threatens to cause this crackup is a gas pipeline. There may have been a time when laying pipelines was a straightforward matter that concerned only surveyors, but today, pipeline routes shape the global economy and world politics. That’s why the battle over this one has become so intense. It would bring natural gas from rich fields in Russia to energy-hungry Germany. Both countries consider it a good deal.
The United States disagrees. A pipeline connecting Russia and Germany would indeed benefit both countries. There’s the rub: Many in Washington bitterly oppose anything that would benefit Russia.

Continue reading→

Maybe Washington Should Let Nord Stream 2 Go, by Daniel R. DePetris

The US can threaten all the sanctions it wants, but the Nord Stream 2 pipeline is 95 percent complete and there’s no chance the Europeans will abandon it. From Daniel R. DePetris at realclearworld.com:

Nord Stream 2, the undersea Russian pipeline designed to transport more natural gas to Germany, is the energy project nearly everyone in Washington, D.C. loves to hate. Some lawmakers are going to great lengths to drill home their point. Sen. Ted Cruz, a co-author of mandatory sanctions legislation targeting the pipeline, blocked a vote on President Joe Biden’s nominee to lead the CIA, William Burns, over the issue. That hold that was lifted about two weeks later after Secretary of State Antony Blinken indicated all entities associated with the project were at risk of U.S. sanctions. Blinken reiterated this position during his latest meeting with NATO foreign ministers.

The $11 billion pipeline could theoretically double the amount of Russian gas that flows to Europe, boosting Moscow’s bottom line and providing Russian President Vladimir Putin with a potent geopolitical weapon to wield against the West. The question, however, is whether the benefits to the United States of destroying Nord Stream 2 are worth the costs, which have not been properly considered.

As frustrated as some lawmakers are with the pace of sanctions by the Biden administration, there are legitimate reasons to think twice before plunging into a full-scale economic assault against the project.

Continue reading→

Why Putin’s Pipeline Is Welcome in Germany, by Patrick J. Buchanan

Europe does not consider Russia a military threat to Europe, notwithstanding the US government and NATO’s propaganda that it is. From Patrick J. Buchanan at buchanan.org:

During a joint interview with Jens Stoltenberg, the Norwegian secretary-general of NATO, Secretary of State Antony Blinken, fresh from his bout with the Chinese in Anchorage, took on Angela Merkel and the Germans.Issue: Nord Stream 2, the Baltic Sea pipeline Vladimir Putin is building to complement his Nord Stream 1 and carry more natural gas from Russia to Germany, and from there to other NATO nations.

The original Nord Stream pipeline, also consisting of two strands of pipe along the Baltic Sea floor, was completed in 2011.

In his meeting with Stoltenberg in Brussels, Blinken warned that Western companies participating in building Nord Stream 2, which is 90% complete, would face sanctions mandated by Congress:

“President Biden has been very clear in saying that he believes the pipeline is a bad idea; it’s bad for Europe, bad for the United States,” said Blinken, adding, U.S. law “requires us to sanction companies participating in the efforts to complete the pipeline.”

What is behind American opposition to Russian natural gas going to Germany, and from there to NATO Europe?

First, the pipelines bypass Ukraine and Poland, cutting those countries out of the transit revenue. Second, we want NATO Germany to buy our own shale-produced natural gas.

Nord Stream 2 Behind Biden’s Gratuitous Slander of Putin, by the Strategic Culture Editorial Board

Calling Vladimir Putin a “killer” won’t stop the new pipeline between Russia and Europe. From the Strategic Culture Editorial Board at strategic-culture.org:

Russia would do well to stay calm and let the Americans make fools of themselves.

Relations between the United States and Russia have reached a dangerous watershed following an unprecedented personal insult by American President Joe Biden to Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin.

But note the sequence here. Biden’s insults were then followed by U.S. threats of draconian sanctions to kill the Nord Stream 2 gas project between Russia and Europe. Just who is the killer here?

The world may be thankful that Russia is being so magnanimous in its response to Biden’s puerile and slanderous sniping. The crisis in bilateral relations provoked by the U.S. president has the potential to escalate, but it is only down to Moscow’s restraint that further deterioration in relations is being checked – for now.

In an interview with ABC News, aired on Wednesday, Biden was asked if he agreed that Russia’s leader was a “killer”. To which the American president replied in the affirmative, “I do.” He also warned that Russia “would pay a price” over allegations of interfering in the U.S. elections and other supposed malpractices.

One can safely assume that the Biden administration is hellbent on making relations with Russia even worse as its intelligence agencies “review” over the next few weeks already-made presumptions about Russia’s purported culpability.

Continue reading→

Business Whether Trump or Biden, Europeans Are Still Uncle Sam’s Vassals, by Finian Cunningham

No change from Trump to Biden regarding the presidential attitude towards Europe—comply. From Finian Cunningham at strategic-culture.org:

Biden’s presumption of telling the Europeans that Nord Stream-2 is a bad deal shows that ultimately the Europeans are considered to not have sovereignty when it comes to setting their energy policy.

The European Union got a rude memo this week indicating there may be a new president residing in Washington, but it’s still the same American policy of treating them like vassals.

Democrat President Joe Biden may have more transatlantic finesse and sensibility when compared with rough-edged Republican Donald Trump. But the bottomline is Biden feels every bit as entitled as his predecessor did to order the Europeans around like a bunch of flunkies. Perhaps not with quite the same terse rhetoric, but nevertheless with the same overbearing attitude.

This was clear from the Biden administration’s declaration on the Nord Stream-2 natural gas project which is soon due for completion between Russia and Europe. “President Biden thinks this is a bad deal for Europe,” said White House spokesman Jan Psaki with an air of finality on the matter.

The new administration is looking into ways to implement sanctions formulated by the previous Trump which will target European companies involved in the construction of the gas project. After a year of suspended work due to American sanctions, construction of the Nord Stream-2 pipeline resumed this week. The €10 billion project involving 1,225 kilometers of piping under the Baltic Sea from Russia to Germany is over 95 per cent complete. The final few kilometers of pipe-laying resumed in Danish waters heading for the German coastline.

Continue reading→

Europe Embraces Multipolar World With Nord Stream 2 and China Investment Deal, by Finian Cunningham

When it comes down to major dollars and cents, Europe is not so willing to toe the US line. From Finian Cunningham at strategic-culture.org:

Material need usually wins out against ideological creed. Necessity over dogma. Twice this week, the European Union demonstrated that maxim in practice when it rebuffed Washington over the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline with Russia; and then again over a major investment pact with China.

Germany’s Foreign Minister Heiko Maas pointedly stated this week that the European bloc was going ahead with completion of the Nord Stream 2 project in partnership with Russia. Construction of the pipeline under the Baltic Sea had been temporarily halted by U.S. sanctions. But now Germany is saying it won’t be deterred from finishing the project.

Maas said that while the EU looks forward to having better relations with the United States under a new Biden administration, the bloc was asserting its prerogative to trade with Russia for increasing natural gas supply as a matter of sovereignty.

“We do not need to talk about European sovereignty if it means that, in the future, we will only do everything Washington wants,” Maas is quoted as saying. “The [German] federal government will not change its position on Nord Stream 2,” he added.

Given that the Nord Stream 2 pipeline will double the flow of relatively affordable Russian gas to the EU this is also a vital matter of helping to boost European economies.

Continue reading→

A Pipelineistan fable for our times, by Pepe Escobar

The US government has done its best to stymie pipelines it didn’t like from Russia to Europe, but the Russians and Europeans have managed to sidestep the obstacles the US has thrown in their way. From Pepe Escobar at asiatimes.com:

Ukraine was supposed to prevent Russia from deepening energy ties with Germany; it didn’t work out that way

Once upon a time in Pipelineistan, tales of woe were the norm. Shattered dreams littered the chessboard – from IPI vs. TAPI in the AfPak realm to the neck-twisting Nabucco opera in Europe.

In sharp contrast, whenever China entered the picture, successful completion prevailed. Beijing financed a gas pipeline from Turkmenistan to Xinjiang, finished in 2009, and will profit from two spectacular Power of Siberia deals with Russia.

And then there’s Ukraine. Maidan was a project of the Barack Obama administration, featuring a sterling cast led by POTUS, Hillary Clinton, Joe Biden, John McCain and last but not least, prime Kiev cookie distributor Victoria “F**k the EU” Nuland.

Ukraine was also supposed to prevent Russia from deepening energy ties with Germany, as well as other European destinations.

Well, it did not exactly play like that. Nord Stream was already operational. South Stream was Gazprom’s project to southeast Europe. Relentless pressure by the Obama administration derailed it. Yet that only worked to enable a resurrection: the already completed TurkStream, with gas starting to flow in January 2020.

Continue reading→