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Russia oil production

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Russian oil production considered to be at "over peak" stage with increases mainly due to offshore drilling. In 2014 total petroleum and other liquids production in 2014 were 10.8 Mb/d  (EIA). Russia crude oil production in late 2015 was around 10.20M, up from  10.08Mb/done year ago. That's was an unanticipated, even by Russian Ministry of Energy result of activities of small companies. which managed to increase of  production by  1.12% from one year ago, when most analysts expected a slight decline (Russia Crude Oil Production (Monthly, Barrels per Day).

Despite severe depreciation of ruble and sanctions, in 2015 Russia managed to reach the level of production that exceed the level of former USSR period. At the same time most of Russia's fields are mature fields and the production from them is declining for long time,  offset only by new more expensive projects with less total volume. Unless Arctic oil and other expensive oil are economical to produce (which requires over $100 bbl price) the national path for Russian production is iether long plato fed by projects coming online, which were started during "good times" (and now face losses, not profits)  or straight down as capital expenses were slashed in 2015 tot he bones.  

Russian oil extraction (red) and oil exports (green) in metric tons

 

In 2015 Russia managed to increase exports the first time in six years, but that does not change general situation: internal consumption is growing pretty robustly with growth of car fleet and decline of production due to national depletion of  conventional oil wells. The latter became more and more difficult to compensate with new discoveries. And new fields, even if such exist, can't be now tapped because capital expenditures by most Russian oil companies now are slashed to the bone (Russia is more like the USA in this respect with over dozen of major oil companies producing  oil).

At current oil prices Arctic oil now is out of reach and only existing platforms will remain in production. All of them are losing money. conventional wells are still profitable with same remaining profitable up to $20 per barrel. Still for the next several years Russia probably will be able to keep the current level of production due to huge previous investments dome in 2010-2014 in a few new fields (Bloomberg Business, December 20, 2015):

The other big boosts to Russian production this year have come from a few mid-sized new fields like those of Severenergia in the Arctic Yamal region. Co-owners Novatek OJSC and Gazpromneft PJSC invested in the $9.2 billion project back when oil prices were high. With most of the capital already committed, operating costs now are relatively low and output of gas condensate, a light and especially valuable form of crude, is up five-fold this year.

One side effect of falling oil prices -- the 52 percent plunge in the ruble over the last two years -- has helped Russian oil producers, chopping their costs in dollar terms since between 80 and 90 percent of their spending comes in rubles.

... ... ...

To be sure, few in the industry expect Russia to be able to sustain the current performance for more than a few years. Tax hikes and lack of financing have cut deeply into exploration drilling, which is down 21 percent this year, and handicap the larger new projects that are needed to replace the country’s older fields as they run dry.

... ... ...

In some parts of the Russian oil patch, low prices are already causing pain. At $40 a barrel, “half of our fields could be stopped. Heavy oil, low horizons, mature horizons are all unprofitable at a price of $40-45. We are waiting for better times,” Russneft OJSC Board Chairman Mikhail Gutseriev said in an interview on state television early this month.

Unfortunately just before the oil prices crush Russia was engaged in several high cost drilling projects in Arctic and was caught naked when oil price dropped. ( see Petroleum industry in Russia - Wikipedia).  Timing can't be more bad as this is a really expensive oil, probably around $60 per barrel or higher at wellhead.  Which are now sold at a huge discount.  Igor Sechin proved to be a weak leader of the Russia major state owned oil company Rosneft.  Government refused to bail out the company which faces large external debt and it was saved by some "white knife" billionaire.

Moscow Exile, December 19, 2015 at 11:19 am

Undeterred by OPEC’s decision to keep pumping and drive out U.S. shale rivals, Russian oil output continued to grow, in October setting a new monthly record for the post-Soviet era. Explorers have remained profitable under a friendly tax system and low production costs.

Mystery Benefactor

Rosneft assuaged concerns over the sustainability of Russia’s biggest corporate debt load after the company received a $15 billion advance payment for oil supplies from a source the company didn’t identify, according to quarterly reports published Nov. 13. The inflow of cash will help Rosneft meet $2.5 billion in debt due in the fourth quarter, $13.7 billion in 2016 and $11.3 billion in 2017, according to a presentation on its website.

See: One Year Into New OPEC Era, You Made 12% Buying These Oil Bonds

It looks like the board is in denial of the blunder with overinvest they made:

18 December 2015
Rosneft Holds Board of Directors Meeting

On December 18, Rosneft Board of Directors considered in Vladivostok interim results of its 2015 operations, the business-plan for 2016-2017, the Long-term development program and the energy efficiency program of the Company.

The following decisions were taken:

1. The Board of Directors considered and acknowledged 2015 Rosneft interim results and the intermediate results of the implementation of the long-term development program of the Company. The Board of Directors welcomed the results of the implementation of programs aimed at raising efficiency in challenging economic environment: the Company maintained low levels of OPEX and eased its debt burden.

2. The Board of Directors considered and acknowledged the business-plan for 2016-2017, structured in accordance with a conservative macroeconomic scenario and focused on the implementation of the Long-term development program of the Company, approved by the Government of the Russian Federation.

Within the ambit of delivering strategic goals of boosting production, securing deliveries of oil and oil products, maintaining a market share (both in Russia and abroad), the Company plans to increase capital expenditures by a third (compared to 2015 levels). The investment development program envisages the achievement of strategic goals of hydrocarbon production growth by means of accelerated commencement of oil and gas greenfields whilst exercising a balanced external financing program. After the completion of transition to Euro-5 motor fuels production in December 2015, refineries’ modernization program will be focused on increasing processing depth. Also, the program of cutting operating costs and enhancing operating and financial efficiency will be continued. Hence the leadership in the industry by the operating costs and capital costs will be guaranteed.

... .... ...

Commenting on the results of the Board meeting, Rosneft Chairman of the Management Board Igor Sechin said: “Measures taken by the Company for strengthening its oilfield services business dimension in 2015 enabled Rosneft to increase production in order to guarantee supplies to its traditional markets while keeping operating and capital expenditures at the record-low levels. The Company consistently generates free cash flow, providing funding sources for its investment decisions in accordance with 2015-2016 business plan approved by the Board of Directors and the Long-term Development Program”.

In August 2014, it was announced that preparations by the Russian government to sell a 19.5 percent stake in the company were underway and would most likely be sold in two tranches. So far this chunk of the company was not sold, probably because of low oil prices. 

Russia oil internal consumption is generally more or less stable and growling at a very slow page outside several 'abnormal" years. In 2016 it will not probably grow much as the economy remain is conditions close to recession. Lukoil chairman has said that he  expects Russia to produce less oil  in 2016 than in 2015

Russia internal oil consumption is currently around 3.3 Mb/d, up from 3.2 Mb/d one year ago. This is a change of 3.15% from one year ago.

2005 2,785.14 1.25 %
2006 2,803.47 0.66 %
2007 2,885.10 2.91 %
2008 2,981.92 3.36 %
2009 2,888.53 -3.13 %
2010 3,081.82 6.69 %
2011 3,352.11 8.77 %
2012 3,395.11 1.28 %
2013 3,320.00 -2.21 %

It is expected that it will continue to grow by around 0.1 Mb/d per year as car fleet is rapidly growing.. Also Russia will process more raw oil in 2016 then in 2015 which also negatively influence export of raw oil. Russia oil consumption per capita is still four times less then in the USA (15 vs 60 bbl/day per 1000 people)

Russian leadership have found itself unprepared to the dramatic drop of oil prices and now will take moves to refine more oil at home, and selling less raw oil. The fact that Russia sells mostly unprocessed oil was a blunder that costs Russia billions and Putin had shown ability to learn from mistakes. 

Russia's Key Energy Statistics world rank
Total Primary Energy Production
2012
55.296
Quadrillion Btu
3
Total Primary Energy Consumption
2012
31.522
Quadrillion Btu
3
Dry Natural Gas Production
2011
22,213
Billion Cubic Feet
2
Total Petroleum and Other Liquids Production
2014
10,853
Thousand Barrels Per Day
3
Total Primary Coal Production
2013
388,013
Thousand Short Tons
6

Compare that with the USA

United States' Key Energy Statistics world rank
Total Primary Energy Production
2012
79.212
Quadrillion Btu
2
Total Primary Energy Consumption
2012
95.058
Quadrillion Btu
2
Dry Natural Gas Production
2011
22,902
Billion Cubic Feet
1
Total Petroleum and Other Liquids Production
2014
13,973
Thousand Barrels Per Day
1
Total Primary Coal Production
2013
984,842
Thousand Short Tons
2

 


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[Oct 24, 2020] The blockage of Nordstream 2 is about The Dark Heart of Europe not Russia

Oct 24, 2020 | www.unz.com

A123 , says: October 23, 2020 at 3:35 pm GMT

@MLK

Take Nord Stream II. If Trump hadn't taken the oath, it would have been up and running years ago. Would that it were so that this was a gift to Russia and Germany, but it's much worse than that. Why isn't anyone else curious as to who got what in return?

The blockage of Nordstream 2 is about The Dark Heart of Europe not Russia...

This is one of Putin's few serious errors. He would be much better off pushing gas projects that flowed east...

PEACE

AriusArmenian , says: October 23, 2020 at 4:47 pm GMT

Europe is a glove on the US hand and is easily led around by its nose by the CIA and MI6 that infest the MSM and run one false flag after another.

Politicians in the EU are mediocre creatures that crave the dollars stuffed into their pockets by the US. They are enjoying the ride while it lasts until they go down with the US.

[Oct 23, 2020] Oil Production Cuts Could Be Extended- Putin -

Oct 23, 2020 | www.zerohedge.com

Submitted by OilPrice.com

Russia does not rule out the possibility that OPEC+ could extend its current 7.7 million barrels per day of production cuts into next year, according to Russian President Vladimir Putin .

The comments could be merely jawboning to a market that is desperately seeking reassurances that oil production will not ramp up too quickly beyond demand. But Russia has in the past been reluctant to keep up its end of the oil production cuts, so any mention that it is even thinking about a slower tapering of the cuts is noteworthy.

In fact, Russia had failed to bring its own oil production down to the level it agreed to for most of the period of cuts in 2019 and early 2020.

Russia also was the spark that ignited the oil price war between it and Saudi Arabia-and by default the United States, when it refused to agree to additional cuts using the argument that as OPEC decreases its production, it opens the door for U.S. producers to increase theirs.

Vladimir Putin has had several discussions with Saudi Arabia and the United States on the state of the oil markets. "We believe there is no need to change anything in our agreements," Putin said. "We will watch how the market is recovery. The consumption is on the rise."

Putin added, however, that they did not "rule out" the possibility that OPEC+ could keep the current production cuts instead of removing them at the pace it had initially agreed upon.

But Putin didn't stop there. "If need be, maybe, we can take other decisions on further reductions. But we don't see such a necessity now," Putin said, intimating that more cuts were at least possible.

Russia's willingness to even consider additional cuts or waiting longer to ease the cuts than planned will be viewed positively by the markets, which has been struggling to break out of a rut where oil prices have traded in a relatively tight band for months.

[Oct 19, 2020] A joke circulating Russia internets today

Oct 19, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

BG , Oct 17 2020 20:24 utc | 46

A joke circulating Russia internets today:

"German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas:

"North Stream 2 will be built 100%!"

A journalist asks:

"But what about Navalny?"

Maas replies:

"Well, unfortunately Navalny doesn't produce 55 billion cbm of natural gas per year..."

___

[Oct 19, 2020] The USA had more than doubled its oil imports from Russia last year and is now the world's second largest importer of Russian heavy oil

Notable quotes:
"... "Maas added that Germany takes decisions related to its energy policy and energy supply 'here in Europe', saying that Berlin accepts ' the fact that the US had more than doubled its oil imports from Russia last year and is now the world's second largest importer of Russian heavy oil .'" [My Emphasis] ..."
Oct 19, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

karlof1 , Oct 17 2020 17:50 utc | 14

Heavy oil is needed for the chemical industry (as opposed to transport). The three biggest producers of heavy oil are Iran, Venezuella and Russia.

The US produces mostly light oil, thus it needs to import the heavy oil. Since the US sanctioned Iran and Venezuella, the only significant option remaining is Russia. It would be ironic if they are buying iranian oil sold to Russia.

winston2 , Oct 17 2020 18:09 utc | 20

karlof1 , Oct 17 2020 17:50 utc | 14

It appears Lavrov's saying we'll just ignore the EU and its major components for awhile got quick results as Germany's FM just announced "Nord Stream 2 will be completed" ; but he also said this:

"Maas added that Germany takes decisions related to its energy policy and energy supply 'here in Europe', saying that Berlin accepts ' the fact that the US had more than doubled its oil imports from Russia last year and is now the world's second largest importer of Russian heavy oil .'" [My Emphasis]

Now isn't that the interesting bit of news!! The greatest fracking nation on the planet needs to import heavy oil (likely Iranian, unlikely Venezuelan) from its #1 adversary. As for the end game, I've written many times what I see as the goal and don't see any need to add more.

Passer by , Oct 17 2020 17:58 utc | 16

[Oct 14, 2020] European Oil Companies Will Not Tolerate Poland's Attempt To Cancel Nord Stream 2 -

Oct 14, 2020 | www.zerohedge.com

European Oil Companies Will Not Tolerate Poland's Attempt To Cancel Nord Stream 2 by Tyler Durden Wed, 10/14/2020 - 06:10 Twitter Facebook Reddit Email Print

Authored by Paul Antonopoulos via InfoBrics.org,

By handing out a €6.5 billion fine against Gazprom, Warsaw has obviously and massively miscalculated because it did not only antagonize the Russian energy company as was intended, but also European partners of the Nord Stream 2 pipeline project , which the Polish government obviously had not considered.

Even leaders within the European Union were shocked at the huge fine that Poland is attempting to impose against Nord Stream 2.

It may very well be that the Polish Office of Competition and Consumer Protection (UOKiK) has lost itself when deciding on the price of the fine against Gazprom. But regardless of that, UOKiK has apparently also exceeded its jurisdiction . As the Düsseldorf-based energy supplier Uniper reports, the existing agreements on Nord Stream 2 have nothing to do with a joint venture, which is why the Polish laws on merger controls do not apply to them. The initial plans were to finance the construction of the Nord Stream 2 pipeline through the establishment of a joint venture. For this, however, the companies involved should have received a permit in all the countries in which they operate, as well as from Poland, the only EU state that blocked this decision. The decision for it not to be a joint venture was made without further ado so as not to waste time or money in a dispute with Polish authorities.

The pipeline partners designed an alternative financing model for Nord Stream 2 and instead of joining Nord Stream 2 AG (Company) as a co-partner, the European energy companies are participating in the project as lenders so that Polish antitrust laws do not apply to them. However, Gazprom, the majority shareholder of Nord Stream 2 AG, has given its European partners shares in the company as a mortgage for the financing provided. If the loans from the Russian side are not paid, the European corporations automatically become the owners of Nord Stream 2 AG. Referring to this fact, the Polish antitrust authorities have declared the European partner companies to be quasi-shareholders in the pipeline project.

With this UOKiK also justifies the exorbitant fine against Gazprom and the fines of around €55 million against Uniper (German), Wintershall (German), Engie (French), OMV (Austrian) and Shell (English-Dutch). Neither Gazprom nor Nord Stream 2 are financially at risk at the moment and the Russian group has already announced that it will take the fine to court.

Poland is of course now aware that their attempts to fine the Nord Stream 2 project will amount to nothing. The aim of the Polish government is not so much to force a large sum of money from Gazprom in the long term, but rather to bury the pipeline project entirely. And this is the part where Warsaw has grossly miscalculated, not only European reactions, but Russian determination.

The goal to cancel Nord Stream 2 also explains why Polish authorities published their decision last week. Relations between the EU and Russia are extra strained because of the Navalny case and the situation in Belarus. France and Germany are working on new sanctions against Russia for the Navalny case and continue to apply pressure against Belarus.

Another question is how effective these measures will be. Sanctions have long degenerated into ambiguity as it is the usual way the West deals with Moscow. Russia has learnt how to adjust their economy accordingly, meaning that sanctions have turned into a farce. The West is regularly expanding its blacklists of sanctioned companies and private individuals, but there has been no significant effect. Political forces with a keen interest in the failure of Nord Stream 2 are plentiful in the West and they are currently advancing the Navalny case in the hope that it will cut the EU from Russia more strongly or permanently. This will not occur as Europe desperately needs Russian energy, which is why Nord Stream 2 is such a critical project for all involved.

https://lockerdome.com/lad/13084989113709670?pubid=ld-dfp-ad-13084989113709670-0&pubo=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.zerohedge.com&rid=www.zerohedge.com&width=890

Poland plays the main role in trying to cancel Nord Stream 2 and the decision by UOKiK is just another push to finally get Europe to abandon the pipeline project. According to a joint declaration by France and Germany, measures are currently being prepared for those alleged to be responsible in the Navalny case and their participation in the so-called Novichok program.

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Despite these measures, Western Europe is bringing its energy project which is important for its own future out of the danger zone, while Poland is attracting even more displeasure from EU giants through its own operation. A penalty against Gazprom may be a Russian problem, but fines against leading corporations from Germany, France, the Netherlands, Great Britain and Austria are guaranteed to leave many of Europe's biggest capitalist angered. The effort Warsaw is making to thwart Nord Stream 2 is visibly turning opposite to what they expected as there is little doubt the Nord Stream 2 project will come to fruition and completion.

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[Oct 11, 2020] MARK CHAPMAN

Oct 11, 2020 | thenewkremlinstooge.wordpress.com

October 10, 2020 at 3:30 am

Yes, I straightaway notified John Helmer to see if he is aware of these developments, and he says they are incorporated in this story, which I am just now reading myself (early morning on the MAYNE QUEEN for 'frontline workers' such as I).

http://johnhelmer.net/i-am-russia-navalny-story-collapses-in-self-contradiction/

Like Reply


JENNIFER HOR October 10, 2020 at 11:39 am

The French must be envious: while they have to tolerate Pavlensky with his arson stunts and sinister blackmailing of their politicians, the Germans only have to put up with Navalny who can't stop shooting his mouth off in a different direction every time he opens it. Although the day must be fast approaching when Berlin might wish Navalny silenced forever before he embarrasses his hosts even more. The irony would certainly be rich and furthermore, whatever transpires next against Navalny could parallel what happened to the Skripals in 2018. The difference is that Navalny may be walking into a trap with all eyes (and mouth) open. He will have only himself to blame if his hosts decide to get rid of him permanently.

ET AL October 10, 2020 at 11:17 am

Playing the devil's advocate, it could be that the bottle(s) were exfiltrated in another manner which in itself raises other questions.

But I would like to know the serial number of the bottle(s). That way they could be traced to whom the producers sold them to, so a) we can check whether in fact the hotel did purchase them whether directly or by an intermediary store, or not; b) whether they were bought elsewhere, i.e. the brand was noted at the hotel (during the recorded video 'discovery' performance) .

MARK CHAPMAN October 10, 2020 at 7:20 pm

I think you mean lot number.

MARK CHAPMAN October 10, 2020 at 2:48 pm

It kind of sounds like they are lawyering up, or getting legal advice about what Pevchikh's actions and movements prove. And so far, they're correct – a picture of her apparently buying a bottle of water or some other beverage from a machine proves nothing. She could have bought something entirely different, or just been standing in front of the machine. She also could have drunk the water on the plane and left the bottle there; that's quite true as well.

However, what do we have on their side? Video allegedly taken at the hotel in which they are seen bagging up empty water bottles. They must have been quote sure that was the piece of evidence they were looking for, since they took nothing else. And then what? There's no chain of custody, and nobody who was not there has any idea what happened to these bottles, or whether the ones allegedly delivered to the Bundeswehr or whoever are the same bottles allegedly taken from the hotel. There must have been no end of opportunities to open the bags – which are not proper custody envelopes, simply zip-loc bags which can be opened or closed any number of times without any indication that this has happened – and tamper with the contents. Nobody from Team Navalny other than The Bullshitter himself went into a coma or even showed any symptoms although they allegedly handled evidence which was liberally dusted with a weapons-grade nerve agent, and wore no personal protective equipment (PPE) other than rubber gloves. Detective Nick Bailey, who allegedly spent weeks in the hospital after touching a doorknob allegedly contaminated with the same nerve agent although he was wearing leather gloves, proved that gloves are no defense against Novichok.

Mind you, this latest iteration was apparently specially engineered to be slow-acting. So perhaps in a couple of weeks Pevchikh and/or Alburov will fall over jerking and drooling in the middle of a sentence. We'll just have to wait and see.


[Oct 11, 2020] The USA found new allies in gas war

Oct 11, 2020 | thenewkremlinstooge.wordpress.com

MOSCOW EXILE October 10, 2020 at 6:28 am

RT
В МИД России назвали "Новичок" западным брендом
14:44

The Russian Foreign Ministry has called "Novichok" a Western brand
The chemical warfare agent called Novichok is a "purely Western brand" that has been synthesized and is present in Western countries in about 140 variants, Russia does not have it. This has been announced by the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

"We officially confirm that all chemical weapons in Russia were destroyed under the strictest international control. This time-consuming process was completed on September 27, 2017″, the foreign ministry has said in a statement.

They recalled that on October 11, 2017, the General Director of the OPCW's technical secretariat certified the final destruction of chemical weapons in the Russian Federation.

"As for the chemical warfare agent called "Novichok" in the West, its structure and mass spectrum were first presented in 1998 in the spectral database of the American Standards Institute (NIST 98). It is indicative that information on this substance came there from the research centre of the US Department of Defense", the ministry has stressed.

The ministry has added that subsequently, on the basis of this compound, a whole family of toxic chemicals had been formed that did not fall under the control of the CWC.

"They worked with it along with the Americans in no less than 20 Western countries". the statement says.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has noted that the studies of Aleksei Navalny's biomaterials conducted in Omsk did not reveal the presence of traces of his poisoning with a chemical warfare agent.

"And the Charité doctors did not find them either. But the German military found them. Almost a week later", the department has said.

Earlier, the OPCW said that its experts had confirmed the presence of toxic substances in the samples of urine and blood taken from Navalny. According to the report, a substance had been found in his body, similar in characteristics to Novichok, but not on the list of prohibited chemicals.

The Russian diplomatic department has noted that this story has continued according to a pre-planned scenario, and promised to provide a chronology of "behind-the-scene manipulations of the main characters of this performance."

Note:

In 1997, the United States ratified the United Nations International Chemical Weapons Convention treaty. By participating in the treaty, the United States agreed to destroy its stockpile of aging chemical weapons -- principally mustard agent and nerve agents -- by April 29, 2007. However, the final destruction deadline was extended to April 29, 2012, at the Eleventh Session of the Conference of the States Parties to the Chemical Weapons Convention at The Hague on December 8, 2006 -- source .

The primary remaining chemical weapon storage facilities in the U.S. are Pueblo Chemical Depot in Colorado and Blue Grass Army Depot in Kentucky. These two facilities hold 10.25% of the U.S. 1997 declared stockpile and destruction operations are under the Program Executive Office, Assembled Chemical Weapons Alternatives. Other non-stockpile agents (usually test kits) or old buried munitions are occasionally found and are sometimes destroyed in place. Pueblo and Blue Grass are constructing pilot plans to test novel methods of disposal. The U.S. also uses mobile treatment systems to treat chemical test samples and individual shells without requiring transport from the artillery ranges and abandoned munitions depots where they are occasionally found. The destruction facility for Pueblo began disposal operations in March 2015. Completion at Pueblo is expected in 2019. Blue Grass is expected to complete operation by 2021 -- source .

MOSCOW EXILE October 10, 2020 at 6:42 am

Same story in Sputnik:

Moscow: Berlin Must Explain Situation With Navalny Under European Convention on Mutual Legal Aid
11:13 GMT 10.10.2020(updated 13:14 GMT 10.10.2020)

According to the ministry, the structure and mass spectrum of "Novichok," which is claimed to have been behind the poisoning of former double agent Sergei Skripal and opposition figure Alexey Navalny, were first revealed in the mass spectral database of the American Institute of Standards in 1998 (NIST 98).

And further:

The OPCW said on Tuesday that a substance similar to nerve agent Novichok, but not included on the lists of banned chemicals, had been found in Navalny's system. The German government believes the OPCW's statement actually confirmed the opposition activist's poisoning with a Novichok group substance but admits that the substance in question is not formally banned.

Russia has also said that the German Foreign Minister's address to lawmakers on the "Navalny case" shows that Moscow is still subject to propaganda attacks.

"As for Heiko Maas' thesis that Russia's claims against Germany and the OPCW are absurd, such remarks are outrageous and do not stand up to any criticism. All we want is to get legal, technical and organizational assistance both in the bilateral Russian-German format and via the OPCW in the interests of conducting a comprehensive, objective and unbiased investigation of all the circumstances of the incident that occurred with Alexey Navalny," the ministry said.

German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas said earlier that Berlin will discuss with its OPCW and EU partners a general reaction to the incident with Navalny, adding that the EU may "very quickly" impose sanctions against those people who they believe are involved in the development of chemical weapons in Russia.

Russian Foreign Ministry's spokeswoman, Maria Zakharova, said earlier this week that the incident with Russian opposition figure Navalny was used just as a pretext for introducing sanctions against Russia that had long been in the works.

MARK CHAPMAN October 10, 2020 at 7:18 pm

But, as I probably need not mention again, the provocation has served its purpose already. The German Foreign Minister, who was once quite bellicose on the USA's bullying ways and, if not a friend of Russia, was at least telling America "You are not the boss of us" on the issue of energy projects with Russian partners, is now fighting with Russia and saying things that cannot be taken back. All thanks to that otherwise-useless grifter, the German-Russian relationship has suffered a serious blow. Merkel, the eternal pragmatist, will not be around forever and I would not be surprised at all to see her declining health take her out of politics altogether by the end of 2021, if she does not suffer a medical event which kills her. She is not a well woman. With her gone, the Atlanticists in the German government – who still constitute a significant influence – could well prevail, and dump Germany right back into Uncle Sam's lap. At the very best, in such an eventuality, Nord Stream II would be allowed to complete but the Germans would demand so much control over it that it would be just as if Washington was running it.

Time to complete it is not unlimited.


[Oct 07, 2020] Germany, France UK to propose sanctions on Russia over alleged poisoning of opposition figure Navalny -- RT Russia Former Soviet Union

Oct 07, 2020 | www.rt.com

Germany, France and the UK will push for EU sanctions on Russian individuals over the alleged poisoning of Kremlin critic Alexey Navalny, saying they see no other "credible explanation" for the incident than Moscow's involvement.

The proposals will target "individuals deemed responsible for this crime and breach of international norms" as well as "an entity involved in the Novichok program," the French and German foreign ministries said in a joint statement on Wednesday.

"No credible explanation has been provided by Russia so far. In this context, we consider that there is no other plausible explanation for Mr Navalny's poisoning than a Russian involvement and responsibility," the statement reads. Berlin and Paris said they will share their proposals for sanctions with their EU partners shortly.

ALSO ON RT.COM UK says 'we haven't yet attributed' Navalny's alleged poisoning to Kremlin, but Moscow must 'ANSWER'

Later, British Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab added that the UK stands "side by side" with France and Germany, declaring that evidence against Moscow is "undeniable."

Navalny fell sick on a flight from the Siberian city of Tomsk to Moscow on August 20, forcing the plane to perform an emergency landing. The anti-corruption activist was put into an induced coma at a hospital in the city of Omsk and two days later was transferred to the prestigious Charité clinic in Berlin at the request of his family.

The German medics who treated Navalny said that their tests revealed that he had been poisoned with a substance from the Novichok group of nerve agents.

The Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) has also studied the samples provided by Berlin, confirming the presence of a toxic substance from the Novichok group in Navalny's blood and urine.

This contradicts the statements made by the Russian medics from Omsk, who insisted that they had discovered no traces of any known poison in the activist's system at the time of his admission to hospital.

ALSO ON RT.COM OPCW says it found traces of Novichok-class substance in blood & urine samples of Russian opposition figure Alexey Navalny

Navalny, who has since emerged from coma and been discharged from hospital, said that he blames Vladimir Putin for making an attempt on his life.

Moscow has repeatedly denied any involvement in Navalny's alleged poisoning and has accused Berlin of failing to provide samples that would prove the use of the nerve agent.

'Novichok' became a household name after the chemical poisoning of double agent Sergei Skripal and his daughter in the UK city of Salisbury in 2018. Western powers were also quick to blame Moscow in that instance, slapping sanctions on Russia, before offering any solid evidence of the country's involvement.

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[Oct 05, 2020] Russian subsides for Easter Europe are now much less then in the past

Oct 05, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

Kooshy , Oct 4 2020 19:41 utc | 36

Before the fall of USSR most Eastern Europe USSR dependencies energy and security was subsidized by Russians /USSR. After the fall of USSR most so called independent Eastern European former Soviet allies are reviving their energy from Russia but subsidized by EU/US in form of loans and capital investments and their security is total subsidized by US/NATO. This was understood as such and cleverly corrected by the Russians

[Sep 28, 2020] Washington's Hybrid War On Russian Energy Targets Germany, Belarus, And Bulgaria -

Sep 28, 2020 | www.zerohedge.com

Washington's Hybrid War On Russian Energy Targets Germany, Belarus, And Bulgaria


by Tyler Durden Sun, 09/27/2020 - 08:10 Twitter Facebook Reddit Email Print

Authored by Andrew Korybko via OneWorld.press,

The US is ruthlessly waging an intense Hybrid War on Russian energy interests in Europe by targeting the Eurasian Great Power's relevant projects in Germany, Belarus, and Bulgaria, banking on the fact that even the partial success of this strategy would greatly advance the scenario of an externally provoked "decoupling" between Moscow and Washington's transatlantic allies.

The Newest Front In The New Cold War

The New Cold War is heating up in Europe after the US intensified its Hybrid War on Russian interests there over the past two months. This proxy conflict is being simultaneously waged in Germany, Belarus, and Bulgaria, all three of which are key transit states for Russian energy exports to the continent, which enable it to maintain at least some influence there even during the worst of times. The US, however, wants to greatly advance the scenario of an externally provoked "decoupling" between Moscow and Washington's transatlantic allies which would allow America to reassert its unipolar hegemony there even if this campaign is only partially successful. This article aims to explore the broad contours of the US' contemporary Hybrid War strategy on Russian energy in Europe, pointing out how recent events in those three previously mentioned transit states are all part of this larger plan.

Germany

From north to south, the first and largest of these targets is Germany, which is nowadays treating Russian anti-corruption blogger Navalny. The author accurately predicted in late August that "intense pressure might be put upon the authorities by domestic politicians and their American patrons to politicize the final leg of Nord Stream II's construction by potentially delaying it as 'punishment to Putin'", which is exactly what's happening after Berlin signaled that it might rethink its commitment to this energy project. America isn't all to blame, however, since Germany ultimately takes responsibility for its provocative statements to this effect. Dmitri Trenin, Director of the Carnegie Moscow Center, published a thought-provoking piece titled " Russian-German Relations: Back To The Future " about how bilateral relations will drastically change in the aftermath of this incident. It's concise and well worth the read for those who are interested in this topic.

Belarus

The next Hybrid War target is Belarus , which the author has been tracking for half a decade already. After failing to convince Lukashenko to break off ties with Russia after this summer's Wagner incident, a Color Revolution was then hatched to overthrow him so that his replacements can turn the country into another Ukraine insofar as it relates to holding Russian energy exports to Europe hostage. The end goal is to increase the costs of Russian resources so that the US' own become more competitive by comparison. Ultimately, it's planned that Russian pipelines will be phased out in the worst-case scenario, though this would happen gradually since Europe can't immediately replace such imports with American and other ones. "Losing" Belarus, whether on its own or together with Nord Stream II, would deal a heavy blow to Russia's geopolitical interests. Countries like Germany wouldn't have a need to maintain cordial relations with it, thus facilitating a possible "decoupling".

Bulgaria

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That's where Bulgaria could become the proverbial "icing on the cake". Turkish Stream is expected to transit through this Balkan country en route to Europe, but the latest anti-government protests there threaten to topple the government, leading to worries that its replacement might either politicize or suspend this project. Azerbaijan's TANAP and the Eastern Mediterranean's GRISCY pipelines might help Southeastern Europe compensate for the loss of Russian resources, though the latter has yet to be constructed and is only in the planning stages right now. Nevertheless, eliminating Turkish Stream from the energy equation (or at the very least hamstringing the project prior to replacing/scrapping it) would deal a death blow to Russia's already very limited Balkan influence. Russia would then be practically pushed out of the region, becoming nothing more than a distant cultural-historical memory with close to no remaining political influence to speak of.

Economic Warfare

The overarching goal connecting these three Hybrid War fronts isn't just to weaken Russia's energy interests, but to replace its current role with American and other industry competitors. The US-backed and Polish-led " Three Seas Initiative " is vying to become a serious player in the strategic Central & Eastern European space, and it can achieve a lot of its ambitions through the construction of new LNG and oil terminals for facilitating America's plans. In addition, artificially increasing the costs of Russian energy imports through political means related to these Hybrid Wars could also reduce Russia's revenue from these sources, which presently account for 40% of its budget . Considering that Russia's in the midst of a systemic economic transition away from its disproportionate budgetary dependence on energy, this could hit Moscow where it hurts at a sensitive time.

The Ball's In Berlin's Court

The linchpin of Russia's defensive strategy is Germany, without whose support all of Moscow's energy plans stand zero chance of succeeding. If Germany submits to the US on one, some, or all three of these Hybrid War fronts in contravention of its natural economic interests, then it'll be much easier for America to provoke a comprehensive "decoupling" between Russia and Europe. It's only energy geopolitics that allows for both sides to maintain some sense of cooperation despite the US-encouraged sanctions regime against Russia after its reunification with Crimea and thus provides an opportunity for improving their relations sometime in the future. Sabotaging Russia's energy interests there would thus doom any realistic prospects for a rapprochement between them, but the ball's in Berlin's court since it has the chance to say no to the US and ensure that the German-Russian Strategic Partnership upholds Europe's strategic autonomy across the present century.

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Concluding Thoughts

For as much as cautiously optimistic as many in the Alt-Media Community might be that the US' Hybrid War on Russian energy in Europe will fail, the facts paint a much more sobering picture which suggests that at least one of these plots will succeed. Should that happen, then the era of energy geopolitics laying the foundation for Russian-European relations will soon draw to a close, thereby facilitating the US' hoped-for "decoupling" between them, causing budgetary difficulties for Moscow at the moment when it can least afford to experience such, and pushing the Eurasian Great Power's strategic attention even further towards Asia. The last-mentioned consequence will put more pressure on Russia to perfect its "balancing" act between China and India , which could potentially be a double-edged sword that makes it more relevant in Asian geopolitical affairs but also means that one wrong move might seriously complicate its 21st-century grand strategy .

Vegetius , 4 hours ago

If you look at the three countries mentioned Belarus will likely be absorbed by Russia sooner rather than later. The push for this is underway looking at meetings taking place. For Bulgaria the US is far away and has no power to stop the Turks. It is the Turks the Bulgarians fear, with a lot of reasons, their surest way of keeping out of the Turks clutches is to look to Russia for support. Unfortunately the USA has an appalling track record of betraying countries, ask Libya.

The Germans have no choice but take the Russian gas, economically, socially and for strategic reasons. The truly big fear for the US is a German/Russian bloc. German and Russian technology with unrivaled resources. That is the future super power if they are pushed together, something that is very likely if we see a major economic contraction in the next few years.

Mustahattu , 4 hours ago

The US fear of an Eurasian alliance. The US fear Europe will create a Silicon Valley of the future. The US fear the Euro will replace the dollar as a reserve currency. The US fear Russia will become a superpower. The US fear China. There's a lot to fear yankee dear...cos it's all gonna happen.

Hope Copy , 1 hour ago

RUSSIA is content with 45 and 25nm as it can be hardened.. 14 and especially 7nm is so that the **** will wear out..

Ace006 , 2 hours ago

Instead of fretting about how this or that country or bloc will become a/an _________ superpower the US could focus on regaining its former pre-eminence.

It's a crazy thought, I know, but

  1. moving a massive amount of industrial capacity to China and fueling the rise of a communist country just might have been a bad idea and
  2. thrashing about in the international arena like a rutting rhinoceros at huge expense makes us look foolish and, in the case of Syria, petty and vindictive.

Repairing the damage from the former and stopping the hemorrhage of money and reputation respectively would be a far better objective than playing Frankenstein in Libya, Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Ukraine, Georgia, Serbia, Iran, Poland, N. Korea, and Venezuela, inter alia . Mexico is a failed state right on our border that contributes mightily to our immigration, cultural, and political problems. But, no, the puffed up, prancing morons who make US policy can summon the imagination to figure out how to help our very own neighbors deal with their hideous problems. No. Let's engage in regime change and "nation building" in Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Libya, Ukraine, and Belarus.

The words of the great Marcus Aurelius are on point: "Within ten days thou wilt seem a god to those to whom thou art now a beast and an ape, if thou wilt return to thy principles and the worship of reason."

Herodotus , 1 hour ago

Bulgaria must return to the protection of the Ottoman Empire.

yerfej , 4 hours ago

Easy solution, end NATO. Just have all US forces told to leave the EU and let them determine their own destiny. Then do the same with US forces in the ME, Japan, Korea, etc. EVERYONE would be better off, including US taxpayers which get nothing out of the useless overseas deployment of resources which could be better spent at home.

yojimbo , 3 hours ago

5% budget deficit, 5% military spending. Leave the world, drop 4.5% of the spending and either save money, or build infrastructure. It's so simple, I am disappointed Trump doesn't at least state it. I get he is limited by the system, and can't be a Cincinnatus, even if he wanted to, but he has his First Amendment.. though I grant him a personal fear of being Kennedied!

Bac Si , 2 hours ago

Howdy Yerfej. It sounds like you are all for Isolationism.

But Isolationism means different things to different people. Pre WW2, Isolationism in the US meant selling our products to hostile countries. In the case of Japan, oil to help them kill Chinese people. In the case of Germany and Italy, food and vehicles to help them conquer all of Europe.

Considering the ridiculous education that the US gives its children, it's no wonder that most Americans don't know much about history (I say that in general terms, not to you specifically). Henry Ford senior not only received the 'Grand Cross of the German Eagle' from Adolf Hitler in 1938, he also received a 'Congressional Medal' from the US Congress shortly after WW2 – and for the same reason. Selling trucks to help the war effort.

Even after Pearl Harbor, there were politically powerful Isolationists that did not want the US to get involved in WW2. Why? Because a lot of money was at stake. It still is. These same people will continue to argue for Isolationism even after we are attacked.

Two months AFTER Pearl Harbor, FDR made a speech that included this:

"Those Americans who believed that we could live under the illusion of isolationism wanted the American eagle to imitate the tactics of the ostrich. Now, many of those same people, afraid that we may be sticking our necks out, want our national bird to be turned into a turtle. But we prefer to retain the eagle as it is – flying high and striking hard. I know that I speak for the mass of the American people when I say that we reject the turtle policy and will continue increasingly the policy of carrying the war to the enemy in distant lands and distant waters – as far away as possible from our own home grounds." – FDR

This radical change in our foreign policy has never been explained or even referred to in US history books. Powerful economic forces will always love the idea of "Open Trade Isolationism". But if Isolationism is ever suddenly defined by not doing business with any hostile government – those powerful forces will go ballistic. They will strongly lobby against 'Economic Warfare'. In other words, they will always want to make lots of money by selling their products to hostile governments, no matter how many people die.

Want a great example?

Right after Loral Corporation CEO Bernard L. Schwartz donated a million dollars to the DNC, President Clinton authorized the release of ballistic missile technology to China so Loral could get their satellites into space fast and at low cost. Those same missiles, and their nuclear warheads, are now pointed at the US.

The argument has always been that if we trade with hostile governments, they will grow to like us. Does anyone out there believe that if the UK and France gave pre WW2 Germany an extra $20 billion in trade, Germany wouldn't have started WW2? Anyone with a brain would tell you that Germany would have put those resources into their military (like China has been doing) and WW2 would have started earlier.

Yerfej, if we brought back the Cold War organization called the Coordinating Committee for Multilateral Export Controls (COCOM), I would be all for Isolationism. President Clinton got rid of it in his first year, and Western weapons technology has been threatening us ever since.

BaNNeD oN THe RuN , 5 hours ago

You have to love the dynamic duo of "lie, cheat and steal" Pompeo and his "mob boss" Trump. There is absolutely no subtlety in their obvious shakedown tactics.

PrivetHedge , 4 hours ago

The mob had far more honor, and better morals.

PrivetHedge , 4 hours ago

Washington's transatlantic allies...

Hahahah, occupied vassals.
Washington has cost Germany a massive slice of GDP.

you_do , 4 hours ago

Yankee has plenty of problems at home.

Rest of the world can decide their own energy policy.

They do not suffer from the 'Russia' propaganda.

geno-econ , 5 hours ago

Let Russia, the lowest cost energy producer win energy competition in Europe as China, the lowest cost manufacturing producer is winning in America. Only difference is retailers, shippers, assembly part importers such as auto, electronics and appliance makers are making a profit and consumer gets lower prices. We should let others decide for themselves and stop meddling----only result will be a bloody nose

you_do , 4 hours ago

Yankee has plenty of problems at home.

Rest of the world can decide their own energy policy.

They do not suffer from the 'Russia' propaganda.

geno-econ , 5 hours ago

Let Russia, the lowest cost energy producer win energy competition in Europe as China, the lowest cost manufacturing producer is winning in America. Only difference is retailers, shippers, assembly part importers such as auto, electronics and appliance makers are making a profit and consumer gets lower prices. We should let others decide for themselves and stop meddling----only result will be a bloody nose

free-energy , 4 hours ago

Notice how everything the US does around the world is a WAR. War on Energy, War on Drugs, War on Birth Control, War War War... America will fall after 2020 if nothing changes for the better. Every year the world grows more and more tired of the US bs and moves further away from it. Its so bad that they choose to deal with a communist country over us.

You reap what you've sowed.

Bobby Farrell Can Dance , 3 hours ago

The Anglo American parasite pirate gangsters keep barking on about Russia bad, China bad, but I look around and I see nothing but these trouble makers waging war on anything they cannot control. The US and UK are devil nations. They will deserve all the rot they have coming their way.

Unknown User , 5 hours ago

Trump wants a trade balance with all major economies like Germany and China. If they don't buy from us, he will have to raise tariffs. In case of Germany, they need nothing from us so he wants them to buy US LNG. Merkel's position is that "there is a cheap Russian gas", while Trump is telling her "no there isn't one".

Pumpinfe , 4 hours ago

So trump loves to deep throat Russia but give Germany a hard time to Nordstream 2? Wake up fanboys, your hero is a ******. I got so much money invested in gazprom. LNG is junk and gazprom (Russian owned) is gona crush LNG and trump and his idiot following can't do a damn thing. You trump idiots will believe anything. Let me enlighten you...gazprom is the lowest cost producer of natural gas in the world...go look at the difference between gazprom and LNG and then you will realize that orange dump is an idiot along with his army of empty heads. Oh and if you think China and Russia are not friendly, go look up the Power of Siberia pipeline. That will give you a good sense of the relationship between Russia and China. America is rotting from the inside and Russia and China are eating their popcorn watching it happen.

Dabooda , 3 hours ago

I don't see Trump deep-throating anyone but Netanyahu. Sans gratuitous insults, your comment about Gazprom is spot on

Lokiban , 5 hours ago

I doubt Merkel will give in. She would commit political suicide if she did that. She knows Navalny is a US effort to stop Nordstream 2.
What is the alternative? Buying gas from the US or US-controlled oilfields in Iraq and Syria? Putin might have a say in that.

Lokiban , 5 hours ago

I doubt Merkel will give in. She would commit political suicide if she did that. She knows Navalny is a US effort to stop Nordstream 2.
What is the alternative? Buying gas from the US or US-controlled oilfields in Iraq and Syria? Putin might have a say in that.

thurstjo63 , 3 hours ago

The main fault in Mr Korybko's thinking is that he believes that European countries will not just shoot themselves in the foot but in the head to appease the US. At a european and local level, those who wanted Nord Stream 2 to be suspended or killed have failed. The costs are way too high. For that we can thank, perversely, the agreements associated with protecting investments from political decisions pushed by the US itself!!! Given that there is no proof of Navalny being poisoned, Germany knows that there is no way that they could hope to win their case for stopping Nord Stream 2 in a tribunal with persons capable of rational thought. That is why they made the deal to buy some US liquified gas for a couple of billion dollars. Because that is the cheapest way of extricating themselves from this situation. Otherwise, they are looking at orders of magnitude more compensation to russian and european firms for stopping the pipeline.

As for Belarus, barring Lukashenko doing something profoundly stupid like reacting violently to protests, that ship has already sailed. Protests are smaller every week and mainly on the weekend as now the "opposition" has been publishing people's profiles accusing them of collaborating with the government without any proof, leading to innocent people and their families to be threatened. There will be a transition from Lukashenko over the next couple of years but you can be sure that the present "opposition" given their desire to break away from Russia will not be part of the group that comes to power in the future since their base of support diminishes every week.

Finally Bulgaria already shot themselves in the foot when they backed out of South Stream and had major problems securing energy resources to meet its needs during the intervening period. Radev as any politician wanting to stay in office knows, if he doesn't go through with connecting Turk Stream to the rest of Europe that he might as well resign. So unless the US has compromising information on him that can force him from office or the Radev's administration doesn't control the US attempts to create the conditions for a colour revolution in Bulgaria, it is definitely not going to happen.

I'm sorry but Mr. Korybko is wrong on all counts!

Savvy , 4 hours ago

When the US backed Georgia's violent incursion into S Ossetia it took Russia one day to send them back.

Russians are slow to saddle but ride fast.

Joiningupthedots , 2 hours ago

That was with the remnants of the old Soviet Army too.

The new Russian Army is an entirely different beast in both organisation, training, experience and equipment.

This guy has his finger on the pulse;

http://thesaker.is/the-world-has-gone-absolutely-insane/

JeanTrejean , 5 hours ago

Are the USA really at war with Russia...and EU?

Decoupling Russia from EU, is re-enforcing the Eurasia bloc...where is the future of the world.

Russia belongs to Europa...not the USA.

BaNNeD oN THe RuN , 4 hours ago

Geographically Europe and Asia are one continent. It was "European exceptionalism" (the precursor to American Exceptionalism) that divided it as an ethno-cultural construct.

researchfix , 5 hours ago

Cancelling NS2 will chase the German industry into Russia. Cheap energy, moderate wages, Eurasian market at the front steps.

The sheep and their ex working places and Mutti will stay in Germany.

Bobby Farrell Can Dance , 3 hours ago

Do Germans want to be slaves of these abject Brits and Americans? Pffffft....gas from Russia is a NO BRAINER.

Only British and Americans rats do not like that idea. How un-selfish then, it is for these jealous, insecure morons to dictate to Germany how she should trade. That's called outright meddling. These imperialists are like entitled Karens, they think the world owes them favours at the snap of a finger.

Sandmann , 4 hours ago

Nordstream 2 has an add-on leg to UK. Germany is largest gas importer on earth and cannot run its industry without gas imports from Russia. LNG is simply too expensive unless US taxpayers subsidise it.

If US wants to destabilise Europe it will reap the consequences. Southern Europe depends on gas from North Africa - Portugal generates electricity from Maghreb Pipeline to Spain from Algeria via Morocco. Erdogan hopes to put Turkey in position of supplying gas to Europe.

Germany will not abandon Nordstream 2 but might abandon USA first.

Max21c , 3 hours ago

The US is ruthlessly waging an intense Hybrid War on Russian energy interests in Europe by targeting the Eurasian Great Power's relevant projects in Germany, Belarus, and Bulgaria, banking on the fact that even the partial success of this strategy would greatly advance the scenario of an externally provoked "decoupling" between Moscow and Washington's transatlantic allies.

It's a petty game and when it fails then the Washingtonians credibility and legitimacy just further erodes. The EU needs the energy supplies and the Russian Federation has the supplies. It's all just short term & small gain silliness by a pack of freaks in Washington DC and their freaks in the CIA, Thunk Tank freaks and freaks in the foreign policy establishment. It's just more of the Carnival sideshow/freakshow put on by Washingtonians. As usual if it's a Washingtonian (post Cold War) policy then there's little or no substance behind it and you can be sure it hasn't be thought through thoroughly and it'll eventually turn and boomerang back on the circus people in Washington, Ivy League circus people, and JudeoWASP elite circus people, CIA circus clowns and circus clowns in the Thunk Tonks and elites Fareign Poolicy ***-tablishment.

John Hansen , 3 hours ago

If all it takes is a Navaly hoax to cause this Europe isn't really worth dealing with.

propaganda_reaper , 3 hours ago

Once upon a time, a revolution occurred in a country through which passed a gas pipeline. The bad guys were vanquished. And the very good foreign guys who helped the local good guys defeat the tyrant said: "We got the same stuff, but liquid."

Any similarity with fictitious events or characters was purely coincidental.

_ConanTheLibertarian_ , 4 hours ago

Germany needs the gaz.

https://www.politico.eu/article/why-germany-cant-say-no-to-nord-stream/

Obamanism666 , 49 minutes ago

Remember the Gas to Europe still flows through the Ukraine. Russia just needs to reduce the gas Pressure and blame the Ukraine and Europe goes cold and Dark.

German People will beg for Nordstream 2 to be switched on.

lucitanian , 31 minutes ago

That's not the way Russia works. But it's the kind of blackmail that the US uses. And that's why Russia is a more dependable partner for Europe for energy.

Hope Copy , 1 hour ago

This **** goes right back to the 'DeepState' pseudo-revolution that got the Nicky-the-weak killed ,because he financed his railroads and wanted to be rich as hell as he perceived the ENGLISH monarchy to be, with a parliamentary DUMA that he could over rule if need be. I have looked 'DeepState' right in the eyes when I was young and dumb and was told that I would never go to their masion.. Nicky had family enemies. and the Czech fighting force was never going to save him.. Stalin was also double-crossed, but was well informed.. it was in his sector if one reads and believes. Cunning fox Stalin was, always playing those under him to do his bidding.. and that lesson has been well learned by a couple of the world's leaders in this day-in-age...

Herodotus , 1 hour ago

German manufacturing costs must be driven higher to take the heat off of the UK as they emerge from the EU and attempt to become competitive.

novictim , 1 hour ago

When "War" is actually not war but trade policy and financial incentives then you know you are engaged in dangerous bloviations and hyperbole.

When the shooting starts, then you can talk of War.

SuperareDolo , 2 hours ago

Russia might not want to fight these attempts to isolate it from the western economy. The collateral damage will be that much less, once Babylon the great finally falls.

LoveTruth , 2 hours ago

And US claims to be a "Fair Player," caring for freedom and democracy, while twisting arms and supporting corrupted officials.

IronForge , 3 hours ago

PetroUSD, MIC, Colonial Control of Vassals. World Domination Play by the Hegemony.

Just like the Policies of NATO: Russians Out, Germans Down, Anglo-American-ZioMasons and Vatican_Vassals In.

Policies were like this - Sponsored by Anglo-ZioMasons from Pre-WWI, continued through WWII and the First Cold War, and onwards after the Collapse of the SUN and the ensuing NeoCon Wolfowitz Doctrine and PNAC7/Bush-Cheney PetroUSD Plans.

The Hegemony Control MENA Energy Producers. The IRQ-KWT War were mishandled; and KSA demanded for the USA to Smite IRQ. The Initial War and Occupation prompted Hussein to opt the EUR for Petroleum, which Brought about the End of Hussein through the 9-11/PNAC7 Long War.

LBY opted for the Au-Dinar for Petroleum; and were Fail-Stated. IRN and RUS remain the only Major Energy Producers not Controlled by the Hegemony.

IRN were Sanctioned since removing the Shackles of Hegemonic Occupancy via Shah Par Levi; and attempts for Energy Diversification via Nuclear means raised suspicions of Nuclear Weapons Development - prompting for heavier Sanctions and 5thColumn Regime Change Operations by the Hegemony. IRN circumvented Sanctions in part by selling their Petroleum via Major Currencies and Barter. Though many Countries have reduced or maintained their purchase of IRN Petroleum via Sanctions Protocols, CHN are involved in Purchasing IRN's Output.

RUS, another Target of Ruin, Plunder, and Occupational Exploitation by the Hegemony, were Too Large a Country with Standing Armed Forces for Direct Military Invasion by the Hegemony. After the Collapse of the SUN, The Harvard/Chicago led Economic Reforms ended in Plunder - which prompted the Selection and Rise of Putin, who drove out the Plunderers. The Hegemony continue their Geopolitical War of Influence Peddling around RUS while attempting Soft War NATO Membership Recruitment and Regime Change Coups within RUS, Ex-SUN Nation-States, and Trading Partners.

RUS have endured, became Militarily mightier, have become the Major Energy Producer for North/Western Europe and CHN. In addition to the Production, RUS now have begun Trading Petroleum+NatGas outside of the PetroUSD Exchange Mechanism, opting for Customer Currencies or RUB.

RUS and IRN are expected to be Key Providers of the PetroCNY-Au Exchange Mechanism.

The Hegemony and MENA Vassals can't Compete in Combined Petroleum+NatGas Volume and Price; and DEU - by Directly Importing from RUS - will most likely become more Independent from the Hegemon.

CHN, RUS, and DEU - Major Energy, Industrial, Natural Resource, and Military Powers Decoupling from the Influences of the Hegemony, with IND Slowly coming to their Own (IND are simply Too Large to remain Vassals to the Hegemon; and Vassal GBR did so much to Oppress them in the past).

Funny that the Anglo-American-ZioMasons and VAT have brought each of these 3 Powers to Ruin and Occupation in the Past 2 Centuries.

The Ironies being Played Out are that:

1) GBR Lost their Prime Colonies - America/USA, IND, and now Trade City Colony HKG - by their Oppressive and Exploitative Occupancy; and

2) USA, after Fighting Wars for Independence from such Occupations by GBR - Once Becoming a Major Military Power, Followed in the Anglo-ZioMason Tradition of Geopolitical Conquest and Control to the Scale of pursing not only in World Domination - but in Absolute Global Rule.

Maghreb2 , 2 hours ago

Problem is demographic shift . The previous modern system dominated by Zio-Masonry was GNP and GDP where currencies were measured against global output and floated against gold and each other. Now with high inflation and demographic decline knocking out the economy is easier leading to fights between zones of influence. Petro Ruble, Euro or dollar. Dangerous commodities like kilos of heroin, trafficked humans or weapons. Zio-Masonic system has fallen to gangsterism. Hybrid Warfare is the kind of thing we saw in Afghanistan or 80s Columbia . Militarized Russian mafia vs NATO backed militarized police forces.

Once the population reaches a certain age and consumption drops there isn't much to fight over besides social control systems of the young minority. Color revolutions in Central Europe are really only effecting the long term economy of the young . Hope would be Left wing Radicals stood up to the system and aligned with right wing groups to eliminate masonic and Zionist factions and take back the command and control systems before the continet is shut down permanently.

Precision strikes and hunting down their descendents . Easy to find because Hitler and Stalin had their ancestors massacred for loyalty to Rothschild. They won't bite the hands that feed.The Vatican vassal systems was built on knowing that a Zionist is Zionist and Masons is a Mason. They are cults simply teaching them the correct way to behave can avert these political problems.

In terms of Belarus and Russia they should consider the fact the birth rate rate rose after the Soviet collapse and exodus west means many of them shouldn't have even been born in Rothschilds plan. In their " system " economic planning starts at birth because color revolutions effect long term bond issuances they control.

Stalin and Hitler both knew this and used money linked to raw marterials and goods to beat the British gold standard system. If you knew what the Western Central banks were worth you would kill people for using their money.

[Sep 27, 2020] Looks like Washington is simply playing for time

Sep 27, 2020 | www.unz.com

Beckow , says: September 27, 2020 at 12:39 am GMT

@vot tak – Russia could stop transit through Ukraine tomorrow and switch to LNG and existing underwater pipelines. The fact that they have not done it and signed a limited 5-year deal for 2020-2024 suggests that either Russia doesn't want to do it or it is a political concession to its customers (Germany)

You are right that NS2 theatre by Washington is simply playing for time – they know that they can't really prevail. But it is larger than that: their whole strategy is to delay and postpone. They are trying to delay the inevitable or are hoping for a miracle. But strategically they have lost. Water flows downstream, it is only a question of how fast.

TG , says: September 26, 2020 at 3:01 pm GMT

A very interesting post. I might quibble with some of the finer points, but yes, the world has gone stark raving bonkers.

The Russians are NOT ten feet tall, and the Americans – for all of the idiocy of the ruling elites – still have many strengths, and no matter how badly employed, these strengths will not disappear in a day. Russia might yet get pulled down, if they are unlucky or the elites are corrupted by money.

But there is one difference between the Americans and the Russians that, long term, may be the single biggest factor: more than hypersonic missiles or all of that. It's that, for now at least, the Russian elites can learn from experience, and the Americans, can not (or will not, but same thing).

Consider: after the Soviet Union fell, Russian forces got their tails whipped by the Chechens. The Russians rethought their approach, and in a rematch Russia scored not just a military victory, but an enduring strategic victory: they accomplished their policy goals! A goal that was not just spreading chaos and instability! When was the last time the United States did something like that? Maybe Korea in the 1950's.

Realist , says: September 26, 2020 at 3:09 pm GMT
@Ann Nonny Mouse

I'm waiting impatiently for the collapse of the US dollar, hope to live to see it.

Me too the price of gold will go through the roof.

The Spirit of Enoch Powell , says: September 26, 2020 at 3:13 pm GMT
@Mustapha Mond

The Taliban in Afghanistan and the 'rag-tag' North Vietnamese who successfully fought the Vietnam War might disagree with you .

You can't really use those examples as a way of finalising the inferiority of the Western armed forces vis-à-vis Russia as the latter also did not manage to defeat the Afghans and would likely have been made a mincemeat of by the VC as well.

Russia's performance in Chechnya was also not that great considering the power differential.

[Sep 26, 2020] I see that the German Parliament has NOT TAKEN its red pills these days and is reluctant to swallow the BS.

Notable quotes:
"... On rules based disorder and the capitulation of Merkel and her BND lapdogs to the 'hate Russia' fulminations of the UKUSA morons. I see that the German Parliament has NOT TAKEN its red pills these days and is reluctant to swallow the BS. ..."
Sep 26, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

uncle tungsten , Sep 22 2020 22:53 utc | 36

On rules based disorder and the capitulation of Merkel and her BND lapdogs to the 'hate Russia' fulminations of the UKUSA morons. I see that the German Parliament has NOT TAKEN its red pills these days and is reluctant to swallow the BS. It would be satisfying to see the collective wisdom of the Parliament to exceed that of the BND. But then that is a low bar.

[Sep 24, 2020] Washington using Navalny situation as excuse to block Russian-German Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline, Russian intelligence chief says by Jonny Tickle

Notable quotes:
"... Discussion about ending Nord Stream 2 resumed last month, when EU politicians debated further sanctions, following the suspected poisoning of Navalny. Naryshkin believes that the US is using the accusations of poisoning as a pretext to sell more LNG to Europe. On Thursday, MEPs demanded that Germany cancel construction of the pipeline. ..."
Sep 22, 2020 | www.rt.com

The US is working hard to keep the spotlight on the case of Alexey Navalny as a way to help block construction of the Nord Stream 2 pipeline, according to Sergey Naryshkin, head of Russia's Foreign Intelligence Service (the SVR).

Naryshkin believes that Washington wants to block Nord Stream 2 so it can prevent Moscow from efficiently providing gas to the continent, thereby increasing demand for American liquefied natural gas (LNG) in other European states. As things stand, Russia delivers a large percentage of the continent's gas, and the pipeline would connect the country's gas supply directly to Germany, under the Baltic Sea. The project is more than 90 percent complete.

READ MORE: German FM links Nord Stream 2 to Navalny, threatens sanctions as Moscow accuses Berlin of dragging feet on alleged poisoning probe

"It is extremely important for Washington to end this project," Naryshkin said, explaining that the alleged poisoning of opposition figure Navalny has become an excuse to stop Nord Stream 2's construction.

The United States has long been opposed to the project, somewhat incredibly claiming that it would "undermine Europe's overall energy security and stability," but many believe that Washington's true motivations are economic.

Discussion about ending Nord Stream 2 resumed last month, when EU politicians debated further sanctions, following the suspected poisoning of Navalny. Naryshkin believes that the US is using the accusations of poisoning as a pretext to sell more LNG to Europe. On Thursday, MEPs demanded that Germany cancel construction of the pipeline.

Despite US pressure, Naryshkin has expressed hope that the EU will rely on common sense before the "cold winter" and likened the proposed halting of Nord Stream 2 to "cutting off the nose to spite the face."

Late last month, Russian anti-corruption activist Navalny was hospitalized in the Siberian city of Omsk after he became ill on a flight from Tomsk to Moscow. Two days later, after a request from his family and associates, he was flown to Berlin for treatment at that city's Charité clinic. Following tests, German authorities announced that Navalny was poisoned with a substance from the Novichok group of nerve agents. After the diagnosis, Heiko Maas, the German Foreign Minister, told Berlin tabloid Bild that he hopes "the Russians don't force [the Germans] to change [their] stance on Nord Stream 2."

US aims for gas domination in Europe, Ukrainian MP says. Nord Stream 2 is 1st target, then existing European pipeline system

Like this story? Share it with a friend!

[Sep 19, 2020] Who organized this provocation? Is this a part of gas war?

Were Khodorkovsky or Browder among people involved? To what extent Trump administration and MI6 were involved? Looks more and more line a bad replay of Skripals poisoning
Notable quotes:
"... Germans and "the whole world", to quote Pompeo, know the truth: Russians simply deny the truth, and the more they deny, the more truthful the accusations appear. And the elephant in the room: Why isn't the poisoned by "Novichok" bullshitting bastard of a US agent dead? And the answer given by the Germans, that is ironic in the extreme: because Russian doctors saved his life in Omsk. ..."
"... There are undeniable advantages to accusations for which no substantiation is offered – as we saw with the Skripals, you can await public comment, identify where you went wrong from scornful rejections of the narrative, and then modify it so that it makes more sense. ..."
"... I hope Germany offers residency to the Navalnys, and that they accept. Russia can't really refuse to let him back in, he's a citizen. But as long as he is there he will cause trouble, and he'll be recharged with all the PR he has received from this latest caper. ..."
"... But it is suggested that Russia is bargaining for his return; the story also expands on Lavrov's recent statements, and introduces a villain in the woodpile I would not have personally suspected: Poland. ..."
"... I recall Lavrov querying the other day Pevchikh's presence in Germany, her refusal to be interviewed by investigators in Omsk and how come she managed to fly to Germany with Navalny? He also said that other supporters of Navalny had also turned up in Germany. ..."
"... I lay a pound to a pinch of shit that Pevchikh is a British agent. ..."
"... Looking good for almost a corpse. COVID-19, a flu virus, is a deadly killer, and Novichok, a deadly nerve agent, is not a killer. ..."
"... Dances with Bears: THE PEVCHIKH PLOT – NAVALNY BOTTLE, LONDON WITNESS FLEE THE SCENE OF THE CRIME, BERLIN TOO http://johnhelmer.net/the-pevchikh-plot-navalny-bottle-london-witness-flee-the-scene-of-the-crime-berlin-too/ ..."
"... I reckon Khordokovsky has a hand in this. He has the same moral compass as dead Berezovsky. None. And he has refused to stick to agreements (keep out of politics). If the British or someone else get fingered for this cunning plan , would they serve him up on a silver platter? Almost certainly so. ..."
"... We certainly did well to focus on Maria Pevchikh as soon as we discovered that in addition to being the one who evaded questioning by Russian authorities by flying out to Germany, she also had British residency. She certainly has become a "person of interest" and could well be the major individual in the plot to incapacitate Navalny and use him to pressure Germany over NSII and Russia over the Belarus unrest. ..."
"... It is still unknown whether Pevchikh is a British citizen. I think she is and probably must be, in fact, for if she is only a visa holder or an applicant for UK citizenship, she could be told by the Home Office to go take a hike if it is proven that she was instrumental in the poisoning plot. ..."
"... Ask Pevchikh! Only she is now probably undergoing debriefing in London at UK Secret Intelligence Services HQ, 85 Albert Embankment. ..."
"... There was considerable risk involved in the deception. I doubt that Navalny went into the deception willingly. There was a very real risk that he could have suffered some brain damage going into the first coma and that's sure to compromise his health in the long term in other ways. ..."
"... More likely it seems a lot of the deception was planned behind Navalny's back and people were waiting for an opportunity to carry it out. It may have been planned years ago for someone else and then switched to Navalny once he was in the Omsk hospital. Julia Navalnaya may have been pushed into demanding that Navalny be transferred to Berlin and while the Omsk hospital doctors were stabilising him for the transfer, the deception then started going into action in Germany. ..."
"... Lavrov smelt a rat several days ago -- last week, I'm sure -- when he stated that suspicions had been aroused by one of Navalny's gang refusing to answer investigators' questions in Omsk and then scarpering off to Germany. ..."
"... I'm quite sure the FSB already knew of Pevchikh's comings and goings between London and Moscow (over 60 flights there and back I read somewhere) and her activities with the Navalny organization. ..."
"... if Washington thinks it can actually halt Nord Stream II – with the understanding that the Russians would probably give up after such a stinging second rebuke – then the sky is the limit, and they will scornfully reject any other solution. The one who stands to get hurt the most is Europe. But I don't think they realize it. ..."
Sep 19, 2020 | thenewkremlinstooge.wordpress.com

MOSCOWEXILE September 14, 2020 at 11:07 pm

Russian librag Vedomosti reports NYT:

NYT сообщила о планах Навального вернуться в Россию
15 сентября 2020

NYT has announced Navalney's to return to Russia
15 September 2020

Founder of the Anti-Corruption Foundation, Alexei Navalny, who is undergoing treatment in Germany, has discussed his poisoning with the German prosecutor and announced that he plans to return to Russia, The New York Times has reported, citing a source in the German security forces.

According to the source, Navalny is fully aware of his condition, of what happened and where he is. In a conversation with the prosecutor, he refused that his case be jointly investigated by Germany and Russia. Navalny said he planned to return to Russia immediately after his recovery and continue his mission, the newspaper notes.

https://vedomosti-ru.turbopages.org/vedomosti.ru/s/society/news/2020/09/15/839918-o-planah-navalnogo?utm_source=yxnews&utm_medium=mobile

Mission accomplished.

I notice that the Navalny fake story has gone off the radar in the Western MSM.

Now there just remain the lies and innuendos fixed in the minds of the sheeple.

Only an investigation by the Germans.

No investigation by the Russians.

Germans and "the whole world", to quote Pompeo, know the truth: Russians simply deny the truth, and the more they deny, the more truthful the accusations appear. And the elephant in the room: Why isn't the poisoned by "Novichok" bullshitting bastard of a US agent dead? And the answer given by the Germans, that is ironic in the extreme: because Russian doctors saved his life in Omsk.

Other elephants lurking in the shadows:

Why hadn't everyone who had been in contact with the piece of shit, including fellow passengers on the Tomsk-Moscow flight died?

Where were the hazmat-suit-wearing specialists that should have detoxified the aeroplane on board of which the Bullshitter threw a wobbler?

So many elephants, all ignored.

Total fabrication.

When the liar returns here, how about arresting him for breach of his bail conditions?

Not technically but absolutely legally he was not allowed to leave the country.

How about arresting him for perverting the course of justice? You can get life for doing that in the UK!

He refuses to allow the Russian state to investigate his case but he and his controllers and supporters maintain that the Russian state attempted to murder him with the most deadly nerve agent known to man -- but it didn't work.

ET AL September 15, 2020 at 1:32 am

Jesus has Risen!

And on the plus side he can sell expensive 'blessed' trinkets to his hamsters help subsidize his interesting lifestyle. Think holy relics, think Medjigorje, Lourdes etc.

MARK CHAPMAN September 15, 2020 at 8:58 am

Having survived Novichok poisoning, is he now immune?

MOSCOWEXILE September 15, 2020 at 4:16 am

A long read:

VESTI RU

Навальный, "Новичок" и "белая коробка"
13 сентября 2020

Navalny, "Novichok" and the "White Box"
13 September 2020

Why is not a single Berlin doctor ready to personally confirm the announced poisoning of Navalny?

A Russian patient is recovering in the "White Box" of the Charité hospital. During the three weeks of Navalny's stay within these walls, no one shouted at the doctors that they were murderers, no one demanded from them hourly reports on the patient's state of health. At the beginning of the week, the hospital's press service informs the press that the personal guest of the Federal Chancellor has been withdrawn from an artificial coma and is reacting to other people. A couple of days later, "Spiegel" magazine publishes encouraging information: "More progress has been made. If his health continues to improve, Navalny will begin to receive more visitors". According to "Bellingcat" and "Der Spiegel", Navalny can already speak and can probably recall the events that happened before he lost consciousness on an aeroplane flying from Tomsk to Moscow.

In general, the latest Charité press releases are in clear contradiction to the horror that the German press had been gathering all week. The already poisoned underpants have been forgotten, the newspaper "Die Zeit" returns the reader to a famous photograph: morning in a café at the Tomsk airport, a passenger for the flight to Moscow flight peers into a cup that he has raised in order to drink out of it. In it,, according to a "Die " source, is not just a chemical warfare agent from the "Novichok" group: in there is a "Novichok" on steroids.

"Before this assassination attempt, the world did not know about this poison, which is said to be even more deadly and dangerous than all known substances from the Novichok group. Scientists found corresponding traces on the Navalny's hands and on the neck of a bottle from which he had drunk. This "modified Novichok" allegedly acts more slowly than previous versions. The Germans assume that one of the FSB agents monitoring Navalny, or an undercover agent, added drops of poison to his tea or applied a substance to the surface of a cup. Navalny was supposed to die on board the aircraft", writes "Die Zeit".

Everything is just fine and dandy here: for example, about agents who had to perform the necessary manipulations with a super-poison in a crowded place. A remarkable and suddenly appeared bottle -- no bottle was seen in Omsk at all. The story goes on about the fact that, apart from tea, Navalny did not drink anything. It turns out that those accompanying the blogger took the bottle out of the plane, hid it, and then transported it to Germany and handed it to Bundeswehr chemists Concealing evidence is pure criminality. But the most interesting thing is the super-"Novichok".

After the poisoning of the Skripals in Salisbury (let us recount the usual version of events that happened there), about 50 more people sought medical help. Houses were taken apart, pets were destroyed. But here no one except Navalny was hurt: neither the people at Tomsk airport, nor the fellow travellers with whom he, having the terrible poison in his hands, took a selfie on a bus, nor the passengers on board the aircraft, and he also touched things there. Symptoms of poisoning should have appeared amongst the passengers, but they did not. This should raise questions from the authors of the serious newspaper "Die Zeit", but it does not. A weapon of mass destruction by any reasoning, but the longer the German press examines the Navalny case, the more mediaeval and grotesque it becomes. And it works -- you can see it even from the reaction of quite moderate politicians.

Already a week and a half ago, Merkel announced the results of a toxicological examination, allegedly carried out in a secret laboratory of the Bundeswehr (yes, Navalny was poisoned), opponents of the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline have intensified their onslaught against the federal government in order to stop the construction, they say, this is the only way to punish Russia. At the head of the column are the party leaders of the Greens and those associates of Merkel who are friendly with Washington and have plans for higher party or administrative posts after the Chancellor leaves.

These voices were at least heard. In an evening talk show on ZDF, German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas made it clear that the shutdown of Nord Stream 2 could be one response.

"We cannot say that since the sanctions do not work, then there is no need to introduce any. Sometimes we have to put up with the risk of the consequences, thereby saying that we do not want to live in a world without rules", Maas said.

Now Herr Maas, along with many members of the government and administration and the Chancellor, lives in a world of very strange rules. Merkel's press secretary Seibert reiterated that Germany will interact with Russia exclusively at the site of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), where all the documents allegedly have already been sent.

The OPCW Technical Secretariat informed our permanent representative, Alexander Shulgin, that Berlin had only sent a notification about Navalny's poisoning, a sheet of A4 paper, but there is still nothing that the experts could work on. But the Germans had to formulate a response to the proposal of the Russian Prosecutor General's Office on exchange of information: any information about the state of Navalny can be transferred to Russia only with his permission.

This was the case in 2004. The Charité clinic then diagnosed the presidential candidate of the Ukraine Viktor Yushchenko with dioxin poisoning -- no one ever saw documentary evidence. Yushchenko then for 4 years, while he was of interest he was to the public, promised to show everything, but he never did.

This trick can be repeated again, the main thing is to find the answer to an urgent task: to inflate the level of confrontation between Russia and Germany, and therefore the entire West, in order to force the Russian authorities to be as cautious as possible in their domestic and foreign policy, for example, in the Belarusian direction.

However, the fact that Nord Stream 2, for which the German federal government was ready to support unto death, suddenly became an instrument of blackmail -- admit the poisoning, otherwise we can close it down -- openly outraged German business and regional elites.

"It seems that the verdict has already been given -- there are demands that construction of the pipeline be stopped. I strongly oppose such measures", said Michael Kretschmer, Prime Minister of Saxony.

"We have had absolutely trusting cooperation with Russia in the energy sector for 50 years. And even in the most difficult political times, which were probably even more difficult during the Cold War, we managed to maintain this trust", emphasized Michael Harms, executive director of Eastern Committee of the German economy.

Even a true transatlantist, the president of the Munich Security Conference Wolfgang Ischinger, stood up for Nord Stream 2 (and Denmark had joined the renewed US incitement against it the day before).

Political games will not pass themselves of as force majeure. Investors will go to the German government for their money. Here you need to think ten times, because along with the demands of multibillion-dollar compensation, there will definitely be asked unpleasant questions about the reasons that made the German authorities abandon a project that was profitable to all sides. So you can go to Navalny's analyses. In a normal court, bureaucratic excuses will not work. And, by the way, in Germany there are politician-lawyers who can professionally draw up a claim and conduct a case.

"I want to investigate this. One of the developers of Novichok is in the US. It is known that many special services have this poison. Of course, the Russian have it as well, but if Putin did it, then why give Navalny to Germany? So that we can establish all this here? A crime must have some logic", says Bundestag deputy Gregor Gizi.

The logic that we now see is somehow not German. One gets the impression that the compassion and humanism of the German politician, brought up on the lessons of the past, are now being tried out by smart and cynical people who know how to competently fabricate, substitute and cover their tracks. And not too far away, we already had Britain.

At the end of May 2003, the BBC released material that Prime Minister Blair and his cabinet had made a decision to enter the war in Iraq based on falsified intelligence. The person who passed on this information to reporters was David Kelly, a leading chemical weapons specialist at the British Department of Defence. His speech at the parliamentary hearings threatened the prime minister, the military and the secret services with big problems, Hiwever, on July 18, 2003, Kelly was found dead in the woods near his home. Suicide, the investigation stated, but in 2007, a group of parliamentarians conducted an unofficial investigation -- there were no legal consequences, but now all British people know that Kelly was murdered in cold blood.

In 2015, Blair was forced to admit that he lied to citizens about Iraq, and escaped trial only because no one wanted to get involved with it. Nevertheless, Blair has gone down in history with this lie. And history is important to remember in order to do it right. Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov calls on the Germans to leave emotions and turn on their brains.

"I hope that these absurd actions will be stopped and Germany, at least for the sake of the reputation of German punctuality, will fulfill its obligations under the agreement with the Russian Federation. Moreover, they are demanding an investigation from us, but it turns out that all those who accompanied Navalny are slowly moving to Germany too. this is very unpleasant and leads to serious thoughts. Therefore, it is in the interests of our German colleagues to protect their reputation and provide all the necessary information that would somehow shed light on their so far absolutely unfounded accusations", Lavrov said.

Another proposal has gone from Moscow to Berlin: to send a Russian investigation team to Germany in order to jointly study the circumstances of the case, the victim of which is a Russian citizen. So far, there is no reason to believe that Berlin will respond with consent.

Some German politicians and almost all the SMS likes to moralize against Russia, periodically recalling the Stalinist repressions and the GULAG. But now Germany itself behaves like an investigator during interrogation in the dungeons of the NKVD. Confession is the queen of proof.*

https://yandex.ru/turbo/vesti.ru/s/article/2457559?promo=navbar&utm_referrer=https%3A%2F%2Fzen.yandex.com%2F%3Ffrom%3Dspecial&utm_source=YandexZenSpecial

Yeah, we got a confession in the end!

That's all the bastards demand of Russia: Confess and then we'll be pals.

*Признание -- царица доказательств

"Confession is the Queen of proof."

From Latin: Сonfessio regina probationum est)

Roman legal principle of criminal procedural law.

Слава России!

MARK CHAPMAN September 15, 2020 at 10:04 am

There are undeniable advantages to accusations for which no substantiation is offered – as we saw with the Skripals, you can await public comment, identify where you went wrong from scornful rejections of the narrative, and then modify it so that it makes more sense.

In this case, people wonder why such a potent nerve agent did not fell Navalny instantly like a poleaxed ox, before he ever left the terminal, instead of 40 minutes or so into the flight. Ahhh but this, we later learn, was a specially-modified Novichok, engineered to be slow-acting. Just what you want in a nerve agent. Hint – no, it isn't. Just like you don't want it specially engineered to be 'persistent', like that chemical-warfare expert tit for Bellingcat claimed was the reason the poison daubed on Skripal's doorknob did not wash away in the rain and was still deadly weeks afterward. You want a nerve agent to quickly and efficiently kill enemy troops caught in the open and unprotected, and then as quickly degrade and disperse so your own forces can move in and occupy the objective. The last thing you want is it hanging about for weeks, or being 'slow-acting' so those troops can come in and wax your ass and then later fall down dead. One of the first casualties of these silly stories must be that the agent is 'military grade'. The military would say, if you want to use that useless shite, spread it yourself – we want nothing to do with it.

MOSCOWEXILE September 15, 2020 at 4:46 am

Just appeared, posted from Charité -- Bullshitter with statuesque wife and kiddie acolytes:

https://www.instagram.com/p/CFJwV0Dly0Z/embed/captioned/?cr=1&v=12&wp=822&rd=https%3A%2F%2Fthenewkremlinstooge.wordpress.com&rp=%2F2020%2F07%2F31%2Fthe-ceaseless-lies-of-eva-bartlett-or-the-partisan-scrubbing-of-western-consciousness%2F#%7B%22ci%22%3A0%2C%22os%22%3A3146.465000000717%7D

Another bungled FSB wet job!

MOSCOWEXILE September 15, 2020 at 4:56 am

It reads:

navalny Hi, this is Navalny. I miss you all 😍. I still can hardly do anything, but yesterday I was able to breathe on my own all day. Generally myself. I did not use any outside help, not even the simplest valve in my throat. I liked it very much. An amazing, underestimated by many thing. Would totally recommend.

What, no tracheotomy scar?

Why aren't you dead, you wanker?

Thinking about thanking the Omsk doctors who "saved your life" after you had taken a dose of salts in the aircraft shithouse?

MARK CHAPMAN September 15, 2020 at 10:07 am

"I still can hardly do anything "

I'm still waiting for the difference to become evident. Navalny does perhaps less than any man in Russia who enjoys such a leisurely lifestyle.

MOSCOWEXILE September 15, 2020 at 10:05 am

I take it that the kiddie Navalnyites in the above Instagram are all Russian citizens and part of the Bullshitter's entourage that turned up in Berlin, hot on the heels of their comatose hero.

So how did they get the documentation that enabled them to leave the Mafia State and enter Germany, the coronavirus shamdemic notwithstanding?

Are they all guests of Frau Kanzelerin Merkel?

MARK CHAPMAN September 15, 2020 at 10:34 am

I thought they were the Bullshitter's kids.

MOSCOWEXILE September 15, 2020 at 10:49 am

Yes, they are his children. Navalnaya clearly got permission for their son to travel to Germany. His daughter has flown in from the USA.

However, the question still remains as regards those Navalnyites who rolled up in Germany following their leader's private flight there: how did they get the appropriate documentation to do so at such short notice, not to mention Pevchikh, who flew with the comatose Navalny to Berlin -- and then vanished?.

Seibert was asked about this and said he knew nothing about her.

MARK CHAPMAN September 15, 2020 at 11:22 am

Ah, yes; that's a good point. I just assumed the hamsters were blathering from a distance, as in Russia. I did not realize some of them had turned up in Germany, except for the mysterious Masha.

I hope Germany offers residency to the Navalnys, and that they accept. Russia can't really refuse to let him back in, he's a citizen. But as long as he is there he will cause trouble, and he'll be recharged with all the PR he has received from this latest caper.

But it is suggested that Russia is bargaining for his return; the story also expands on Lavrov's recent statements, and introduces a villain in the woodpile I would not have personally suspected: Poland.

https://www.stalkerzone.org/lavrov-offered-merkel-a-choice-between-russia-navalny/

MOSCOWEXILE September 15, 2020 at 11:54 am

And get this:

Does he want to end his political ambitions? Top Eurocrat Borrell calls for Navalny's name to be attached to EU 'Magnitsky List'

https://www.rt.com/russia/500766-borrell-navalny-sanctions-russia/

MOSCOWEXILE September 15, 2020 at 12:03 pm

I recall Lavrov querying the other day Pevchikh's presence in Germany, her refusal to be interviewed by investigators in Omsk and how come she managed to fly to Germany with Navalny? He also said that other supporters of Navalny had also turned up in Germany.

I lay a pound to a pinch of shit that Pevchikh is a British agent.

MOSCOWEXILE September 16, 2020 at 11:35 am

Note how the monitor in the Navalny Instagram above has been censored.

It's because, they say, it displays personal data about Putin's intended Novichok victim, such as body temperature, pulse, blood pressure etc.

Wouldn't like the world to know that there is nothing wrong with him, would they?

Source:

Эксперт объяснил ретушь прикроватного экрана на фото Навального
15 сентября 2020

An expert has explained the retouching of the bedside monitor in the Navalny photo
15 September 2020

https://vz-ru.turbopages.org/vz.ru/s/news/2020/9/15/1060574.html?promo=navbar&utm_referrer=https%3A%2F%2Fzen.yandex.com

MARK CHAPMAN September 16, 2020 at 12:26 pm

Too late to get smart now.

MOSCOWEXILE September 16, 2020 at 10:51 pm

NAVALNY: HIDDEN AND OVERT SIGNALS
Stalker Zone
September 16, 2020

Staged???

Why on earth should one think that?

MOSCOWEXILE September 16, 2020 at 10:54 pm

Comment to the above C/Z article:

anymouse • 8 hours ago

Looking good for almost a corpse. COVID-19, a flu virus, is a deadly killer, and Novichok, a deadly nerve agent, is not a killer.

ET AL September 15, 2020 at 11:36 am

Dances with Bears: THE PEVCHIKH PLOT – NAVALNY BOTTLE, LONDON WITNESS FLEE THE SCENE OF THE CRIME, BERLIN TOO
http://johnhelmer.net/the-pevchikh-plot-navalny-bottle-london-witness-flee-the-scene-of-the-crime-berlin-too/

British and other international toxicological experts say that without technical reporting by the laboratory of the spectrometric composition of the chemical, and without identifying the compound by the international naming protocol there is no evidence at all;..

the US Army had recently manufactured its own Novichok types: "A230, A232 and A234 A232 has a CAS number of 2308498-31-7. A230 and A234 have no known CAS numbers."
####

A lot more at the link.

ET AL September 15, 2020 at 11:40 am

I reckon Khordokovsky has a hand in this. He has the same moral compass as dead Berezovsky. None. And he has refused to stick to agreements (keep out of politics). If the British or someone else get fingered for this cunning plan , would they serve him up on a silver platter? Almost certainly so.

MARK CHAPMAN September 15, 2020 at 3:29 pm

Helmer always delivers. It looks very much as if the Germans have stepped in the shit.

JEN September 15, 2020 at 7:10 pm

We certainly did well to focus on Maria Pevchikh as soon as we discovered that in addition to being the one who evaded questioning by Russian authorities by flying out to Germany, she also had British residency. She certainly has become a "person of interest" and could well be the major individual in the plot to incapacitate Navalny and use him to pressure Germany over NSII and Russia over the Belarus unrest.

MARK CHAPMAN September 15, 2020 at 7:17 pm

Agreed; she does indeed look to have played a far bigger part in the operation than she lets on.

MOSCOWEXILE September 15, 2020 at 9:44 pm

It is still unknown whether Pevchikh is a British citizen. I think she is and probably must be, in fact, for if she is only a visa holder or an applicant for UK citizenship, she could be told by the Home Office to go take a hike if it is proven that she was instrumental in the poisoning plot.

When Berezovsky got cocky in the UK after a judge there had prevented his being forced to leave Misty Albion because Berzovsky had persuaded him that were he to return to Mordor, he would face an unfair trial and his life would be in danger -- the erstwhile "Godfather of the Kremlin" had arrived in the with a 6-month visitor's visa -- he started bragging to the "Guardian" that he was organizing with his chums still in the Evil Empire the overthrow of the tyrant Putin.

The Home Secretary at the time was none other than "Jack" Straw -- another odious pile of ordure -- who promptly summonsed Berezovsky to the Home Office for an official bollocking. He was told that if, while resident in the UK, he continued to engage himself with the overthrow of a foreign head of state, he was out.

Be that as it may, I am quite sure he was working with British state security, as was his once favoured acolyte Litvinenko.

Litvinenko was poisoned. Berezovsky committed suicide -- they say.

Like

MOSCOWEXILE September 15, 2020 at 1:32 pm

Россия задала ЕС девять вопросов об обвинениях в ситуации с Навальным

Постоянное представительство России при Евросоюзе указало на ключевые нестыковки в версии об отравлении Алексея Навального
15 сентября 2020

Russia has asked the EU nine questions about accusations in the situation with Navalny

The Permanent Representative of Russia to the European Union has pointed out the key inconsistencies in the version about the poisoning of Alexei Navalny
15 September 2020

https://yandex.ru/turbo/tass.ru/s/politika/9466401?sign=80f97b564d197b55161b94400f4ff187026d184af0581f365926a5271a89189a%3A1600204510&utm_source=yxnews&utm_medium=mobile&trbsrc=neo-news

In the eighth question, Russian diplomats drew attention to a bottle of water, on which, according to Germany, traces of poison had been found: "Not a single surveillance camera recorded how Navalny drank from a similar bottle at the Tomsk airport [before departure]. from this bottle earlier or on board the plane, how did this bottle get to Berlin? "

Ask Pevchikh! Only she is now probably undergoing debriefing in London at UK Secret Intelligence Services HQ, 85 Albert Embankment.

PATIENT OBSERVER September 15, 2020 at 4:41 pm

Navalny, if indeed he was close to death, must now realize he was set up by one of his own benefactors. What would be his next move? Going back to Russia would make the most sense as the Russians may actually protect him from another show-assassination and he would have freedom to prance around to his heart's content.

MARK CHAPMAN September 15, 2020 at 6:54 pm

I don't believe he was ever 'close to death', rather that he was an active part of the deception. He is a grifting idiot who puffs up like a toad upon being flattered. He could never win power in Russia legitimately, as he is mostly a figure of contempt in Russia save for the perennially-discontented children of the liberal elite and the few Americaphiles who don't know enough to keep their heads down. I believe he played his role by taking something that would nauseate him but not seriously hurt him, rolling about and screaming, and that the introduction of the phony 'poison bottle' was with his full knowledge. I wish Russia would just disown him and tell the Germans they can have him.

However, I could be wrong. We will know from the tone of his remarks when he feels he is strong enough to once again assume his president-in-waiting role, and starts spouting off about what happened to him. He is the most likely candidate to be selected to get the water-bottle narrative back on track, so if he comes out with an explanation for how he drank from the bottle somewhere there were no surveillance cameras, and noticed a sketchy-looking guy in a leather jacket and a "Vote For Putin!" T-shirt standing nearby just before he drank, it will be a pretty good indication that he is as full of shit as ever.

JEN September 15, 2020 at 10:53 pm

There was considerable risk involved in the deception. I doubt that Navalny went into the deception willingly. There was a very real risk that he could have suffered some brain damage going into the first coma and that's sure to compromise his health in the long term in other ways.

More likely it seems a lot of the deception was planned behind Navalny's back and people were waiting for an opportunity to carry it out. It may have been planned years ago for someone else and then switched to Navalny once he was in the Omsk hospital. Julia Navalnaya may have been pushed into demanding that Navalny be transferred to Berlin and while the Omsk hospital doctors were stabilising him for the transfer, the deception then started going into action in Germany.

MOSCOWEXILE September 15, 2020 at 11:18 pm

Lavrov smelt a rat several days ago -- last week, I'm sure -- when he stated that suspicions had been aroused by one of Navalny's gang refusing to answer investigators' questions in Omsk and then scarpering off to Germany.

I'm quite sure the FSB already knew of Pevchikh's comings and goings between London and Moscow (over 60 flights there and back I read somewhere) and her activities with the Navalny organization.

Perhaps they allowed Navalny to leave for Germany -- with Pevchikh flying out with him, I may add -- because they knew what was afoot and would later expose the Germans for liars, or if not that, then for their falling to a sucker punch off the British secret service.

They certainly allowed Pevchikh to leave Russia: she didn't sneak on board Navalny's private flight.

Just Pevchikh, note, not Navalnaya, who is not a British agent, I'm sure.

MARK CHAPMAN September 16, 2020 at 8:49 am

Certainly possible – as I say, we will know more from his blabber once he starts giving interviews, which he lives to do. His tone will have changed considerably if he believes his erstwhile chums in politics intended to martyr him. Otherwise I read his expressed desire to return at once to Russia as simply remaining in character – the selfless hero risking all for freedom and democracy.

I wonder how he will thank the doctors in Omsk for saving his life, as it is generally acknowledged they did. He cannot go into transports of admiration for their professional skills, because they claimed to have found no trace of poisoning in his samples. He faces the choice, then, of simply passing over it without mention, or accusing the people who saved his life of 'being part of the machine'. Doing either will certainly not increase his popularity in Russia. And it makes no difference at all how popular he is in the west – something the west seemingly cannot be taught.

Like

MOSCOWEXILE September 16, 2020 at 4:41 am

Die Zeit сообщила о предложении США от ФРГ по "Северному потоку -- 2"
RT на русском, 16 сентября 2020

Die Zeit announced the proposal of the USA from Germany for the "Nord Stream – 2
RT in Russian, September 16, 2020

The German government has offered the United States a deal in exchange for Washington's waiver of sanctions against Nord Stream 2.

This is reported by the newspaper Die Zeit, citing sources

It is noted that Berlin has expressed its readiness to invest up to € 1 billion in the construction of two terminals in Germany for receiving liquefied natural gas from the United States.

"In response, the United States will allow the unhindered completion and operation of Nord Stream 2", TASS quotes the text of a letter from German Finance Minister Olaf Scholz, which was sent on August 7 to the head of the US Treasury, Stephen Mnuchin.

In early August, US senators sent a letter to the operator of the German port of Sassnitz calling for an end to work to support the construction of Nord Stream 2.

https://russian-rt-com.turbopages.org/russian.rt.com/s/business/news/783868-predlozhenie-frg-ssha?utm_source=yxnews&utm_medium=mobile

PAULR September 16, 2020 at 5:07 am

This would suggest that the Germans are not planning to cancel North Stream 2 themselves in response to the Navalny case.

MOSCOWEXILE September 16, 2020 at 5:57 am

The USA won't like the offer. Zero-Win for them -- always.

Americans have to be winners -- expect to be winners: it's their birthright and what made America great. To be a loser is un-American.

In my experience, the worst thing ever for many US citizens is to be accused of being a "loser".

PATIENT OBSERVER September 16, 2020 at 9:05 am

Very true about the term "loser" being a harsh insult for Americans. The "loser" tag starts to be applied to kids in early grade school and only intensifies from that point. The glorification of success (defined by the level of conspicuous consumption) further sharpens the divide between losers and winners. Our "feel-good" stories are often about individuals who were able to transform themselves from "losers" to "winners". American culture is one-dimensional in that way.

PATIENT OBSERVER September 16, 2020 at 5:12 pm

Building an LNG terminal is one thing, buying US LNG is another thing. In addition, I believe that Russia could provide LNG to Germany as well and likely at a substantially lower price.

The US may settle for this gesture as it does hold the door open, however slightly, for future developments to be leveraged by the US to force Germany to reduce or stop gas purchases from Russia. Having the terminal in place could make a future change in suppliers more feasible and faster but nevertheless representing an economic disaster for Germany. Lets call it step 1 in Plan B.

MARK CHAPMAN September 16, 2020 at 10:49 pm

I'm pretty sure the Americans will not take this offer, but will instead – correctly – interpret it as weakness and increase their pressure.

ET AL September 16, 2020 at 11:56 pm

On the other hand any diplomatic/economic success plays well in this presidential erection year. So a) is it worth it?; b) can they reverse the decision the day after? I assume they can have their cake and eat it as Brussels is mostly spineless. Borrell can squeal about Russia, but that's because he can do f/k all about the USA's behavior, being spokeshole and all

MARK CHAPMAN September 17, 2020 at 8:51 am

That's what people seem not to get – the decision would not ever be 'reversible' once Nord Stream II is complete. That pipeline quad alone can carry all of Europe's gas supply that it receives from Russia. None through Ukraine, not a whiff, if that is Moscow's will, although the Russians have agreed to transit token amounts, which the Ukrainians say are not enough to make the system's continued operation viable – without the large volumes they are accustomed to handling, they will have to progressively begin shutting down, bypassing and dismantling sections they can no longer afford to maintain.

So long as the pipeline's future remains in doubt, Uncle Sam can sell the philosophical possibility of supplying Europe with large volumes of cheap LNG via tankers, made desirable – although it will cost a little more, no getting around that – for political reasons. Once Nord Stream II is complete, the reality of a reliable supply of cheap pipeline gas would have to be countered with a concrete offer from the USA; this many cubic meters times this many Euros. Any housewife can do a cost-benefit analysis at that level. Do you want to pay more for American gas just because it comes from America? Well, let me think about it – what are the benefits? Well, it comes from America! What, you mean, that's it? There would be no possibility the Americans would use their status as a major energy supplier as leverage to bring about economic or political changes in Europe that they desired, would there? Well I can't guarantee that.

You know what? I'm okay with Russian gas, thanks just the same. Maybe I'll use the money I save to buy a Ford – how's that?

MARK CHAPMAN September 16, 2020 at 9:20 am

Pathetic. After declaring forcefully that American extraterritorial sanctions are illegal – which, technically, they are, only America has a right to threaten to limit European trade in America if it wishes; although that, too is illegal under WTO rules – Germany is now cowering and trying to 'make a deal'. With Trump, in case anyone missed that, whose 'Art of the Deal' consists of destroying the opponent until he is happy to have escaped with his life, and will never publicly complain about a 'deal' which came out very much to his disadvantage. Put another way, offering America a 'deal' only highlights that you believe you are in a weak position, are looking for mercy, and are ripe for the plucking. Germany was already planning to build the heaviest concentration of LNG terminals in Europe; a far better strategy would have been to threaten to cancel them all if Uncle Sam did not back off. The Americans are certainly smart enough to figure out – in about 2.5 seconds – that more LNG terminals means diddly when Russia can also supply LNG far cheaper than the USA because it has teensy transport costs by comparison, being much closer. Two more LNG terminals buys America precisely zero advantage, but the willingness to 'deal' reveals vulnerability. The only American response to rolling on your back to expose your belly is to step on your head.

I swear, it is hard to recognize Germany as the country which once frightened the world.

A Trump counter-offer might be a commitment from Germany to buy X amount of American LNG at a locked-in price, said amount to be sufficient that extra Nord Stream capacity would not be utilized. It depends on whether the Americans really think they can actually stop Nord Stream II, because even that would ultimately be a loser strategy. Unless a term far into the future were specified, the Americans know that once the pipeline is finished, their product is no longer competitive and cannot ever be unless it is unprofitable to themselves. They could satisfy themselves with gutting the Germans for a year or two (if they accepted), but it would be short-term satisfaction at best. Might be enough to win Trump the election, though.

But if Washington thinks it can actually halt Nord Stream II – with the understanding that the Russians would probably give up after such a stinging second rebuke – then the sky is the limit, and they will scornfully reject any other solution. The one who stands to get hurt the most is Europe. But I don't think they realize it.

MOSCOWEXILE September 16, 2020 at 8:31 am

WHY IS IT SO DIFFICULT TO KILL THE "OPPOSITION" TORCH-BEARER NAVALNY?
Stalker Zone
September 15, 2020

CORTES September 17, 2020 at 12:41 am

The Borgias are history. Well, obviously, they ARE history. But now they have been relegated to the Second Division/Championship (football joke) of Poisoners by Sergei Lavrov and his chef de cuisine:

Voici le mindfuck (pardon my French):

https://thesaker.is/us-deputy-secretary-of-state-was-afraid-to-eat-russian-soup-navalny-and-swift-ruslan-ostashko/

Contains a smidgeon of addled Navalny. Delish!

https://c0.pubmine.com/sf/0.0.3/html/safeframe.html REPORT THIS AD

MOSCOWEXILE September 17, 2020 at 12:53 am

Oh look! The Navalnyites have shown a video, shot in Tomsk, of Navalny drinking from the allegedly poisoned water bottle that earlier nobody had seen or made mention of before it turned up in Berlin and was sent to the Bundeswehr lab.

Recall that his loud-mouth spokeswoman had from the very start insisted that Navalny had been poisoned by laced-with-poison tea that he had drunk at Tomsk airport.

Change of story line -- as persistently happened in the Skripal fake.

Video Showing Water Bottle That 'Poisoned' Alexei Navalny Shared by His Team
17 September, 2020: 10:17

https://sputniknews.com/russia/202009171080484058-navalny-was-poisoned-by-water-bottle-in-his-hotel-room-his-team-claims/

MOSCOWEXILE September 17, 2020 at 12:56 am

That Sputnik headline should read, I think, "shared with his team".

And if that is the case, why didn't his team also start howling and screaming and rolling around on the deck some time later on board the Tomsk-Moscow flight?

MOSCOW EXILE September 17, 2020 at 3:15 am

gazeta.ru

Соратники Навального сообщили, что забрали бутылки из номера в Томске
17.09.2020 | 10:57

Navalny's companions have reported that they took bottles from a hotel room in Tomsk

Alexei Navalny's companions have said that a bottle of mineral water, on which German experts had allegedly found traces of poison from the Novichok group, had been brought from a hotel room in Tomsk.

On an Instagram, they have posted a video in which, according to them, an hour after news of Navalny's deteriorating condition, they examine the room and seize all the items which he had been able to touch.

On August 20, the aeroplane in which Navalny was flying urgently landed in Omsk, from where the blogger was taken to hospital. On August 21, doctors announced that the main diagnosis was metabolic disorders.

At the moment, Navalny is in Germany, where he has been taken out of an artificial coma. German doctors announced that he had been poisoned with substances from the Novichok group, but did not provide any relevant evidence.

So why didn't the Navalny hamsters, who dutifully sought out the poison bottle and most certainly handled it, throw wobblers as did Navalny when performing what he thought were the effects of nerve agent poisoning?

And whom did the hamsters hand the bottle to -- Navalnaya or Pevchikh? And who handled the bottle after its arrival in Berlin and before the obliging Bundeswehr said it had been dosed with the most lethal nerve agent (weapons grade) known to man?

Why isn't there a trail of stiffs from Tomsk to Berlin and beyond?

Who's going to believe this shite?

"Why, the whole world knows it's true!" will Imperial Plenipotentiary Pompeus Fattus Arsus surely say.

MOSCOW EXILE September 17, 2020 at 3:36 am

One of the developers of Novichok, Leonid Rink, commented on reports that a bottle in the Tomsk hotel where Alexei Navalny had stayed could [have been] Novichok [contaminated] .

"This is a situation where no one would have been allowed to touch the bottle -- you would have died if you had done so. If this had really been the case, then there would have basically been a deceased person, and everyone who had carried this bottle without gloves and protection would also have died", he told RIA Novosti.

Ah, but . . . Rink is forgetting that it was a special, delayed action Novichok made to take effect on "Putin's Fiercest Critic" when he was on board the Tomsk-Moscow flight.

Rink's an old Soviet has-been and knows nothing about the latest developments in diabolical weaponry that issues forth from secret Orc laboratories.

Эксперт прокомментировал сообщения о бутылке с "Новичком"
12:27

Expert comments on statements about the bottle with "Novichok"
12:27

CORTES September 17, 2020 at 6:20 am

Maybe the cunning developers have produced a Novichok variant safe to those who have sinned but fatal (or liable, at least, to provoke a severe tummy upset, occasionally) to the purest of heart?

JENNIFER HOR September 17, 2020 at 12:43 pm

I like this idea of the special edition of Novichok with the delayed kick. Maybe we could call it Brawndo and speculate that the poison only goes into action when it does because the added electrolytes take time to work to release the poison.

MOSCOWEXILE September 17, 2020 at 7:56 am

kp.ru

Alexei Navalny's team immediately after his departure from Tomsk airport, went to the hotel room in that city where he had spent the night, and packed all the items (including water bottles) so as to deliver them for analysis (of course, not in Russia). A video about this was posted on the oppositionist's Instagram.

Everything in this story is beautiful. Navalny's supporters were collecting "evidence" on a case that had not yet happened -- but it was already supposed to have happened? Together with them, there went a lawyer to the hotel -- he was also at the ready. But why were none of the "trackers" hurt if on the "evidence", as is said, they found traces of the "Novichok" military poison? And how did the "people of Navalny" end up in a room where cleaning up should have been done after the guest's departure? There are other questions as well. Some of them "KP" asked FSB reserve general Alexander Mikhailov .

MARK CHAPMAN September 17, 2020 at 9:06 am

And the person shown handling the bottle is wearing gloves – they made sure to show that. But as others have pointed out, this was well before anyone knew 'an attempt had been made on the Opposition Leader's life'. What, all Lyosha's shit was still in his hotel room, towels on the floor, the next day, after he checked out? Pretty crappy service in those Russian hotels. He didn't even leave Russia for several days, and the first suggestions he had been poisoned came from his 'press agent', who claimed he had been poisoned with tea at the airport.

Skripals II.

Like

MOSCOWEXILE September 17, 2020 at 7:26 am

Навального выдвинули на Нобелевскую премию мира

Navalny nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize

Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny has been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize. Sergei Yerofeyev, a professor at Rutgers University in New Jersey, USA, has spoken about this.

According to Yerofeyev, Navalny has been nominated for the prize by "a number of professors from recognized universities who deal with Russia". He did not give specific names, but noted that there are "great people" amongst the scientists who have nominated Navalny.

A professor of any university in the world can nominate a candidate for the Nobel Peace Prize: there are no specific requirements for a candidate. In addition, members of national governments and parliaments, heads of state and some other categories of persons can nominate candidates.

The oppositionist will have to fight for the main prize of the planet with venerable rivals.

This is, first of all, US President Donald Trump, who was nominated by Christian Tubring-Jedde, a member of the Norwegian parliament from the far-right Libertarian Progress Party. As the MP said in an interview with Fox News, Donald Trump should be awarded for his role in concluding an agreement on the full normalization of relations between Israel and the UAE.

And why not? O'Bummer was awarded the peace prize, wasn't he?

Same story in Yukie news:

Navalny nominated for Nobel Peace Prize

Navalny nominated for Nobel Peace Prize – Kyiv Post

MOSCOWEXILE September 17, 2020 at 7:42 am

I wonder how the Kiev Post evaluates Navalny's position on the Crimea?

The status of the Crimea is a problem that a new democratic Russia will inherit from its former government. The Russian position on this problem will be determined by the recognition of the right of the citizens of the Crimea to determine their own destiny -- Navalny 20!8

TIMOTHY HAGIOS September 17, 2020 at 8:26 am

I say give it to him. Let him join the prestigious ranks of Obama, the OPCW, the EU.

I also propose starting a Nobel War Prize, to be awarded to whatever individual or organization is responsible for the highest body count in a given year. Although that may be redundant, considering that it would probably be given to the same people as the Peace Prize.

MARK CHAPMAN September 17, 2020 at 9:13 am

Ha, ha!! And it all descends into farce, again. Navalny has arrived – he has gone global, beyond his wildest dreams. The nothing from Wherever He Is From who could not even break 5% in presidential election polling is now a major star, glittering in the western firmament. As Saint Lily Tomlin once remarked, no matter how cynical you get, you can never keep up.

All the west is going to be able to get out of this is the satisfaction of showing its ass to the neo-Soviets, the way it does when it re-names the street the Russian Embassy is – or was – located on after some prominent Russian dissident. Beavis and Butthead level, at best.

MOSCOWEXILE September 18, 2020 at 9:17 am

On Navalny, a Russian blogger writes:

That's it! This is a farewell article. A real goodbye to the topic. More precisely, parting with Navalny as a topic. His political role has been played to the end. And even lethal doses of Novichok have not caused a mass movement. Furgal's arrest caused an explosion of civil consciousness in Khabarovsk. The poisoning of Navalny, sending him abroad, the discovery of Novichok, official accusations from Germany did not cause any rally, no procession, no movement. No excitement in civic consciousness has occurred and will never happen.

[Sep 18, 2020] Continued German Support for Nord Stream 2 Completion -- Towards a Shift in Russia-Germany Relations by Stephen Lendman

Sep 17, 2020 | www.globalresearch.ca

https://apis.google.com/u/0/se/0/_/+1/fastbutton?usegapi=1&size=medium&count=true&origin=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.globalresearch.ca&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.globalresearch.ca%2Fcontinued-german-support-nord-stream-2-completion%2F5724195&gsrc=3p&jsh=m%3B%2F_%2Fscs%2Fapps-static%2F_%2Fjs%2Fk%3Doz.gapi.en.myOGgYJo9ys.O%2Fam%3DwQE%2Fd%3D1%2Fct%3Dzgms%2Frs%3DAGLTcCMR2Cg_3Iqxcgmos-E9G6cjWQG_Kw%2Fm%3D__features__#_methods=onPlusOne%2C_ready%2C_close%2C_open%2C_resizeMe%2C_renderstart%2Concircled%2Cdrefresh%2Cerefresh&id=I0_1600401164093&_gfid=I0_1600401164093&parent=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.globalresearch.ca&pfname=&rpctoken=21838589 1

Construction of Russia's Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline to Germany is about 94% completed.

The project is all about supplying Germany and other European countries with readily available low-cost Russian natural gas -- around 30% cheaper than US liquified natural gas (LNG).

Both right wings of the US one-party state want the pipeline halted to benefit US producers at Russia's expense.

US sanctions on the project breach international law, Germany's Angela Merkel earlier saying "(w)e oppose extraterritorial sanctions (W)e don't accept" them.

"We haven't backed down (on wanting Nord Stream 2 completed) nor do we intend to back down."

Last December, German Foreign Minister Heiko Mass said "European energy policy is decided in Europe, not the United States. We reject any outside interventions and extraterritorial sanctions."

Did the novichok poisoning of Putin critic Alexey Navalny hoax change things?

During a September 24 – 25 summit of EU leaders, the future of Nord Stream 2 will be discussed. Ahead of the summit, Merkel's government offered to invest around one billion euros (about $1.2 billion) in construction of two terminals in Germany for US LNG.

According to the German broadsheet Die Zeit, by letter to Trump regime Treasury Secretary Mnunchin in August, German Vice Chancellor and Finance Minister Olaf Scholz said the following:

"In exchange (for Berlin's proposed LNG investment), the US will allow unobstructed finalization and use of Nord Stream 2," adding:

"(E)xisting legal options for (challenging US) sanctions (on firms involved in the project) have not been exhausted yet."

The broadsheet added that Scholz first expressed Berlin's proposal verbally, confirming it by letter. Proposed German LNG terminals would be built in Brunsbuttel and Wilhelmshaven. Berlin's proposal also included a gas transit contract for Ukraine and financing of a terminal for Poland's use of US LNG.

Following the Navalny false flag, opinion on completing Nord Stream 2 in Germany is divided. Merkel still supports the project as evidenced by her government's offer to build two terminals for US LNG in exchange for dropping sanctions on the pipeline by the US.

Orchestrated Events Responsible for Alexey Navalny's Illness?

Last June, US Senate hardliners proposed legislation to expand Nord Stream 2 related sanctions.

It targets all nations and enterprises involved in the project, including underwriting, insurance and reinsurance companies.

At the time, Gazprom CEO Alexey Miller said Russia will complete construction of the project on its own -- expected to be operational in January or shortly thereafter. Last month, German Foreign Minister Heiko Mass expressed "displeasure" to Pompeo about US sanctions on the project. Last week, Polish government spokesman Piotr Muller was quoted saying the following:

"Poland has from the very beginning emphasized that European solidarity (on Nord Stream 2) should be unambiguous."

"Therefore, if such a need is expressed by the German side, Poland is open to the idea of using the infrastructure which it is building for its own energy security."

His remark followed German media reports that Merkel said a decision by her government on Nord Stream 2 has not been made in light of the Navalny incident. German officials supporting the project stressed that the country will be the main beneficiary of its completion economically, environmentally and strategically. Construction on the proposed 800 – 950 km Baltic Pipe gas pipeline from Norwegian North Sea waters to Poland hasn't begun.

If completed in October 2022 as proposed, it'll be able to deliver about 10 billion cubic meters of natural gas annually -- less than 20% of Nord Stream 2's 55 billion annual cubic meter capacity.

Berlin earlier was skeptical about the project because of environmental concerns. Days earlier, Polish energy expert Jakub Wiech called it "pointless" to compare Baltic Pipe to Nord Stream 2, given the latter project's far greater capacity and ability to provide gas to other Western European countries. A day after the Navalny incident last month, Merkel said Nord Stream 2 will be completed regardless of threatened new US sanctions on firms involved in the project.

Separately on Wednesday, Putin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Nord Stream 2's completion should not be raised in discussing the Navalny incident.

"It should stop being mentioned in the context of any politicization."

"This is a commercial project that is absolutely in line with the interests of both Russia and European Union countries, and primarily Germany."

No evidence links Russia to Navalny's illness. Whatever caused it wasn't from a novichok nerve agent, the deadliest know substance able to kill exposed individuals in minutes. Over three weeks after falling ill, Navalny is very much alive, recuperating in a Berlin hospital, and able to be ambulatory for short periods.

A Final Comment

On September 14, CNBC reported the following:

"Experts say Berlin is unlikely to (abandon Nord Stream 2 that's) over 94% completed after almost a decade's construction, involv(ing) major German and European companies, and is necessary for the region's current and future energy needs," adding:

"In this case, economic and commercial interests could trump political pressure" against Russia.

Chief eurozone economist Carsten Brzeski said he doesn't see "Germany pulling out of the project Many (in the country) are still in favor of it."

CNBC noted that

"Germany has been reluctant to link the fate of its involvement with Nord Stream 2 to the Navalny incident so far, and (FM Heiko) Maas conceded that stopping the building of the pipeline would hurt not only Russia but German and European firms."

"(O)ver 100 companies from 12 European countries" are involved in the project about half of them from Germany."

*

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Award-winning author Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net . He is a Research Associate of the Centre for Research on Globalization (CRG)

His new book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III."

http://www.claritypress.com/LendmanIII.html

Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com .

Featured image is from Asia Times

The original source of this article is Global Research Copyright © Stephen Lendman , Global Research, 2020

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[Sep 17, 2020] Lies in the Navalny case

Was it BZ toxin again: Lavrov- Swiss lab says 'BZ toxin' used in Salisbury, not produced in Russia, was in US & UK service
Notable quotes:
"... German Chancellor Angela Merkel personally announced at a press conference last week that a chemical weapons laboratory of the Bundeswehr (Armed Forces) had proved "beyond doubt" that Navalny was the victim of an attack using the Novichok nerve agent. She called on the Russian government to answer "very serious questions." ..."
"... At a special session of the Parliamentary Control Committee, which meets in secret, representatives of the German government and the secret services left no doubt, according to media reports, that the poisoning of Navalny had been carried out by Russian state authorities, with the approval of the Russian leadership. The poison was said to be a variant of the warfare agent -- one even more dangerous than that used in the Skripal case in Britain. It purportedly could enter the body simply through inhalation, and its production and use required skills possessed only by a state actor. ..."
"... Excerpt of an article by Peter Schwarz published by wsws.org ..."
Sep 10, 2020 | www.defenddemocracy.press

The relationship between Germany and Russia has reached its lowest point since Berlin supported the pro-Western coup in Ukraine six years ago and Russia subsequently annexed the Crimean Peninsula.

The German government is openly accusing the Russian state of poisoning opposition politician Alexei Navalny, who is currently in Berlin's Charité Clinic. He reportedly awoke from a coma on Monday.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel personally announced at a press conference last week that a chemical weapons laboratory of the Bundeswehr (Armed Forces) had proved "beyond doubt" that Navalny was the victim of an attack using the Novichok nerve agent. She called on the Russian government to answer "very serious questions."

At a special session of the Parliamentary Control Committee, which meets in secret, representatives of the German government and the secret services left no doubt, according to media reports, that the poisoning of Navalny had been carried out by Russian state authorities, with the approval of the Russian leadership. The poison was said to be a variant of the warfare agent -- one even more dangerous than that used in the Skripal case in Britain. It purportedly could enter the body simply through inhalation, and its production and use required skills possessed only by a state actor.

Germany and the European Union are threatening Russia with sanctions. The German government has even questioned the completion of the almost finished Nord Stream 2 natural gas pipeline, which it had categorically defended against pressure from the US and several Eastern European states.

The German media has gone into propaganda mode, repeating the accusations against Russian President Vladimir Putin with a thousand variations. Seventy-nine years after Hitler's invasion of the Soviet Union, which claimed more than 25 million lives, German journalists and politicians, in editorials, commentaries and on talk shows, speak with the arrogance of people who are already planning the next military campaign against Moscow.

Anyone who expresses doubts or contradicts the official narrative is branded a "conspiracy theorist." This is what happened to Left Party parliamentarian Sevim Dagdelen, among others, on Sunday evening's "Anne Will" talk show. The Christian Democratic Union (CDU) foreign policy expert Norbert Röttgen, the head of the Munich Security Conference Wolfang Ischinger and former Green Party Environment Minister Jürgen Trittin sought to outstrip one another in their accusations against the Russian government. When Dagdelen gently pointed out that, so far, no evidence whatsoever has been presented identifying the perpetrators, she was accused of "playing games of confusion" and "encouraging unspeakable conspiracy theories."

Read also: Russian Defense Minister held talks with Iran's Chief of Staff

The Russian government denies any responsibility in the Navalny case. It questions whether Navalny was poisoned at all and has called on the German government to "show its cards" and present evidence. Berlin, according to Moscow, is bluffing for dirty political reasons.

Contradictory and implausible

Evidence of the involvement of the Russian state is as contradictory as it is implausible.

For example, the German authorities have so far published no information or handed evidence to Russian investigators identifying the chemical with which Navalny was poisoned. Novichok is merely a generic term for several families of warfare agents.

No explanation has been given as to why no one else showed signs of poisoning from a nerve agent that is fatal even in the tiniest amounts, if touched or inhaled. Navalny had had contact with numerous people between the time he boarded the airplane on which he fainted, his entering the clinic in Omsk where he was first treated, and his transfer to the Charité hospital in Berlin.

This is only one of many unexplained anomalies in the German government's official story. Career diplomat Frank Elbe, who headed the office of German Foreign Minister Hans-Dietrich Genscher for five years and negotiated the Convention on the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons as head of the German delegation in Geneva from 1983 to 1986, wrote on Facebook on Friday: "I am surprised that the Federal Ministry of Defence concludes that the nerve agent Novichok was used against Navalny."

Novichok, he wrote, belongs "to the group of super-toxic lethal substances that cause immediate death." It made no sense, he argued, to modify a nerve poison that was supposed to kill instantly in such a way that it did not kill, but left traces behind allowing its identification as a nerve agent.

There was something strange about this case, Elbe said. "Either the perpetrators -- whoever they might be -- had a political interest in pointing to the use of nerve gas, or foreign laboratories were jumping to conclusions that are in line with the current general negative attitude towards Russia."

The assertion that only state actors can handle Novichok is also demonstrably false. The poison was sold in the 1990s for small sums of money to Western secret services and economic criminals, and the latter made use of it. For example, in 1995, the Russian banker Ivan Kiwelidi and his secretary were poisoned with it. The chemist Leonid Rink confessed at the time in court that he had sold quantities to criminals sufficient to kill hundreds of people. Since the binary poisons are very stable, they can last for decades.

Read also: UK psyops bigwig pushed plan to 'mine Sevastopol Bay' during 2014 Crimea crisis – leaked documents

The Navalny case is not the reason, but the pretext for a new stage in the escalation of German great power politics and militarism. The media hysteria over Navalny is reminiscent of the Ukrainian crisis of 2014, when the German press glorified a coup d'état carried out by armed fascist militias as a "democratic revolution."

Social Democrat Frank-Walter Steinmeier, then foreign minister and now German president, personally travelled to Kiev to persuade the pro-Russian president, Viktor Yanukovych, to resign.

He also met with the fascist politician Oleh Tyahnybok, whose Swoboda Party glorifies Nazi collaborators from World War II. Yanukovych's successor, Petro Poroshenko, one of the country's richest oligarchs, was even more corrupt than his predecessor. He terrorised his opponents with fascist militias, such as the infamous Azov regiment. But he brought Ukraine into NATO's sphere of influence, which was the real purpose of the coup.

In the weeks before the Ukrainian coup, leading German politicians (including then-President Joachim Gauck and Steinmeier) had announced a far-reaching reorientation of German foreign policy. The country was too big "to comment on world politics from the sidelines," they declared. Germany had to defend its global interests, including by military means.

NATO marched steadily eastward into Eastern Europe, breaking the agreements made at the time of German reunification in 1990. For the first time since 1945, German soldiers today patrol the border with Russia. With Ukraine's shift into the Western camp, Belarus is the only remaining buffer country between Russia and NATO.

Berlin now sees the protests against the Belarusian dictator Alexander Lukashenko as an opportunity to remove this hurdle as well. Unlike in Ukraine, where anti-Russian nationalists exerted considerable influence, especially in the west of the country, such forces are weaker in Belarus, where the majority speaks Russian. The working class is playing a greater role in the resistance to the Lukashenko regime than it did in Ukraine. But Berlin is making targeted efforts to steer the movement in a pro-Western direction. Forces that appeal for Western support, such as the presidential candidate Svetlana Tikhanovskaya, are being promoted.

Read also: Europe - "Green" Alliance with Russia or experimental field for genetic Monsters? Dispute over Nord Stream 2

The dispute over the construction of the Nord Stream 2 pipeline, whose discontinuation is being demanded by more and more German politicians, must also be seen in this context. It was a strategic project from the very beginning.

The natural gas pipeline, which will double the capacity of Nord Stream 1, which began operations in 2011, will make Germany independent of the pipelines that run through Ukraine, Poland and Belarus. These countries not only earn transit fees from the pipelines but have also used then as a political lever.

With a total capacity of 110 billion cubic metres per year, Nord Stream 1 and 2 together would carry almost all of Germany's annual gas imports. However, the gas is also to be transported from the German Baltic Sea coast to other countries.

In addition to Russia's Gazprom, German, Austrian, French and Dutch energy companies are participating in the financing of the project, which will cost almost €10 billion. The chairman of the board of directors is former German Chancellor Gerhard Schröder (Social Democratic Party), who is a friend of President Putin.

Nord Stream 2 is meeting with fierce opposition in Eastern Europe and the US. These countries fear a strategic alliance between Berlin and Moscow. In December of last year, the US Congress passed a law imposing severe sanctions on companies involved in the construction of the pipeline -- an unprecedented move against nominal allies. The nearly completed construction came to a standstill because the company operating the special ship for laying the pipes withdrew. Berlin and Moscow protested vehemently against the US sanctions and agreed to continue construction with Russian ships, which, however, will not be available until next year at the earliest.

Excerpt of an article by Peter Schwarz published by wsws.org

[Sep 17, 2020] 'No evidence'- EU Parliament using Navalny's alleged poisoning to push for sanctions halt Nord Stream project German MEP

Germany in the past played important role is promoting Yushchenko's Poisoning false flag. Nothing new here.
If we ask "que bono?". it clearly looks like the USA ears protrude from the whole German part of Navalny poisoning saga.
Sep 17, 2020 | www.rt.com

That's according to Maximilian Krah, a member of the European Parliament from the Alternative for Germany (AfD) party. The "obscure" case involving the alleged poisoning of Navalny has been used by the EU establishment to launch another round of Moscow-bashing, he says.

The lawmaker explained that his fellow MEPs had not, in fact, seen a single piece of evidence suggesting the Russian government might have had a hand in what happened to Navalny.

We don't have the evidence... none of the members of parliament who today voted in favor of sanctions has seen any evidence.

Krah said it was "unrealistic" to expect that Navalny's case would not be politicized, arguing that it was "absolutely clear" it was being used to push an anti-Moscow agenda.

On Thursday morning, the EU Parliament passed a resolution calling on member states to "isolate Russia in international forums," to "halt the Nord Stream 2 project" and to prioritize the approval of another round of sanctions against Moscow.

The MEP also expressed skepticism about the prospects of the broader public ever getting to see any evidence linking the opposition figure's sudden illness to Russian foul play.

"Evidence will only get published and provided to Russia if there is public pressure," he said, adding that he does not see any such pressure building anywhere in the EU. Until that changes, Berlin is likely to continue demanding "answers" from Moscow while holding off on requests by Russian for cooperation, Krah believes.

ALSO ON RT.COM European Parliament calls for international probe into alleged Navalny poisoning & suspension of Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline

The German MEP also weighed in on the fate of the Nord Stream 2 pipeline, suggesting that the alleged poisoning could work to Washington's benefit, given that the White House has been seeking to undermine the project, liking Russian gas to Germany, for months. Krah said it was "clear from the beginning" that the US would try to use the situation to scupper the project, which he says would make Germany "more independent from American influence."

The EU resolution, which is not legally binding but acts as an advisory for the bloc's leaders, was supported by 532 MEPs and opposed by 84, while 72 abstained. Fresh sanctions against Russia have been mulled by both the EU and US since news about Navalny's alleged poisoning was made public.

ALSO ON RT.COM Berlin struggles to answer RT's question on fate of mysterious Navalny aide who left Russia for Germany without being questioned

Moscow has repeatedly expressed its readiness to cooperate with Germany in the probe into the incident, while stressing that the Russian medics who first treated Navalny when he fell ill found no traces of any poison in his body. The Kremlin has also repeatedly approached Berlin for data possessed by the German side, but has so far received none.

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Dachaguy 8 hours ago 17 Sep, 2020 02:02 PM

Of course, the investigation is incomplete, but that doesn't stop the EU from levying "justice." We've seen this before in the Downing Street Memos, where the facts were, "being fixed around the policy. " Millions of innocent people died as a result. When will people learn?
Jeff_P 4 hours ago 17 Sep, 2020 06:01 PM
There should be an international commission to look into this false flag. It should be comprised of Russia and Germany, of course, but no other NATO or European countries and no US vassal states other than Germany. Other members could be Cuba, China, Venezuela, and maybe India. And, of course, the US playbook of assignment of guilt without the benefit of evidence and the exacting of penalties without proving guilt won't fly. Russia might just tell Europe to go FO and leave PACE and the other organizations that it supports but which insist on abusing it.
perikleous 6 hours ago 17 Sep, 2020 04:09 PM
If Russia was determined they would say you cannot delay NSII or we cut the Ukraine pipeline as well, its all or none! Tick Tock Tick Tok, winter is coming soon! Hopefully the Covid 19 won't delay the fuel ships your relying on or the workers who procure the fuel, you know a 2nd wave... is "Highly Likely" and its taking over in the rural areas where the fuel comes from! Present evidence to a poisoning directed by either the fuel company or the gov't and we will continue, or just tell your "handlers" go ***, because I do not recall the US severing weapons sales to Saudi Arabia after Admission to them Severing the head off of (J. Koshoggei) because the US profits/jobs are bigger than one WaPo Journalists life! Hypocracy in action!
Shelbouy 6 hours ago 17 Sep, 2020 03:46 PM
Germany has offered to help pay for the construction of two LNG terminals in Germany to the tune of 1 billion plus to the US. to receive US LNG. The US in turn has said then they would not interfere with the completion of Nord Stream 2 if this were to take place. I am suggesting that Germany then would have 30% cheaper Russian gas than US LNG, blend these two prices, hi cost US LNG and low cost Russian gas of Nord Stream 2, and sell to the EU consumers at a price which would likely be higher than the current rate today, and who would be the wiser, and who would consumers blame when the price of gas goes up instead of down. This may, at least temporarily, appease the US while at the same time ensure the completion of the cheaper Russian supply line, and prevent the diversion of Russian gas to other customer nations like China, and Germany laughs all the way to the bank. This is only speculation on my part because I do not know if it would work that way or not. If it did then Germany would have their cake and eat it. The offer of Germany to the US is however, a fact. The reasons behind this offer are speculative. After all, it's really all about money anyway.
perikleous Shelbouy 5 hours ago 17 Sep, 2020 04:16 PM
The US would demand a contract/commitment for the fuel based on your yearly usage currently, if you re neg, they still bill you for it! Then its handled in court while your bank accounts are frozen and none of the US debt to you is paid until this is resolved. You may win the hearing/court but the losses from not having access to that money will cost way more!
HimandI 4 hours ago 17 Sep, 2020 05:47 PM
Just more proof that the EU rulers are bought and paid prostitutes.
Jayeshkumar 6 minutes ago 17 Sep, 2020 10:03 PM
May be EU is indirectly suggesting to use the 2nd Pipeline to be used Exclusively for Transporting the Hydrogen, in the Future!
Congozebilu 2 hours ago 17 Sep, 2020 08:06 PM
From the first minute this Navalny story broke I knew it was aimed at Nordstream. Everyone who understands geopolitics and also US desperation to sell "freedom gas" knows that Nordstream was the intended target this Navalny clown show.
ivoivo 1 hour ago 17 Sep, 2020 09:00 PM
apparently there are evidence found in a trash can in his hotel room in omsk, they poisoned him with novichock in a water they gave it to him and discard a paper cup in a trash can, standard kremlins procedure, isn't it, what is happening to world intelligence, russians can't kill some dude that is actually not even important and americans can't stop russian hackers in meddling in us election

[Sep 12, 2020] Clearly abother case of Novichok poisoning

Sep 12, 2020 | thenewkremlinstooge.wordpress.com

MOSCOWEXILE September 3, 2020 at 7:02 pm

BBC

Alexei Navalny: Two hours that saved Russian opposition leader's life

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-54012278

An open and shut case! Clearly Novichok poisoning, a deadly poison made only in Russia, and the Russians have already used it at least once. The most deadly nerve agent known to man and part of the brutal armament that Putin's thugs use on their murderous missions.

I rest my case, m'lud.

MOSCOWEXILE September 3, 2020 at 8:15 pm

Germany has denied allegation of falsification of the Navalny case
3 September 2020

MOSCOW, September 3 – RIA Novosti. The statement made by the President of Belarus, Alexander Lukashenko, about the falsification of data on the "poisoning" of Navalny is not true, the press service of the German Cabinet told RIA Novosti.
Earlier, at a meeting with Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin, Lukashenko said that Minsk had intercepted a conversation between Warsaw and Berlin, which denied allegations of the blogger's poisoning. He promised that he would give the Russian side a transcript of this "interesting dialogue, which clearly indicates that this is falsification".

"Of course, Mr. Lukashenko's statement does not correspond to reality. Yesterday the Federal Chancellor, the Foreign Minister and the Defence Minister expressed their views on the new circumstances in the Navalny poisoning case There is nothing to add", the cabinet told the agency.

In Moscow, they noted that they had not yet received this evidence.

"Lukashenko hast just announced this. He said that the material would be transferred to the FSB. There is no other information yet", Peskov told RIA Novosti.

What a duplicitous creep Lukashenko is!

Always jumping to one side of the fence to the other and thinking he is so smart in doing so.

Then again, perhaps he has such damning evidence, but even if he had, nobody would believe it, because Germany, being a vassal state of the USA, is on the side of freedom and democracy.

"Einigkeit und Recht und Freiheit für das deutsche Vaterland" as one sings there to a well known tune.


[Sep 12, 2020] Russia had jumped onboard the hydrogen train with a plan to use nuclear created hydrogen

Sep 12, 2020 | thenewkremlinstooge.wordpress.com

ET AL September 3, 2020 at 10:27 am

A week or so ago it was reported that the EU's carbon tax would also apply to energy imports (Russian gas etc.) and in the Tass Press Review (?) 'shock' was apparently expressed, which is weird as de-carbonization (plus more recently a setting in place the necssary infrastcture for a hydrogen based economy) has been an open and long stated plan by Brussels. Norway has already invested significant resources in de-carbonizing its gas and is ready to go.

And in the last couple of days there was a report (RT?) that Russia had jumped onboard the hydrogen train with a plan to use nuclear created hydrogen (heat, innit?) and Norway style de-carbonization tech. Will post the links if I can re-find them. Still, interesting stuff.

[Sep 12, 2020] Novichok, Navalny, Nordstream, Nonsense

Sep 12, 2020 | thenewkremlinstooge.wordpress.com

JAMES LAKE September 3, 2020 at 9:08 pm

Good article by ex Ambassador to Uzbekistan Craig Murray. Novichok, Navalny, Nordstream, Nonsense

" Once Navalny was in Berlin it was only a matter of time before it was declared that he was poisoned with Novichok. The Russophobes are delighted. This of course eliminates all vestiges of doubt about what happened to the Skripals, and proves that Russia must be isolated and sanctioned to death and we must spend untold billions on weapons and security services. We must also increase domestic surveillance, crack down on dissenting online opinion. It also proves that Donald Trump is a Russian puppet and Brexit is a Russian plot.

I am going to prove beyond all doubt that I am a Russian troll by asking the question Cui Bono?, brilliantly identified by the Integrity Initiative's Ben Nimmo as a sure sign of Russian influence.

I should state that I have no difficulty at all with the notion that a powerful oligarch or an organ of the Russian state may have tried to assassinate Navalny. He is a minor irritant, rather more famous here than in Russia, but not being a major threat does not protect you against political assassination in Russia.

What I do have difficulty with is the notion that if Putin, or other very powerful Russian actors, wanted Navalny dead, and had attacked him while he was in Siberia, he would not be alive in Germany today. If Putin wanted him dead, he would be dead.

Let us first take the weapon of attack. One thing we know about a "Novichok" for sure is that it appears not to be very good at assassination. Poor Dawn Sturgess is the only person ever to have allegedly died from "Novichok", accidentally according to the official narrative. "Novichok" did not kill the Skripals, the actual target. If Putin wanted Navalny dead, he would try something that works. Like a bullet to the head, or an actually deadly poison.

"Novichok" is not a specific chemical. It is a class of chemical weapon designed to be improvised in the field from common domestic or industrial precursors. It makes some sense to use on foreign soil as you are not carrying around the actual nerve agent, and may be able to buy the ingredients locally. But it makes no sense at all in your own country, where the FSB or GRU can swan around with any deadly weapon they wish, to be making homemade nerve agents in the sink. Why would you do that?

Further we are expected to believe that, the Russian state having poisoned Navalny, the Russian state then allowed the airplane he was traveling in, on a domestic flight, to divert to another airport, and make an emergency landing, so he could be rushed to hospital. If the Russian secret services had poisoned Navalny at the airport before takeoff as alleged, why would they not insist the plane stick to its original flight plan and let him die on the plane? They would have foreseen what would happen to the plane he was on.

Next, we are supposed to believe that the Russian state, having poisoned Navalny, was not able to contrive his death in the intensive care unit of a Russian state hospital. We are supposed to believe that the evil Russian state was able to falsify all his toxicology tests and prevent doctors telling the truth about his poisoning, but the evil Russian state lacked the power to switch off the ventilator for a few minutes or slip something into his drip. In a Russian state hospital.

Next we are supposed to believe that Putin, having poisoned Navalny with novichok, allowed him to be flown to Germany to be saved, making it certain the novichok would be discovered. And that Putin did this because he was worried Merkel was angry, not realising she might be still more angry when she discovered Putin had poisoned him with novichok

There are a whole stream of utterly unbelievable points there, every single one of which you have to believe to go along with the western narrative. Personally I do not buy a single one of them, but then I am a notorious Russophile traitor.

The United States is very keen indeed to stop Germany completing the Nord Stream 2 pipeline, which will supply Russian gas to Germany on a massive scale, sufficient for about 40% of its electricity generation. Personally I am opposed to Nord Stream 2 myself, on both environmental and strategic grounds. I would much rather Germany put its formidable industrial might into renewables and self-sufficiency. But my reasons are very different from those of the USA, which is concerned about the market for liquefied gas to Europe for US produces and for the Gulf allies of the US. Key decisions on the completion of Nord Stream 2 are now in train in Germany.

The US and Saudi Arabia have every reason to instigate a split between Germany and Russia at this time. Navalny is certainly a victim of international politics. That he is a victim of Putin I tend to doubt.

MOSCOWEXILE September 3, 2020 at 9:50 pm

I do hope that Murray was writing cynically when he penned the following words above about Navalny:

He is a minor irritant, rather more famous here than in Russia

His popularity here is minimal and his political base statistically zilch, the incessant swamping of the Russian blogosphere with his praise by his hamsters notwithstanding.

I saw one of such hamster's nonsense only the other week in which the retard wrote that Navalny is the most well-known person in Russia and another post of yet another hamster who presented a list of policies that the bullshitter would follow "when he becomes president".

MOSCOWEXILE September 3, 2020 at 10:13 pm

The whole crock of Navalny -- Novichok shite neatly summed up by a comment to Murray's article linked above:

Goose
September 4, 2020 at 00:28
We're being asked to believe by people calling themselves serious journalists, that the Kremlin's thought process was thus :

Let's poison this guy with Novichok. Nobody will know it was us and there'll be no diplomatic fallout.

Completely illogical.

Logic has no part in this machination, dear chap: the people to whom these lies are directed are fucking stupid: uneducated, brain-dead, browser surfing, soap opera and "Celebrity Come Dancing" and "Reality TV" and porn watching morons.

Oh yes! And in the UK they're daily fed pap about "The Royals": every day without fail the UK media presents page after page of "stories" concerning "Kate and Wills" and "Harry and Megan".

And much of the rest of the UK media is full of shite about "football" and its prima donnas -- that's "Associated Football" or "soccer" as they prefer to say in North America, and not "Rugby Football" -- better said: not "Rugby League Football".

MOSCOWEXILE September 4, 2020 at 9:28 pm

BBC

It gets worse and worse:

Alexei Navalny: Nato says Russia must disclose its Novichok programme
Published 13 hours ago

Nato has called for Russia to disclose its Novichok nerve agent programme to international monitors, following the poisoning of activist Alexei Navalny.

Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said members were united in condemning the "horrific" attack.
He added there was "proof beyond doubt" that a Novichok nerve agent was used against Mr Navalny.

Where is the proof????????

You just say so or some "guy" at Porton Down or some Bundeswehr Scheißkerl laboratories?

Get fucked Stoltenberg!

And Peskov, a word of advice: Shut the fuck up and say nothing.

Don't believe that silence from you will be taken as proof of guilt!

You and the Russian state are guilty of everything as charged by the very nature of the fact that you are Russian, "the other"!

Sound familiar?

It's what the Nazis said about every Jew: guilty of all accusations because of their ethnicity -- not their religion, note: Christianized Jews were still "Jews". They were guilty of all charges from the moment of each and every one's birth as a "Jew".

And the sickening thing is that "woke" arseholes the world over condemn racism, but racism directed against Russians is fair game.

The West stinks!

It is a vile sump of festering shite.

Thank Woden I live in Russia!

MOSCOWEXILE September 4, 2020 at 9:38 pm

Trump the moron:

Trump says he's seen NO PROOF of Russian opposition activist Navalny's poisoning – but has no reason to doubt Germany's conclusion
5 Sep, 2020 00:30 / Updated 26 minutes ago

Trump the believer!

It's called blind faith.

MOSCOWEXILE September 4, 2020 at 9:41 pm

From the above linked RT article:

The US president has received heavy criticism for his reluctance to immediately join NATO allies in pressing Russia over the Navalny incident, which CNN called "the latest instance of Trump failing to speak out and call for answers from the Kremlin on issues ranging from election interference to possible bounties on US troops in Afghanistan."

I presume that the concept of "burden of proof" is now a dead letter in the Free West.

MARK CHAPMAN September 4, 2020 at 11:16 pm

I thought that whole Russia-offered-bounties-for-dead-US-troops thing had been 'debunked' for good. Several western sources which are sometimes not snapping-turtle crazy said there was nothing to it. So why are they still citing it?

MOSCOWEXILE September 4, 2020 at 10:17 pm

Editorial Independent [wall]:

Alexei Navalny is one of the most important leaders of what passes for political opposition in President Putin's Russia. Some say he is, in effect, "the" leader of the opposition in Russia. He has just been the subject of an assassination attempt, and lies in an induced coma in a German hospital. It's worth repeating: the leader of the opposition to Vladimir Putin has been poisoned, perhaps fatally, using novichok, a chemical weapon banned by international treaty. There is little doubt that, in one form or another, formal or informal agents of the Russian state would have been part of the plot, especially given the evidence of novichok, and that the highest circles of the Russian establishment would either have knowledge of the attack, or made it apparent to any shady blah, blah. blah ..

Now don't you folks go and forget, BoJo recently made Evgeny Lebedev, the owner of that rag and who penned the above shite, a Baronet.

Lebedev has dual Russian/British citizen and has lived in the UK since he arrived there as an 8-year-old with his KGB papa, who had landed a cushy number at the Soviet Embassy.

Papa Lebedev went back to Russia, where in the immediate post-Soviet years of Russia he made a mint and became an "oligarch", namely an extremely successful thief who had pillaged Russia. His son became a UK citizen in 2010.

Evgeny Lebedev is now a life peer and may now plonk his arse (and get paid for doing so!) in one of the chambers of the British legislature, the one whose members are unelected: they are there either through their aristocratic "birthright" or are appointees, such as is Lebedev.

When BoJo appointed Lebedev as a life peer, the moronic Russophobes in the UK accused that fool of a British PM of being under the Evil One's control.

Just shows you how they know shag all about Russia and Russians.

That's because they are all tossers.

MOSCOWEXILE September 4, 2020 at 10:33 pm

Опубликована запись разговора Берлина и Варшавы по делу Навального
20:40 04.09.2020 (обновлено: 05:19 05.09.2020)

Recording of conversation between Berlin and Warsaw on Navalny case published
20:40 09/04/2020 (updated: 05:19 09/05/2020)

MOSCOW, September 4 – RIA Novosti. The state Belarusian media has published a recording of the negotiations between Berlin and Warsaw on the situation with Alexei Navalny, intercepted by Minsk .
RIA Novosti is publishing a transcript of this dialogue.

– Hello, good afternoon, Nick. How are we getting on?

– Everything seems to be going according to plan. The materials about Navalny are ready. They'll be transferred to the Chancellor's office. We'll be waiting for her statement.

– Has the poisoning been definitely confirmed?

– Look, Mike, it's not that important in this case. There is a war going on. And during a war, all sorts of methods are good.

– I agree. It is necessary to discourage Putin from sticking his nose into the affairs of Belarus. The most effective way is to drown him with the problems in Russia, and there are many of them. Moreover, in the near future they will have elections, voting day in the Russian regions.

– This is what we are doing. How are you doing in Belarus?

– To be honest, not that well, really. President Lukashenko has turned out to be a tough nut to crack. They are professional and organized. It is clear that Russia supports them. The officials and the military are loyal to the president. We are working on it. The rest [of this conversation] we'll have when we meet and not on the 'phone.

– Yes, I understand. See you then, bye.

MARK CHAPMAN September 4, 2020 at 11:21 pm

I find it hard to believe this is real. Lukashenko is 'a tough nut to crack'? The Belarusian government is 'professional and organized'? Well, you never know with the Poles. But it seems so perfectly to confirm western perfidy that it must be made up. Who would be stupid enough to say things like that on the phone?

MOSCOWEXILE September 5, 2020 at 12:17 am

Who would be stupid enough to say things like that on the phone?

"Fuck the EU!" said on the 'phone by Noodles to Ambassador Pietwat.

JEN September 5, 2020 at 4:13 am

And "Yats is our man!" Victory Noodles crowed to Pie-whacked.

Don't forget also that Jens Stoltenberg was dumb enough to think he could drive a taxi around Oslo and pick up paying passengers without their recognising him and commenting on his poor driving skills and knowledge of Oslo streets.

MOSCOWEXILE September 5, 2020 at 5:43 am

And on hearing off a Latvian (?) politician, who had been observing the "Revolution of Dignity" and was involved in an investigation into the deaths of the "Heavenly Hundred", that there were good grounds to believe that those martyrs for Ukrainian freedom had been martyred by being shot in the back by their fellow countrymen who were of a fascist bent, Lady Ashton said: "Gosh!""

Now that really was a dumb utterance to make on the phone, considering the circumstances.

MOSCOWEXILE September 5, 2020 at 7:32 am

Dejevsky in today's Independent [wall]:

It is also worth underlining that the Russian pilot who decided to make an emergency landing in Omsk, rather than proceed to Moscow, may have saved Navalny's life, as may the doctors in Omsk who – despite their professed doubts about poison – administered atropine, the closest treatment there is to a novichok antidote, early on. The claim, made by some, that this was a brazen attack, with the Kremlin's fingerprints all over it, designed to be found out and interpreted as a "two fingers up" to the west, does not stack up.

But the German findings that probably the most influential Russian opposition leader was poisoned and that the substance used was the same as the one identified in the Skripal case – a military-grade nerve agent, moreover, that is associated with Russia, even though it was developed in the Soviet-era and can be found outside Russia – means that the Kremlin has a case to answer. Yes, everyone is innocent until proven guilty, and the Kremlin is all denials, but the onus is now squarely on Putin to make his case in the court of international opinion.

" the doctors in Omsk who – despite their professed doubts about poison – administered atropine, the closest treatment there is to a novichok antidote, early on."

That a fact, Doctor Dejevsky?

" everyone is innocent until proven guilty, and the Kremlin is all denials, but the onus is now squarely on Putin to make his case in the court of international opinion"

Burden of proof?

Russia has been accused! Russia is not obliged to prove its innocence, FFS!!!!

Where is the evidence to back up the accusation????

MOSCOWEXILE September 5, 2020 at 7:33 am

Link to above:

https://www.independent.co.uk/independentpremium/voices/novichok-alexei-navalny-poison-russia-putin-germany-a9703756.html?r=10355

JENNIFER HOR September 5, 2020 at 1:19 pm

Of course the Omsk hospital doctors had to apply atropine because Navalny's groupies were squealing that he had been poisoned. They would have squealed again and accused the hospital of malpractice if the hospital had not used the drug.

MOSCOWEXILE September 5, 2020 at 9:42 am

Sputnik:

Russian Doctors Suggest Setting up Joint Group With German Colleagues on Navalny Case
5 September 2020
18:56

https://sputniknews.com/world/202009051080376439-russian-doctors-suggest-setting-up-joint-group-with-german-colleagues-on-navalny-case/

Russian doctors have proposed to their German colleagues that they establish a joint group on the case of Russian opposition politician Alexei Navalny, the president of Russia's National Medical Chamber, noted paediatrician Leonid Roshal, told reporters on Saturday.

Will the Germans agree?

I shouldn't imagine so. They and the rest of the West have crossed the Rubicon:

Alea iacta est!


[Sep 11, 2020] Will the alleged Alexey Navalny poisoning sink the Nord Stream 2 pipeline- It might, but it shouldn t -- RT Op-ed

Sep 11, 2020 | www.rt.com

Will the alleged Alexey Navalny poisoning sink the Nord Stream 2 pipeline? It might, but it shouldn't 11 Sep, 2020 17:39 / Updated 4 hours ago Get short URL © REUTERS/Stine Jacobsen/File Photo; © AFP/Vasily MAXIMOV 11 Follow RT on RT

By Dr. Karin Kneissl , who works as an energy analyst and book author. She served as the Austrian minister of foreign affairs from 2017-2019. In June, she published her book on diplomacy 'Diplomatie Macht Geschichte' in Germany through Olms, and in early September her book 'Die Mobilitätswende', or 'Mobility in Transition', was released in Vienna by Braumüller. The cacophony of noise generated in the wake of the attack on the Russian opposition figure is drowning out the reality. As Angela Merkel has always maintained, the German-Russian gas deal is purely a commercial project.

Nord Stream has always had the ingredients to drive sober-minded Germans emotional. I remember energy conferences in Germany back in 2006 when already the idea of such a gas pipeline as a direct connection from Russia to Germany provoked deep political rows, not just in Berlin but across the EU.

Conservatives disliked it for the simple reason that it was a "Schröder thing," the legacy of social democrat Chancellor Gerhard Schröder, who lost the election of September 2005 to Angela Merkel. Schröder had negotiated the project with his good friend, President Vladimir Putin, and then chaired the company in charge of implementing it.

READ MORE Nord Stream 2 must be completed: Don't politicize Russian energy project over Navalny situation – Merkel Party politics and pipelines

Around that time, I was invited to an energy conference in Munich by the conservative think tank, the Hanns Seidel Foundation, managed by the Bavarian party CSU, the traditional junior partner of the ruling CDU in the government. The bottom-line of the debate on Nord Stream was negative, with the consensus being that the German-Russian pipeline would lead to the implosion of a European common foreign policy and damage the EU's energy ambitions.

I attended many other such events across Germany, from parliament to universities, and listened carefully to all the arguments. The feelings towards Nord Stream were much more benign at meetings held under the auspices of the SPD.

But over the years, the rift between different political parties evaporated, and a consensus emerged which supported enhanced energy cooperation between Berlin and Moscow. Politicians of all shades defended the first pipeline, Nord Stream 1, after it went operational in 2011, bringing Russian gas directly to Germany under the Baltic Sea.

They also enthusiastically supported the creation of the second, Nord Stream 2, better known by its acronym NS2. This $11bn (£8.4bn) 1,200km pipeline is almost finished and was due to go online next year.

But now, in the very final stage of construction, everything has been thrown in limbo thanks to the alleged poisoning of Russian opposition figure Alexey Navalny.

NS2 has always been controversial. Critics, such as the US and Poland, have argued that it makes Germany too reliant on energy from a politically unreliable partner. President Trump last year signed a law imposing sanctions on any firm that helps Russia's state-owned gas company, Gazprom, finish it. The White House fears NS2 will tighten Russia's grip over Europe's energy supply and reduce its own share of the lucrative European market for American liquefied natural gas.

These sanctions have caused delays to the project. A special ship owned by a Swiss company menaced with sanctions had to be replaced. And prior to that, various legal provisions were brought up by the European Commission that had to be fulfilled by the companies in retrospect.

Now the case of Navalny, currently being treated at a Berlin clinic after being awoken from a medically induced coma, has thrown everything up in the air again. It has triggered a political cacophony that threatens relations between Germany, the EU, Russia, and Washington. And at the center is the pipeline.

READ MORE 'Fraught with consequences for Russian-German relations': Moscow furious with Berlin over lack of cooperation on Navalny

Various German sources, among them laboratories of the armed forces, have alleged that Navalny had been poisoned with the nerve agent Novichok. Foreign Minister Heiko Maas (SPD) stated in an interview published on Sunday by Bild: " I hope the Russians don't force us to change our stance on Nord Stream 2 – we have high expectations of the Russian government that it will solve this serious crime ." He claimed to have seen " a lot of evidence " that the Russian state was behind the attack. " The deadly chemical weapon with which Navalny was poisoned was in the past in the possession of Russian authorities ," he insisted.

He conceded that stopping the almost-completed pipeline would harm German and broader European business interests, pointing out that the gas pipeline's construction involves "over 100 companies from 12 European countries, and about half of them come from Germany." Maas also threatened the Kremlin with broader EU sanctions if it did not help clarify what happened "in the coming days." Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov responded by labeling the accusations "groundless" and Moscow has staunchly denied any involvement in the affair.

The whole matter is complicated by domestic political considerations in Germany. CDU politician Norbert Röttgen, who heads up foreign affairs within the ruling party and has demanded that the pipeline should be stopped, is among those conservatives vying to lead the CDU in the run-up to Chancellor Angela Merkel's retirement next year. Meanwhile, Merkel is still trying to strike a balance between the country's legal commitments, her well-known mantra that NS2 is a " purely commercial project, " and what is now a major foreign policy crisis.

The chancellor had always focused on the business dimension. But most large energy projects also have a geopolitical dimension, and that certainly holds true with Nord Stream.

When I was Austria's foreign minister, I saw first-hand the recurring and very harsh criticism of the project by US politicians and officials. I remember the US secretary of state, Mike Pompeo, in a speech at the margins of the UN General Assembly in September 2018 that focused solely on NS2. I replied by pointing out to him that pipelines are not built to annoy others, but because there is demand. One thing was certain – the US opposition to Nord Stream would not wane and now the Navalny case has given it new impetus. What we are witnessing is a tremendous politicization of the pipeline with a wide range of people all shouting very loudly.

ALSO ON RT.COM Craig Murray: Opposition figure Navalny may possibly have been targeted by Russian state, but Western narrative doesn't add up Diplomatic confrontation instead of solution

So here we are, in a very poisoned atmosphere where it might be difficult to revise positions without losing face. The social democrat Maas, just like the conservative Röttgen and many others, have taken to the media for different reasons. In my observation, it might have to do with their respective desires to take a strong position in order to also mark their upcoming emancipation from the political giant Merkel (she is due to step down next year).

Due to her professional and empathetic handling of the pandemic, she is today much more popular than before the crisis. That makes it difficult for a junior partner, represented by Foreign Minister Maas, and for all those who wish to challenge her inside the party.

What is needed is to get the topic out of the media and out of the to-and-fro of daily petty politics. Noisy statements might serve some, but not the overall interests involved. And there are many at stake. It is not only about energy security in times of transition, namely moving away from nuclear, but much wider matters.

As a legal scholar, I deem the loss of trust in contracts. Vertragstreue, as we call it in German – loyalty to the contract – will be the biggest collateral damage if the pipeline is abandoned for political reasons. This fundamental principle of every civilization was coined as pacta sunt servanda by the Romans – agreements must be kept. Our legal system is based on this. Who would still conclude contracts of such volumes with German companies if politics can change the terms of trade overnight?

ALSO ON RT.COM German FM links Nord Stream 2 to Navalny, threatens sanctions as Moscow accuses Berlin of dragging feet on alleged poisoning probe Remember South Stream

In June 2014, construction sites on the coasts of the Black sea, both in Russia and Bulgaria, were ready for starting the gas pipeline South Stream. After pressure from the European Commission, the work never started. The political reason was the dispute on Ukraine – in particular, the annexation of the Crimea. However, the legal argument was that the tenders for the contracts were in contradiction with EU regulations on competition. Tens of thousands of work permits, which had been issued from Bulgaria to Serbia etc., were withdrawn. The economic consequence was the rise of China's influence in the region. South Stream was redirected to Turkey.

So here we are in the midst of a diplomatic standoff. It is a genuine dilemma, but it could also turn into a watershed. Will contracts be respected or will we move into a further cycle of uncertainty on all levels? Germany is built on contracts, norms (probably much too many) and not on arbitrariness.

Think your friends would be interested? Share this story!

The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT.

silvermoon 5 hours ago

All these weeks have passed and Germany has still not shown shared actual evidence of their Navalny tests with Russia though. That is the same as saying we found the gun with your finger prints on it but never showing it.

Count_Cash silvermoon 3 hours ago

Correct, Germany has only since 10th September (if confirmed) shared any 'evidence'. That is sufficient intervening time to concoct any test result and associated materials that they want - another Diesel scandal. Indeed people will ask why when you had the patient on 22nd of august, it took you so long to send samples to the OPCW, despite almost immediately yelling Poison!

gainwmn silvermoon 5 hours ago

U stupid sheep: Germany did show it to the OPCW, i.e. the organization RF is the member of, and therefore the latter gets the full access to all the data provided by Germany, as well as any other of 192 members. Kremlin lies and demands in this regard is more than ridiculous, they completely destroy any shred of trust left to all RF governmental structures and regime itself.

Teodor Nitu gainwmn 3 hours ago

Riiight!...Those Russians...not only their chemical weapons are no longer working, but they are no longer capable to choose the proper time to use them, or so the story goes. Think about it; they 'used' novichok to kill the Skripals and they are still alive and well (supposedly), now they (Russians) 'used' novichok again to kill Navalny and he is alive and getting better.

Besides, they chose the absolutely wrong time to do it. With Skripals it was just before the opening of the World Cup in Russia and now, just before the finishing of the North Stream 2 pipeline.

It sounds that they are sabotaging their own interests, aren't they? Are they (Russians) that stup!d? Some 'smart' posters here seem to believe it. But lets get real, one has to be able to see beyond the length of his nose, in order to understand what is really going on.

silvermoon Teodor Nitu 2 hours ago

Russia had all their chemical weapons legally destroyed. Along with hundreds of countries. The US, UK and Israel never did. Navalny the innocent anti Putin. Can't win one way try another.

Pro_RussiaPole gainwmn 2 hours ago

So why is Russia still asking for it? Clearly, something is being withheld. As for the OPCW, their credibility has been shot for years with all their fake Syrian chem weapon attack reports.

seawolf 6 hours ago

Even if there was not Navalny's story, they could invent another to stop the project.

Abraxas79 seawolf 4 hours ago

Exactly. I hope Russia is the one that abandons it. Let Germany be the one that decides to cancel it and go along with it. Concentrate on supplying China and other Asian nations and internal consumption. Forget about Europe. You don't have to turn off the current supply, just charge more for it when the market allows. Looks like the next German leader according to this article is quite the Russophobe, which means relations will only get worse.

Pro_RussiaPole Abraxas79 2 hours ago

If this navalny farce does end up cancelling the NS2 project, Russia should stop all gas transit to western Europe through Poland and Ukraine by spring of next year. Tell those countries that will be cut off that Russia can either sell them LNG, or that they will have to connect to other sources of gas. Because if certain countries are so against Russian gas, then why are they not doing anything against Russian gas going through Poland and Ukraine, and why isn't Trump threatening sanctions on these countries for doing so?

Blue8ball713 RTjackanory 3 hours ago

Its a far longer list and it have the fingerprints of GB secret services all over it.

Reply Gabriel Delpino seawolf 46 seconds ago It is not in the interest of Germany to stop de project. Reply

magicmirror 6 hours ago

Europe should have nothing to do with the USA ....... proved time and time again they cannot be trusted. All they want is markets, resources and consumers. They lie, they cheat, they steal...... (quoting mr Pompeo, I think). A big opportunity to win Europe's independence.

SmellLaRata 5 hours ago

All due respect for Mr. Navalny but since when does an individual fate of one person dictates the fate for millions ? And c' mon Germany. Your hypocrisy is so utterly laughable. You ignore the Assange and Snowden cases, the slaughter of Kashoggi, the brutal beating of yellow vests, the brutal actions against the Catalans ... but Navalni. Not even a hint of a proof of government involvemen. But it fits the agenda, does it? The agenda which is dictated by the deep state agitators who so much flourished under Obama.

gainwmn SmellLaRata 4 hours ago

Even being not a fan (to say the least) of the US foreign and some of the domestic policy, I have to point out that tried by U analogy is largely out of balance: first, the issue in Navalny (as well as in Scripals' and others cases acted on with poisons) case is not so much the assassination attempt on a person's life, as the banned use of chemical weapons, the ban RF's signature has been under since 1993. And that conclusion (Russia's guilt) has not been made by the UK or Germany or any other country alone, but the OPCW - the organization not only RF is the member of, but also 191(!) other countries, out of which not a single country (except RF) rejected that conclusion!; second, the US did not made attempt on either Snowden's or Assange's life, with any kind of weapon, not already mentioning the weapons banned by the international agreements American government(s) signed. This is a large - I would say - decisive difference! As far as Kashoggi's case or other cases sited by U, RF did not react with sanctions against the respective perpetrators either, thus demonstrating the same disregard for the law and order as the US did... therefore making all lies about innocent RF and evil US, foolish, at the least.

Pro_RussiaPole gainwmn 2 hours ago

The US and its lackeys are killing Assange. They are doing it slowly. And many voices going along with a lie does not make the lie true. Because these poisoning allegations are lies. The accused were never allowed to see the evidence or challenge it. And there is the whole issue of politicized reports coming out of the OPCW that contradicted evidence and reality.

Nathi Sibbs 4 hours ago

After completing the pipe and it start running Russia must turn off all Ukraine pipes. No more gas for free from Russia, Ukraine must start importing LNG from thier reliable partner USA. I think imports from USA will be good for Ukrainian Nazi people

Abraxas79 Nathi Sibbs 4 hours ago

How are they going to pay for it? Ukraine's only exports these days are its women to various brothels across Europe and North America.

Hilarous 5 hours ago

The German leaders know very well that the case of Navalny will never be resolved and exists for no other reason than to seize a pretext to demonize Russia and to end Nord Stream 2 in exchange for US freedom gas

magicmirror Hilarous 4 hours ago

freedom gas and handsome presents .....

SandythePole 3 hours ago

This is an excellent account by Dr Karin Kneissl. It is a genuine dilemma for 'occupied' Europe. Its occupying master does NOT want NS2 and will do anything to stop it. Russia suffers sanctions upon sanctions, but still gallantly tries to maintain friendly and honourable business relations with its implacable neighbours. For how much longer is this to continue? Surely there must be some limit to the endless provocations of occupied Europe and its Western master. Perhaps it is time to shut off the oil and gas and leave Germany to sail under its own wind.

dunkie56 3 hours ago

Perhaps Russia should disengage with Germany/EU totally and forge ahead in partnership with China and India and whoever wants to do business. let the EU tie it's ship to the sinking US ship and drown along with it's protection racket partner! Then Russia should build a new iron curtain between itself and all countries who want to align with the EU..in the long run Russia has tried to forge a partnership with the West but it just has not born any fruit and even as pragmatic as Russia is they must be coming to the conclusion they are flogging a dead horse!

Blue8ball713 dunkie56 2 hours ago With 146 million citizen Russia is too small to be a real partner to anyone like China or India. Best fit is the EU, but the EU is controlled or better said occupied by the USA. Its part of their hegemonial system. So Russia is left out in the rain..

micktaketo 5 hours ago

I am not sure if it is the right thing to do but I think Russia should sue the German authorities if this deal is withdrawn and if it is have nothing to do with Germany again along with other corrupt countries that cannot prove or at the least bring forth their evidence to be seen, to be transparent to all even Russia the first, because Russia is the one being accused. These countries must think we the people are all completely stupid and Russia more so. This corruption stinks to high heaven and is obvious to all sane people who love fairness. You cannot trust an entity that believes in getting what they want by hook or by crook. Russia learn your lesson ! So you countries that love whats good for you and your people do not cheat them for they voted for you to help them. Germany do not kick yourself, it will hurt your people. Saying, There is more than one way to skin a cat, they say.

Mutlu Ozer 3 hours ago

There is a simple concept to investigate a crime to find the criminals: Just look at whose benefit the crime is? EU politicians are certainly smart people to know this basic concept of criminal investigation. However, now they are playing a new strategy about how to domesticate(!) not only Russia China as well... Germans are the main actors in the stage of the WW-I and WW-II. I surely claim that Germans would be the main architect of the last war, WW-III.

[Jul 30, 2020] USA threatens German Nord Stream 2 contractors

Jul 30, 2020 | thenewkremlinstooge.wordpress.com

MOSCOWEXILE July 27, 2020 at 2:17 am

USA drohen deutschen Auftragnehmern von Nord Stream 2
Stand: 08:32 Uhr

USA threatens German Nord Stream 2 contractors
Status: 08:32 a.m.

https://www.welt.de/wirtschaft/plus212234259/Nord-Stream-2-USA-drohen-deutschen-Auftragnehmern.html?cid=onsite.onsitesearch

Die Welt: США угрожают европейским подрядчикам "Северного потока -- 2"
26 июля 2020

https://yandex.ru/turbo/s/ria.ru/20200726/1574926306.html?promo=navbar&utm_referrer=https%3A%2F%2Fzen.yandex.com

MOSCOW, July 26 – RIA Novosti. The US authorities are increasing pressure on German and European companies involved in the construction of Nord Stream 2, Die Welt newspaper writes, citing sources.

The newspaper notes that the American side has held two videoconferences with gas pipeline contractors from Germany and other European countries to "indicate the far-reaching consequences of their further participation in the project". The conferences were attended by representatives of the US Department of State, Treasury and Department of Energy.

Sources told the newspaper that American officials "have made it very clear that they want to prevent the completion of Nord Stream 2".

The Empire hath spoken!

MARK CHAPMAN July 27, 2020 at 1:35 pm

I suppose the Germans could crumble like cheese, but I personally think it is very unlikely, since doing so would mean total dependence on the United States, with its whims and its 'loyalty tests'. Not necessarily in energy, because Europe would still have to rely heavily on Russia; the United States would be satisfied – for the moment – with Russia continuing to supply its present amounts, provided they went through Ukraine as they do now, so that Russia has to help finance Ukraine's slow development as a US project dedicated to Russia's undoing. But America knows it cannot ever replace Russian supply, although it would ideally like to take more and more market share as its own production (theoretically) continues to increase. It just adamantly does not want Ukraine taken out of the equation, because Ukraine is like a rheostat that Washington can turn up or down as necessary.

No, the USA cannot replace Russian gas, but if Germany gives in now, Washington will run it as a wholly-owned subsidiary for as far as the eye can see. And I believe Germany knows it.

MOSCOWEXILE July 27, 2020 at 11:46 pm

The German foreign minister was making suitable noises for the USA yesterday, saying that in order to rejoin G7, Russia must firstly clean up its relations with Banderastan -- read: stop its "aggression" towards the Ukraine and return the Crimea to its rightful "owner".

The Kremlin responded that it has no intention of rejoining G7.

No mention off the German minister about the Ukraine not complying with the Minsk agreement, about the Ukraine government waging war against its citizens, its stopping the water supply to the Crimea etc., etc. just Big Bad Russia the "Aggressor State" that must learn how to behave itself according "International Law".

MOSCOWEXILE July 27, 2020 at 3:34 am

RT

Russia beating United States in battle for China's huge energy market
July 27, 2020, 11:12 GMT

https://www.rt.com/business/495949-russia-outpaces-us-lng-china/

MOSCOWEXILE July 27, 2020 at 3:36 am

Unbelievable!

They're turning down "Freedom Molecules"?

MARK CHAPMAN July 27, 2020 at 3:37 pm

So it would appear. But it should not be at all surprising – except maybe to Washington – that you cannot shit on China day and night and call it all sorts of unpleasant names, and then expect the sun to come up on happy business partners China and the USA next day. China shares with Russia an imperative that it be respected; you don't have to like it, but you must speak respectfully and politely about it, and limit your accusations to what you can prove.

Washington likes to unload the mockery by the truckload, and then, when it's time to do business, say "Aw, shucks – I were just funnin'", and have business go forward as if the insults had never been voiced. Or, worse yet, insist that it is sticking to its positions, but you must do business with it anyway because it is the world leader and there is nowhere else to turn.

Natural Gas in the USA is at what is referred to as a 'messy bottom', and both production and sales are below year-over-year average. Yet it is plain – they say so, in so many words – that America expects sales growth to come from China and India.

"The International Energy Agency expects LNG, the main driver of international gas trade, to expand by 21% in 2019-2025, reaching 585 billion cubic meters annually. The growth will come from China and India, the IEA said in its Gas 2020 report published Wednesday. Trade will increase at a slower pace than liquefaction capacity additions, limiting the prospects of a tighter market, it said in the report."

https://www.msn.com/en-us/money/markets/shell-ceo-says-lng-market-will-recover-to-pre-virus-levels/ar-BB15imQu

I think he's probably right that the natural gas market will expand by a significant number. I'm just not sure the USA will play much of a part in it. And China is on solid ground, no matter how much America screams and roars; Russian gas is cheaper, and the logistics chain is short and reliable.

WARREN July 28, 2020 at 5:31 pm

https://platform.twitter.com/embed/index.html?dnt=true&embedId=twitter-widget-1&frame=false&hideCard=false&hideThread=false&id=1288112640493928449&lang=en&origin=https%3A%2F%2Fthenewkremlinstooge.wordpress.com%2F2020%2F07%2F05%2Fhow-to-make-a-brick-from-straw-and-bullshit%2F&siteScreenName=wordpressdotcom&theme=light&widgetsVersion=9066bb2%3A1593540614199&width=550px


MARK CHAPMAN July 28, 2020 at 6:06 pm

Obviously, for this group, 'bridging the gap' in 'threat perception' does NOT mean coaxing Poland and Lithuania to realize that Nord Stream II is just a commercial venture. It means coaxing France and Germany to accept and amplify Poland and Lithuania's paranoia and loathing of Russia. Equally obviously, America's determination to be Europe's Daddy with the LNG is just a commercial venture. Nothing political about it, and if the USA ever found itself in the position where it could leverage its energy sales to Europe to make Europe do things it otherwise would not do willingly, why, it would never use that power. Only the Russians weaponize energy.

The 'panel' is simply a parade of Atlanticists, a neoconservative wet dream. There are no realists there. Fortunately, US approval of the project is not required.


[Jul 26, 2020] 'Very serious threats'- US reportedly ramps up pressure on Nord Stream 2 contractors -- RT Business News

Jul 26, 2020 | www.rt.com

'Very serious threats': US reportedly ramps up pressure on Nord Stream 2 contractors 26 Jul, 2020 08:12 Get short URL © Nord Stream 2 / Axel Schmidt 123 Follow RT on RT The US government has made further attempts to force European firms to ditch the Russian-led Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline project, Welt am Sonntag reported, citing people familiar with talks on the issue.

According to the newspaper, officials from US Department of State, the Treasury Department, as well as the Department of Energy approached European contractors to make sure they fully understand the consequences of staying in the project. Up to a dozen officials reportedly held at least two online conferences with representatives of the firms in recent days.

ALSO ON RT.COM Russia's Nord Stream 2 pipeline will significantly cut gas prices in Europe, energy consultancy says

Speaking in a "friendly" manner, the US side stressed that it wanted to prevent completion of Nord Stream 2, observers of the online talks said. "I believe the threat is very, very serious," one of them revealed to the German outlet.

Those threats are consistent with comments by US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo last week, in which he warned that companies involved in the project had better "get out now" or risk facing penalties under Section 232 of the notorious Countering America's Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA).

READ MORE 'Attempted extortion': Germany reaffirms commitment to Russian gas project despite US threats

Apart from Russia's energy major Gazprom, which is developing the project, five European companies have joined. Those are France's Engie, Austria's OMV, the UK-Dutch company Royal Dutch Shell, as well as Wintershall and Germany's Uniper.

Speaking to Welt am Sonntag, the latter called US attempts to undermine the "important infrastructure project" a clear intervention into European sovereignty.

Earlier this week, the US House of Representatives approved an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act, meant to expand US sanctions on companies involved in installing Russia's Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline. According to one of the sponsors of the bill, the measures can target companies facilitating or providing vessels, insurance, port facilities, or tethering services for those vessels, as well as to those providing certification for Nord Stream 2.

Both European businesses and government officials have repeatedly decried US attempts to meddle in European energy policy by sanctioning Nord Stream 2, with some even calling on Brussels to work on countermeasures.

Moscow has also lambasted Washington's move, calling it unfair competition. Earlier this week, presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov said that Russia will develop a new strategy for completion of the project if Washington proceeds with new punitive measures.

[Jul 16, 2020] The Danes have set August 3rd as the restart date

Jul 16, 2020 | thenewkremlinstooge.wordpress.com

MOSCOWEXILE July 6, 2020 at 3:38 am

Дания разрешила использовать новые суда для прокладки "Северного потока – 2"

STOCKHOLM, July 6. / TASS /. At the request of Nord Stream 2 AG, the Danish Energy Agency (DEA) has given permission that vessels with anchor positioning be used on an unfinished section of the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline southeast of Bornholm Island. This was announced on Monday in a departmental press release.

https://tass.ru/ekonomika/8893439
https://yandex.ru/turbo/s/tass.ru/ekonomika/8893439?promo=navbar&utm_referrer=https%3A%2F%2Fzen.yandex.c

MARK CHAPMAN July 6, 2020 at 8:41 am

Ha, ha! I expect the Danes had their wetted finger to the wind, and were reasonably quick to observe Merkel's kiss-off of the United States when it did the inadvisable, and went ahead with more sanctions to try to prevent completion of the pipeline. Might be too late to start construction this summer, though – we're into the cod-spawning season now. Maybe they could do part of it at the other end, or something.

MOSCOWEXILE July 6, 2020 at 11:58 am

The Danes have set August 3rd as the restart date because that's when the Baltic cod stop doing their thing.

MOSCOWEXILE July 6, 2020 at 12:10 pm

No, not after the spawning season has stopped -- I think that must have just been a load of bollocks of an excuse for blocking further work -- but when the time allowed for an appeal against the Danish govt decision has elapsed:

К достройке газопровода приступят после истечения срока обжалования обновленного разрешения Дании -- 3 августа.

The completion of the gas pipeline will begin after the expiration of the appeal period for the renewed Denmark permit -- August 3./

https://m.gazeta.ru/business/2020/07/06/13142635.shtml

MOSCOWEXILE July 6, 2020 at 3:41 am

Send in the a United States Navy!!!

Europe must be saved from Russian gas weaponization!

Let the US freedom gas molecules ring!

[Jul 16, 2020] If Pompeo has a functioning brain, he should realize that all these blatant efforts to reserve markets for America by sanctioning all its competitors out of the picture is having the opposite effect, and frightening customers away from becoming dependent on American products

Jul 16, 2020 | thenewkremlinstooge.wordpress.com

MOSCOWEXILE July 15, 2020 at 7:58 am

Fat bully boy speaks for Bully Boy state:

"Today the Department of State is updating the public guidance for CAATSA authorities to include Nord Stream 2 and the second line of TurkStream 2. This action puts investments or other activities that are related to these Russian energy export pipelines at risk of US sanctions. It's a clear warning to companies aiding and abetting Russia's malign influence projects and will not be tolerated. Get out now or risk the consequences".

Pompeo speaking at a press conference today.

CAATSA -- Countering America's Adversaries Through Sanctions Act

So Russia and Turkey are "adversaries" of the USA?

In what way?

Do these states wish to wage war against the USA?

Is it adversarial to United States interest to compete economically with the hegemon?

MOSCOWEXILE July 15, 2020 at 7:59 am

Link to above:

https://sputniknews.com/world/202007151079893067-us-plans-to-add-nord-stream-2-turkstream-to-list-of-projects-to-be-sanctioned/

MARK CHAPMAN July 15, 2020 at 3:51 pm

Who cares? Really, is Pompeo still scary? If he has a functioning brain, he should realize that all these blatant efforts to reserve markets for America by sanctioning all its competitors out of the picture is having the opposite effect, and frightening customers away from becoming dependent on American products which might be withheld on a whim when America wants political concessions. 'Will not be tolerated' – what a pompous ass. Sanction away. The consequence is well-known to be seizure of assets held in the United States or an inability to do business in the United States. That will frighten some into submission – like the UK, which was threatened with the cessation of intelligence-sharing with the USA (sure you can spare it?) if it did not drop Huawei from its 5G networks. But others will take prudent steps to limit their exposure to such threats, in the certain knowledge that if they work, they will encourage the USA to use the technique again.

[Jul 13, 2020] The Danish Energy Agency (DEA) has announced a deadline after which it will be possible to begin work on completing the Russian Nord Stream-2 gas export pipeline

Jul 13, 2020 | thenewkremlinstooge.wordpress.com

MOSCOWEXILE July 6, 2020 at 8:05 am

The Danish Energy Agency (DEA) has announced a deadline after which it will be possible to begin work on completing the Russian Nord Stream-2 gas export pipeline, RIA Novosti reported with reference to the regulator's statement.

https://yandex.ru/turbo/s/lenta.ru/news/2020/07/06/restart/?promo=navbar&utm_referrer=https%3A%2F%2Fzen.yandex.c

Over to you Uncle Sam!

MOSCOWEXILE July 6, 2020 at 10:52 pm

Apart from this below, I have found nothing in the UK and German media about Denmark's giving the go-ahead for the final stage of NS2 construction:

NATURAL GAS 06 Jul 2020 | 09:44 UTC London
Denmark approves use of ships with anchors to lay Nord Stream 2 gas link

https://www.spglobal.com/platts/en/market-insights/latest-news/natural-gas/070620-denmark-approves-use-of-ships-with-anchors-to-lay-nord-stream-2-gas-link

I wonder why?

If you search through the web, you find reports in the Western media about Denmark giving its approval in 2019. It reneged on that decision. . But nothing on the Danish decision the other day.

Because the USA must never appear as a "loser".?

[May 15, 2020] NATO v. Nord Stream 2 caucus99percent

May 15, 2020 | caucus99percent.com

NATO v. Nord Stream 2

gjohnsit on Thu, 05/14/2020 - 3:54pm After a five month delay, Russia is ready to complete the Nord Stream 2 pipeline .

The Nord Stream 2 pipeline, built to increase the flow of Russian gas into Europe's biggest economy, was thwarted five months ago after U.S. President Donald Trump imposed sanctions that forced workers to retreat. Now, after a three-month voyage circumnavigating the globe, the Akademik Cherskiy, the Russian pipe-laying vessel that's a prime candidate to finish the project, has anchored off the German port where the remaining pipeline sections are waiting to be installed...
Satellite images captured by Planet Labs inc. on May 10 show that sections of pipeline have been moved to a jetty equipped with a crane for loading. Ship-tracking data shows that a dredging vessel operated by a Nord Stream 2 contractor, as well as a Russian pipe-laying-crane ship are also in the vicinity and that the Akademik Cherskiy had moved as of Wednesday next to the jetty loaded with pipes.

In order to complete the final 100-mile stretch of Nord Stream 2, Russia effectively needs to use its own vessels due to U.S. sanctions.
The U.S. still thinks that it can stop Gazprom from finishing the pipeline, but that's insane.

Tens of billions of dollars, along with Putin's reputation as a savvy geopolitical chess master, have been invested in the pipeline project. However, Moscow is now running out of viable options. The only move left is to proceed in defiance of sanctions that will adversely affect many in the higher echelons of the Russian establishment.

This is checkmate.

Yes, this is checkmate...for Putin.
After investing billions of dollars, Gazprom would go bust if they don't finish this pipeline. So do you really think that more U.S. sanctions will give them even a moment's pause?
Sanctions are pointless now.

The question here is, why was this pipeline such a big deal?
To give you an idea, consider the recently completed Turkstream pipeline .
The Turkstream pipeline network isn't even fully integrated yet, and it's already having an impact. Who it's impacting is the key.

Although Ukraine has not been importing any Russian gas for its domestic needs since November 2015, it has signed a five-year transit contract with Gazprom for a minimum 65bcm in 2020 and 40bcm/year from 2021.

However, transit volumes have fallen 47% year on year in the first four months of 2020, amounting to 15.5bcm. The steep drop has been linked to European oversupply and low demand, but also to the lack of transit to the Balkan region after Russian exports to Turkey, Bulgaria and Greece were diverted to the new TurkStream pipeline from January 2020.

"Our transmission system can transit 110bcm of gas [annually] but this year we expect only 50-55bcm of transit," Makogon added, pointing out that volumes would drop even lower if Russia commissions Nord Stream 2 , a 55bcm/year subsea pipeline designed to link Russia directly to Germany via the Baltic Sea.

Ukraine stands to lose $3 Billion a year in transit fees from Russia once Nord Stream 2 is completed this year. This will devastate Ukraine's budget and economy.
Before you feel any sympathy for Ukraine, consider the situation that Ukraine put Russia in.

Ukraine's NATO membership ambitions were written into the Ukrainian Constitution in February 2019 via an amendment that also confirmed the goal of eventually joining the European Union.

NATO integration has remained official Ukrainian policy following the April 2019 election of President Zelenskyy. In early 2020, the country was said to be on track to secure NATO Enhanced Opportunity Partner status later in the year if the pace of reforms was maintained.

NATO's mission continues to be "destroy Russia". So you can see why Russia would feel the need to, at the very least, not help fund an enemy nation.
Plus the potential consequences of Ukraine entering NATO are terrible.

There are ongoing concerns that membership would allow Ukraine to immediately invoke Article 5 of the NATO treaty, the stipulation that an armed attack against one member state is an attack against them all.

Fortunately, the new Ukraine government of President Zelensky doesn't appear nearly so eager for a military confrontation with Russia. Plus public support for joining NATO is dropping.

If I was to make a prediction, I would say that NATO was about to experience a political setback.

[May 05, 2020] German Regulator Plans to Deny Nord Stream 2 Waiver from New Gas Directive

May 05, 2020 | sputniknews.com

javascript:void(0)

Handelsblatt newspaper reported, citing the draft decision of the Federal Network Agency of Germany (BNA), that the BNA intends to reject an application filed by Nord Stream 2 for an exemption of the pipeline project from the requirements of the updated EU gas directive.

The agency announced in mid-January that it had accepted applications from the Nord Stream 1 and Nord Stream 2 operators to exempt the gas pipelines from the requirements of the EU gas directive. According to Handelsblatt, the agency earlier on Friday sent a draft decision to the parties involved in the process. The newspaper added that the BNA will accept replies from them until 8 May, after which it will "promptly" make a final decision .

The reason for the rejection of the Nord Stream 2 application was the fact that in order to exempt the gas pipeline from the updated directive, the pipeline must have been completed before May 2019. Nord Stream 2 insisted that it was necessary to not proceed from the "construction" point of this requirement, but to take into account the fact that "billions of investments had already been made in accordance with the previous legal regime by the time the new directives of the domestic gas market came into force".

The spokesman for Nord Stream 2, Jens Mueller, said in January that the project meets all the requirements for its exemption from the rules of the updated EU gas directive in Germany and that this also applies to the completion date of the project.

[May 02, 2020] Gazprom ramps up its export capacity to China via the Power of Siberia line, plans to add a second compressor station this year

May 02, 2020 | thenewkremlinstooge.wordpress.com

Mark Chapman April 27, 2020 at 3:59 pm

Gazprom ramps up its export capacity to China via the Power of Siberia line, plans to add a second compressor station this year. Drill rigs at the Kovykta Field are expected to go from 7 this year to 18 next year, and the extraction flows added to the Power of Siberia capacity.

https://www.spglobal.com/platts/en/market-insights/latest-news/natural-gas/041420-russias-gazprom-eyes-capacity-increase-on-china-gas-export-link

[May 02, 2020] The servants of Washington in the EU will try to extract every last concession they can before the pipeline is completed, but they absolutely want it and will back down if they think Russia would actually give up on completing it

May 02, 2020 | thenewkremlinstooge.wordpress.com

Mark Chapman May 1, 2020 at 1:41 pm

The servants of Washington in the EU will try to extract every last concession they can before the pipeline is completed, but they absolutely want it and will back down if they think Russia would actually give up on completing it. Their strategy all along was to let Russia build it, but ensure its operation fell under the control of EU regulators so that they could get plenty of gas when they needed it, but use it as a negotiating tool when they had lots in reserve, start complaining about the price and try to get more pipeline volume for competitors, variations on the ideal where the Russians would absorb all the costs of building it, but would yield all advantages of the completed pipeline to the EU. Right up until the moment the first volumes go through the pipeline, the EU is going to act as a spoiler on a project they absolutely want to be completed.

If Russia said, all right then, fuck you; Get your gas from the Americans, if that's what you want, two things would happen – one, The Donald would come in his pants, and two, Brussels would go wait wait wait wait hold on. No need to be hasty.

But they think they are in a super-strong position now, because their American pals stopped it when it was just a whisker away from completion, and gave them breathing space to renegotiate a deal that was already set, and make up a bunch of new rules using that was then, this is now for a rationale. I hope Russia does the same to them once it's complete, and says yeah, you THOUGHT that was the price, but that was then, and charges them just enough under the American price that dropping them in favour of the Americans is not feasible, but still much more than they thought they would pay.

karl1haushofer May 1, 2020 at 12:40 pm
Another setback for Nord Stream 2: https://sputniknews.com/europe/202005011079159594-german-regulator-plans-to-deny-nord-stream-2-waiver-from-new-gas-directive -- reports/

[May 02, 2020] It'd be nice to think Russia is going to complete Nord Stream II right away just to spite Washington and its endless meddling, but as we have discussed before, there really is no hurry

May 02, 2020 | thenewkremlinstooge.wordpress.com

Mark Chapman April 27, 2020 at 9:27 am

That's funny; I just checked her position last night, and it said she was bound for Nakhodka, due early in July.

Yeah; making 10 knots for Nakhodka, due there July 1st. That's where she left from originally, but so far as I could make out there is nothing in Nakhodka which might lead to the belief she will be there undergoing updates and tweaks for her employment finishing Nord Stream II.

https://www.vesselfinder.com/vessels/AKADEMIK-CHERSKIY-IMO-8770261-MMSI-273399760

It'd be nice to think Russia is going to complete Nord Stream II right away just to spite Washington and its endless meddling, but as we have discussed before, there really is no hurry. Russia is locked into a new medium-term transit contract with Ukraine, the Russian state has reduced income available due to the oil-price mess and low demand owing to the 'pandemic', and would be forging ahead with work that would cost it just as much money to do now as it would later, when it likely will have more cash available. I've read the AKADEMIK CHERKSIY needs a short refit and a little updating to ready her for Nord Stream work, since being principal pipelayer for that line possibly requires some different equipment or at least some adjustments. It likely would require crewing by some more specialists, as well, and there's no reason to believe they have been aboard all this time. I suppose they could meet the ship in Nakhodka, but there is nothing at this point to suggest that.

The only thing that argues for Russia pressing ahead now is the weather, which should be entering the season when it would be best for that kind of work. Otherwise, nothing suggests Russia is in a tearing rush to get on with it. Certainly the partners have not been told anything, and they don't appear to be unduly alarmed at the lack of immediate progress.

https://neftegaz.ru/en/news/companies/523680-no-plan-b-presented-to-austria-s-omv-on-nord-stream-2-gas-link-ceo/

[Mar 10, 2020] Oil war between KSA and Russia

Mar 10, 2020 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

timbers , March 9, 2020 at 8:04 am

It could crash Mr Market oil stocks and wipe out fracking and such, creating possible liquidity issues and bankruptcies which could spread. But honestly I'm not up on the details if this could even cause any domino affects with bankruptcies, or not.

But to the Fed, Mr Market is the whole economy and nothing but the economy, Fed job #1 being to make stocks always go up.

Saudi Arabia is far more dependent on oil and tourism (also being hit) than Russia. Hence Russia's reserves I think would last far longer that SA's can.

The Rev Kev , March 9, 2020 at 8:37 am

Saudi Arabia is already in the hurt locker and has run down their financial reserves under Mohammad Bin Salman Al Saud. In addition, their little expedition to Yemen is costing them billions of dollars per month which is not helping. With international tourism fading away, the threat of some two million pilgrims not being able to travel to Mecca and spending their money there as well as plummeting oil prices, 2020 is not going to be a good year for Saudi Arabia. Just to make things worse, they have their own problems with Coronavirus which may knock out important links in the Royal family.

timbers , March 9, 2020 at 8:58 am

Indeed. A pattern with Salman seems to be emerging, of him rashly starting wars or policies he can't win/finish. Makes you wonder if others in the royal family are seeing this and noticing SA is burning thru it's reserves and the solution might be a change in leadership?

The Rev Kev , March 9, 2020 at 9:06 am

I was just reading an article saying how Saudi Arabia need $60 a barrel for their budget but that now it is heading towards $20 a barrel. If they wanted to achieve a massive cost-saving, they could give their Royal Family the chop – perhaps literally so. Last I heard there were over 6,000 of them-

https://asiatimes.com/2020/03/oil-to-hit-20-amid-saudi-russian-price-war/

vlade , March 9, 2020 at 9:16 am

SA would have more problems with reserves than Russia, that's definite – if nothing else, Russia exports/has other things than oil, SA doesn't.

Oil stock crash would not cause Western recession. It could well cause recession in Texas and similar, but I very much doubt it would cause even US recession, as the problems in Texas & co would be offset by the much lower prices at the pump.

Oil debt crash would be much worse, but still I suspect brunt of it would be borne by investors, not banks.

farmboy , March 9, 2020 at 10:01 am

best energy writer Gregor McDonald breaks it down

barefoot charley , March 9, 2020 at 12:21 pm

Thanks for this excellent analysis! When oil consumption permanently plateaus, as it's about to, the stock and debt value of the industry . . . flatlines.
That's the good news from Grow or Die.

[Mar 09, 2020] Russia's 2020 federal budget assumes a price of $42.4 per barrel of Urals crude oil blend (

Mar 09, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

S , Mar 9 2020 6:19 utc | 73

@Likklemore #26:
Russia will be fine all the way down to $20//bbl

Russia's 2020 federal budget assumes a price of $42.4 per barrel of Urals crude oil blend (the prices of other oil & gas exports, such as other crude oil blends, natural gas, LNG and petroleum products, are converted into Urals blend prices using statistical formulas). If the market price turns out to be higher, the surplus goes into the National Wealth Fund ($124 bn as of December 1, 2019; currency composition is 45% U.S. dollars, 45% euros, 10% pound sterling); conversely, if the price is lower, the deficit is financed from the NWF. This is known in Russia as "the budget rule" ( бюджетное правило ).

You can see the prices of various crude oil blends at the OilPrice.com 's Oil Price Charts page, but note that the Urals blend prices shown are lagging by three days as of the time of this comment. Generally, Urals blend price is somewhere between WTI and Brent blend prices, so it should be around $32/bbl at the moment. Meaning, Russia will now have to start taking money from the NWF.

If the low prices persist for a long period of time, Russia can balance the budget by devaluing the ruble, as its foreign debt is one of the lowest in the world -- no budget cuts are necessary. Russia's foreign exchange reserves currently stand at $570 bn (77.1% foreign currencies, 1.2% SDR, 0.7% reserve position in the IMF, 21.0% gold).

[Feb 10, 2020] Location, location, location Why Russian LNG can beat competition from US Australia

Feb 10, 2020 | www.rt.com

Russia's geographical position makes its exports of liquefied natural gas (LNG) more profitable and competitive with American and Australian supplies, according to Russia's Energy Minister Alexander Novak. Russia ships most of its LNG (around 69 percent) to Asian markets, where the bulk of global LNG supplies are sent. The country could also export its LNG via traditional Russian pipeline gas European routes, due to low cost and short transportation distance, the minister wrote, in an article for the Energy Policy journal.

Also on rt.com Trump urges Europe to buy American natural gas to ensure their energy security

"Russia's convenient geographical position between Europe and Asia allows our LNG to be profitable at current prices and to win competition from the US and Australia," Novak said. "If necessary, we can deliver liquefied gas to any European country, and it will be faster and cheaper than many other suppliers."

The Northern Sea Route (NSR) could be a key transport link to connect massive Arctic energy projects Russia is currently developing with target markets. The route, which lies in Arctic waters and within Russia's Exclusive Economic Zone, could cut the transportation time by a third, compared to shipments via the Suez Canal.

Also on rt.com India could become first non‑Arctic state to develop Russia's Arctic resources

Russia is one of the world's leading exporters of natural gas. Last year, it produced more than 40 billion cubic meters of LNG – a nearly 50 percent increase from 27 billion cubic meters it had in 2018. By 2035, Novak expects the country to boost production to 120 million tons, amounting to around a fifth of the forecasted global LNG production.

For more stories on economy & finance visit RT's business section

[Feb 08, 2020] 'Gas Wars' In The Mediterranean by Mike Whitney

Feb 08, 2020 | www.zerohedge.com

Authored by Mike Whitney via The Unz Review,

The unexpected alliance between Turkey and Libya is a geopolitical earthquake that changes the balance of power in the eastern Mediterranean and across the Middle East.

Turkey's audacious move has enraged its rivals in the region and cleared the way for a dramatic escalation in the 9 year-long Libyan civil war. It has also forced leaders in Europe and Washington to decide how they will counter Turkey's plan to defend the U.N-recognized Government of National Accord (GNA) , and to extend its maritime borders from Europe to Africa basically creating "a water corridor through the eastern Mediterranean linking the coasts of Turkey and Libya."

Leaders in Ankara believe that the agreement "is a major coup in energy geopolitics" that helps defend Turkey's "sovereign rights against the gatekeepers of the regional status quo." But Turkey's rivals strongly disagree. They see the deal as a naked power grab that undermines their ability to transport natural gas from the East Mediterranean to Europe without crossing Turkish waters. In any event, the Turkey-Libya agreement has set the stage for a broader conflict that will unavoidably involve Egypt, Israel, UAE, Saudi Arabia, Europe, Russia and the United States. All parties appear to have abandoned diplomatic channels altogether and are, instead, preparing for war.

On November 27, Turkey and Libya signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) that commits Turkey to providing military assistance to Libya's Government of National Accord (GNA). The MoU also redraws Turkey's maritime boundaries in a way that dramatically impacts the transport of gas from the East Mediterranean to Europe. Israel is particularly worried that this new deal will undermine its plans for a 1,900-kilometer EastMed pipeline connecting the Leviathan gas field, off the coast of Israel, to the EU. YNET News summarized Israel's concerns in an ominously titled article: "Turkey's maneuver could block Israel's access to the sea". Here's an excerpt:

"Two of Israel's wars (1956 Sinai campaign and 1967 Six-Day War) broke out over navigation rights. Israel must take note of a new reality taking hold in the Mediterranean. It must regard Turkey's actions as a substantial strategic threat and consider what it may do to respond to it

This EEZ (Exclusive Economic Zones) designation essentially carved up much of the energy-rich Eastern Mediterranean between Turkey and Libya, prompting a wave of international condemnations first and foremost from Greece, Egypt, and Cyprus, who may be directly or indirectly affected ..Turkey's disregard for the economic waters of Greece, Cyprus, and Egypt.

Ankara is in effect annexing those areas pending an appeal to international tribunals, which can take many years to resolve. In practical terms, Turkey created a sea border the width of the entire Mediterranean ." ( "Turkey's maneuver could block Israel's access to the sea" , ynet news )

The analysis from America's premier Foreign Policy magazine was no less foreboding. Check it out:

"Turkey is meshing together two Mediterranean crises in a desperate bid to reshape the region in its own favor, with potentially nasty implications both for the ongoing civil war in Libya and future energy development in the eastern Mediterranean.

This month, Turkey's unusual outreach to the internationally recognized government of Libya has resulted in a formal agreement for Ankara to provide military support, including arms and possibly troops, in its bid to hold off an offensive from Russian-backed rebels in the eastern part of the country. The military agreement came just weeks after Turkey and that same Government of National Accord reached an unusual agreement to essentially carve up much of the energy-rich eastern Mediterranean between them -- threatening to cut out Greece and Cyprus from the coming bonanza ." ("Newly Aggressive Turkey Forges Alliance With Libya", Foreign Policy )

While these new developments are likely to intensify the fighting on the ground in Libya, they also portend a deepening of divisions within the region itself where new coalitions are forming and battle-lines are being drawn. On the one side is the Turkey-Libya Axis, while on the other is Greece, UAE, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Israel, France, Germany, UK and probably the United States although the Trump administration has not yet clarified its position. In any event, the war between Libya's internationally-recognized government and Haftar's Libyan National Army (LNA) is just a small part of a much larger struggle over vital hydrocarbons in a strategically-located area of the Mediterranean. Here's a clip from an article at War On The Rocks that helps to underscore the stakes involved:

"The discovery of significant deposits of natural gas in the Eastern Mediterranean beginning in 2009 was a game-changer that upended regional geopolitics. It prompted new and unexpected alliances between Israel, Greece, Cyprus, and Egypt to maximize their chances of energy self-sufficiency. The bulk of the gas lies in Egypt's Zohr field, the Leviathan and Tamar fields in Israeli waters, and the Aphrodite near the island of Cyprus. With recoverable natural gas reserves in the region estimated at upward of 120 trillion cubic feet, the strategic implications could not be bigge r. This is about the same amount as the proven gas in the whole of Iraq, the 12th largest reserve globally .(Israel's gas field) Leviathan is estimated to hold 22 trillion cubic feet of recoverable natural gas, and a potential half a million barrels of oil." ("Hydrocarbon Diplomacy: Turkey's Gambit Might Yet Pay a Peace Dividend", warontherocks.com)

Turkey's ambitious gambit makes it more likely that its rivals will increase their support for the Libyan warlord, Haftar, who is, by-most-accounts, a CIA asset that was sent to Libya in 2014 to topple the government in Tripoli and unify the country under a US puppet. Haftar's forces currently control more than 70% of the Libyan territory while almost 60% of the population is under the control of the GNA led by Prime Minister Fayez al-Sarraj. According to Turkish news: "More than half of Haftar's troops are mercenaries from Russia and Sudan, who are mainly paid by the Gulf states."

In April, 2019, Haftar launched an offensive on the government in Tripoli but was easily repelled. In recent days, however, Haftar has resumed his attacks on the city of Misrata and on the Tripoli airport in clear violation of the Berlin ceasefire agreement. He has also received shipments of weapons from the UAE despite an arms embargo that was unanimously approved two weeks ago at the same Berlin Conference. We expect that support for Haftar will continue to grow in the months ahead as Berlin, Paris and particularly Washington settle on a plan for reinforcing proxies to prosecute the ground war and for blunting Turkey's power projection in the Mediterranean.

The Turkey-Libya agreement is a clumsy attempt to impose Turkey's preferred maritime boundaries on the other countries bordering the Mediterranean. Naturally, Washington will not allow this unilateral assertion of power to go unchallenged.

And while Washington's strategy has not yet been announced, that merely indicates that the foreign policy establishment was caught off-guard by Turkey's November 27 announcement . It does not mean that Washington will accept the status quo. To the contrary, US war-planners are undoubtedly putting the finishing touches on a new strategy aimed at achieving their objectives in Libya while at the same time dealing a stinging blow to a NATO ally that has grown closer to Russia, caused endless headaches in Syria, and is now disrupting Washington's plans for controlling vital resources in the East Mediterranean.

Washington sees Turkey's assertive foreign policy as a sign of "defiance" which requires a iron-fisted response. But any attack on Turkey or Turkish interests will only intensify the bad blood between Ankara and Washington, it will only put more pressure on the threadbare NATO alliance, and it will only push Turkish president Erdogan further into Moscow's corner. Indeed, the Trump team should realize that an overreaction on their part could trigger a fateful realignment that could reshape the region while hastening the emergence of a new order.

[Jan 29, 2020] The New Kremlin Stooge

Jan 29, 2020 | thenewkremlinstooge.wordpress.com

Moscow Exile January 25, 2020 at 12:15 pm

На форуме в Давосе заявили об остановке "Северного потока-2" минимум на 2 года
Лилия Караева, 24 января 2020

At the Davos forum an at least 2-year long shutdown of Nord Stream-2 has been announced
Liliya Karayeva, January 24, 2020

The launch of the Russian gas pipeline "Nord Stream-2", which is needed to supply Europe with gas that bypasses the Ukraine, will take place not earlier than after 2 years. It is not ruled out that the project will cease to exist if Western sanctions continue.

Former US ambassador to the Ukraine John Herbst said this at the World Economic Forum in Davos. He noted that there is no possibility of Russia completing the gas pipeline.

For the construction, it is necessary to have a company that will ensure the laying of pipes on the sea bed. However, US sanctions do not allow foreign firms to do this, Eadaily reports.

Herbst stressed that the Russians "can beat themselves on the chest," but under current conditions the project may not be completed.

Earlier the pipe-layers of the Swiss company Allseas left the Baltic Sea because of US sanctions. Russian President Vladimir Putin said that Russia can complete the gas pipeline, but it will take more time.

Cue you know who.

That former US ambassador to Banderastan certainly knows a lot about the technological incapabilities of the gas station with missiles, doesn't he?

Like Like

Mark Chapman January 25, 2020 at 4:26 pm
Amazing; at the time sanctions were applied, the Russian Energy Minister claimed that the Russian Federation had the ships and the capability to complete the pipeline in only two months. Therefore it would have opened only a month late.

https://www.financial-world.org/news/news/economy/4427/kremlin-has-ships-to-finish-nord-stream-2-in-two-months-says-energy-minister-novak/

Was he lying? Jeez; no wonder the government was dissolved. Similar claims were made in Deutche Welle.

https://www.dw.com/en/russia-can-complete-nord-stream-2-pipeline-by-itself-kremlin/a-51800591

In fact, a joint statement just after the sanctions were announced to great fanfare said that the remainder of the pipeline could be completed using divers, although it would be slow. But Russia is known to have pipe-laying vessels in its inventory which would surely require little modification to finish the remaining work. Russia simply does not seem to be in any hurry to complete the project.

I personally think Russia is just approaching completion of the pipeline in a leisurely fashion, now that there is a new gas-transit agreement with Ukraine and there is no particular rush to get it done. Russia is committed to transit 60 BCm through Ukraine this year, so what's the hurry to get a pipeline done which bypasses Ukraine? According to the Energy Minister – who must be speaking under advisement from field professionals – Russia could finish it in about 2 months. It would not be in Ukraine's interests to provoke a transit crisis now, the winter is over and demand will slacken, and there just is no compelling reason to hurry. But if there were, it would not take long to finish.

The current cocky attitude which assumes the project has been stopped cold with a wave of Washington's mighty hand and now may never be completed is, however, pure and classic Ukie nationalist. The Ukrainians seem fated to slobber lovingly all over America whenever it makes a gesture, and start up again with the tough talk toward Russia. Nord Stream II is dead in the water, and now it might never be completed – Russia might have to transit gas through Ukraine until the infants of today are grandparents! It is so much more pleasant to put your faith in something which sounds like you are going to have an easy life without doing much of anything; just loll in bed all day on cushions of goose-down, and let the Russians pay to use your pipes to transit their gas – so easy! It's a wonder there are any realists left. Keep in mind that those are the same people who will scream that they were betrayed when the pipeline is completed, and that the dirty Russians took advantage of Ukraine's frank and open nature.

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Moscow Exile January 25, 2020 at 11:35 pm
This US sanctions business often confuses me. I work at ExxonMobil twice a week -- right next to the Exceptional Nation's embassy are the Exxon offices situated -- and they tell me there that the project they were undertaking in the Barents Sea, I think, was stopped and is now on hold because of sanctions, whereas the Exxon activity in Sakhalin is still in operation. The reason why? Sakhalin is on dry land, the Russian woman whom I teach there told me. "So?" I asked. She reckons it's because at Sakhalin they use Russian gear and technology, whereas the offshore Barents Sea rig is US operated.
Mark Chapman January 26, 2020 at 9:16 am
For Russia, at least, it will serve as an object lesson to not ever again be reliant on US technology for anything, and be to the least extent possible reliant on technology of its close allies. That would likely mean Asian drilling technology. Despite what American media would have you believe, Americans are not the only people on earth capable of developing and using extraction technology. Russia is also perfectly capable of engineering its own production methods and equipment. Sanctions are only effective, to the limited degree they are effective at all, where you as the sanctioner can get all available sources to deny their use. Arm-twisting to go along with the American sanctions has cost European business billions, but the important thing to remember about employment of sanctions and successful work-arounds is that business will not bounce back to its previous arrangements once sanctions are lifted unless their duration is very short. The sanctions against Russia, quite apart from the Americans having supplied their own justification for employing them in the first place (so that the Russians as a whole have a sense of having been unjustly punished, which taints the American brand), have had the effect of forcing Russia to seek other suppliers and to develop domestic industry. It has survived the sanctions regime quite well, and is much stronger for it. It also serves as a reminder to other countries which are not ideologically aligned with the United States that a dependence on American products could constitute an unacceptable vulnerability for them as well.

China is the biggest producer in Asia, with an output of nearly 4 million barrels per day. Although its production has been stagnant or even declining in recent years, that is about to change; the national government announced last year a 20% increase in capital investment in production, with the goal of increasing its output by 50% to 6 million BPD by 2025. I think it would be safe to bet that none of that technology will be American or owned by its closest allies, since a key platform of the increased expenditure is energy independence.

https://www.investopedia.com/articles/markets/100515/biggest-oil-producers-asia.asp

Jen January 25, 2020 at 8:21 pm
Looks like two former ministers in the previous Medvedev government got bumped upstairs: Vladimir Medinsky (Culture Minister) and Maxim Oreshkin (Economic Development Minister) have become Presidential aides.
http://en.kremlin.ru/events/president/news

Alexander Novak is back in as Minister of Energy so he must have been telling the truth back in December about Russia being able to finish the Nordstream II pipeline construction in two months.
http://en.kremlin.ru/events/president/news/62625

Like Like

Mark Chapman January 25, 2020 at 9:19 pm
Either that or his lies are so reliable that the Kremlin knows immediately to believe the opposite of what he says. But that's not likely, because an Energy Minister who started a massive project like that and had no prospects at all of completing it would not likely be reappointed.

Another potential reason for Russian relaxation toward pipeline completion might well be the global collapse of LNG prices due to overproduction: according to the new (ish) CEO of Gunvor Group (remember them? The energy company that Putin owned 75% of its shares?), US LNG exporters are 50 cents away from shutdowns.

"LNG prices are on track to hit an all-time low in Asia later this summer. Gas is also at its weakest seasonally in the U.S. and Europe since the late 1990s. "There's a surplus already in the U.S. and Europe. And the mild winter in Asia means another surplus is building up there," Marco Dunand, chief executive officer of trading house Mercuria Energy Group Ltd., told Bloomberg. Torbjorn Tornqvist, chief executive officer of Gunvor Group Ltd., said U.S. LNG exporters are 50 cents away from shutdowns."

https://news.yahoo.com/oil-bears-back-demand-fears-200000056.html

Under such conditions, it's unlikely the Kremlin is overly concerned at the thought of American LNG carriers steaming into European ports and snatching the energy rug from underneath them. Think what a great time this would be to have an energy-extraction empire in which – thanks to western sanctions – your production costs were in rubles and your selling price was in Euros. Why, you'd still be able to take a profit no matter how low prices went!

Oh wait

Like Like

[Jan 19, 2020] US strategy and what the gas pipeline war is costing us by Manlio Dinucci

Jan 19, 2020 | www.voltairenet.org

30 December 2019

After having forbidden the Chinese company Huawei to compete in the calls for tender for the 5G network, the United States are now forbidding the Europeans to increase their supplies of Russian gas. While the first decision was aimed at maintaining the coherence of NATO, the second is not a result of Russophobia, but of the 1992 " Wolfowitz doctrine " - preventing the EU from becoming a competitor of the " American Empire ". In both cases, the point is to infantilise the EU and keep it in a situation of dependence.

Although they were locked in a convoluted struggle concerning the impeachment of President Trump, Republicans and Democrats in the Senate laid down their arms in order to vote, in quasi-unanimity, for the imposition of heavy sanctions on the companies participating in the construction of North Stream 2, the doubling of the gas pipeline which delivers Russian gas to Germany across the Baltic Sea. The main victims were the European companies which had helped finance the 11 billion dollar project with the Russian company Gazprom. The project is now 80 % finished. The Austrian company Omy, British/Dutch Royal Dutch Shell, French Engie, German companies Uniper and Wintershall, Italian Saipem and Swiss Allseas are also taking part in the laying of the pipeline.

The doubling of North Stream increases Europe's dependence on Russian gas, warn the United States. Above all, they are preoccupied by the fact that the gas pipeline – by crossing the Baltic in waters belonging to Russia, Finland, Sweden and Germany – thus avoids the Visegrad countries (Czech Republic, Slovakia, Poland and Hungary), the Baltic States and Ukraine. In other words, the European countries which have the closest ties to Washington through NATO (to which we must add Italy).

Rather than being economic, the goal for the USA is strategic. This is confirmed by the fact that the sanctions on North Stream 2 are included in the National Defense Authorization Act , the legislative act which, for fiscal year 2020, hands the Pentagon the colossal sum of 738 billion dollars for new wars and new weapons (including space weapons), to which must be added other posts which bring the US military expenditure to approximately 1,000 billion dollars. The economic sanctions on North Stream 2 are part of a politico-military escalation against Russia.

An ulterior confirmation can be found in the fact that the US Congress has established sanctions not only against North Stream 2, but also against the Turk-Stream, which, in its final phase of realisation, will bring Russian gas across the Black Sea to Eastern Thrace,the small European area of Turkey. From there, by another pipeline, Russian gas should be delivered to Bulgaria, Serbia and other European countries. This is the Russian riposte to the US action which managed to block the South Stream pipeline in 2014. South Stream was intended to link Russia to Italy across the Black Sea and by land to Tarvisio (Udine). Italy would therefore have become a switch platform for gas in the EU, with notable economic advantages. The Obama administration was able to scuttle the project, with the collaboration of the European Union.

The company Saipem (Italian Eni Group), once again affected by the US sanctions against North Stream 2, was severely hit by the blockage of South Stream – in 2014, it lost contracts to the value of 2.4 billion Euros, to which other contracts would have been added if the project had continued. But at the time, no-one in Italy or in the EU protested against the burial of the project which was being organised by the USA. Now German interests are in play, and critical voices are being raised in Germany and in the EU against US sanctions against North Stream 2.

Nothing is being said about the fact that the European Union has agreed to import liquified natural gas (LNG) from the USA, an extract from bituminous shale by the destructive technique of hydraulic fracturation (fracking). In order to damage Russia, Washington is attempting to reduce its gas exports to the EU, obliging European consumers to foot the bill. Since President Donald Trump and the President of the European Commission, Jean-Claude Juncker, signed in Washington in July 2018 the Joint Statement of 25 July: European Union imports of U.S. Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) , the EU has doubled its importation of LNG from the USA, co-financing the infrastructures via an initial expenditure of 656 million Euros. However, this did not save European companies from US sanctions. Manlio Dinucci

Translation
Pete Kimberley

Source
Il Manifesto (Italy)

[Jan 18, 2020] Importance of Cyprus is gas wars

Jan 18, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

Jon_in_AU , Jan 18 2020 15:35 utc | 140

Hausmeiseter@121

I can't say that I've dug into that in detail, although I do recall reading the post.

What I would like to say, however, is that the Cyprus question is one of the pivotal pieces in the current geopolitical situation.

A few points warranting further investigation to try and tie into a coherent whole:

1) The Cyprus banking crisis c. 2012-2013. This includes Russian oligarch/mafia money, and whether it was squirreled out of there before the buy-in orchestrated collapse of Laiki Bank of Cyprus as well as who was behind this push (IMF/NATO/GER/etc)

2) The Turkstream (1 & 2) gas projects (from which Turkey will extract considerable transit fees for decades to come). This also supports one of the main pillars of the Russian Federations' economy. Links also to US hegemon trying to kill off Nordstream 2.

3) The plans/MOU for Israel, Cyprus and Greece to build an undersea gas pipe network. This will effectively by-pass Turkstream, and is probably behind the push to have Israeli claims over the Golan Heights crystallise (along with the US staying put in Syria and Iraq). I also recall reading about ISIS shipments of stolen Syrian oil taking a cross-country route through Turkey to end up being refined in Israel, and on-sold to Greece (and others). This points at another whole behind-the-scenes dynamic.

4) Recent attempts by Turkey to get involved in Libya, create a new exclusive maritime zone, develop gas of the coast of Cyprus, and now military involvement. This is drawing rebuke from Israel, as it will scupper their planned pipe network. Greece likewise is now trying to send in troops (as observers/peace-keepers, LOL).
Cyprus is also rallying around to try and stop the Turkish plan from going ahead.

5) Recent arrests of Israeli intel assets in Cyprus of late also adds further heat to the situation.

I would really need to dedicate months of my life to try and untangle all of this, and by the time I did the situation would have moved on. (reminds me of the quote from Wagelaborers' blog: "We're an empire now, and when we act, we create our own reality. And while you're studying that reality – judiciously, as you will – we'll act again, creating other new realities, which you can study too, and that's how things will sort out. We're history's actors . . . and you, all of you, will be left to just study what we do."
Karl Rove)

[Jan 18, 2020] Lukashenko wants the prices for oil and natural gas for Belarus to be the same as for Russian regions, but refuses to behave like a Russian region.

Jan 18, 2020 | www.unz.com

AnonFromTN , says: January 15, 2020 at 6:42 pm GMT

@Shitposter him some fighter planes for free and he will build an airbase of the Belarus army.
6. Belarus makes gasoline and other products from Russian oils and resells them at a huge profit. Besides, he wants to export it all via Baltic statelets, providing their ports business that Putin is taking away from them by building Russian deep-sea ports, like Ust-Luga.
7. Not to mention that he talks about 10 times more than is wise, saying mostly BS (the latter is natural for a moron).
There are many more, but these are enough to explain how most Russians feel about him. Belarus either gets rid of that idiot, or suffers because of his stupidity.

[Jan 18, 2020] Germany behaviour in Naftogas-Gasprom conflict makes zero sense unless you believe that Germany was acting as a proxy on behalf of a greater power

Jan 18, 2020 | www.unz.com

,

Thulean Friend , says: Show Comment December 23, 2019 at 5:34 am GMT
About this whole Ukraine-Russia gas transit thing that Felix is panicking about. It seems Germany had a key role in facilitating the deal.

However, that risk receded this week after Moscow and Kyiv concluded a landmark agreement that will ensure Russian gas continues to transit through Ukraine even after Nord Stream 2 is completed. Germany played a critical role in brokering the agreement and pressuring Russia to maintain Ukraine's transit status.

Why would Germany spend all this time and resources to construct these pipelines and then suddenly pressure Russia to maintain the transit fees? That makes zero sense unless you believe that Germany was acting as a proxy on behalf of a greater power. My pet theory: Germany most likely caved to US pressure and tried to triangulate at the last minute in a bid to stave off a larger German-US conflict.

Thulean Friend , says: Show Comment December 24, 2019 at 4:43 am GMT
@Swedish Family

What Germany wants, it seems to me, is (1) cheap energy for German industry, (2) a maximally weak Russian hand visavi Ukraine (which is now in effect a NATO/EU dependency), and (3) good enough relations with the Kremlin for Russia not to go rogue. Goals (1) and (3) obviously sit uneasily with goal (2), which is why we see so much back and forth.

I agree with (1) and (3) but I'd disagree over (2). I am not convinced Germany cares much about Ukraine's well-being. It is a very small economy (barely over 100 billion USD) and Germany's trade exposure to Ukraine is minimal. It isn't part of NATO, EU or any other major Western framework.

If Ukraine collapsed it would create significant refugee streams but Ukrainians are very easily assimilated into Western European countries, unlike Syrians or Turks, so even in a worse-case scenario the fallout would not be a major problem. If Croats or Serbs can mix into Germany easily, I don't see why Ukrainians would be a problem. Germany's shrinking work force would in fact even need such an influx. The only kink would be Russia's expanding borders if both Belarus+Ukraine was swallowed up but Germany probably would calculate that Russia wouldn't attack a NATO ally (and they wouldn't be wrong). I'm not saying Germany would want such an outcome, only that the worst-case scenario wouldn't be a big problem for them.

I think this has the fingerprints of the US all over it. Trump personally hates Ukraine, which has been documented in leaked documents during the impeachment process and major personalities of the Trumpist movement like Tucker Carlson openly cheers for Russia. So it wasn't Trump or his people who pushed for this but rather the permanent national-security state that was behind it and they are obsessed with keeping Russia down, or inventing fake Russiagate hoaxes to justify their paranoia. Germany made a 180 and suddenly pressured Russia to do something which Germany itself had no interest in keeping for the longest time. That suggests Germany caved to US pressure and tried to do a compromise. The US interest would be for NS2 to be scrapped completely. This was a German attempt at triangulating.

Either way, Ukraine got a big win purely because of Great Power politics over which they had no direct control.

[Jan 10, 2020] Turkey discovered how dependent its economy had become on Russia including Russian gas during the trade embargo that ensued upon the shootdown of SU-24

Jan 10, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

karlof1 , Jan 8 2020 20:09 utc | 228

Walter @215--

Thanks for your reply! Some years ago prior to Russia's Syrian intervention, I examined where genuine Turkish national interests lay and concluded they weren't in the EU given the numerous repulses when attempting membership but rather they lay to the North and East in rekindling relations with longtime rivals Russia and Iran. Putin noted this rekindling's been ongoing for awhile:

"I would like to note that Russia has been exporting gas to Turkey for 30 years, even though not everyone knows about it. It was initially shipped through the Trans-Balkan gas pipeline, then through the direct, transit-free Blue Stream pipeline. Last year alone, 24 billion cubic metres of fuel was delivered to our Turkish partners."

Turkey discovered how dependent its economy had become on Russia during the trade embargo that ensued upon the shootdown of the Mig, which IMO is the main reason a spiteful Erdogan released the torrent of refugees into the EU as he finally realized Turkey's been used for decades by the West with no real tangible benefits to show. And yes, IMO he was returning to sender Terrorists to Libya, and it was no small number as it was several thousand.

IMO, Qatar and Turkey have Seen the Light when it comes to sponsoring terrorist affiliated organizations like the Muslim Brotherhood; That all they've done is contribute to the Evil Outlaw US Empire's plan for continuous destabilization of the Persian Gulf region as part of its strategy to interdict Eurasian Integration, the latter of which is in both Qatar's and Turkey's genuine national interest.

[Jan 09, 2020] And for $5 trillion spent bombing unoffending MENA countries the US has gotten what?

Jan 09, 2020 | www.zerohedge.com

Savvy , 1 hour ago link

Nordstream II cost $12 billion. Russia is selling 55 billion M3 of LNG to Europe. Add Nordstream I, another 55 billion, Power of Siberia to China and Turkstream just opened.

And for $5 trillion spent bombing unoffending MENA countries the US has gotten what? Moar war. That's it.

Russia is building infrastructure while the US destroys.

[Jan 08, 2020] Russia has Peaked , according to the Minister of Energy.

Jan 08, 2020 | peakoilbarrel.com

Ronny Patterson

Ignored says: 01/02/2020 AT 1:49 PM

Russia has Peaked , according to the Minister of Energy.

Russia's Interest In Oil Production Cuts Is Waning

Russia is planning level production for the next 4 years.

"As far as the production cuts are concerned, I repeat once again, this is not an indefinite process. A decision on the exit should be gradually taken in order to keep up market share and so that our companies would be able to provide and implement their future projects. I think that we will consider that this year."(2020)

Meanwhile, Russia's energy ministry is assuming that the country's total output is to average around and slightly above 11.2 million barrels per day until 2024. In other words, it is not building any cut into its plan.

Russia's peak month, so far, was December 2018 at 11,408,000 barrels per day. The average daily production for 2018 was 11,115,000 bpd. Average production for 2019 was 11,211,000 bpd. This is the level they hope to hold for the next 4 years.

Russia's production increased by an average of 96,000 barrels per day in 2019. They are not expecting any further increase at all. They just hope to hold at 2019 levels for another four years. I think they will be very lucky if they manage that.

Point is, the world's largest producer, the USA, will likely peak in a few months. The world's second-largest producer, Russia, is admitting they have peaked. The world's third-largest producer, Saudi Arabia, has very likely peaked though they do not admit it. OPEC likely peaked in 2016, *Iran and Venezuela notwithstanding.

*Iran peaked in 2005 at 3,938,000 bpd. My Venezuela records only go back to 2001 when they produced 2,961,000 bpd. However, they peaked several years before that. However, neither is producing at maximum capacity today due to political problems. However both are clearly in decline regardless of political problems keeping them from producing flat out.

If we are at peak oil right now we are damn close to it.

The Russian Chart below is C+C through December 2019.

REPLY

Ron Patterson Ignored says: 01/02/2020 AT 6:00 PM

Ovi, the data in my chart above is from the official Ministry of Energy web site, converting tons to barrels at 7.33 barrels per ton:
MINISTRY OF ENERGY OF RUSSIAN FEDERATION

The site has not updated the December numbers but the Minister has released them. They can be found here:

UPDATE 1-Russian oil, condensate output surges to record-high in 2019

In December, total oil and gas condensate stood at 11.262 million bpd, up from 11.244 million bpd in November, according to the data.

Those are the exact numbers I used in my chart above. And yes, 2019 was a new high, exactly as I stated in the post above. Its yearly average beat the 2018 yearly average by 90,000 bpd.

Concerning 2020 average, it could not be stated any clearer than this:

Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak expects Russian oil and condensate production of between 555 million tonnes and 565 million tonnes in 2020, or 11.12-11.32 million bpd using a conversion rate of 7.33 barrels per tonne of oil.

Or this from the link:
Russia's Interest In Oil Production Cuts Is Waning Bold mine:

Russia did not comply with the cuts in 2019.

Got an exemption for condensates at the OPEC meeting, though this was not discussed in the press conference.

Achieving another cut of 70,000 b/d in first quarter appears to be beyond its capability, given past statements.

Russia is planning level production for next 4 years.

And is prepared for oil prices to drop to $25-30 per barrel.

You wrote: I found this statement interesting, in that if they can't increase production, and are at max, why are they worried about market share.

I really don't understand that question. If they plan on producing 11.2 million barrels per day for the next four years, then they should be worried about their market share. Whether they can or cannot produce more than that is beside the point.

[Jan 08, 2020] US strategy and what the gas pipeline war is costing us by Manlio Dinucci

Jan 08, 2020 | www.voltairenet.org

After having forbidden the Chinese company Huawei to compete in the calls for tender for the 5G network, the United States are now forbidding the Europeans to increase their supplies of Russian gas. While the first decision was aimed at maintaining the coherence of NATO, the second is not a result of Russophobia, but of the 1992 " Wolfowitz doctrine " - preventing the EU from becoming a competitor of the " American Empire ". In both cases, the point is to infantilise the EU and keep it in a situation of dependence. Voltaire Network | Rome (Italy) | 30 December 2019 français italiano Español Português Türkçe română Deutsch norsk + -

JPEG - 25 kb
German chancellorAngela Merkel and her Minister of the Economy, Olaf Scholz, immediately denounced US interference.

Although they were locked in a convoluted struggle concerning the impeachment of President Trump, Republicans and Democrats in the Senate laid down their arms in order to vote, in quasi-unanimity, for the imposition of heavy sanctions on the companies participating in the construction of North Stream 2, the doubling of the gas pipeline which delivers Russian gas to Germany across the Baltic Sea. The main victims were the European companies which had helped finance the 11 billion dollar project with the Russian company Gazprom. The project is now 80 % finished. The Austrian company Omy, British/Dutch Royal Dutch Shell, French Engie, German companies Uniper and Wintershall, Italian Saipem and Swiss Allseas are also taking part in the laying of the pipeline.

The doubling of North Stream increases Europe's dependence on Russian gas, warn the United States. Above all, they are preoccupied by the fact that the gas pipeline – by crossing the Baltic in waters belonging to Russia, Finland, Sweden and Germany – thus avoids the Visegrad countries (Czech Republic, Slovakia, Poland and Hungary), the Baltic States and Ukraine. In other words, the European countries which have the closest ties to Washington through NATO (to which we must add Italy).

Rather than being economic, the goal for the USA is strategic. This is confirmed by the fact that the sanctions on North Stream 2 are included in the National Defense Authorization Act , the legislative act which, for fiscal year 2020, hands the Pentagon the colossal sum of 738 billion dollars for new wars and new weapons (including space weapons), to which must be added other posts which bring the US military expenditure to approximately 1,000 billion dollars. The economic sanctions on North Stream 2 are part of a politico-military escalation against Russia.

An ulterior confirmation can be found in the fact that the US Congress has established sanctions not only against North Stream 2, but also against the Turk-Stream, which, in its final phase of realisation, will bring Russian gas across the Black Sea to Eastern Thrace,the small European area of Turkey. From there, by another pipeline, Russian gas should be delivered to Bulgaria, Serbia and other European countries. This is the Russian riposte to the US action which managed to block the South Stream pipeline in 2014. South Stream was intended to link Russia to Italy across the Black Sea and by land to Tarvisio (Udine). Italy would therefore have become a switch platform for gas in the EU, with notable economic advantages. The Obama administration was able to scuttle the project, with the collaboration of the European Union.

The company Saipem (Italian Eni Group), once again affected by the US sanctions against North Stream 2, was severely hit by the blockage of South Stream – in 2014, it lost contracts to the value of 2.4 billion Euros, to which other contracts would have been added if the project had continued. But at the time, no-one in Italy or in the EU protested against the burial of the project which was being organised by the USA. Now German interests are in play, and critical voices are being raised in Germany and in the EU against US sanctions against North Stream 2.

Nothing is being said about the fact that the European Union has agreed to import liquified natural gas (LNG) from the USA, an extract from bituminous shale by the destructive technique of hydraulic fracturation (fracking). In order to damage Russia, Washington is attempting to reduce its gas exports to the EU, obliging European consumers to foot the bill. Since President Donald Trump and the President of the European Commission, Jean-Claude Juncker, signed in Washington in July 2018 the Joint Statement of 25 July: European Union imports of U.S. Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) , the EU has doubled its importation of LNG from the USA, co-financing the infrastructures via an initial expenditure of 656 million Euros. However, this did not save European companies from US sanctions. Manlio Dinucci

Translation
Pete Kimberley

[Jan 08, 2020] Without a steady supply of gas and oil from the Saudis and Emirates it will very quickly get cold and dark in Europe this winter and they'll soon regret allowing Uncle Sammmy to put a kink in Nord Stream 2 and TurkStream.

Jan 08, 2020 | caucus99percent.com

CB on Wed, 01/08/2020 - 1:26am

Can you please explain further?

@Situational Lefty
...The world is not dependent on Iranian oil. But it is dependent on Gulf oil and gas. A few missiles fired into a Q-Max will cause a real problem - mainly in Europe. Without a steady supply of gas and oil from the Saudis and Emirates it will very quickly get cold and dark in Europe this winter and they'll soon regret allowing Uncle Sammmy to put a kink in Nord Stream 2 and TurkStream.

Speaking of TurkStream, Putin will be going to Turkey to attend the official launching with Erdogan right after his pleasant visit with Assad . I wonder what in the world Putin and Erdogan are going to do with those extra 31.5 billion cubic meters of natural gas?

Russia and China are relatively isolated. American actions in the last 2 decades have caused the two to elope and their love affair is going strong. Putin and Xi have already had 30 intimate dates discussing just this very scenario.

Of course, the extra transport costs to ship America's shoes, underwear and pots to piss in is going to be a bitch for the now burgeoning poor class.

[Jan 08, 2020] A bit weird how Danes oscillate between obstructing and just harrassing. Both USA and Germany seem to have influence.

Jan 08, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

Piotr Berman , Jan 8 2020 14:55 utc | 55

Today Tass (or Tacc) gave a big update on Nord Stream-2.

Number one, Academic Cherskiy will remain in the Far East, because it is essential in completion of far more important projects than Nord Stream. Pipes from Sakhalin (and through Amur river? I am not sure on that) together have to deliver 80 [huge units] per year, and they will be laid by Tschersky (Nord Stream 2 has capacity 55 HU)

Number two. Danes softened their requirements. Concerning the specs for a pipe laying vessel, they can be satisfied by Fortuna that is finishing some bits in the German sector. Danes added requirement that the sea has to be sufficiently calm during the work, seems like weather when swimming is forbidden on Baltic beaches, but on summer usually it is permitted. So Fortuna will finish the job on the Baltic.

A bit weird how Danes oscillate between obstructing and just harrassing. Both USA and Germany seem to have influence.

Piotr Berman , Jan 8 2020 15:31 utc | 70

mk | Jan 8 2020 15:23 utc

So new progressive Danish government issued the permission in November, after full three months. And now they still make a gesture as if the wanted to inflict huge extra cost. That said, they were perhaps a bit slow in correcting disinformation.

[Jan 07, 2020] US strategy and what the gas pipeline war is costing us by Manlio Dinucci

Jan 07, 2020 | www.voltairenet.org

After having forbidden the Chinese company Huawei to compete in the calls for tender for the 5G network, the United States are now forbidding the Europeans to increase their supplies of Russian gas.

While the first decision was aimed at maintaining the coherence of NATO, the second is not a result of Russophobia, but of the 1992 " Wolfowitz doctrine " - preventing the EU from becoming a competitor of the " American Empire ". In both cases, the point is to infantilise the EU and keep it in a situation of dependence.

lthough they were locked in a convoluted struggle concerning the impeachment of President Trump, Republicans and Democrats in the Senate laid down their arms in order to vote, in quasi-unanimity, for the imposition of heavy sanctions on the companies participating in the construction of North Stream 2, the doubling of the gas pipeline which delivers Russian gas to Germany across the Baltic Sea. The main victims were the European companies which had helped finance the 11 billion dollar project with the Russian company Gazprom. The project is now 80 % finished. The Austrian company Omy, British/Dutch Royal Dutch Shell, French Engie, German companies Uniper and Wintershall, Italian Saipem and Swiss Allseas are also taking part in the laying of the pipeline.

The doubling of North Stream increases Europe's dependence on Russian gas, warn the United States. Above all, they are preoccupied by the fact that the gas pipeline – by crossing the Baltic in waters belonging to Russia, Finland, Sweden and Germany – thus avoids the Visegrad countries (Czech Republic, Slovakia, Poland and Hungary), the Baltic States and Ukraine. In other words, the European countries which have the closest ties to Washington through NATO (to which we must add Italy).

Rather than being economic, the goal for the USA is strategic. This is confirmed by the fact that the sanctions on North Stream 2 are included in the National Defense Authorization Act , the legislative act which, for fiscal year 2020, hands the Pentagon the colossal sum of 738 billion dollars for new wars and new weapons (including space weapons), to which must be added other posts which bring the US military expenditure to approximately 1,000 billion dollars. The economic sanctions on North Stream 2 are part of a politico-military escalation against Russia.

An ulterior confirmation can be found in the fact that the US Congress has established sanctions not only against North Stream 2, but also against the Turk-Stream, which, in its final phase of realisation, will bring Russian gas across the Black Sea to Eastern Thrace,the small European area of Turkey. From there, by another pipeline, Russian gas should be delivered to Bulgaria, Serbia and other European countries. This is the Russian riposte to the US action which managed to block the South Stream pipeline in 2014. South Stream was intended to link Russia to Italy across the Black Sea and by land to Tarvisio (Udine). Italy would therefore have become a switch platform for gas in the EU, with notable economic advantages. The Obama administration was able to scuttle the project, with the collaboration of the European Union.

The company Saipem (Italian Eni Group), once again affected by the US sanctions against North Stream 2, was severely hit by the blockage of South Stream – in 2014, it lost contracts to the value of 2.4 billion Euros, to which other contracts would have been added if the project had continued. But at the time, no-one in Italy or in the EU protested against the burial of the project which was being organised by the USA. Now German interests are in play, and critical voices are being raised in Germany and in the EU against US sanctions against North Stream 2.

Nothing is being said about the fact that the European Union has agreed to import liquified natural gas (LNG) from the USA, an extract from bituminous shale by the destructive technique of hydraulic fracturation (fracking). In order to damage Russia, Washington is attempting to reduce its gas exports to the EU, obliging European consumers to foot the bill. Since President Donald Trump and the President of the European Commission, Jean-Claude Juncker, signed in Washington in July 2018 the Joint Statement of 25 July: European Union imports of U.S. Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) , the EU has doubled its importation of LNG from the USA, co-financing the infrastructures via an initial expenditure of 656 million Euros. However, this did not save European companies from US sanctions. Manlio Dinucci

[Jan 03, 2020] Secondary sanctions are evil because they prevent minor transactions because banks don't think it is worth the severe penalties.

Jan 03, 2020 | thenewkremlinstooge.wordpress.com

cartman January 2, 2020 at 4:54 pm

How Our Economic Warfare Brings the World to Heel

Nothing untrue in this article. Secondary sanctions are evil because they prevent minor transactions because banks don't think it is worth the severe penalties. So Iranian cancer patients aren't allowed to buy chemotherapy medications. Trump has gone overboard because he has learned that there is no political cost to doling these out.

I think this is how US dominance will end. No challengers will end it, although some may rise in the vacuum. The internal changes the US needs to make to come back are politically impossible. Sanctions are big government on steroids, and having the US Government sitting atop the global economy will cause it to seize up. The question is how long commerce will be able to continue under these conditions.

[Jan 03, 2020] The USA have an upper hand in the current scirmish of the gas war with Russia. But that does not guarantee the final victory as Ukraine might switch sides by victor Kaminenvv

With the USA help Ukraine got three billions from Russia. But that might mean that if Ukraine does not switch sides the Ukrainian transit will became minuscule and unable to help Ukraine to survive financially. Then what ?
Jan 02, 2020 | topwar.ru

The introduction of us sanctions against Nord stream 2, immediately signed by President trump, created a new situation in Europe at the request of the Congress.

The Stockholm verdict

Gazprom retreated from its positions and agreed to an agreement with Naftogaz on transit, including the payment of 2.9 billion dollars to Kiev according to the verdict of the Stockholm arbitration, this is a difficult compromise for Moscow and a consequence of American sanctions that actually suspended the construction of the SP-2 for at least six months.

I can't help remembering how President Yanukovych received three billion dollars of credit from Moscow, and now President Zelensky also received almost three billion, although on other grounds, according to the decision of the Stockholm arbitration.

But Moscow gave money, and immediately, although it could stretch these payments with gas supplies, which Naftogaz agreed to. Moscow seems to be banking on Zelensky in his projected clash with the nationalists behind Poroshenko. As a lesser evil.

Big European game

The Stockholm billions and Ukrainian transit are also a big European policy. For the first time, us sanctions hit Germany and Europe as a whole: all energy and construction companies related to the SP-2. Germany's energy supply was under threat.

In this situation, Russia is making compromises and concessions on Ukrainian transit, and Ukraine is also making compromises on its part, apparently under pressure from Germany and the European Union. As a result, Russia and Germany with their friends and the SP-2 are situationally in the same boat against US sanctions. This is an important episode in the unfolding Great European game for gas and its delivery routes.

Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov makes a sharp statement: "Russia will definitely respond to the sanctions against the SP-2." So as not to"shoot yourself in the foot." Almost simultaneously, the US intelligence agencies are giving Moscow information about the upcoming terrorist attacks in St. Petersburg -- an incredible fact, given the current relations between Washington and Moscow, unless President trump wants to soften Moscow's reaction to the sanctions against SP-2, hinting that he was forced to sign them.

By the sum of circumstances

Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Kozak called the payment of $ 2.9 billion to Kiev "a difficult decision, a choice between bad and very bad." What is the difference between " bad " and "very bad"?

Here are the congressional sanctions that really slowed down the construction of the SP-2, and the judicial burden in the international courts under the influence of the United States, and the situation in Ukraine. And soon there will be a trial in London on a three-billion-dollar loan from Russia to Ukraine during the time of President Yanukovych -- this seems to be another reason why we had to pay for the Stockholm gas verdict.

If Russia refused to pay the debt awarded in Stockholm, the London court could on this basis refuse to consider the claim of Russia. And so, too, Moscow paid 2.9 billion dollars to Kiev immediately in money. Of course, the London court may follow the Stockholm path, but then the West and its financial system will lose their reputation in the non-Western world, and Russia may declare the West a non-legal community.

Victory as treason (Peremoga as zrada)

In General the Ukrainian "Naftogaz" behaves very recklessly and boldly with "Gazprom", flooding it with lawsuits. His" victory " is undoubtedly Pyrrhic, since Gazprom, as an energy supplier, will be able to recoup its Stockholm losses.

"Naftogaz" as if Ukrainian, because it is really run by American managers, for them "Naftogaz – - only a tool to counter Russia, and what will happen then, it does not matter. What could it be? There may not be a discount of 25 percent, which was in the rejected package of "Gazprom". New agreements – new discounts.

On the other hand, Gazprom's concessions are due to the entire sum of the political and economic circumstances of the great European game: Moscow is still trying to create a Moscow-Berlin axis against us sanctions pressure.

[Jan 02, 2020] The EU's LNG imports jumped by 102 percent on the year, with Russia accounting for 19 percent of LNG imports, second only to Qatar with 30 percent, and ahead of the U.S. with 12 percent

Jan 02, 2020 | oilprice.com

In Q2 2019, thanks to the LNG supply glut and converging prices, the EU's LNG imports jumped by 102 percent on the year, with Russia accounting for 19 percent of LNG imports, second only to Qatar with 30 percent, and ahead of the U.S. with 12 percent, the European Commission's Quarterly Report on European Gas Markets shows .

Between January and November, LNG imports into Europe including Turkey hit a record high, beating the previous record from 2011, the EIA said in its latest natural gas update. The U.S., Russia, and Qatar boosted their LNG supplies to Europe this year, and the U.S. beat Russia in volumes supplied to Europe in the latter part of the year, EIA data shows.

While Russia and the U.S. compete for gas market share in Europe, the U.S. hit Russia's Nord Stream 2 project with sanctions this month, delaying the completion of the project with at least several months.

Following the announcement of the sanctions, Switzerland-based offshore pipelay and subsea construction company Allseas immediately suspended Nord Stream 2 pipelay activities.

Also

The agreement between Gazprom and Naftogaz provides for the rejection of new claims, withdrawal of claims, payment by the decision of the Stockholm arbitration-Miller

MOSCOW, Dec 21-RIA Novosti. Gas transit through Ukraine in 2020 will be 65 billion cubic meters, and 40 billion in 2021-2024, said the Head of "Gazprom" Alexey Miller.

In turn, the Minister of energy of Ukraine Oleksiy Orzhel noted that the tariff will increase due to a decrease in pumping volumes.

The agreement provides for the rejection of new claims, the withdrawal of claims and the payment of about 2.9 billion dollars on the decisions of the Stockholm arbitration court.

In addition, Gazprom and Naftogaz will sign an agreement to settle mutual claims under existing contracts. With Kiev, the Russian company will sign a settlement agreement to withdraw the claim of the Antimonopoly Committee of Ukraine.

The European Commission in the framework of the new agreement on gas cooperation guarantees the compliance of transit with EU standards, the Ukrainian side-the independence of the regulator, protection of the interests of the transit customer, predictability and economic feasibility of tariff formation.

MOSCOW, Dec 21-RIA Novosti. "Gazprom" and "Operator of GTS of Ukraine" on Saturday are preparing in Vienna inter-operator agreement signed on Friday between Russia and Ukraine Protocol of the contract on gas transit and settlement of mutual claims is already working, told reporters the representative of "Gazprom".

[Jan 02, 2020] The end of Ukranian gas rent, which is due to the fact that USSR lay piplenes via its terroty is near

Notable quotes:
"... With Nordstream II becoming operational, Russia can bypass Ukraine completely in supplying gas to EU countries and Ukraine will only receive enough gas for its own needs. Ukraine becomes a liability to the West as that country continues its slow and agonising collapse. Perhaps in 2020 the Donetsk and Lugansk oblasts may officially declare their independence and apply for inclusion into the Russian Federation, or combine into a new nation. Other adjoining oblasts (Kharkiv?) may follow suit. Transcarpathia oblast in the far west of Ukraine may declare independence and then apply to join Hungary. ..."
Jan 02, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

Jen , Dec 31 2019 19:49 utc | 37

Dear B,

Nordstream II should be completed in 2020 in spite of the many handicaps and threats of sanctions the US has applied against Germany if the pipeline project continues. Its completion is bound to change the geopolitical landscape in central and eastern Europe considerably.

With Nordstream II becoming operational, Russia can bypass Ukraine completely in supplying gas to EU countries and Ukraine will only receive enough gas for its own needs. Ukraine becomes a liability to the West as that country continues its slow and agonising collapse. Perhaps in 2020 the Donetsk and Lugansk oblasts may officially declare their independence and apply for inclusion into the Russian Federation, or combine into a new nation. Other adjoining oblasts (Kharkiv?) may follow suit. Transcarpathia oblast in the far west of Ukraine may declare independence and then apply to join Hungary.

Volodymyr Zelensky may not last long as President and is likely to be turfed out in a coup. Civil war will come again to Ukraine but not in its Russian-speaking east.

Belarus should be monitoring its own southern borders. Maybe crunch-time is coming for President Lukashenko there as to whether he should align Belarus more closely with Russia or with the EU instead of trying to get the best of both worlds by playing one against the other.

My predictions for 2020 are that Ukraine's final collapse and fragmentation will start, that the use of threats and sanctions continues to isolate the US to its detriment, and that (maybe, just maybe) the collapse of Ukraine will lead to some of the truth of what actually happened to Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 becoming public with whistleblowers in the investigation finally coming forward.


Lydia , Dec 31 2019 19:57 utc | 39

To prevent the truth about MH17 becoming common knowledge, the powers that be will really crack down on the Internet.
Perimetr , Jan 1 2020 16:42 utc | 93
Re Jen @37 "With Nordstream II becoming operational, Russia can bypass Ukraine completely in supplying gas to EU countries and Ukraine will only receive enough gas for its own needs."

Zerohedge reports Ukraine & Russia Ink Landmark Gas Transit Deal Hammering European Gas Prices

I am hoping this is a bad joke, but perhaps not. I suppose, if true, it will prevent a lot of Ukrainians from freezing to death this winter. But considering the benefits it will provide to the Ukro-nazis who hate Russia, I have to wonder about the decision-making process in Moscow.

[Jan 01, 2020] "Freedom gas" named Worst Words of the Year

Jan 01, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

Mao , Dec 30 2019 9:03 utc | 48

"Freedom gas" named Worst Words of the Year

Plain English Foundation has voted freedom gas as the worst word or phrase of 2019.

The term comes from the United States Department of Energy, which rebranded natural gas as "freedom gas" and boasted about bringing molecules of US freedom to the world.

"When a simple product like natural gas starts being named through partisan politics, we are entering dangerous terrain," said the Foundation's Executive Director, Dr Neil James. "Why can't natural gas just remain natural gas?"

Each year, Plain English Foundation gathers dozens of examples of the worst words to highlight the importance of clear and ethical public language.

The full list of 2019's worst words and phrases follows.

https://www.plainenglishfoundation.com/documents/10179/636280/2019_Worst_Words_media_release

[Dec 31, 2019] The US is now openly dismissive as a matter of law any ally or partner who engages in economic activity it disapproves by Tom Luongo

Dec 26, 2019 | astutenews.com

Europe is willing to defy the U.S. on Nordstream to the point of forcing the U.S. to openly and nakedly destroy its reputation with European contractors and governments to stop one pipeline in a place where multiple gas pipelines will be needed for future growth.

This is the diplomatic equivalent of the nuclear option. And the neocons in the Senate just pushed the button. Europe understands what this is really about, the U.S. retaining its imperial position as the policy setter for all the world. If it can set energy policy for Europe then it can set everything else.

And it's clear that the leadership in Europe is done with that status quo. The Trump administration from the beginning has used NATO as an excuse to mask its real intentions towards Europe, which is continued domination of its policies. Trump complains that the U.S. pays into NATO to protect Europe from Russia but then Europe buys its energy from Russia. That's unfair, Donald complains, like a little bitch, frankly, even though he right on the surface. But if the recent NATO summit is any indication, Europe is no longer interested in NATO performing that function. French President Emmanuel Macron wants NATO re-purposed to fight global terror, a terrible idea. NATO should just be ended.

But you'll notice how Trump doesn't talk about that anymore. He wants more billions pumped into NATO while the U.S. still sets its policies. This is not a boondoggle for the MIC as much as it's a Sword of Damocles to hold over Europe's head. The U.S.'s involvement in should be ended immediately, the troops brought home and the billions of dollars spent here as opposed to occupying most of Europe to point missiles at a Russia wholly uninterested in imperial ambitions no less harboring any of them.

And Trump also knows this but thinks stopping Nordstream 2 is the price Europe has to pay him for this privilege. It's insane. The time has come for Europe to act independently from the U.S. As much as I despise the EU, to untangle it from the U.S. on energy policy is the means by which for it to then deal with its problems internally. It can't do that while the U.S. is threatening it. Circling the wagons against the immediate threat, as it were.

And that means protecting its companies and citizens from the economic depredations of power-mad neoconservatives in the U.S. Senate like Ted Cruz and Lindsey Graham.

Allseas, the Swiss company laying the pipe for Nordstream 2, has halted construction for now , awaiting instructions from the U.S. Gazprom will likely step in to finish the job and Germany will green light any of the necessary permits to get the pipeline done. Those people will be put out of work just in time for Christmas, turning thousands of people against the U.S. Commerce drives people together, politics drives them apart.

But, at the same time, the urgency to finish Nordstream 2 on time is wholly irrelevant now because Ukraine and Russia came to terms on a new five-year gas transit contract. This ensures Gazprom can meet its contractual deliveries to Europe that no one thought could be done on time. But when the Nazi threat to Zelensky meeting with Merkel, Macron and Putin in Paris failed to materialize, a gas deal was on the horizon.

And, guess what? U.S. LNG will still not have the marginal lever over Europe's energy policy because of that. Putin and Zelensky outmaneuvered Cruz, Graham and Trump on this. Because that's what this boils down to. By keeping Russian gas out of Europe, it was supposed to constrain not only Russia's growth but also Europe's. Because then the U.S. government can control who and how much energy can make it into European markets at critical junctures politically.

That was the Bolton Doctrine to National Security. And that doctrine brought nothing but misery to millions.

And if you look back over the past five years of U.S./EU relations you will see this gambit clearly for what it was, a way to continue European vassalage at the hands of the U.S. by forcing market share of U.S. providers into European markets.

Again, it gets back to Trump's ideas about Emergy Dominance and becoming the supplier of the marginal erg of energy to important economies around the world.

The smart play for the EU now that the gas transit deal is in place is to threaten counter-sanctions against the U.S. and bar all LNG shipments into Europe. Gas prices are at historic lows, gas supplies are overflowing thanks to fears of a deal not being in place.

So, a three to six month embargo of U.S. LNG into Europe to bleed off excess supply while Nordstream 2 is completed would be the right play politically.

But, in reality, they won't need to, because the U.S. won't be able to import much into Europe under current prices and market conditions. And once Nordstream 2 is complete, LNG sales to Europe should crater.

In the end, I guess it's too bad for Ted Cruz that economics and basic human ingenuity are more powerful than legislatures. Because Nordstream 2 will be completed. Turkstream's other trains into Europe will be built. Venezuela will continue rebuilding its energy sector with Russian and Chinese help.

There is no place for U.S. LNG in Europe outside of the Poles literally burning money virtue signaling their Russophobia. Nordstream 2 was a response to the revolt in Ukraine, to replace any potential losses in market share to Europe. Now Russia will have what it had before passing through Ukraine along with Nordstream 2. By 2024 there will be at least two trains from Turkstream coming into Europe.

Iran will keep expanding exports, settling its oil and gas trade through Russian banks. And the U.S. will continue to fulminate and make itself even more irrelevant over time. What men like Ted Cruz and Donald Trump refuse to understand is that when you go nuclear you can't ever go back. If you threaten the nuclear option, there's no fall back position.

And when those that you threaten with annihilation survive they are made all the stronger for passing through the eye of the needle. Looking at Gazprom's balance sheet right now, that's my take.


By Tom Luongo. Source: Gold Goats 'n Guns

[Dec 31, 2019] Israel will not be supplying Germany gas any time soon.

Dec 31, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

Bianca , Dec 30 2019 19:48 utc | 54

FYI

Being almost 100% sure that Israeli cornering East Mediterranean gas reserves was a done deal
and after Cyprus gerrymandered its EEZ under UNCLOS -- and Greece signing up
as pipeline terminus in Europe -- Trump put this cart before horse -- and sanctioned
Nord Stream. Europe was to get Israeli gas. Then Turkey and Libya declared EZZ,
and pipeline cannot go!
Also. there will be other claimants to reserves -- Turkey, Syria, Lebanon, Gaza.

Nice try -- but Israel will not be supplying Germany gas any time soon.

[Dec 29, 2019] Last Week's Russian-Ukrainian Gas Deal Took the World by Surprise by Andrew Korybko

Dec 29, 2019 | astutenews.com

Like it was earlier noted, the "New Detente" isn't perfect, as seen most recently by the US' decision to impose sanctions on the companies involved in Nord Stream II's construction, but once again, the state of relations in general are still comparatively better than their nadir in mid-2014 immediately after the EuroMaidan coup and Crimea's reunification with Russia. The US is still trying to "contain" Russia with mixed success, while Russia is undertaking its best efforts to break out of this "containment" noose and even "flip" some of the US' traditional partners such as Turkey, so the New Cold War probably won't end anytime soon. Nor, for that matter, did anybody reasonably expect that it would, but just like during the Old Cold War, there comes a time when the involved parties believe that it's in their best interests to proverbially take a break and enter into a period of detente. It seems as though that phase is only now just beginning but which has finally borne some fruit after Trump promised to pursue this outcome all throughout the 2016 campaign.

One can argue over why that hasn't already happened to the extent that he promised (or even if he was fully sincere in the first place), but the point to focus on in the here and now is that some tangible progress has finally been made concerning the future of Russia's trans-Ukrainian gas supplies to the EU. From the looks of it, all the relevant players -- Russia, Ukraine, the EU, and the US -- have concrete interests in seeing that this agreement is upheld. It's convenient for Russia to continue using existing pipelines, Ukraine wants to get paid for its transit role, the EU desires reliable but cheap gas imports, and the US recognizes that this outcome perpetuates the geostrategic role of its Ukrainian proxy that it could then leverage as a "bargaining chip" for reaching a more substantive "New Detente" with Russia sometime next year or the one afterwards. That said, while each player has their interests, they don't exactly trust one another for different reasons, which means that the "New Detente" might still be offset if any of them decides to play the spoiler or is undermined by their "deep states".

[Dec 28, 2019] Washington's Unmasked Imperialism Towards Europe And Russia

Notable quotes:
"... Sorry to burst your bubble, but since the end of the Soviet System (with Western criminal thieving BILLIONAIRES who rushed in to plunder Russia (Yeltsin Years) ---- Russians now live longer than the degraded, and impoverished Americans with what the Junk Food Nation serves in the US of A. ..."
Dec 28, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

https://www.dianomi.com/smartads.epl?id=4777 Washington's Unmasked Imperialism Towards Europe And Russia by Tyler Durden Sat, 12/28/2019 - 07:00 0 SHARES

Via The Strategic Culture Foundation,

Washington must think the rest of the world is as stupid as many of its own politicians are. Its passing into law – signed by President Trump this week – of sanctions to halt the Nord Stream-2 and Turk Stream gas supply projects is a naked imperialist move to bludgeon the European energy market for its own economic advantage.

US sanctions are planned to hit European companies involved with Russia's Gazprom in the construction of the 1,225-kilometer pipeline under the Baltic Sea which will deliver natural gas from Russia to Germany and elsewhere across the European Union. The €9.5 billion ($11bn) project is 80 per cent complete and is due to be finished early next year.

It is quite clear – because US politicians have openly acknowledged it – that Washington's aim is to oust Russia as the main natural gas exporter to the giant EU market, and to replace with more expensive American-produced gas.

What's hilarious is the way American politicians, diplomats and news media are portraying this US assault on market principles and the sovereignty of nations as an act of chivalry.

Washington claims that the sanctions are "pro-European" because they are "saving Europe from dependency on Russia for its energy". The American hypocrisy crescendoes with the further claim that by stopping Russia earning lucrative export revenues, then Moscow will be constrained from "interfering" in European nations. As if Washington's own actions are not interference on a massive scale.

European politicians and businesses are not buying this American claptrap. The vast overstepping by Washington into European affairs has prompted EU governments to question the nature of the trans-Atlantic relation. About time too. Thus, Washington's hubris and bullying are undermining its objective of dominating Europe for its own selfish interests.

Russia, Germany and others have defiantly told Washington its weaponizing of economic sanctions will not halt the Nord Stream nor the Turk Stream projects.

As German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas said earlier this month, "it is unacceptable" for the US to brazenly interfere in European and Russian energy trade. The American pretext of supposedly "protecting" the national security of its purported European allies is frankly laughable.

The American agenda is a blatantly imperialistic reordering of the energy market to benefit US economic interests. To pull off this audacious scam, Washington, by necessity, has to demonize and isolate Russia, while also trampling roughshod over its European allies. Europe has partly aided this American stitch-up of its own interests because it has foolishly indulged in the US antagonism towards Russia with sanctions due to the Ukraine conflict, Crimea and other anti-Russia smears.

The legislation being whistled through the American Congress by both Republicans and Democrats (collectively dubbed the War Party) is recklessly fueling tensions between the US and Russia. In trying to gain economic advantages over Europe's energy, Washington is wantonly ramping up animus towards Moscow.

Apart from the sanctions against Russian and European companies partnering on Nord Stream, the US Congress passed separate legislation which seeks to boost American oil and gas production in the East Mediterranean.

A Radio Free Europe report this week was headlined: 'Congress Passes More Legislation Aimed At Curbing Russia's Energy Grip On Europe'.

The headline should more accurately have been worded: 'Congress Passes More Legislation Aimed At Bolstering America's Energy Grip On Europe'.

The RFE report states: "The bipartisan Eastern Mediterranean Security and Energy Partnership Act, which was approved on December 19, is the latest piece of US legislation passed this year that aims to diversify [sic] Europe's energy sources away from Kremlin-controlled companies."

Again, the American double-think is jaw-dropping. Such is the arrogance of a flailing, delusional empire when it can publicly justify with a straight face an energy-market-grab with a veneer of virtue.

US oil and gas giants are moving into the East Mediterranean. Exxon Mobil announced the discovery of a major natural gas field off Cyprus in February this year. American firms are also partnering with Israeli companies to begin gas production in the Leviathan Field located off the coast at Haifa.

There is no doubt that the US sanctions targeting Nord Stream and Turk Stream are part of a bigger concerted pincer movement by Washington to corner the EU energy market of 500 million consumers (more than double the US population).

Colin Cavell, a US professor of political science, commented to Strategic Culture Foundation: "What should be hammered down in this continuing debate over which country will be able to deliver oil and natural gas to Europe is the fact that neither the United States nor, and especially, the Republican Party, stand for so-called free trade."

Free-trade capitalism is supposed to be an ideological pillar of the US. In this ideology, governments should not interfere with market supply and demand. But paradoxically as far as US-imposed sanctions on Russian-European energy companies are concerned the American Congress is "quintessentially anti-free market", notes Cavell.

In its shameless profiteering, Washington is acting aggressively towards Russia and Europe while flouting its own supposed economic principles and relying on brute force to win its arguments. America's imperialist agenda towards Europe and Russia is how world wars are instigated.


radbug , 51 minutes ago link

In passing this legislation, the Washington elite have crossed a Rubicon. They can't go back. WW2 in Europe has finally ended.

Scipio Africanuz , 2 hours ago link

The Teutons, the critical component in Europe, have begun grafting titanium onto their spine..

Once the grafting is complete, GOLD ascends, and takes its rightful place, along with plentiful, accessible, and friendly energy..

The focus is now fully East and Central, and why?

Because as always, the rising of the sun starts in the East..

Cheers...

hayits grass , 2 hours ago link

Pretty good. Europe is a great continent. No more sucking the teat of USA.

cheoll , 2 hours ago link

Every EMPIRE has its Achilles's heel.

America is NO different.

ReturnOfDaMac , 2 hours ago link

"You will buy our more expensive, less efficient, non-market solution, you will pay for it with King Dollars, and by gawd, YOU WILL LIKE IT, now shuddup, Vassals!" -- Uncle Scam and the Reloonicans

CrazzeTimes4all , 3 hours ago link

If the US is seeking another world war, then they can host this one.

KingFiat , 3 hours ago link

I live in Denmark, a country Nord Stream 2 is going through. We are (used to be?) one of the strongest allies to the US. But recent developments have alienated a lot of danes to the US.

First Trump publicly announced he wanted to buy the isle of Greenland from Denmark. Greenland is the largest isle in the world and of strategic importance. But you don't just buy a part of another country, and this offer was firmly refused. As response to the refusal Trump cancelled a previously planned official visit to Denmark. This was seen by most danes as an insult.

Denmark was the last country holding out on permissions needed to build Nord Stream 2, but after this incident we allowed the project to go forward. I believe the Greenland incident caused the change making Denmark approve Nord Stream 2.

After this we have had other incidents. One is on the Faroe Islands (a part of Denmark), where both US and Chinese ambassadors interfered in our internal affairs trying to influence if Huawei could be used for 5G in this self-governing part of our country. Another is a follow-up to the Greenland incident mentioned, where the US now wants to open a diplomatic mission on the island, probably in an attempt to influence the local government to accept that the US buys the island.

During the last year I have seen sentiment among my fellow citizens going from "the US is great, let us support and follow them" to "we have to be careful of these guys, they interfere in our internal affairs and try to break up our country".

I believe the US government is underestimating how much they are alienating the Europeans with this line of foreing policy.

Versengetorix , 2 hours ago link

You are correct, but please understand that this is not our foreign policy. It is Israel's and they run America- have for several decades now.

CogitoMan , 1 hour ago link

Its a guess but I think there are other hidden issues here nobody wants to talk about. Of course, Trump idea of buying the island was stupid but I believe it arouse out of frustration. You see, US wants to build huge military base there. Danes won't permit that. The reason US wants to do it is because sea between Iceland and England/Norway is a chokepoint aimed against Russian subs. This is the only place where they can be reasonably stopped. It is nothing new, the same thing happened during WWII war at so called "war of Atlantic" where the most of the fighting happened between German U-boats and alliance marines.

NickelthroweR , 44 minutes ago link

You most certainly can buy land from other countries. Thomas Jefferson purchased the entire center of N. America from the French and for pennies. We also purchased Alaska from the Russians for next to nothing as well. Both land masses are much larger than all of Europe.

You guys don't need Greenland so give it to us for pennies.

Aussiestirrer , 3 hours ago link

USA = World's Terrorist Superpower....nothing more

RDouglas , 4 hours ago link

Russia has the largest proven reserves of easily recoverable oil and natural gas on Earth. The US has about a decade to choke Russia to death. Economic sanctions, regime change, cyber attacks...whatever it takes. If the US doesn't utterly break Russia soon, Russia will become the next, (and last) empire on Earth. NeoConThink.

CogitoMan , 2 hours ago link

Quote...

"The US has about a decade to choke Russia to death. "

Actually you are absolutely wrong on this. It is the other way around. Russia has to get out of US chokefold NOW or it will likely disintegrate.

Why? In short, economy, geogaphy and even more importantly demographics.

Today there are about 110 million native Russians there. Next to them are about 40 million muslims living there. Muslims have about twice as big reproduction rate as Russians do. It is estimated that in 30 years if current trends stand it will be 50/50. Worse, in ten years there will be only about 90 million Russians living there.

There are other issues as well. About 25 percent of Russian men die before the age of 55. The reason? Alcoholism and drug abuse. Have you ever heard about cheap Rusian drug called Krokodil?

It kills you slowly first then fast. Your body just ROTS AWAY and falls off. Literally! Like you have bare bones instead of feet. No kidding. Just check on you tube.

Another problem is soldier materiel. It is estimated that only about 30 percent of males between the age of 18-25 are healthy enough to join military. As of today it is barely sufficient to fill the ranks. In 10 years Russian military will have to shrink by 20 percent. From that perspective it is do or die for Russia right now. This is most likely the peak of their military power, then it will slowly deteriorate. Putin knows that, hence he lashes out at its neighbours, most notably Poland. Economy shrinks, military is on vane, hence he needs an enemy to rally his people around. Or else!

Then there is China. Make your best bet what they will do in the far east when Russia lies prostate.Remember, Russia took over a lot of Chinese territory in late XIX century there. Yep, the area around Vladivostok and other nearby territories, the size close to that of today's France..There are millions of Chinese already living there.In the Asian south Chinese already took controll of the former Russian stans. They rule there, not Putin. You didn't know that?

Makes me wonder why....

Rubicon727 , 1 hour ago link

"There are other issues as well. About 25 percent of Russian men die before the age of 55. The reason? Alcoholism and drug abuse. Have you ever heard about cheap Rusian drug called Krokodil?

It kills you slowly first then fast. Your body just ROTS AWAY and falls off. Literally! Like you have bare bones instead of feet. No kidding. Just check on you tube."

---------------------------------------------------------------------------

Sorry to burst your bubble, but since the end of the Soviet System (with Western criminal thieving BILLIONAIRES who rushed in to plunder Russia (Yeltsin Years) ---- Russians now live longer than the degraded, and impoverished Americans with what the Junk Food Nation serves in the US of A.

Gonzogal , 47 minutes ago link

here is some news for you.... Russians' Alcohol Consumption Drops 80% in 7 Years

Mustafa Kemal , 4 hours ago link

" Washington must think the rest of the world is as stupid as many of its own politicians are"

No, washington thinks no such thing. It doesnt really understand how stupid its own politicians are. Nor DOES IT CARE!.

Did anyone watch the impeachment proceedings? Now, THAT was stupid, stupid for the whole world to watch. And then there is the chocoate cake diplomacy of Trump, the elegance and sophistication of Pompeo, Bolton, and the digniity of Nikki Haley. Putting Raytheon to run our Pentagon is a magical touch.

LOL, the US clownshow is way past stupid.

vasilievich , 4 hours ago link

Comment from a friend of mine concerning the statement below. He has excellent security credentials:

"Our President has made the world far more dangerous by withdrawing from treaties without attempting to negotiate new ones. No country is well served by this. The situation is very destabilizing."

vasilievich , 4 hours ago link

September 22 of this year :

The Minister of Defense of the Russian Federation Sergey Shoigu:

- I hope that a full-scale war is not a question today. And all the risks and consequences that such a full-scale war entails are obvious to everyone.

Regarding the third world war, there are a very large number of different statements. The most accurate and adequate of them seems to me: "I do not know exactly what the third world war will be. But I know for sure that she will be the last. "

However, if we talk about the number of threats to our country, then they do not become less. The United States has already withdrawn from two important nuclear arms control treaties. So far, the START-3 treaty remains, which is also under discussion in the USA: to renew it or not to renew it?

As a result of this approach, the world is becoming more unpredictable and less secure. At the current level of informatization and automation, there is a high probability of errors in the weapons control system.

That is why recently issues of ensuring information security have come to the fore. When you are aware of your vulnerability and are interested in maintaining balance and universal equal security, it makes you turn on your head.

And when you think how the United States continues to believe by inertia that a balance of power has developed in your favor, a variety of ideas may come to your head, including not the most reasonable ones. It is in this situation that I see the main threat now, and not only for Russia, "the minister replied.

Obamaroid Ointment , 4 hours ago link

U.N. Approves China-Backed Internet Convention, Alarming Rights Advocates

Josef Stalin , 5 hours ago link

Washington must think the rest of the world is as stupid as many of its own politicians are

CDN_Rebel , 5 hours ago link

It's good cop/bad cop nonsense. Europe is occupied territory, and American huffing and puffing at Russia is just meant to get Europe "better deals" for their projects with Russia. The only ones who don't get it are spooks and Neo-Libs/Cons

What is not expected is rational discussion on what I have described here. But since facts contrary to my expose here are missing I doubt it will happen.

Mustafa Kemal , 4 hours ago link

" But remember also that todays Russia is ruled by a Tsar named Putin"

Im amazed at how long this silly meme can be maintained.

Putin is NOT and autocrat, he has to struggle with a delicate balance. between the Atlantic integrationists and Eurasiaon soveriigntists. The oligarchy installed by the US is still strong in Russian. They have not won their soveriignty yet.

IronForge , 6 hours ago link

Because Oligopoly, Economic Slavery, and Vassaldom is Freedom!

BlueLightning , 6 hours ago link

When your only industry left is the MIC what else can you do but sanctions or war.

[Dec 25, 2019] Washington s sanctions are own goal

Notable quotes:
"... Time and time again Washington has tightened Russian sanctions in an effort to crush the Russian economy. When virtually every legal outlet had been sanctioned, Washington has turned to sanctioning third parties that cooperate with Russia. ..."
"... North American investors, led fully by Wall Street, account for over half of the foreign capital flowing into Russian stocks, according to the Moscow Exchange. By comparison, Russia's next door neighbors in Europe account for only 26%. ..."
"... Speaking on German TV, Finance Minister Olaf Scholz said the sanctions were an infringement of sovereignty... The US sanctions have also angered Russia and the European Union, which says it should be able to decide its own energy policies. ..."
"... "As a matter of principle, the EU opposes the imposition of sanctions against EU companies conducting legitimate business," a spokesman for the trading bloc told AFP news agency on Saturday. ..."
"... According to German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas, the American sanctions amount to "interference in autonomous decisions taken in Europe." ..."
"... Iran, Malaysia, Turkey and Qatar are considering trading among themselves in gold and through a barter system as a hedge against any future economic sanctions on them, Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad said on Saturday. ..."
"... They have their own undersea pipe-laying equipment and experience. These sanctions will only delay the completion date for a few more months. Russia under Putin is very patient, resolute and not prone to rash decisions. They play the long game and will win out in the end. ..."
"... The Great Gas Game: Vesti Presents a New Documentary Film About Pipelines and Power youtube.com ..."
"... Nord Stream 2 is financed by leading energy companies from France, Germany, the Netherlands, Great Britain and Austria, ENGIE, OMV, Shell, Uniper and Wintershall Dea. A multi-billion Euro investment in European industry and services, the project involves more than 200 companies from 17 countries worldwide. ..."
"... Well, congratulations Congress and Trump. This will drive a wedge between the US and Europe. Can you just imagine how those investing in NS2 feel about the US. The US is saying in effect - lose all of your investment because we have determined that the project is against our geopolitical/economic interests. And to make matters worse the pipeline will be completed, probably only 2 months behind schedule. So the financial backers will get hit, but will eventually see returns due to Russian efforts. Russia could have built the entire pipeline themselves, but preferred to have European partners. ..."
"... to Europe at the start of the 1980's, the US had just gone through the Oil Shock of 1978–79 . The US has not been a net exporter of oil for well over 75 years. It is only this year that this has changed through the extensive use of fracking. ..."
Dec 25, 2019 | caucus99percent.com

gjohnsit on Tue, 12/24/2019 - 12:18pm

own goal noun: (in soccer) a goal scored inadvertently when the ball is struck into the goal by a player on the defensive team.

Time and time again Washington has tightened Russian sanctions in an effort to crush the Russian economy. When virtually every legal outlet had been sanctioned, Washington has turned to sanctioning third parties that cooperate with Russia.

So what is the net effect of all of these sanctions?

The Russian stock market has reached record highs this year but still has room to climb further in coming months before paring gains towards the end of 2020, a Reuters poll of market experts found...
The rouble-based MOEX index has reached an all-time high of 3,009.1 in November, taking its year-to-date gain to over 25%, and is seen finishing this year at 3,000.

That's not exactly what Washington had in mind. However the real kicker is this .

North American investors, led fully by Wall Street, account for over half of the foreign capital flowing into Russian stocks, according to the Moscow Exchange. By comparison, Russia's next door neighbors in Europe account for only 26%.

So what is happening is that Washington is punishing Europe for cooperating with Russia, while turning a blind eye to when their Wall Street donors cooperate with Russia. As you may have guessed, this has created some hard feelings .

Speaking on German TV, Finance Minister Olaf Scholz said the sanctions were an infringement of sovereignty... The US sanctions have also angered Russia and the European Union, which says it should be able to decide its own energy policies.

"As a matter of principle, the EU opposes the imposition of sanctions against EU companies conducting legitimate business," a spokesman for the trading bloc told AFP news agency on Saturday.

Imagine that: countries making their own policy decisions that don't align with Washington's interests? What's the world coming to?

Allseas, a Dutch-Swiss private company, is going to be significantly harmed by the newest sanctions, and it will delay the Nord Stream 2 pipeline (but it will only delay it). However, there is a bright side to all of this.

While it costs Moscow hundreds of millions in lost income and additional investments, the country is benefitting on a geostrategic and political level.

For a mere $9.5 billion, NS2's price tag, Moscow has unintentionally managed to drive another wedge between key Western allies. Berlin is furious about the sanctions and its already fraught relations with Washington are set to escalate even further. According to German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas, the American sanctions amount to "interference in autonomous decisions taken in Europe."

What is certain is that NS2 will be completed eventually. Most of the work on the 1,230 kilometer or 765 mile long pipeline has already been finished. Also, the vast majority of the $9.5 billion in investments have already been spent.

Much like our GWOT, we've reached a point in sanctions where staying the course just makes things worse. It isn't just Russia. The Muslim world is looking for an alternative trading system to avoid sanctions that Washington hasn't even threatened yet.

Iran, Malaysia, Turkey and Qatar are considering trading among themselves in gold and through a barter system as a hedge against any future economic sanctions on them, Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad said on Saturday.

..."I have suggested that we re-visit the idea of trading using the gold dinar and barter trade among us," Mahathir said, referring to the Islamic medieval gold coin.

"We are seriously looking into this and we hope that we will be able to find a mechanism to put it into effect."
The leaders agreed they needed do more business among themselves and trade in each other's currencies.

You know that you are using sanctions too much when other nations expect to be sanctioned by you before you even consider doing it.
As for the gold dinar, this is what was proposed by Libya's former leader Gaddafi, and also what got him eventually killed .

The most recent batch of Clinton emails reveals perhaps the most bizarre morsel of Blumenthal-baked intelligence to date. An April 2, 2011 memo titled "France's client/Q's gold" quotes "knowledgeable individuals" with insider information about French President Nicolas Sarkozy's motivation for bombing Libya. The military campaign, the anonymous sources say, was designed to quash plans by Gaddafi to use $7 billion in secret gold and silver to prop up a new African currency. The French worried the move would undercut the currency guaranteed by the French treasury, known as CFA franc, that's widely used in West Africa and acts as a strong link between France and many of its former African colonies. After French intelligence officials got wind of this secret plan, the Blumenthal memo reports, Sarkozy freaked out: "This was one of the factors that influenced [his] decision to commit France to the attack on Libya."
The Voice In th... on Tue, 12/24/2019 - 12:52pm
Kruschev Many remember the quote "We will bury you". I think he was quoting someone else. Lenin? But they forget the second sentence. "And the capitalists will sell us the shovel."

Greed is indeed a sickness, a mental illness. Not ordinary greed, but Scrooge McDuck greed. The need to have more more more, when it cannot possibly make any difference in your life.

Not like the guys I worked with that volunteered for every Holiday, every overtime opportunity. The money did make a difference there, although one can question whether it is worth it. But pursuing an extra billion when you already have tens of billions? How much is enough? How high is up.

EDIT:

I'm reminded of the old sitcom "Mama's Family". Dim bulb son, Vinton, hears of a new larger lottery jackpot and says, "Wow! Imagine how many lottery tickets you could buy with that much money!"

EDIT2:

Like an alcoholic that just drinks more and more until he passes out.

Roy Blakeley on Tue, 12/24/2019 - 9:08pm
Yes but the real problem is...

@entrepreneur that capitalism selects for people with this mental illness. A person with a healthy view of life will never be selected as fortune 500 CEO.

excessive are the mountains of paper they accumulate are still stimulated by acquiring more.
#1
And whether it be newspapers solidly packing every room in their homes to a depth of 6 feet, leaving barely a 12" crawl space between the top of the stacks and the ceiling, or be it a pile of money, more than they and their extended family and descendants can spend in 100 years, it is hoarding, a mental illness.

CB on Tue, 12/24/2019 - 12:55pm
The US will not stop Nord Stream 2

They have their own undersea pipe-laying equipment and experience. These sanctions will only delay the completion date for a few more months. Russia under Putin is very patient, resolute and not prone to rash decisions. They play the long game and will win out in the end.

//www.youtube.com/embed/jiGh1wSIt5c?modestbranding=0&html5=1&rel=0&autoplay=0&wmode=opaque&loop=0&controls=1&autohide=0&showinfo=0&theme=dark&color=red&enablejsapi=0

gjohnsit on Tue, 12/24/2019 - 2:20pm
Worth 10 minutes of your time

https://www.youtube.com/embed/w1TYkGq0BM4

CB on Tue, 12/24/2019 - 4:46pm
The US has been playing at this game for over 5 decades, originally with US supplied coal but recently revived with US LNG. Fascinating historical backgrounder to the current US sanctions against Russian gas pipelines.

The Great Gas Game: Vesti Presents a New Documentary Film About Pipelines and Power youtube.com

The Wizard on Tue, 12/24/2019 - 5:33pm
Yes, own goal

Nord Stream 2 is financed by leading energy companies from France, Germany, the Netherlands, Great Britain and Austria, ENGIE, OMV, Shell, Uniper and Wintershall Dea. A multi-billion Euro investment in European industry and services, the project involves more than 200 companies from 17 countries worldwide.

Well, congratulations Congress and Trump. This will drive a wedge between the US and Europe. Can you just imagine how those investing in NS2 feel about the US. The US is saying in effect - lose all of your investment because we have determined that the project is against our geopolitical/economic interests. And to make matters worse the pipeline will be completed, probably only 2 months behind schedule. So the financial backers will get hit, but will eventually see returns due to Russian efforts. Russia could have built the entire pipeline themselves, but preferred to have European partners.

At the end of WWII most of Europe used coal for energy. The US had a goal to convert Europe to oil, since the US was the major world exporter of oil. One of the stated reasons was to make Europe dependent on US oil and give the US political leverage over European countries. So this whole thing is about the US projecting their geopolitical dominance schemes to Russia. As it has turned out, for more than 70 years Russia and previously the USSR has never done that as a policy. The reason being that once you do that you lose trust as a trade partner. But this is even worse as the US is interfering in trading among European partners that has nothing to do directly with the US.

CB on Tue, 12/24/2019 - 6:31pm
When the USSR started building gas pipelines

@The Wizard

to Europe at the start of the 1980's, the US had just gone through the Oil Shock of 1978–79 . The US has not been a net exporter of oil for well over 75 years. It is only this year that this has changed through the extensive use of fracking.

The oil shortage of the 1970's brought about the end of power generation using oil. The US, a major exporter of coal, was pushing the use of American coal for energy security in Europe since WWII.

CB on Tue, 12/24/2019 - 8:47pm
Just came across this report on US coal

@CB

Trump Makes American Coal Great Again -- Overseas
U.S. coal exports have exploded. Can that continue?
April 4, 2018
...
The export boom is the one part of Trump's pledge to help the coal sector that is coming true.

Production ticked up a bit last year after a disastrous 2016 but is still at the lowest level since 1978. And despite plenty of promises to bring back jobs to coal country, coal mining employment only grew by some 1,100 jobs last year; mining employment is down about 40 percent since 2012. Meanwhile, closures of coal-fired power plants continue apace, with more than two dozen plants shutting down early last year alone, which means less domestic demand for coal.
...
And the Trump administration's other policies don't look like they'll end up helping coal much either. The push to increase exports of natural gas to Europe, Asia, and Latin America undermines the overseas market for U.S. coal, since both can be used to generate electricity. And as U.S. coal is shipped abroad, its price at home tends to rise slightly -- making coal even less attractive as a power source there.

"Unfortunately, most of the policies the Trump administration is pursuing inside and outside of energy do not help domestic coal production," Book says.

[Dec 25, 2019] Wheel of Fortune: The Battle for Oil and Power in Russia

Dec 25, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

pogohere , Dec 24 2019 18:17 utc | 107

Kevin @ 18

Try this: Wheel of Fortune: The Battle for Oil and Power in Russia – May 15, 2017

by Thane Gustafson


A review @ Amazon:

Thane masterfully succeeded in uncovering the fundamental drivers of the Russian oil industry and its interdependency with the political complex through a comprehensive and convincing historical analysis, with plenty of meaningful insights and endearing anecdotes. Rooted in Soviet legacy and having gone through the 90s bust-boom roller coaster and 2000s state reconsolidation the industry is a unique globally isolated eco system, and, with Russia as a whole, is at a crossroads. A must read for any decision maker in the O&G business.

I've read it and this review is a good summary.

[Dec 25, 2019] Freedom gas

Dec 25, 2019 | thenewkremlinstooge.wordpress.com

et Al December 24, 2019 at 2:35 am

Euractiv: How a EURACTIV journalist inadvertently coined the 'Worst Phrase of the Year' 2019
https://www.euractiv.com/section/politics/news/how-a-euractiv-journalist-inadvertently-coined-the-worst-phrase-of-the-year-2019/

It's official: "Freedom gas" is the Worst Phrase of the Year, according to the Plain English Foundation. But where does the expression come from? EURACTIV did not have to look far to get the answer

So where does the whole story come from?

On 1 May, EURACTIV's energy and climate reporter Frédéric Simon attended a briefing with US energy secretary Rick Perry in Brussels. He recalls the events below.

The four journalists in the room had spent about an hour asking Perry a basic question: why would Europeans choose to pay for expensive LNG imported from the US when they have access to cheap Russian gas?

"But my surprise soon turned to dismay when Perry suddenly took a grave face and started talking about the Normandy landings during WWII for which commemorations were planned days after."

Here's what Perry went on to say: Seventy-five years after liberating Europe from Nazi Germany occupation, "the United States is again delivering a form of freedom to the European continent," the US energy secretary told reporters that day.

"And rather than in the form of young American soldiers, it's in the form of liquefied natural gas," he added. "So yes, I think you may be correct in your observation," he said in reference to Fred's suggestion about 'Freedom gas' .
####

Quite instructive about the mindset (f/king nuts) they are over in the States. They really do live in their own universe where no-one picks up their dogs' (and their own) crap. They neither notice the smell nor link to the slipperyness underfoot to their own actions. They don't care either.

Moscow Exile December 24, 2019 at 4:35 am
They like to talk about the European "blood-debt" to the USA.

I don't know what they think a large number of unfortunate young men were doing on Gold, Juno and Sword beaches in June, 1944, or indeed that there were such beaches. Even moreso, they are apparently unaware of the over 22 million Soviet citizens who died 1941-1945 during what is known as "The Great Patriotic War for the Fatherland, 1941-1945"..

The what???

[Dec 25, 2019] Analysts have identified a way to increase the export of Gazprom to bypass the Ukraine The Eugal pipeline built to deliver gas from "Nord Stream-2 " to end users, will be operating in 2020, despite US sanctions

Dec 24, 2019 | thenewkremlinstooge.wordpress.com

Moscow Exile December 24, 2019 at 10:47 am Аналитики назвали способ нарастить экспорт "Газпрома" в обход Украины

Analysts have identified a way to increase the export of Gazprom to bypass the Ukraine The Eugal pipeline built to deliver gas from "Nord Stream-2 " to end users, will be operating in 2020, despite US sanctions. "Gazprom" will redirect gas to this pipeline from "Northern stream-1", experts say

The capacity of the Eugal onshore gas pipeline, built specifically for delivering gas from the Nord Stream-2 offshore gas pipeline to end users, may allow Gazprom to increase supplies to Europe bypassing the Ukraine, despite the fact that the United States has imposed sanctions against laying the Nord Stream-2 gas pipeline. , said experts interviewed by RBC.

The Gascade Gastransport operator, controlled by Gazprom and the German Wintershall Dea , will commission the first of two Eugal pipelines with a capacity of 30.9 billion cubic metres per year from January 1, 2020 (total pipe capacity should be 55 billion cubic metres), which will go from German Greifswald on the Baltic Sea to the south to the border with the Czech Republic, the Eugal press service said on December 20. And the next day it became known that the European pipe-laying company Allseas had suspended the construction of Nord Stream-2 (which should pump 55 billion cubic meters per year) in the Baltic Sea.

Eugal will lay another 36 billion cubic metre capacity OPAL landline, built to pump gas from the first Baltic gas pipeline of Gazprom and partners, Nord Stream-1, which achieved at full capacity 55 billion cubic metres per year back in October 2012. Since 2013, Gazprom could only use 50% of OPAL capacity because of restrictions, and in 2016, the company received permission to connect to 90% of the pipeline capacity. However, in September 2019, Gazprom was forced to reduce gas pumping through OPAL, and then through Nord Stream-1, because of a decision of the European Court of Justice, which, in lawsuit filed by Poland, limited supply by almost half – from 90 to 50% of capacity , or up to 18 billion cubic metres per year.

"The launch of Eugal will ensure a full load of Nord Stream-1. About 20 billion cubic metres of gas per year can be delivered via a new land gas pipeline, which volume was lost because of restrictions imposed as a result of Poland's victory in court", said Mikhail Korchemkin, director of East European Gas Analysis, to RBC. The remaining 17–20 billion cubic metre Gazprom can pump through a second branch from the offshore gas pipeline NEL , which runs only through Germany to the west of Greifswald, so Poland could not achieve restrictions on its capacity.

At the peak of capacity, OPAL pumped up to 103 million cubic metres of gas per day owing to a decision of the European Court to decrease transit to 50 million cubic metre. Last week, it fell to 12 million cubic metres per day. This is due to an increase of 115 million cubic metres per day in supplies to the NEL gas pipeline, as well as an increase in transit to Europe through the territory of the Ukraine, Korchemkin points out.

"Now most of the gas from Nord Stream-1, which continues to operate at its design capacity, is sent to the markets of northwestern Europe through NEL, that is, the limitation of the use of OPAL by the decision of the European Court has practically had no affect on the load of Nord Stream", added Deputy General Director of the National Energy Policy Fund, Alexey Grivach. According to him, after the introduction of Eugal, part of the gas can go to Central Europe through a new onshore gas pipeline, depending on the current market needs and the optimization of Gazprom's export portfolio.

Despite the impending U.S. sanctions, the possibility of using Eugal to pump Gazprom's gas was recognized in November by Arno Bux, chief commercial officer of gas transmission operator Fluxys, which is a minority shareholder in Gascade. According to him, since 2020, from 80 to 90% of the Eugal capacity has already been booked for 20 years at auctions. "Since the transportation facilities are reserved on a ship-or-pay basis (" transport or pay "), the potential delays of the Nord Stream-2 project do not affect Eugal's revenues", he told Interfax, noting that the flows from the gas pipeline Nord Stream 1 can be routed through Eugal.

"We cannot predict the volumes that will be transported through Eugal, because it depends on requests from transport customers", Gascade spokesman Georg Wustner told RBC on December 23, declining to specify whether gas supplies from Nord Stream-1 will begin on January 1 through a new onshore pipeline. A representative of Gazprom Export declined to comment; the press service of Nord Stream AG (operator of the Nord Stream-1 project) did not respond to a request from RBC.

[Dec 25, 2019] US President Donald Trump and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo want to expand trade with Russia, but the US Congress continues sanctions

Dec 25, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

karlof1 , Dec 24 2019 18:12 utc | 106

Lavrov on the 22nd appeared on what looks to be an interesting program on Russia's Channel One-- "The Great Game Show" with a transcript at the link. Most of the questions deal with Lavrov's recent trip to the Outlaw US Empire and his meetings with Trump and Pompeo. I found Lavrov's remarks about Congress most revealing as they're very similar to what he says about the tiny Russophobic nations other NATO nations seem to feel they can't break with the overall consensus despite its being idiotic. His response is related to the illegal sanctions laid against the construction of Nord Stream 2:

"They are threatening it. I said it will be built, no matter what, despite all these threats. First, I am convinced that the Europeans understand their commercial interest. Second, this implies an interest in the context of maintaining long-term energy security. Third, they were, of course, humiliated. The statements were, nevertheless, made, including those from Berlin which shows that our European partners still retain a sense of dignity.

"I am confident that, just like the TurkStream project, Nord Stream 2 will be implemented, and TurkStream will start operating some two or three weeks from now.

"US President Donald Trump and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo want to expand trade, but the US Congress continues to bombard our relations with sanctions. A situation that has now shaped up in the United States shows that, in their striving to revise election results and the will of the American people, these Congressmen are ready to do anything, including absolutely reckless things that, I would say, are not worthy of serious politicians."

As you read the transcript, you'll realize that this is a very serious program where the truth of the overall situation is being revealed and remarked upon in a manner that would be unimaginable here within the Outlaw US Empire, and I presume the program is viewed by a majority of Russians. It should certainly be read in relation to what Putin said at his presser on the topics covered and at the Informal CIS Summit .

Many are busy with their plans for the holidays, and the combined transcripts will take 4-6 hours to read, so perhaps bookmark them to read before New Year when more time's available.

[Dec 25, 2019] https://off-guardian.org/2019/12/24/sanctions-security-and-the-nord-stream-2-pipeline/

Notable quotes:
"... It would have been simpler and much cheaper to supply the gas through land pipelines via Ukraine, the Baltics and Poland. But the undersea pipelines had to be built because the Levantine dual nationals parachuted in by the State Department to rule over Ukraine and the Baltics on Washington's behalf have shown themselves to be totally unreliable economic partners. Ukraine refused to pay for gas that was supplied and stole gas intended for European countries. The rabid Levantines in the Baltics and Poland were equally hostile. They could have made billions in transit fees, but they always insisted on cutting off their noses to spite their faces. Bulgaria blocked South Stream on Washington's instructions and lost a reliable source of cheap gas and $400 million a year in transit fees. A lot of money and a lot of jobs for a poor country. US satellites pay a high price to kowtow to Uncle Sam. Russia developed its own port facilities in the Baltic and Riga is now a ghost town. ..."
"... Its surprising how history repeats itself. In the first decade of the nineteenth century, Napoleon achieved dominance over continental Europe. Only Britain stood against him. Napoleon tried to bring Britain to heel through economic warfare, the Continental System, ordering European countries not to trade with his sole remaining enemy. His orders were ignored all the way from Spain to Russia, and this lucrative trade continued. The invasion of Russia and the debacle at Moscow were an attempt to enforce the Continental System. In a similar fashion, Washington's hubris and unbridled arrogance are now alienating even its most abject, cringing, servile satraps like Macron, Merkel, and Erdogan. With the same result. ..."
"... Uncle Sam sees Nord-2 as an energy superpower challenge to energy supremacy which equates to American supremacy & hegemonic supremacy writ large across the world. If the pinko commie bastards in the Russian Federation make inroads by unilaterally making massive energy deals with the entire EU we will see American interests clamoring for market inroads & market share so that the pinko commie bastards in the Russian Federation don't make a dime. ..."
"... Uncle Sam is in actuality a waning ex-superpower thug that is yesterday's man but can't stand being taken out of the limelight being the narcissist nation it is. ..."
"... Zackarova is bang on in that the USA is wholly incompetent to govern their own business interests let alone other sovereign interests. Nord-2 is necessary infrastructure that the USA wants to thwart for their own monetary benefit. ..."
"... Stepping aside from the geopolitics for a moment. In terms of economics the US is attempting to push Russia out of natural gas markets. ..."
"... Greenpeace is yet another "NGO" that is heavily influenced by the National Endowment for Democracy a CIA front that supports US Imperialism. ..."
"... One wonders if the invertebrates of the EU will ever tire of being bullied by the Global Bullying Thug in Chief? The clerico-fascists of priest-ridden Poland one can understand, and the phony 'greens' of Greenpeace the sell-out specialists, but the others are just like mongrel dogs-the more you kick them, the more they lick your boots. ..."
Dec 25, 2019 | off-guardian.org

Jen ,

What would Dr Kampmark consider to be an ecologically cleaner alternative to Nordstream I and 2? The US proposal to supply LNG via an endless conga line of tankers across the North Atlantic would be an ecological nightmare, to say nothing of the specialised port facilities that need to be built to accommodate the tankers, the extra pipelines needed to pipe the gas to areas of Europe away from the Atlantic and the potential for accidents and disasters during annual hurricane season. Europe needs the best energy supply solution possible from a sustainability POV and other POVs and while Nordstream I and 2 may not be perfect, other solutions are either worse, more expensive or less certain and stable in the long term.

RobG ,

Shale gas is also poop. Only someone totally corrupt or totally insane would buy such junk from the USA.

The collapse of an empire brings up such interesting stuff.

I am of course a Russian troll for stating the obvious, so a merry Christmas from the Kremlin.

Let nuclear bombers fly, baby. Who wants another Christmas. The majority of the present American government (including Trump) are evangelical Christians who believe in the Rapture . You wouldn't put such people in charge of a car park, let alone put them in charge of the biggest nuclear weapons arsenal on the planet.

But that's where we are at the moment.

The Presstitutes will never tell you any of this.

RobG ,

I find this a bit of a strange piece, for reasons that many others have pointed out here in the comments. With regard to the environmental angle, I should perhaps point out that by far the biggest polluter on the planet is the US military.

MASTER OF UNIVE ,

The US Military pollutes everything under the sun far past Internet & the over 900 worldwide bases it occupies. Heck, the US MIC pollutes all sports venues with their propagandistic parades of adherence to state & flag military shows.

In the USA they make you stand in honour of the military at sports events.

I'm glad I don't go down to the USA for the USA Grand National Drag Racing events just because of the MIC pollution at events. Their propaganda pollution is all over the Internet and that is toxic waste that we all have to sift through on our way to real news aside from institutional American killing of the third world.

GI-Joe turned out to be anything but a good hippie in my book.

MOU

ttshasta ,

The article mentions Rex Tillerson, yet fails to mention Qatar. Exxon Mobil & Exxon Mobil Qatar, that Tillerson worked for, want to run an LP pipeline from the Norths Pars gas field, the worlds largest, and Qatar owns 2/3 of,through Saudi Arabia, through Jordan, Syria, through Alleppo then through Turkey on to Europe. Thus Qatar, S.A. and Turkey have sponsored the foreign invasion of Syria that the the dolts at NPR to this day call a civil war. The US's Al Udeid air base in Qatar is the largest in the region, Cheney has been to Qatar many times as have Barack and Michele Obama, John Ashcroft was paid $2.5 million to defend Qatar from post 911 terrorism charges.

Does it seem the article misses the elephant in the room? US Qatari investments must profit?

Never forget the Clintons, Qatar donates to Clinton Foundation, State Dpt. sells weapons to Qatar (diverted to Syria?), candidate Clinton to declare no fly zone over Syria as POTUS.

In 2016 Thierry Messan's Voltairenet dot org translated an article from Petra the official Jordanian press paper that S.A. financed 20% of Clinton's campaign, which is illegal under US law. Subsequently, and conveniently, Saudi Prince M.B.S. declared Petra had been hacked and the report was false. I rely on Thierry's translations, and his voluminous site.

https://www.voltairenet.org/article193378.html

Jen ,

Excellent comment. As always, one should follow the money trail.

paul ,

I've never understood the argument that buying Russian gas is a threat to the security of European countries. Russia doesn't supply the gas out of altruism, it does so because it wants their money. They are dependent on Russian gas. Russia is dependent on their money. Mutual dependence, mutual gain.

During the Cold War, Russia always supplied every last gallon of oil and every cubic foot of gas that contracts obliged it to deliver. It did so, again because it wanted their money. Simple as that.

It would have been simpler and much cheaper to supply the gas through land pipelines via Ukraine, the Baltics and Poland. But the undersea pipelines had to be built because the Levantine dual nationals parachuted in by the State Department to rule over Ukraine and the Baltics on Washington's behalf have shown themselves to be totally unreliable economic partners. Ukraine refused to pay for gas that was supplied and stole gas intended for European countries. The rabid Levantines in the Baltics and Poland were equally hostile. They could have made billions in transit fees, but they always insisted on cutting off their noses to spite their faces. Bulgaria blocked South Stream on Washington's instructions and lost a reliable source of cheap gas and $400 million a year in transit fees. A lot of money and a lot of jobs for a poor country. US satellites pay a high price to kowtow to Uncle Sam. Russia developed its own port facilities in the Baltic and Riga is now a ghost town.

Uncle Sam is now waging economic warfare and imposing sanctions on its previously most loyal and obedient satellites, Canada, Mexico, France, Germany, Japan, South Korea, Turkey.

Its surprising how history repeats itself. In the first decade of the nineteenth century, Napoleon achieved dominance over continental Europe. Only Britain stood against him. Napoleon tried to bring Britain to heel through economic warfare, the Continental System, ordering European countries not to trade with his sole remaining enemy. His orders were ignored all the way from Spain to Russia, and this lucrative trade continued. The invasion of Russia and the debacle at Moscow were an attempt to enforce the Continental System. In a similar fashion, Washington's hubris and unbridled arrogance are now alienating even its most abject, cringing, servile satraps like Macron, Merkel, and Erdogan. With the same result.

MASTER OF UNIVE ,

Uncle Sam sees Nord-2 as an energy superpower challenge to energy supremacy which equates to American supremacy & hegemonic supremacy writ large across the world. If the pinko commie bastards in the Russian Federation make inroads by unilaterally making massive energy deals with the entire EU we will see American interests clamoring for market inroads & market share so that the pinko commie bastards in the Russian Federation don't make a dime.

Uncle Sam is in actuality a waning ex-superpower thug that is yesterday's man but can't stand being taken out of the limelight being the narcissist nation it is.

MOU

john ward ,

So many sources one cannot trust ..Russian Greenpeace, NATO, the Merkel Bundesrepublik, the European Commission, the Texan oil business, the Saudis and the Pentagon. How on Earth is anyone on Earth supposed to make an informed decision based on such a truth-strangulating tangle of hegemonic propaganda? From The Slog archives:
https://hat4uk.wordpress.com/2018/03/15/analysis-the-factors-that-make-pompeo-russiaphobia-oil-pipelines-water-supply-and-brexit-inseparable/

pàul_m ,

Can you imagine being dependent on the usa for anything never mind fracked gas at twice the price.no doubt brave new worlder boris will go for it.gb inc looks over and done with.

Guy ,

"Can you imagine being dependent on the usa for anything" Yes I can .I live in Canada and they basically own our country, for all intent and purposes .
They did not conquer us militarily but they so corporately.

MASTER OF UNIVE ,

Zackarova is bang on in that the USA is wholly incompetent to govern their own business interests let alone other sovereign interests. Nord-2 is necessary infrastructure that the USA wants to thwart for their own monetary benefit.

The USA is anachronism, insolvent, and lacks common sense as well as entrepreneurial spirit & business acumen.

MOU

padre ,

How very concerned about environment we are, when somebody else is "destroying" it!

paul ,

The US certainly showed how concerned it was about the environment with the North Dakota pipeline.

Francis Lee ,

Stepping aside from the geopolitics for a moment. In terms of economics the US is attempting to push Russia out of natural gas markets. If a company did this it would be attempting to construct a monopoly and be subject to anti-competitive laws. If the US becomes the sole supplier in Europe then it has a stranglehold, both economic and political, on Europe. That's the strategy, and it seems blatantly obvious.

But the construction being put on this sordid little play by the Anglo-American MSM is that the US frackers – who never make a profit – are doing Europe a really big favour by enabling them not to become dependent on Russian gas. The Europeans should there for be grateful for US LNG since it will enable to diversify away from Russian gas.

The reality is, however, that once you become dependent on a single overseas crucial energy source you have been unceremoniously grabbed by the short and curlies.

Antonym ,

Simply connect more European harbors to the existing gas pipeline network and choose the LNG supplier you want. Not rocket science but Dutch PM Rutte was sold on abolishing natural gas because of CO2, while trees from North America for burning in power plants was fine.

Neighbour PM Merkel Germany wants gas but not nuclear (a scientist!). France wants nuclear but rely on a new unproven expensive design.
Political inmates are running the EU madhouse.

John Deehan ,

In this article, it misses the whole point of why the USA wants to impose sanctions, rather late in the day, on companies involved in its construction. Namely, the continued attempts by it to isolate The Russian Federation and its its long term strategy of preparations for war. Moreover, the omission of the reasons why Russia built the gas pipeline could not be more striking. The coup in the Ukraine made the transit of Russian gas to western Europe via its territory open to pressure from the USA. Hence why the Russians built the pipeline in the first place. It's the same reasons why the USA is attempting to prevent other Russian gas/oil pipelines in other parts of the world.

Francis Lee ,

If anything illustrates the reality of the EU-NATO 'alliance' it is this. The US to Germany – and by extension the rest of the EU – 'You will take expensive US LNG gas and like it' Me Tarzan you Jane. This brazen realpolitik illustrates the true nature of the vassalised EU. And of course Poland, Romania – please station your inter-mediate range missiles here – and the Baltic uber-Petainist elites come chiming in 'America the Beautiful.' More than anything this explodes the idea of the EU as a third geopolitical bloc. It is an occupied region always has been and is composed of countries which can't actually defend their own interests whilst privileging the US.

Gutless and spineless!

George Cornell ,

Indeed. And as reluctant as I am to entertain it, the Brutish ( spellcheck wants it to be British, no irony there) US is forcing any vertebrate in the EU to crave armed forces. Why poor EU countries buy the bollocks that is the relentless pressure or requirement from NATO to buy American and Israeli arms is beyond me. They should be much more frightened of the Americans than the imaginary bogeymen to the East.

Gezzah Potts ,

You mean like the Azov Battalion, Right Sector and C-14? Those bogeymen Tim? Some of whom are now in Hong Kong helping Joseph Wong and his mates fight for 'freedom and democracy' with some help from people in, er, Langley Virginia. Oh, and Nancy Pelosi.

Tim Drayton ,

Well, I support the right of all peoples to self-determination as a universal right and oppose imperialism/neo-imperialism regardless of who does it, so your false dichotomy does not apply to me.

Gezzah Potts ,

I thought you were referring to the neo nazi thugs in Ukraine that sprung up like weeds after rain following the overthrow of Yanukovych by you know who. No, it wasn't Putin. And no, I'm not a fan either. All bullshit pushed by Mr Hopey Changey that has put the world in grave peril.

In fact the changes of nuclear war are greater than any time in history. And what happened when the Berlin Wall came down Tim? Bush solemnly promised Gorbachev that NATO would not move one inch eastward. And where are NATO now?

paul ,

Then no doubt you support the right of the Crimea and Donbas to self determination from the CIA installed Fascist Coup Regime.

George Cornell ,

Oh for Chrissake! And where were you about Gitmo? And Iraq, and Yemen, and Syria, and Libya? And the lithium in Afghanistan makes it morally justified? Put the photo of Kissinger on a bearskin rug in your drawer and tell me about how the 95% of Crimeans who wanted to be part of Russia invalidates what happened there.

Come back to me about the sandbars in the South China Sea. Now there's a place to increase your debt.!

lundiel ,

Russia isn't occupying any of Ukraine. There are Russian volunteers and Russia is giving them some weapons and no doubt finance but the Russian army isn't at war with Ukraine.

Jay ,

If they were, the war would have been on Kiev's doorstep.

Francis Lee ,

The only people 'taking' seven percent of the Ukraine are those who already live in the Donbass and Crimea are the Russian-speaking inhabitants who have lived there for generations and who are defending their homeland against the Ukie Army and its Waffen SS look-alikes in the Azov Battalion and various other neo-nazi outfits like Praviy Sektor, and the Tornado Battalion and Dnipro1 and other charming little outfits such as 'Patriots of the Ukraine' – backed by right-wing fanatics in the Ukrainian Rada namely Biletsky and Parubiy.

These people are the direct descendants of the scum of the murderous Banderist pro-Nazis who were responsible for mass extermination of Russians, Jew, and above all, Poles in Volhynia in the far west of the Ukraine between 1943-45. The Ukrainian Insurgent army (UPA – led by Shukeviych) was the military wing of Bandera's OUN-B (Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists). Unfortunately for for Mr B, he had an unfortunate rendezvous with a KGB hit-man in Munich in 1955. RIP.

Long live the heroic resistance of the Peoples Republics of Donetsk and Lugansk.

Frank Speaker ,

Exactly Francis. Some of my family were massacred by these bastard who were their neighbours: a woman cut upon at the front, a woman with a wooden stake driven through her head, two children thrown down a well. That NATO aided and abetted these same evil scum to overthrow a democratically elected government and re-start their murderous ways – this time around upon the ethnic Russians in the wast of the country – I cannot forgive my political leaders who have done this.

That our MSM completely ignore this situation, I cannot forgive them, and that's why I am here.If there's a place called hell, I hope there's a special place reserved for our leaders and media owners who have done this.

eddie ,

They are occupying Jacque Schitt, but their 93rd aid convoy to the Donbas in November, consisting of 45 trucks, was not imaginary.

Gall ,

Greenpeace is yet another "NGO" that is heavily influenced by the National Endowment for Democracy a CIA front that supports US Imperialism.

I'm ambivalent on the issue of pipelines ( see Keystone XL Pipeline being driven through Indian Land in total violation of the Laramie Treaty) since they are environmentally destructive but the fact is that this is all about politics and has nothing to do with protecting the environment.

If "Russia's" Greenpeace was so concerned about the environment they'd worry about their backyard first such as the network of pipelines being run through Siberia.

richard le sarc ,

One wonders if the invertebrates of the EU will ever tire of being bullied by the Global Bullying Thug in Chief? The clerico-fascists of priest-ridden Poland one can understand, and the phony 'greens' of Greenpeace the sell-out specialists, but the others are just like mongrel dogs-the more you kick them, the more they lick your boots.

Tutisicecream ,

Boats of LNG floating across the Atlantic to Poland is not energy security. Whatever the politics of Nord Stream 2 we may be assured the US has not got our back in Europe on this.

We may also be in need of energy sooner than we think, as professor Valentina Zharkova of Northumbria University suggests. Unlike the Guardian her catastrophe theory goes in the other direction where in the next few years Earth will enter into a cooling phase. That will set off a series of events leading to a mini ice age as happened with the Maunder Minimum of the 17th Century.

http://thefreethoughtproject.com/ice-age-astrophysicists-climate-change/

[Dec 25, 2019] Gazprom has purchased a pipe-laying ship which would allow the company to build undersea pipelines despite sanctions

Dec 25, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

Yeah, Right , Dec 23 2019 23:27 utc | 61

@4 Annie "Gazprom does not have the expertise"...

https://sputniknews.com/business/201605211040013151-gazprom-new-ship-sanctions/

"Gazprom has purchased a pipe-laying ship which would allow the company to build undersea pipelines despite sanctions. The new vessel may be used to build the Nord Stream-2 gas pipeline to Europe."

Apparently the Russians think several steps ahead of the Americans.


karlof1 , Dec 24 2019 0:38 utc | 67

Yeah, Right @61--

This article has all one needs to know about Russia/Gazprom's ability to finish the job abandoned by the Swiss cowards, although their ships are apparently still on station. Yes, there'll be a delay, but that won't matter much. Pissing off the Germans was the absolute wrong move!

Yeah, Right , Dec 24 2019 9:02 utc | 88
@80 Jen It is much too late for the Danes to step in and stop Nord Stream 2.

Their permission was required because the pipe enters their economic zone, but once that permission was given then the pipelaying started on the basis of "good faith". If the Danes attempted to renege then I would imagine that it would be Russia and Germany who would tie up Denmark in legal red-tape, not the other way around, and by the time this got to court the pipeline would be completed and the gas would be flowing.

The USA's only hope now is that its sanctions scare off companies like Allseas, but that hope relies on the western conceit that Russia is too technologically backward to be able to take over and finish the job.

But the Russians are very capable, and extremely wily: if you look at my original post you will see a link from 2016 where the Russians are already spelling out exactly what they intend to do.

They acquired a suitable pipeline-laying ship at last three years. They admitted at the time that they acquired it that it made no economic sense for them to acquire such a ship.

Economics be damned. They bought it because they had to consider the possibility that the USA is run by a bunch of duplicitous shits.

Pretty astute reasoning, as it turns out.

mk , Dec 24 2019 10:03 utc | 89
@ Nord Stream 2

As I'm following the case closely, a few supplements.

The problem with the high tech Russian pipelaying vessel is that it is deployed in the Far East and would need months to get to the scene. The Russian Fortuna lacks the technical permission from the Danes to work in their waters, but it is suspiciously idling at the German Coast. NorthStream 2 could ask Denmark to get a special allowance for the Fortuna to work, and that is not so far-fetched as it seems because Denmark has a new government since last June.

The Fortuna will at least finish the German part of the pipeline. A German court yesterday has turned down a complaint by environmentalists who are worried about wintering birds.

The sanctions are a huge strategical blunder of the USA. Yes, the Germans are pissed off, from the bosses of the chemical industry to the "ordinary people". You can almost hear the tectonic subterranean crack that moves Germany away from the Anglosphere towards Russia.

In German politics, the Transatlanticians are now in the defensive. The most powerful transatlantic institutions are IMO the various intelligence services, BND, BfV and so on. They have certainly initiated the "scandal" about the murdered Georgian djihadist (you remember, two Russian diplomats were expelled immediately) in order to sabotage the Normandy talks and NordStream 2 and push Merkel to distance herself from Russia. This has failed, obviously. Stupid white men.


[Dec 25, 2019] Germans angry at US for Nord Stream meddling

Dec 25, 2019 | thenewkremlinstooge.wordpress.com

Northern Star December 24, 2019 at 4:43 pm

An excellent show from last week. However still relevant with some reminders from the 80s that are quintessential irony. Sanchez's journalistic delivery is impressive.

https://www.youtube.com/embed/6nSAhjsYx-w?version=3&rel=1&fs=1&autohide=2&showsearch=0&showinfo=1&iv_load_policy=1&wmode=transparent

[Dec 25, 2019] Rapoza in his review for Forbesof the Russia/Ukraine gas deal suggests that Russia did not really have to give up very much, it would be to Ukraine's advantage to stop fucking around and concentrate now on the issues,

Dec 25, 2019 | thenewkremlinstooge.wordpress.com

Mark Chapman December 23, 2019 at 5:11 pm

Rapoza's latest effort, for Forbes, is his review of the Russia/Ukraine gas deal that everyone is talking about. His take, in summary, is that Russia did not really have to give up very much, it would be to Ukraine's advantage to stop fucking around and concentrate now on the issues, that Ukraine dropped a very large amount in claims in return for not very much money (although he does not say how likely Ukraine would have been to win them in court, and my personal opinion is not very), that Nord Stream II will be completed with not a significant amount of delay, and that Russia can implement the same no-gas-through-Ukraine in five years if it does not like the way things are going.

[Dec 25, 2019] https://www.stalkerzone.org/the-gas-war-has-retreated-but-the-most-interesting-thing-is-yet-to-come/

Dec 25, 2019 | www.stalkerzone.org

The Gas War Has Retreated, but the Most Interesting Thing Is Yet to Come December 22, 2019 Stalker Zone

As usual, the range of interpretations of gas agreements is wide and full of water. Most of them have hidden recognition of groundlessness, because even a simple reading of the document requires above average schooling.

Here is this document, where it is written in black and almost white that the parties agreed on such and such conditions:

All talk about a Ukrainian victory or a Russian victory should be left to politicians for domestic consumption, although, to be fair, it is worth noting: Ukrainian functionaries immediately claimed it is a victory for Ukraine. This sounded against the background of the absence of fanfare in Russia, which, in the face of the most difficult negotiations, would be extremely inappropriate.

Why?

Because Gazprom is Gazprom, not Russia. Confusion in concepts is a very characteristic phenomenon for immature structures and individuals on both sides. So talk of Russia allegedly forgiving Ukraine $3 billion in credit has nothing to do with the topic at all. There is no word in the document about this, which is natural, because, I will repeat: Russia is not Gazprom.

However, the Naftogaz fanfare coming from Vitrenko's mouth is also understandable on the other hand: the board (8 people) will not have to return millions of dollars already distributed to their pockets as part of the prize according to the results of the Stockholm Arbitration . Moreover, now, if Gazprom pays the claim amount, the premium will increase significantly.

As for the amount Gazprom has pledged to pay – about $3 billion – it is less than 1% of the assets of the Russian gas giant (not to be confused with capitalisation). Few will notice this drop in the ocean. And for Naftogaz? In the absence of up-to-date information about the assets of this structure, I believe that the figure is comparable to all assets, especially since, according to the current reform, the Ukrainian gas transit system, the market value of which is no more than $1.5 billion (according to the Chairman of the Board Kobolev ), leaves from under Naftogaz in general.

Conclusion: tactically Naftogaz and its board benefited from a contract with Gazprom. Strategically, as it seems, Gazprom at least did not lose, firstly, significantly reducing the term of the contract and the volume of pumping on the gas transit system of Ukraine, taking into account the forthcoming and inevitable implementation of " Nord Stream-2 " and, secondly, leaving itself the right to disagree with transit tariffs, which remain the subject of negotiations:

Point 2.2.3 The organising company [Naftogaz] will contact LLC "Operator of gas transit system of Ukraine" for the reservation of capacities of the gas transit system of Ukraine

Point 3.2 The Ukrainian side will take all necessary measures (create all necessary conditions) by 29.12.19:

What went on behind the scenes went almost unnoticed:

1. Ukraine's demand for imported gas, which is still falling due to the decline in production capacity, will be covered from the volumes approved by the agreement (65 billion m3 in 2020 and 40 billion m3 in the following 4 years). The volume of imports according to various estimates remains at about 20 billion m3 per year. Tariffs will not be applied on all the Russian gas that Ukraine will consume from pumping on the gas transit system and will be implemented on the territory of Ukraine at its own expense. The volume subject to a transit tariff will be determined by the difference between the entrance to the Ukrainian gas transit system and the exit to Europe.

2. All preliminary talk about gas discounts for Ukraine was not included in the agreement. Thus, the price of gas remains the subject of bargaining and is inevitably dependent on the transit tariff: the higher the price of transit – the higher the price of gas and, accordingly, vice versa.

3. In fact, the issue of direct gas supplies to Ukraine is not worth discussing at all. I.e., in the event of a non-agreement on the price, all gas will come to Europe, Ukraine will earn from transit, but these earnings will be offset by the increased price of gas on the reverse. Thus, even in the event of pumping all gas to Europe, earnings from transit, according to experts, will not even cover the cost of servicing the Ukrainian gas transit system.

Lastly, Gazprom – which is not Russia, but behind whose back Russia certainly stands, and was opposed by both Ukraine and the European Union, represented by the European Commission, as well as the United States with its global interests – managed, at a minimum, to minimise its tactical losses and preserve strategic Russian interests.

The gas war appears to have retreated, but the most interesting thing is yet to come.


Aleksandr Dubrovsky

[Dec 25, 2019] In return for that $3 billion, which will be pocketed by many Yukitard bastards, I am sure, Gazprom's never ending altercations with the Yukie gas outfit over compensation and claims and counter-claims have had a line drawn under them.

Dec 25, 2019 | thenewkremlinstooge.wordpress.com

Moscow Exile December 23, 2019 at 10:12 pm

I linked a Russian newspaper article above which analysed the deal and in which it was pointed out that the $3 billion that Gazprom coughed up is 1% of the annual turnover of that company. And another thing that the article pointed out was that the deal is between Gazprom and Naftogaz not Russia and the Ukraine. In return for that $3 billion, which will be pocketed by many Yukitard bastards, I am sure, Gazprom's never ending altercations with the Yukie gas outfit over compensation and claims and counter-claims have had a line drawn under them. I suppose that's really why the Porky bloc in the rada is taking action against the deal: they fear that their nice little earner is being stifled, in that penalties imposed by arbitration courts against Gazprom have seemingly ended.
Moscow Exile December 23, 2019 at 10:40 pm
$3 billion that Gazprom coughed up is 1% of the annual turnover of that company.

No!

The source that I linked to previously: The Gas War Has Retreated, but the Most Interesting Thing Is Yet to Come .

To reiterate:

All talk about a Ukrainian victory or a Russian victory should be left to politicians for domestic consumption, although, to be fair, it is worth noting: Ukrainian functionaries immediately claimed it is a victory for Ukraine. This sounded against the background of the absence of fanfare in Russia, which, in the face of the most difficult negotiations, would be extremely inappropriate.

Why?

Because Gazprom is Gazprom, not Russia. Confusion in concepts is a very characteristic phenomenon for immature structures and individuals on both sides. So talk of Russia allegedly forgiving Ukraine $3 billion in credit has nothing to do with the topic at all. There is no word in the document about this, which is natural, because, I will repeat: Russia is not Gazprom.

However, the Naftogaz fanfare coming from Vitrenko's mouth is also understandable on the other hand: the [Naftogaz] board (8 people) will not have to return millions of dollars already distributed to their pockets as part of the prize according to the results of the Stockholm Arbitration. Moreover, now, if Gazprom pays the claim amount, the premium will increase significantly.

As for the amount Gazprom has pledged to pay – about $3 billion – it is less than 1% of the assets of the Russian gas giant (not to be confused with capitalisation). Few will notice this drop in the ocean. And for Naftogaz? In the absence of up-to-date information about the assets of this structure, I believe that the figure is comparable to all assets, especially since, according to the current reform, the Ukrainian gas transit system, the market value of which is no more than $1.5 billion (according to the Chairman of the Board Kobolev), leaves from under Naftogaz in general.

Conclusion: tactically Naftogaz and its board benefited from a contract with Gazprom. Strategically, as it seems, Gazprom at least did not lose, firstly, significantly reducing the term of the contract and the volume of pumping on the gas transit system of Ukraine, taking into account the forthcoming and inevitable implementation of "Nord Stream-2" and, secondly, leaving itself the right to disagree with transit tariffs, which remain the subject of negotiations

My stress.

[Dec 24, 2019] NorthStream II sanctions means more gas for China: Pride goeth before a fall. Washington is proud of itself, but a day will come when it will count the cost, and mutter, "What the fuck was I thinking?

The USA government acts as a gangster and should expect that other power will behave equally bad toward the USA. That's a very bad, disastrous calculation, even in view of the current USA technological superiority (which might shrink in the future)
Dec 21, 2019 | thenewkremlinstooge.wordpress.com

Mark Chapman December 21, 2019 at 8:12 pm

Pride goeth before a fall. Washington is proud of itself, but a day will come when it will count the cost, and mutter, "What the fuck was I thinking?" It was not ever going to actually interrupt, and then seize for itself, Russia's share of the European gas market – that was just another example of its addled belief in exceptionalism and its ability to overcome any and all limiting factors, including distance and capacity.

What it HAS done is reveal itself as a petulant global child who will break anything that does not please it, and therefore a dangerous and unpredictable business partner.

Like Like

Northern Star December 21, 2019 at 9:30 pm
Ummm Mark
You , other people (or nations) shouldn't think 'bad thoughts' about 'Murica!
Northern Star December 21, 2019 at 6:19 pm
https://jimmydorecomedy.com/
Moscow Exile December 22, 2019 at 1:40 am
Thus spake the official Washington arsehole in Germany:

The American Ambassador in Berlin Richard Grenell, about whom it has already been requested in Germany that he be recognized as persona non grata because of his repeated attacks against the German leadership, has said that the sanctions imposed by Washington against the pipeline "Nord Stream-2" had been introduced in the interests of the EU and many countries of Europe are grateful for them.

"Seriously: from 15 European countries, the European Commission and the European Parliament have all expressed their concerns about the project. We have long heard from our European partners that the United States should support their efforts. Therefore, sanctions represent a very Pro-European solution", said Grenell to the publication Bild am Sonntag . [A German arsewipe publication of the first magnitude -- ME]

According to him, European diplomats have allegedly already repeatedly expressed their gratitude for the measures taken by Washington.

Recall that the United States, which from time to time has opposed the emergence in Europe of a strong competitor for its gas, imposed sanctions against the pipelines "Nord Stream-2" and "Turkish Stream", requiring that the companies involved in their laying immediately stop construction. In response, the German government has said it "rejects such extraterritorial sanctions" directed "against German and European companies.

source

Like Like

Moscow Exile December 22, 2019 at 2:02 am
Just found the RT take on the above:

Oh, really? US envoy to Germany says Nord Stream 2 sanctions 'EXTREMELY PRO-EUROPEAN' despite Berlin & EU criticism
22 Dec, 2019 07:31

Seems like Grenell has his head so far up his own arse, or someone else's, that he has lost all sense of reality.

Like Like

Northern Star December 22, 2019 at 3:44 am
Your link didn't seem to work

https://www.rt.com/news/476586-nordstream-germany-grenell-sanctions/

Like Like

Northern Star December 22, 2019 at 3:50 am
LOL!
Same problem with my link!

Like Like

Moscow Exile December 22, 2019 at 2:18 am
About Russia's New Gas Transit Agreement with Ukraine
December 21, 2019
Stalker Zone
Moscow Exile December 22, 2019 at 7:31 am
Just two events that occurred during Saturday night have turned into one of the main news stories in recent months and years: Russia, the Ukraine and the European Commission signed a trilateral agreement on the transit of gas over the coming years from Russia to the EU via the Ukrainian GTS, and President Trump signed a law on the defence budget, in which US parliamentarians have written separate clauses concerning sanctions against companies involved in the construction of the pipeline "Nord stream – 2″

If anyone has forgotten, allow me to remind you that Vladimir Putin has never talked about the categorical refusal as regards the transit to Europe via the Ukraine of Russian gas. Always, he has only stressed that it is a question exclusively of a commercial nature, without any political overtones, and that such transit be carried out on favourable terms. Vice-Premier of the Russian government Dmitry Kozak has said about the new contract to be signed before the New Year that he parties had agreed on favourable terms. In addition to this, the Ukrainian side said that "Gazprom" had agreed to pay "Naftogaz" $3 billion, according to the decision of the Stockholm arbitration. So, can the Ukraine celebrate a "victory"?

So far, only Kiev has stated this figure of $3 billion. On the Russian side, there has been no confirmation of this yet, but even if the Kiev figure is correct, I do not see much reason to celebrate "victory", for if Russia has paid this money to the Ukraine ($2.6 billion + penalties), then the Ukraine is obliged to return $4.5 billion to Russia (3 billion Eurobonds + penalties). The balance is not in favour of Kiev. In addition, the Ukraine has pledged to stop all legal disputes on gas issues. Yes, in one case there is a dispute between economic entities, and in a second case there is a dispute about sovereign debt. However, since both Naftogaz and Gazprom are budget-forming state companies, to a certain extent this difference in debt statuses is leveled.

Now on transit. There is no denying that for Russia it is not only important but necessary to transit gas through the Ukraine at the moment, since under long-term contracts with Europe, Gazprom is obliged to supply the volumes of gas stipulated in them, regardless of the circumstances. Otherwise, the Russian company would have to pay heavy fines and penalties. By concluding the contract, Gazprom has once again proved its reliability as a supplier, which, by the way, was has already been emphasized by the European Commission following the negotiations.

The only thing currently known about the transit contract is that it has been concluded not for 10 years as Kiev had wanted, but for 5 years. Apparently, a longer term is not relevant, chiefly because of complete uncertainty about the future of the Ukraine -- by the way, in the next few days Kiev is likely to start an active struggle against the agreements already reached, and if something threatens them at the moment, it is only Ukrainian instability. According to data received from the Russian company, the volume of transit through the Ukraine next year will be about 65 billion cubic metres. This is certainly a very significant figure, but it is significantly less than the 90 billion cubic metres pumped through the Ukrainian GTS in 2017. In 2021-2024, the annual transit volume will drop to 40 billion cubic metres. This volume allows the Ukrainian GTS to operate at a plus rather than a minus, but Kiev will not receive any significant financial gain through it.

By the way, a certain demand for Ukrainian transit will remain after the Nord Stream-2 gas pipeline has reached its design capacity, as European gas demand grows annually and a number of fields operated in the EU countries are decommissioned in the coming years. As for NS-2 itself, by the time the sanctions are imposed, less than 50 kilometres will have been left on one pipeline and about 70 kilometres on the other. Even if the Swiss company gathers up its belongings, Russian pipe-laying ships will finish the job, and even though they lay pipes 3 times slower, they have absolute immunity from American sanctions. One of them is now located in the area of Indonesia, and the second pipe-laying ship, "Fortuna", which, by the way, has already participated in the implementation of "NS-2", is in a German port and is ready to start working within a few days. [My stress! See that Finnish troll? -- ME]

So, by and large, the question is only one of time. But in any case "SP-2" will be completed in terms of installation, testing and commissioning, and can be put into operation, at most, at the end of the first half of 2020.

Patient Observer December 22, 2019 at 2:27 pm
I really really doubt that the US military will attack overtly or covertly. The US already announced that it will sanction other Russian energy projects if North Stream is placed in operation.
Mark Chapman December 22, 2019 at 5:12 pm
I don't imagine that will be necessary. Be pretty hard to argue then that they were not acting solely in their own interests, wouldn't it? It would make a hell of a thriller novel, though – the pipeline is on the seabed, so any American efforts to tamper with it would probably have to be from underwater. A submarine has no business being there, so its mission would have to be super-secret and plausibly deniable. And in that scenario, if it simply disappeared, the Americans would have to just proceed as if it never existed. There you go, Karl; a great book idea, you should write it. But I want 20%; 30% if I have to proofread it before publication to take out all the rhapsodizing about freedom and democracy, and rewrite the ending where the Americans blow up the pipeline and miraculously escape, sailing home to a ticker-tape parade and leaving Putin with angry tears running down his face.

Bulgaria is an instructive example here. Remember when it stopped South Stream in its tracks, and was the hero of America and the EU? And Bulgaria strutted and swaggered, and was pretty proud of itself while it waited for the rewards of its bravery. And then the USA built them a Middle School or a new fence or something, I forget, and there were lots of 'well done, old chap!' compliments, and and then that was it. Bulgaria did not become everyone's preferred business partner and the destination of enormous foreign investment. And then, gradually, everybody stopped talking about what a great and brave thing Bulgaria did, and it just sort of sat there with its mouth half-open, trying to take in how skillfully it had been creampied, and evidently all for nothing.

And eventually, Bulgaria repented, and went back to Russia and Putin, cap in hand. And Russia received it warmly, like a brother who fell in with a bad crowd but was not really, at heart, bad himself. It did not say that Bulgaria must prove itself by repudiating its former friends. It seemed willing to let bygones be just that.

https://www.memri.org/reports/russia-world-%E2%80%93-russia-bulgaria-reconciliation-%E2%80%93-bulgarias-president-radev-no-sanctions-are

It is not even too much of a stretch to imagine that might one day be Ukraine as well, although it certainly could not be under the current conditions. The nationalists would have to be purged, hard. And there would have to be a completely new political administration. But there's time, and lots of it. The west is not going to make a prosperous paradise of Ukraine, it is only interested in stripping it of anything of value, and in the meantime it will go down and down, because nobody wants to put any money into it. Except, ahem; Russia.

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Moscow Exile December 22, 2019 at 11:49 am
And as predicted above:

by the way, in the next few days Kiev is likely to start an active struggle against the agreements already reached

Партия Порошенко инициирует санкции против поставок газа из России
22.12.2019 | 22:12

Party Poroshenko initiates sanctions against the supply of gas from Russia

The faction of "European solidarity" in the Ukrainian Parliament initiates sanctions against the Russian gas supplies directly, reports RIA "Novosti".

As stated by the ex-President and leader of the faction of Petro Poroshenko, the political force will require the convening of the national security Council on this issue, and "implementation of sanctions" against the gas supplies from Russia

In the best interests of Banderastan?

Or of the Exceptional Nation?

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Mark Chapman December 22, 2019 at 6:47 pm
I thought Poroshenko was facing a corruption investigation. Shouldn't he be keeping his head down?

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Jen December 22, 2019 at 8:20 pm
The only place where Porky will keep his head down is in a trough full of truffles paid for by North American and European taxpayers through the IMF.
yalensis December 23, 2019 at 4:05 am
The people who elected Zelensky expected him to put Porky behind bars. But, surprise surprise, Zel is a wimp who couldn't bring himself to buck his American overlords.
Said Overlords like Porky and want to keep him around, as the new leader of the Opps, with hope he gets back into power some day.
Porky is the Ukrainian version of Saakashvili, there is simply no getting rid of him!
karl1haushofer December 22, 2019 at 7:47 am
"German Finance Minister Olaf Scholz said Berlin "firmly rejects" U.S. sanctions but would not retaliate."

How surprising.

Mark Chapman December 22, 2019 at 5:53 pm
What if Germany, angered by American high-handedness, decided to move away from the US dollar. Could that happen?

It could. Analysts caution that it would be unwise for Washington to laugh at efforts by nations to make themselves less dependent on the dollar, because it also makes those nations less susceptible to American sanctions. The world outside America is getting fed up with the USA's sanctions-happy punishments, which have mushroomed from 5 targeted countries at the start of the George W. Bush administration to 22 targeted countries at the end of 2018.

https://www.worldpoliticsreview.com/articles/28418/ofac-sanctions-and-the-new-dollar-diplomacy

One of the ways Russia has hardened its economy against American tampering is in increasing its use and accumulation of gold as a hedge, which is immune to 'freezing' by the USA, so long as the gold is held in Russian vaults. That's the key, and momentum is slowly gathering in other countries. Hungary repatriated all its gold from the Bank of England in October of this year, and increased its holdings tenfold as well. Romania has submitted a bill to parliament which mandates that only 5% of the country's gold can be stored abroad. Currently about 60% of its 103 tonnes is stored at the Bank of England. In 2017 Germany repatriated around $31 Billion worth of gold which had been stored in New York and Paris. This week, Poland and Slovakia called for a return of their gold, which is being held by, you guessed it, the Bank of England. The lesson of Venezuela's stolen gold was not lost on anyone, and the less foreign gold the Bank of England has in its vaults, the less useful it is to Washington and its 'freeze' orders.

http://news.goldseek.com/GoldSeek/1576513102.php

Germany was chafing at US bullying back in 2018, and talking up policies to pull away from the US dollar. Would this latest example of American meddling make them more, or less inclined to pursue financial policies which did not include the United States as a partner, do you think?

https://foreignpolicy.com/2018/09/05/europe-seeks-alternative-to-us-financial-system-germany-france-sanctions/

Moscow Exile December 22, 2019 at 11:05 am
AKADEMIK CHERSKIY

Oh look! Under Russian flag. So is the USN navy thinking of sinking it?

Position Received: 2019-12-22 18:31 UTC
10 minutes ago

42.79881° / 132.8823°

Near Vladivostok

Incapable of laying 50 kms of pipeline?

If the Swiss Allseas, which owns Pioneering Spirit and Solitare, decides to stop work on Nord stream-2 in connection with U.S. sanctions, the work to be completed TUBES Fortuna

Moscow Exile December 22, 2019 at 9:00 pm
The Gas War Has Retreated, but the Most Interesting Thing Is Yet to Come
December 22, 2019
Stalker Zone

"Russia" is weeeeeeeak!!!!

Moscow Exile December 23, 2019 at 2:51 am
Meanwhile

Nord Stream 2 will be operational in 2nd half of 2020 despite US sanctions setting project timing back – top German official

23 Dec, 2019 09:17 / Updated 1 hour ago

karl1haushofer December 23, 2019 at 4:23 am
More potential trouble for NS2: https://www.spglobal.com/platts/en/market-insights/latest-news/natural-gas/122119-nord-stream-2-pipelayer-allseas-suspends-operations-on-us-sanctions

"According to S&P Global Platts Analytics, Nord Stream 2 would have to seek alternative vessels and contractors to complete the remaining section of pipe in Danish waters if the sanctions are enacted.

"While the most challenging parts of Nord Stream 2 have been laid in water depths of around 200 meters, the remaining section in Danish waters at 90 meters depth remains complicated," it said.

Russian companies operate capable offshore pipe-lay vessels, which have completed projects in challenging Arctic conditions, including the MRTS Defender, which worked on the offshore stretch of the Bovanenkovo-Ukhta pipeline.

Platts Analytics believes MRTS Fortuna could be used to complete Nord Stream 2, but is capable of laying just 1 km/d.

A further obstacle, according to Platts Analytics, is that the Danish permit application states that it is assumed that the vessels used to complete the Danish section will have dynamic positioning capabilities (such as those of the Allseas vessels) which are not present on MRTS Fortuna.

A Russian pipelaying vessel that already has dynamic positioning capabilities, Akademik Cherskiy, could be used, but it would take up to two months to arrive to Danish waters as it is currently stationed in Russia's Far East."

karl1haushofer December 23, 2019 at 4:27 am
It is surprising that the Gazprom management didn't prepare for this situation! If this article is correct the only Russian vessel that can be used to finish the project is currently stationed in Vladivostok, and it will take about two months for it to arrive to Danish waters.

The sanction threat has been looming for months, but it seems that Gazprom did not prepare for it in any meaningful way.

I would be pleasantly surprised if this project is finished in 2020.

Mark Chapman December 23, 2019 at 4:42 am
Karl, this is no attitude for the Christmas season – don't be so dour and pessimistic. It takes two years to build a specialized ship, at a minimum, and that's just a regular design like an LNG tanker – should Gazprom have built two or three, only to have the Americans laugh and not impose sanctions? Then you would have chuckled ruefully over how foolish Gazprom was to waste its money; there's no pleasing you. Only two days ago you were moaning over how the entirety of the funds spent so far would be wasted; the pipeline could not be completed, America is just too strong. You can go back and look. Now it looks as if it can be completed, just the remainder will be done at about a third the speed it could have been. But the money which would have gone to Allseas will be saved, and really there's no hurry now; they have 5 years if they need it. In 2 months the worst of the winter weather should be over, and any further slowdowns between now and completion can be blamed on the Americans, whose fault of course it is. It would have been done now but for American pressure on Denmark to hold out.

I wouldn't say it couldn't have turned out better, but all things considered the results are not that bad for Russia and not very good for the USA, which has incurred a lot of resentment and ill-will in exchange for really nothing. It is not going to stop the pipeline from completing, but it has made a lot of enemies, and even the Poles have stopped yapping and do not appear to be celebrating too loudly, lest they anger other Europeans.

Trond December 23, 2019 at 10:46 am
""While the most challenging parts of Nord Stream 2 have been laid in water depths of around 200 meters, the remaining section in Danish waters at 90 meters depth remains complicated," it said."

Norwegian divers welded pipelines at 900 meters depth (And, yes they had some problems).

90 meters is now a problem?

Mark Chapman December 23, 2019 at 2:31 pm
Let me guess – the United States has threatened to confiscate the assets in the USA of any company which sells dynamic-positioning systems to the Soviets (oops! I mean the Russians!), and so now they will have to develop the technology themselves. Why not just threaten to slap sanctions on anyone giving 'aid and comfort' to the Russians? I mean, they're the enemy, right? Right?? So nobody sell them boots or warm clothes, or anything. See how they like laying pipe in their skivvies, barefoot.

Say, I'll bet that attitude is good for market share for the remaining American businesses still operating in Russia. And speaking of that, here's another example – gosh, there are so many – of America's love affair with sanctions; CAATSA, the Countering America's Adversaries Through Sanctions Act. According to an analyst at the Foreign Policy Research Institute, it's a failure , because it did not prevent Turkey from buying the S-400 system from Russia when they were supposed to buy the Patriot from the USA, or prevent Egypt from buying the Sukhoi S-35 from Russia when they were meant to buy the F-35. Oh, but they were frustrated in that because Israel did not want them to have it. Washington never misses an opportunity to show Israel it still loves it despite all the actions Israel makes it take against its own best interests.

"Egypt turned to Moscow for the Su-35 aircraft after being frustrated in repeated attempts to get a foothold in the F-35 program, a move closely watched in Israel, which remains the only country in the region to receive the fifth-generation aircraft."

America threatened Egypt with – you guessed it – sanctions if it continued with plans to buy Russian fighters worth $2 Billion in sales, but Egypt basically ignored them, only not laughing because it would be impolite to laugh.

"The Egyptian leadership views the US threats as not credible, based on a long history of Egyptian/US relations where the US has made threats and even withheld assistance, but in the end has always capitulated," said Andrew Miller, who was director for Egypt and Israel military issues in the Obama administration's National Security Council."

Egypt also bought the two MISTRAL class light assault carriers that Washington made France cancel the sale of when Russia had already paid a security deposit, which had to be returned. Egypt quickly purchased helicopters from Russia to outfit its new ships.

In fact, America seems to be losing its grip on the Middle East and Africa. And its newly-discovered and somewhat childlike faith in sanctions as a cure-all is ruining its traditional alliances and eroding its global reach. Much less-powerful countries now routinely ignore its threats to impose sanctions and more sanctions. The fewer foreign businesses interested in locating significant assets in the United States – so as to prevent their being seized in a fit of pique – the less influence Washington can bring to bear through sanctions. Its most loyal toady, the UK, will soon no longer be a part of the EU, while nations jostle one another in eagerness to get their gold back from the Bank of England where the United States cannot slap a 'hold' order on it through its devoted proxies.

Moscow Exile December 23, 2019 at 4:27 am
Russian dolts just don't have the technology, isn't that right ?

From the Finnish naysayer:

In retrospect the biggest mistake Russia did was to start the Nord Stream 2 project without possessing the technology to complete the project and relying on the Western technology. This made Nord Stream 2 and Russia vulnerable for the sanctions and this vulnerability was exploited.

Will Russia learn and not start any major project in the future without having the means to complete the project itself without relying on the West? I doubt it.

Russia has ships to complete Nord Stream 2 pipeline without European help
23 Dec, 2019 11:27 / Updated 41 minutes ago

Yes, they hired the biggest and probably best pipelayer to do the job: who could blame them for that?

But they dropped a right bollock in choosing such shit, lily-livered firm ashas Allseas turned out to be.

Who in their right minds would hire Allseas now?

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Cortes December 23, 2019 at 5:51 am
As mentioned earlier, commercial contracts normally include provisions for frustration – supervening illegality can prevent performance of obligations contracted under different circumstances and no one would expect a company to commit suicide. It's just a business problem. But a business problem which, as Mark states, leaves the instigator – the USA – diminished by its own actions.
Patient Observer December 23, 2019 at 6:18 am
Every contract has Force Majeure provisions to address factors beyond the control of the supplier. The list includes of acts of God (weather, for example), civil unrest, labor disputes, etc. "US sanctions" need to be added.
Northern Star December 23, 2019 at 5:38 am
According to ME they were within 50 kilometers of landfall. According to Karl the replacement vessel can lay pipe at a 1km/day rate. The resulting calculation isn't rocket science mathematics. Ribbons will be cut and valves will be turned on in a few months to the clink of vodka and champagne glasses.
Northern Star December 23, 2019 at 5:54 am
Peskov did not say a fuckin' thing about "hope" that the pipeline will be completed. He stated that the sanctions will NOT work to bring about substantial delay.

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-russia-nord-stream-kremlin-idUSKBN1YR0RU

Moscow Exile December 23, 2019 at 6:17 am
Two pipelines are being laid in parallel. One line , if I rightly recall, has 50 kms left to be laid, the other 75 kms. The Russian pipelayers, again if I rightly recall, lay at one third of the speed as did the Allseas vessel. The Russians are also aware of the geopositioning requirement that the Danes may impose. Only one Russian pipelayer, the one at present in the Far East, has this capability. from here

"Pioneering Spirit" and" Solitaire" crossed the border of Swedish and Danish waters on 27 and 28 November, respectively, since which time the former has covered 89 km, the latter -- a little less than 70 km, i.e. they move at a speed of 3.5–4.5 km per day. This means that they should be able to complete the construction within a month. But maintaining this momentum depends on the weather conditions.

There was only 1 month's worth of laying left when Allseas fucked off.

The Russians are seemingly, from the troll's point of view, faced with such insurmountable odds that he is coming in his pants. They'll never finish the job.

Like when they said they would never finish that bridge, across the petersburg-Simferopol train crosses for the first time this coming Christmas Day?

Moscow Exile December 23, 2019 at 12:11 pm
From same source as above, namely Moskovskiy Komsomolets :

According to a representative of one of the contractors involved in the creation of the offshore section of "Nord Stream – 2", Gazprom began to insure against sanctions against companies involved in laying the pipeline in October. The Fortuna pipe-laying barge, built in 2010 at a Russian shipyard and later upgraded at Chinese shipyards, has been used. This vessel has been based for about two months in the German port of Mukran, where the pipes required for the gas pipeline construction are shipped.

According to an MK interlocutor who wished to remain anonymous, despite the fact that Fortuna is the most powerful domestic vessel in its class, it is unlikely that it can fully replace Allseas pipelayers. "Fortuna" is able to do such works, but the speed of the project will be slowed down. "Fortuna specializes in laying infield and linear pipelines on land, while Gazprom charters vessels with foreign registration for offshore sections.

At the same time, Fortuna has experience working in deep water areas. As part of the Sakhalin-3 project, the barge was deploying an underwater production facility in the Kirinskoye field at a depth of 100 meters. The depth of the sea in the Danish section of the NS-2, which remains to be completed by Gazprom, does not exceed this mark, while Fortuna has a depth limit of 200 meters", explains the MK interlocutor.

Yeah, according to the Troll:

it is surprising that the Gazprom management didn't prepare for this situation! If this article is correct the only Russian vessel that can be used to finish the project is currently stationed in Vladivostok, and it will take about two months for it to arrive to Danish waters.

The sanction threat has been looming for months, but it seems that Gazprom did not prepare for it in any meaningful way.

I would be pleasantly surprised if this project is finished in 2020.

For "pleasantly surprised" above, read: "bitterly disappointed".

[Dec 24, 2019] Sanctions, Security and the Nord Stream 2 Pipeline OffGuardian

Dec 24, 2019 | off-guardian.org

The United States is less concerned with matters green. Nord Stream 2 poses a security threat.

Trump's former secretary of state, Rex Tillerson, saw it as "undermining Europe's overall energy security and stability."

US energy secretary Rick Perry argues that "Russian gas has strings attached." The claim is that Germany will be come too reliant and Ukraine further weakened. Ukraine had been the premier gatekeeper for Russian gas supply, with 40 percent of Europe's total amount transiting through Ukrainian soil. A slump in gross domestic product occasioned by an end to transit fees is considered imminent.

Other European states have been crankily concerned about the prospect of Gazprom's deepening involvement in the continent's energy market. Poland's anti-monopoly body UOKiK showed a measure of that opposition by fining France's Engie Energy (ENGIE.PA) 40 million euros in proceedings against Gazprom.

In February, EU ambassadors agreed that the project be subjected to greater scrutiny. A Franco-German compromise was struck : Nord Stream 2 would be placed "under European control".

The Trump administration's actions against Gazprom and Russia's energy influence, found in a provision of the 2020 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), can hardly be seen as noble endeavours.

The provision threatens sanctions and the freezing of assets against entities laying down the pipeline unless their activities cease "immediately". The United States has its own energy interests in Europe, and wishes to frustrate the effort. Market share is at stake.

The suspension of laying activities on the part of Allseas, a Swiss company, suggests that Trump's announcement is already biting.

"In anticipation of the enactment of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA)," went a company statement , "Allseas has suspended its Nord Stream 2 pipelay activities." The company would "proceed, consistent with the legislation's wind down provision and expect guidance comprising the necessary regulatory, technical and environmental clarifications from the relevant US authority."

The angle taken by the European Union, Germany and Russia can hardly surprise. Themes of energy security are reiterated. The Nord Stream 2 consortium makes the claim that, "Completing the project is essential for European supply security." Russian foreign ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova spikily condemned the sanctions measure. "A state with a $22 trillion national debt prohibits creditworthy countries to develop the real sector of their economies!"

For a EU spokesman, this constituted "the imposition of sanctions against EU companies conducting legitimate business." A German government spokesman suggested that such actions "affect German and other European businesses, and we see the move as meddling in our internal affairs." Finance Minister Olaf Scholz has sees it as an infringement of sovereignty. "It is up to the companies involved in the construction of the pipeline to take the next decisions."

Nothing is quite so simple. Gas pipeline politics has always been contentious. One state's sovereign promise is another's weakening. Concessions made to corporate monopolies are risky, capable of fostering insecurity as much as reassurance. Those who control the tap control a country's future.

But the imposition of any sanctions regime signals another bout of economic violence. In the international market, where governments operate as ready gangsters for corporate interests, prompted by such motivations as seeking more natural resources, tools of state become handmaidens of economic self-interest...

[Dec 23, 2019] The US' Impending Nord Stream II Sanctions Support The Three Seas Initiative

Dec 21, 2019 | astutenews.com

Trump is expected to sign into law the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) 2020 which mandates the imposition of sanctions on companies involved in Nord Stream II's construction, but while this crafty move isn't expected to seriously impede the project since it's already in its final stages, its importance derives in the fact that it signals extremely strong support for the interests of the US-backed "Three Seas Initiative" whose Polish leader has objected to this game-changing pipeline on geopolitical grounds.

***

The US Senate's approval of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) 2020 means that Trump will likely sign it into law very soon, which is troublesome for Trans-Atlantic relations because it mandates among its many sometimes unrelated provisions the imposition of sanctions on companies involved in Nord Stream II's construction. This crafty move isn't expected to seriously impede the project since it's already in its final stages after Russia secured Denmark's permission back in October to construct a crucial segment of this pipeline through its maritime territory, which will facilitate the project's completion and thus strengthen Russia's strategic partnership with EU-leader Germany. That outcome will likely accelerate the ongoing rapprochement between Russia and the bloc's Western European members that became obvious to all after Macron's successful visit to Moscow in late August, but which is in turn compelling the US to double down on its commitment to the Polish-led " Three Seas Initiative " (TSI) that it envisages functioning as its wedge for retaining influence in the strategic Central European space between those two.

The impending NDAA 2020-connected sanctions should therefore be seen as an extremely strong signal of support for this trans-regional integration structure because they satisfy the demands of its Polish leader for the US to impose costs upon Germany for its reinvigorated strategic partnership with Russia. Barely reported on at the time, it's significant to mention that a bipartisan resolution was submitted to the House of Representatives at the end of October shortly after Russia secured Denmark's support for Nord Stream II mandating that Congress prioritize its support for the TSI in the aftermath of that development, with a specific focus on energy and physical connectivity projects. The grand strategic goal that the US is aiming to achieve is to create a so-called "cordon sanitaire" that would serve to divide Russia from Western Europe by exploiting the preexisting animosity that the many states between them have towards Moscow, and it will likely end up being one of the main drivers of American foreign policy towards the continent for the foreseeable future.

In pursuit of that objective, the US is also making strategic outreaches to Belarus , knowing very well that its wily leader Lukashenko is more than willing to "balance" between the West and Russia in a risky attempt to extract more (mostly economic) "concessions" from each of them. It goes without saying that this policy will probably ramp up now that Nord Stream II is a fait accompli and the "cordon sanitaire" is more significant than ever in the current context. That former Soviet Republic, however, is unlikely to engage in a decisive "pivot" against Russia, though from a zero-sum standpoint, the gradual moves that it's making towards the West can indeed be interpreted as being "mildly" against Russia's long-term interests. Still, there isn't much that Russia can do since it must avoid the perception that it's putting overwhelming pressure on Belarus or even plausibly considering doing so since that notion would only accelerate the very same trend that Moscow wants to reverse. Minsk, it must be said, recognizes how geostrategic its position is for both the Russian-led Eurasian Union (EAU) and the Polish-led TSI, so it'll try to play them off against the other, all with the US' passive support.

The US isn't the only Great Power spreading its influence through the TSI, as China is also rapidly on the ascent there too. The Balkans are becoming more important of a destination for Chinese foreign direct investment than ever through the Belt & Road Initiative (BRI), most visibly manifesting itself in Beijing's plans to construct a high-speed railway from the Hungarian capital of Budapest to the Greek port of Pireaus (the "Balkan Silk Road"). It also holds yearly meetings with the leaders of the TSI countries and others in this region through the 17+1 format that was recently expanded to include Greece (having been the 16+1 previously). In addition, Belarus is a key node on the Eurasian Land Bridge, with China investing in the " Great Stone " industrial park that it envisages becoming a major export center along that route. None of this is to imply whatsoever that China is "teaming up" with the US to "contain" Russia in Central & Eastern Europe, but just to point out that China's infrastructure investments will greatly help to connect the region along the north-south axis, after which the US will likely exploit these apolitical and purely economic projects for its strategic ends vis-a-vis Russia.

Even so, while the TSI space is certainly geostrategic, its economic importance pales in comparison to Western Europe's. The German economy alone is larger than all of those states' combined, so Russia isn't exactly losing out in the economic sense as a result of the US' TSI plans. It is, however, at risk of this "cordon sanitaire" being used as its rival's trans-regional platform for putting military pressure upon it, which has already been happening ever since most of its states joined NATO and then doubled down on their commitment to it after the onset of the New Cold War in 2014 following Crimea's reunification with Russia in response to the US-backed coup in Ukraine. Poland and increasingly Greece bookend this pro-American military structure, while Ukraine and possibly soon even Belarus could ultimately become its eastern-most appendages by proxy. Russia still has instruments of influence that it can leverage in an attempt to keep this trend under control, though it's seemingly on the defensive in recent years and appears unable to gain any successes on this front, instead choosing to concentrate on Western Europe through Nord Stream II and other measures.

Looking forward, the rise of the TSI as the US' preferred continental proxy is all but assured, though it's unclear whether or not it'll succeed with its fundamental purpose of keeping Russia and Western Europe apart. Classical geopolitical thought suggesting that it would doesn't take into consideration the much more complex nature of contemporary International Relations whereby a conventional military clash between the TSI states and Russia is unlikely for reasons of Mutually Assured Destruction (MAD) stemming from many of the former's memberships in NATO, and their other memberships in the EU mean that a successful EU-Russian detente would force them to facilitate trade between Western Europe and Russia if even a single state vetoes the continuation of sanctions in the future. Altogether, it can therefore be said that Russia's successful completion of Nord Stream II would flip the strategic dynamics by once again returning Moscow to a position of strength whereas Washington would then be the Great Power on the defensive instead. Still, the TSI's potential shouldn't be underestimated either since it might lead to some surprises for both Western Europe and Russia if its American patron has a few tricks up its sleeve that it's wiling to teach its regional partners.


By Andrew Korybko
Source: One World

[Dec 22, 2019] Autopsy of the Minsk agreements

Notable quotes:
"... Are the security forces loyal to him to the extent that he could realistically counted on them to carry out a crackdown on the "Nazis"? ..."
"... I am sympathetic to a lot of what Putin has felt it necessary to do, but I must say, I don't buy the incessant use of the term "Ukronazi." Sounds propagandistic. ..."
"... What about the Ukrainian people? A large majority of them voted for some sort of reconciliation with the separatists and Russia. They did so twice: once for Zelenskii, and once again for his party. Does that count for nothing? ..."
"... I think the plan is to wait until Russia collapses from Western sanctions, and then invade Crimea and Donbass. They didn't give up on the territory by any means, which is why I don't think that any ceasefire in Donbass will hold. It is going to remain a slow-burning conflict, the regime will continue to complain about "Russian invasion" and international investors will continue to avoid the Ukraine. ..."
Dec 22, 2019 | www.unz.com

The recent Paris summit and the few days following the summit have brought a lot of clarity about the future of the Minsk Agreements. Short version: Kiev has officially rejected them (by rejecting both the sequence of steps and several crucial steps). For those interested, let's look a little further.

First, what just happened

First, here are the key excerpts from the Paris Conference and from statements made by "Ze" and his superior, Arsen Avakov right after their return to Kiev:

Paris Conference statement: source

The Minsk agreements (Minsk Protocol of 5 September 2014, Minsk Memorandum of 19 September 2014 and the Minsk Package of Measures of 12 February 2015) continue to be the basis of the work of the Normandy format whose member states are committed to their full implementation ( ) The sides express interest in agreeing within the Normandy format (N4) and the Trilateral Contact Group on all the legal aspects of the Special Order of Local Self-Government – special status – of Certain Areas of the Donetsk and Luhansk Regions – as outlined in the Package of Measures for the Implementation of the Minsk Agreements from 2015 – in order to ensure its functioning on a permanent basis .They consider it necessary to incorporate the "Steinmeier formula" into the Ukrainian legislation, in accordance with the version agreed upon within the N4 and the Trilateral Contact Group.

President 'Ze' statement on Ukrainian TV: (unofficial, in-house, translation) source

" The most difficult question is the question of the transfer of the border control to Ukraine. It's very funny, because its our border and the transfer of the control to us. But, it's a weak sport, the Achilles' heel of the Minsk Agreement." "It's what was signed by us, unfortunately. We can discuss this for a very long time. Possibly, the conditions were as such." "But we signed that we will get the control over our border only after the elections on the temporarily occupied territories." "We dedicated a very long time to this question, we discussed it in details, we have a very different positions with the president of Russia ." "But this is the Minsk position, we have to understand this. I only like one thing, that we started talking about this. We agreed that we will continue talking about this in details and with the different variations during our next meeting." "This is also a victory, because we will have a meeting in four months."

Q. What do you think, is it possible to change the Minsk Agreement? source

" This will be very difficult to do, but we have to do it. We have to change it . First, we have to understand that it's been over four years since the Minsk Agreement was signed. Everything changes in our life. We have to understand that it wasn't my team that signed the Minsk Agreement, but we as a power have to fulfill the conditions that our power at the time agreed back then. But? I am sure that some things we will be able to change. We will be changing them." "Because the transfer of the Ukraine's border after our control only after the elections, – it's not our position. I said about this don't know how many times, but this is the final decision ."

Arsen Avakov's statement on Ukrainian TV: (unofficial, in-house, translation):

" The philosophy of the border control the part of the border that we don't have control over is 408 kilometers. It's not that easy to take it over, to equip it, even to get there across the enemy territories. It's a procedure. As a compromise, we offered the following scheme: we will start taking the border under our control stating with the New Year, little by little, reducing the length of the border that is not controlled by us, and a day before the local election we will close the border, we will close this bottleneck. And this way will get the control over the border. Why isn't this a good compromise? Considering, that at the same time according to the Steinmeier Formula, they have to disarm all the illegal armed formations of this pseudo-state DNR. This is how we see the compromise."

In other words, both the official President and real President of the Ukraine agree: the Ukraine will not implement the Minsk Agreements as written, made law by the UNSC and clarified by the so-called Steinmeier Formula.

Ukrainian propagandists on Russian TV (yes, Urkonazi and hardline nationalist propagandists do get air time on Russian TV on a daily basis – for an explanation why, see here and here ) went into damage control mode and explained it all away by saying " these are only words, what matters is what Zelenskii signed in Paris ". They are wrong. First of all, statements made in their official capacity by the President or the Minister of Internal Affairs do represent OFFICIAL policy statements. Second, this explanation completely overlooks the reason why Ze and Avakov said these things. That reason is very simple: Ze caved in to the Urkonazis, completely. He now uses EXACTLY the same rhetoric as Poroshenko did, in spite of the fact that the only reason he was elected is that he presented himself as the ultimate anti-Poroshenko. Now all we see is Poroshenko 2.0.

So in the behind-the-scenes (but very real) struggle between the Zionist camp (Kolomoiskii and Zelenskii) and the Urkonazi camp (Avakov and Poroshenko), the latter have successfully taken control of the former and now the chances for saving a unitary Ukraine are down to, maybe not quite zero, but to something like 0.0000001% (I leave that one under the heading "never say never" and because I have been wrong in the past).

So what happens next?

That is the interesting question. In theory, the Normandy Four will meet again in 4 months. But that assumes that some progress was made. Well, it is possible that in a few sections of the line of contact there will be an OSCE supervised withdrawal of forces. But, let's be honest here, the people have seen many, many such promised withdrawals, and they all turned out to be fake. Either the Ukronazis return to the neutral zone (claiming huge victories over the (sic) "Russian armed force"), or they resume bombing civilians, or they never even bother to change position. Any withdrawal is a good thing if it can save a single life! But no amount of withdrawals will settle anything in this conflict.

Second, there are A LOT of Ukrainian politicians who now say that the citizens of the LDNR have to "return" to Russia if they don't like the Urkonazi coup or its ideology. They either don't realize, or don't care, that there are very few Russian volunteers in Novorussia and that the vast majority of the men and women who compose the LDNR forces are locals. These locals, by the way, get the Ukie message loud and clear: you better get away while you can, because when we show up you will all be prosecuted for terrorism and aiding terrorists, that is ALSO something the Urkonazis like to repeat day after day. By the way, while in Banderastan all Russian TV channels are censored, and while they also try to censor the Russian language Internet, in Novorussia all the Ukrainian (and Russian) TV stations are freely available. So as soon as some Nazi freak comes out and says something crazy like "we will create filtration camps" (aka concentration camps) this news is instantly repeated all over Novorussia, which only strengthens the resolve of the people of the LDNR to fight to their death rather than accept a Nazi occupation..

I said it many times, Zelenskii's ONLY chance was to crackdown on the Nazis as soon as he was elected. He either did not have the courage to do so, or his U.S. bosses told him to leave them unmolested. Whatever the case may be, it's now over, we are back to square one.

The most likely scenario is a "slow freezing" of the conflict meaning now that Kiev has officially and overtly rejected the Minsk Agreements, there will be some minor, pretend-negotiations, maybe, but that fundamentally the conflict will be frozen.

That will be the last nail in the coffin of the pro-EU, pro-NATO so-called "Independent Ukraine", since the most important condition to try to salvage the Ukrainian economy, namely peace, is now gone. Furthermore, the political climate in the Ukraine will further deteriorate (the hated Nazi minority + an even worse economic crisis are a perfect recipe for disaster).

For the Novorussians, it's now clear: the rump-Ukraine* does not want them, nor will Kiev ever agree to the Minsk Agreement. That means that the LDNR will separate from the rump-Ukraine and, on time, rejoin Russia. Good bye Banderites and Urkonazis!

The rump-Ukraine will eventually break-up further: Crimea truly was the "jewel of the Black Sea" and its future appears to be extremely bright while the Donbass was the biggest source of raw materials, energy, industry, high-tech, etc. etc. etc.). What is left of the Ukraine is either poor and under-developed (the West) or needs to reopen economic ties with Russia (the South).

Besides, Zelenskii and his party are now trying to rush a new law through the Rada which will allow the sale of Ukrainian land to private interests (aka foreign interests + a local frontman). As a result, there is now a new "maidan" brewing, pitting Iulia Timoshenko and other nationalist leaders against Zelenskii and his party. This could become a major crisis very fast, especially now that is appears that Zelenskii will also renege on this promise to call for a national referendum on the issue of the sale/privatization of land .

As for the Russians, they already realize that Ze is a joke, unsurprisingly so since he is a comic by trade, and that the Ukrainians are "not agreement capable". They will treat him like they did Poroshenko in the last years: completely ignore him and not even take his telephone calls. Right now, there is just a tiny bit of good will left in Moscow, but it is drying up so fast that it will soon totally disappear. Besides, the Russians really don't care that much anymore: the sanctions turned out to be a blessing, time is on Russia's side, the Ukronazis are destroying their own state and, finally, the important stuff for Russia is happening in Asia, not the West.

The Europeans will take a long time to come to terms with two simple facts:

Russia was never a party to this conflict (if she had, it would have been over long ago). The Ukronazis are the ones who won't implement the Minsk Agreements

This means that the politicians who were behind the EU's backing of the Euromaidan (Merkel) will have to go before their successors can say that, oops, we got our colors confused, and white is actually black and black turned out to be white. That's okay, politicians are pretty good at that. The honeymoon between Kiev and Warsaw on the one hand and Berlin on the other will soon end as bad times are ahead.

Macron looks much better, and he will probably pursue his efforts to restore semi-normal relations with Russia, for France's sake first, but also eventually the rest of the EU. The Poles and the Balts will accuse him of "treason" and he will just ignore them.

As for Trump, he will most likely make small steps towards Russia, but most of his energy will be directed either inwards (impeachment) or outwards (Israel), but not towards the Ukrainian conflict. Good.

Conclusion

It's over. Crimea and the Donbass are gone forever, the first is de jure , the latter merely de facto . The rump-Ukraine is completely unconformable (barring some kind of coup followed by a government of national unity supported Moscow – I consider this hypothesis as highly unlikely).

If you live in the West, don't expect your national media to report on any of this. They will be the LAST ones to actually admit it (journos have a longer shelf life than politicians, it is harder for them to make a 180).

PS: to get a feeling for the kind of silly stunts the "Ze team" is now busying itself with, just check this one: they actually tried to falsify the Ukrainian version of the Paris Communique. For details, see Scott's report here: https://thesaker.is/kiev-attempted-to-change-the-letter-and-meaning-of-paris-summit-communique/ . If the Ukraine was a Kindergarten, then "Ze" would be a perfect classroom teacher or visiting entertainer. But for a country fighting for its survival, such stunts are a very, very bad sign indeed!

(*rump-Ukraine: In broad terms, a "rump" state is what remains of a state when a portion is carved away. Expanding on the "butcher" metaphor, the rump is what is left when the higher-value cuts such as rib roast and loin have been removed.)


Oscar Peterson , says: December 18, 2019 at 7:55 pm GMT

I said it many times, Zelenskii's ONLY chance was to crackdown on the Nazis as soon as he was elected. He either did not have the courage to do so, or his U.S. bosses told him to leave them unmolested.

Are the security forces loyal to him to the extent that he could realistically counted on them to carry out a crackdown on the "Nazis"?

For the Novorussians, it's now clear: the rump-Ukraine* does not want them, nor will Kiev ever agree to the Minsk Agreement.

So what is the Ukrainian thinking here -- that they are better off simply cutting bait on the east and letting Russia deal with the headache of the Donbass's antiquated infrastructure? And that a truncated Ukraine would at least be mostly free of internal pro-Russian sentiment?

I am sympathetic to a lot of what Putin has felt it necessary to do, but I must say, I don't buy the incessant use of the term "Ukronazi." Sounds propagandistic.

bob sykes , says: December 18, 2019 at 11:48 pm GMT
What about the Ukrainian people? A large majority of them voted for some sort of reconciliation with the separatists and Russia. They did so twice: once for Zelenskii, and once again for his party. Does that count for nothing?
Felix Keverich , says: December 19, 2019 at 12:51 am GMT
@Oscar Peterson

So what is the Ukrainian thinking here

I think the plan is to wait until Russia collapses from Western sanctions, and then invade Crimea and Donbass. They didn't give up on the territory by any means, which is why I don't think that any ceasefire in Donbass will hold. It is going to remain a slow-burning conflict, the regime will continue to complain about "Russian invasion" and international investors will continue to avoid the Ukraine.

Anonymous [176] Disclaimer , says: December 19, 2019 at 1:21 am GMT
"Russia collapses from Western sanctions" If that is the plan, then Russia has already won. And, of course, she has.
vot tak , says: December 19, 2019 at 1:20 pm GMT
"That reason is very simple: Ze caved in to the Ukronazis, completely. He now uses EXACTLY the same rhetoric as Poroshenko did, in spite of the fact that the only reason he was elected is that he presented himself as the ultimate anti-Poroshenko. Now all we see is Poroshenko 2.0."

This is interesting. It implies z actually meant what he said in order to gain votes to get elected. In fact, he is very similar to trump in this respect. Lied about desiring an end to the conflict (conflicts in the case of trump), but once in office continued the aggressive policies (and expanded them in the case of trump). Actually, if one considers poroshenko as the ukraine version of obama/clinton and zelinsky as trump, it looks like the ukrainian regime is following in the footsteps of the american regime.

Tsar Nicholas , says: December 21, 2019 at 1:09 pm GMT
It's not just Minsk that has been abandoned by the Kiev junta. Kiev itself has been abandoned by the EU, which now looks to Nordstream-2 for its energy supplies from Russia, thus bypassing the thieves in Ukraine. Even sanctions from the Supreme Sanctioner in DC is not going to persuade the Germans to shiver in the winter.

[Dec 22, 2019] Having a US Ambassador that thinks of himself as a Proconsul of Germany has not lessened any tensions either

See also Nord Stream 2: Trump approves sanctions on Russia gas pipeline BBC
Dec 22, 2019 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

The Rev Kev , December 21, 2019 at 9:41 am

"Nord Stream 2: Trump approves sanctions on Russia gas pipeline"

The Russians will probably finish that last segment themselves but the German reaction will be the one to watch out for – if there is one. Without Nord Stream 2, Germany will have to accept having a smaller economy because of insufficient energy to power it which will have knock-on effects in taxation, revenue raising & allocation, etc.
This will make them less competitive against the US and other economies and if they are forced to buy US gas shipments, it will play hell with their budget due to the excessive cost. Having a US Ambassador that thinks of himself as a Proconsul of Germany has not lessened any tensions either. So we will see if there is any German reaction.

curious euro , December 21, 2019 at 9:57 am

When Russia finishes the pipeline, which is not really sure since the swiss special ships might finish in time or might be actually needed to finish the pipeline, then why would a reaction from Germany be needed?

If/when the pipeline is done, Germany will take the gas from it for e.g. its chemical industry. From what I understand, the US hasn't sanctioned users of russian gas in general, "only" companies who actively build on the pipeline, like the owner of the special ships used.

If the US however doubles down and sanctions users of russian pipeline gas, then it will probably have a big fight on its hand. Then not only Germany is affected but almost all EU countries, except Poland and the Baltics of course.

The Historian , December 21, 2019 at 10:00 am

Frankly, I just don't get the logic behind this move by Trump. Is he saying that he thinks that Germany is a colony of the US and that the US gets to determine where they get their resources? That is pretty high-handed, even for the US.

xkeyscored , December 21, 2019 at 10:55 am

I think that's exactly what these sanctions are about. "The US considers the project a security risk to Europe" certainly sounds colonialist, and "The Trump administration fears the pipeline will tighten Russia's grip over Europe's energy supply and reduce its own share of the lucrative European market for American liquefied natural gas" sounds like the USA wants to tell Europe what to buy and where.
I'm not sure about pinning it all on Trump though: " Congress voted through the measures as part of a defence bill last week and the legislation, which described the pipeline as a "tool of coercion", was signed off by Mr Trump on Friday."
(Quotes from the BBC article)

bob , December 21, 2019 at 11:50 am

Why have NATO. Do you need a military against a country that you buy gas from. You give them enormous amounts of money and they can shut the switch at any time. Maybe we should bring Russia into NATO to defend against aliens.

Louis Fyne , December 21, 2019 at 12:19 pm

(mild hyperbole) Belgium would fall apart without the cash from all the Eurocrat jobs in Brussels.

And where would aspiring technocrats go without a stint at Nato on their CVs think of the bureaucrats and politicians!

John A , December 21, 2019 at 4:12 pm

Russia asked to join NATO, but were rejected. NATO needs a bogey man enemy to justify forcing all its members to spend 2% of GDP on US military equipment. The first thing American arms salespersons did when the Berlin Wall fell was to head to Eastern Europe to sell arms.

Zamfir , December 21, 2019 at 2:14 pm

It might be high-handed, but it's not new. Variations of this game have gone on since the 80s, when the first gas exports from Russia were starting. This is an upswing in aggression, but it's mostly a continuation of standard US policy.

I am not even sure that the increased aggression comes from Trump. It's more that gas producers in the US are now more powerful than a decade ago (and somewhat desperate due to low gas prices in the US), so their interests add to the old-school geopolitics.

EU Colonized , December 21, 2019 at 3:18 pm

Well Germany and EU are sure behaving as if they are colonies. Zero fight for what is good for EU. Think Russia sanctions. Hurt only EU, not US and a little bit Russia, which now have moved to produce themselves the stuff EU was selling to Russia. EU has screwed itself on the long-term by order from the US. US is not Europe's friend, but is making sure that it gets weaker and cannot offer an alternative, economical, social or military.

ptb , December 21, 2019 at 4:58 pm

If you want to amuse yourself you can see the ships here :

They appear to be returning to port. Were last working just to the SSE of Bornholm (the Danish island).

Here is a gazprom map of the route as of Oct . Most of the remaining route, the segment in German EEZ waters going in the southwest directon from Bornholm, is shallow water.

Oregoncharles , December 21, 2019 at 6:13 pm

Any reaction will probably be very on-the-quiet.

I keep wondering when Europe will decide to throw off the shackles. A complicating factor may be history: they'd rather an American master, mostly far away, than a German one.

Mo's Bike Shop , December 21, 2019 at 10:29 pm

Didn't we interfere with Japanese oil supplies once? For large values of happy, I can say I'm happy with synopsizing the result of World War 2 as being about 'Who had the most oil?' I feel like we are now vaporizing so many kinds of capital to maintain energy dominance. Can the US please stop fighting WWII sometime before WWIII

[Dec 21, 2019] Trump administration sanction companies involved in laying the remaining pipe, and also companies involved in the infrastructure around the arrival point.

Highly recommended!
Dec 21, 2019 | peakoilbarrel.com

Watcher x Ignored says: 12/13/2019 at 6:27 am

The new US defense bill, agreed on by both parties, includes sanctions on executives of companies involved in the completion of Nordstream 2. This is companies involved in laying the remaining pipe, and also companies involved in the infrastructure around the arrival point.

This could include arrest of the executives of those companies, who might travel to the United States. One of the companies is Royal Dutch Shell, who have 80,000 employees in the United States.

Hightrekker x Ignored says: 12/13/2019 at 12:28 pm
So much for the "Free Market".
Hickory x Ignored says: 12/12/2019 at 11:28 pm
Some people believe 'the market' for crude oil is a fair and effective arbiter of the industry supply and demand. But if we step back an inch or two, we all can see it has been a severely broken mechanism during this up phase in oil. For example, there has been long lags between market signals of shortage or surplus.

Disruptive policies and mechanisms such as tariffs, embargo's, and sanctions, trade bloc quotas, military coups and popular revolutions, socialist agendas, industry lobbying, multinational corporate McCarthyism, and massively obese debt financing, are all examples of forces that have trumped an efficient and transparent oil market.

And yet, the problems with the oil market during this time of upslope will look placid in retrospect, as we enter the time beyond peak.
I see no reason why it won't turn into a mad chaotic scramble.
We had a small hint of what this can look like in the last mid-century. The USA responded to military expansionism of Japan by enacting an oil embargo against them. The response was Pearl Harbor. This is just one example of many.
How long before Iran lashes out in response to their restricted access to the market?
People generally don't respond very calmly to involuntary restriction on food, or energy, or access to the markets for these things.

[Dec 21, 2019] Russian Pipeline Work Halted on Threat of U.S. Sanctions - Bloomberg

Dec 21, 2019 | www.bloomberg.com
AllSeas Group SA said it would halt operations on the Nord Stream 2 pipeline from Russia to Germany on expectations the U.S. Congress will pass legislation to sanction companies working on the project, which critics say will bind Europe more tightly to Moscow.

The contractor said in a two-line statement it would suspend work "in anticipation of the enactment of the National Defense Authorization Act."

... ... ...

Texas Republican Senator Ted Cruz, the main Senate sponsor of the sanctions, wrote a letter with Wisconsin Senator Ron Johnson to AllSeas Chief Executive Officer Edward Heerema Wednesday warning the company that it would face "crushing and potentially fatal" sanctions if it continued work on the pipeline.

"The consequences of your company continuing to do the work -- for even a single day after the President signs the sanctions legislation -- would expose your company to crushing and potentially fatal legal and economic sanctions," they wrote.

[Dec 21, 2019] Our pointless attempt at containing Russia has failed caucus99percent

Dec 21, 2019 | caucus99percent.com

Putin has said he will keep the Ukraine pipeline

Putin: Moscow Will Keep Gas Pipeline Through Ukraine
Thursday, 19 December 2019 08:08 AM

Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Thursday that Moscow planned to keep gas transit via Ukraine irrespective of a number of gas pipelines Moscow currently builds to bypass its ex-Soviet neighbor.
...
"This is a very difficult, sensitive topic. We would like to solve this problem," Putin said at his annual press conference in Moscow.

"We will look for a solution that is acceptable for all parties, including Ukraine. That's despite the construction of infrastructure such as Nord Stream 1, Nord Stream 2, TurkStream. We will preserve gas transit through Ukraine."
...
Putin said on Thursday that Russia would be ready to give Ukraine a discount of 20-25% for gas purchases. "I am confident we will reach an agreement ... We have no desire to exacerbate the situation ... or use this to influence the situation in Ukraine itself."
...

This gives Ukraine three options:

  1. keep buying Russian gas from Europe
  2. swallow their pride and buy discounted gas direct from Russia
  3. freeze in the dark

snoopydawg on Fri, 12/20/2019 - 7:49pm

Obama sure screwed over Ukrainians didn't he?

Yes it was corrupt before the violent coup, but at least people could live nicely and be warm during winter. People have frozen during the winters since and many of them had to go back to work because of the damn IMF loans that hurt big time.

Congress said that they had to put sanctions on Nordstream because of Russia aggression. One article listed all of the aggressions they have done.

Invaded Iraq.
Supported the Honduran coup.
Invaded Libya
Invaded Syria....well you get the drift. Sorta like how Iran has destabilized the Middle East as pompous Pompeo is saying. It's the effing hypocrisy!

[Dec 19, 2019] Provoking a War with Russia by Larry C Johnson - Sic Semper Tyrannis

Dec 19, 2019 | turcopolier.typepad.com

Provoking a War with Russia? by Larry C Johnson Larry Johnson-5x7

The anti-Russian insanity that dominates the politics of America is dangerous, stupid and detached from facts. Two news items from Wednesday (December 18th) should scare the hell out of you.

The first concerns Russia's Nord Stream 2 natural gas pipeline, which is nearing completion and will deliver gas to Europe. According to Reuters :

The U.S. Senate on Tuesday passed legislation to slap sanctions on companies building a massive underwater pipeline to bring Russian natural gas to Germany, but it was uncertain whether the measures would slow completion of the project.

Senator Jim Risch, a Republican and the chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, said the sanctions will prevent the project's completion and are an "important tool to counter Russia's malign influence and to protect the integrity of Europe's energy sector."

Nord Stream 2, led by state-owned Gazprom, would allow Russia to bypass Poland and Ukraine to deliver gas under the Baltic Sea to Germany. U.S. lawmakers say Ukraine could lose billions of dollars in transit fees if it is built.

This is not the fault of the Democrats. This is being driven by Republicans, with Senator Ted Cruz leading the charge .

The Trump administration should use sanctions to halt the construction of a pipeline that would allow Russia to transport natural gas directly to Europe, potentially generating cash to fuel President Vladimir Putin's military aggression, says Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas.

The Nord Stream 2 pipeline "would make Europe even more dependent on Russian energy," Cruz told FOX Business' Maria Bartiromo on Wednesday. "And that makes Europe susceptible to economic blackmail, because Putin has already demonstrated he's perfectly willing to cut off the gas in the dead of winter to try to force people to do what he wants."

Russia's "military aggression?" Did Russia invade Iraq twice in the last 29 years? Did Russia launch a war in Libya? Did Russia arm and train insurgents in Syria? I think Ted Cruz has not been paying attention to world events over the last thirty years. The number one country engaged in foreign military aggression is the United States. Hands down.

Here are the actual military facts about Russia:

So why is this pipeline now a redline in the sand that Russia dare not cross? Apparently because it will give Russia a way to make more money to finance its massive military buildup (hopefully you understand sarcasm) and, more importantly, will cost Ukraine lost income. Can't afford to have Ukrainian oligarchs running out of money that they are sending to Democrat and Republican consulting firms and candidates.

While it is unlikely that the sanctions will prevent the pipeline from being completed, largely because they come too little, too late, this is not going to hinder efforts to punish Russia :

A new Bloomberg headline reads "U.S. Concedes Defeat on Gas Pipeline It Sees as Russian Threat" just following new sanctions included in the House and Senate passed 2020 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) this week.

But two administration officials tell Bloomberg it's too little too late, despite Trump's heightened rhetoric of calling Germany "a captive to Russia" and charging Berlin with essentially giving "billions" of dollars to Russia:

Senior U.S. administration officials, who asked not to be identified discussing the administration's take on the project, said sanctions that passed Congress on Tuesday as part of a defense bill are too late to have any effect. The U.S. instead will try to impose costs on other Russian energy projects, one of the officials added.

Seriously, that United States has no right to threaten Russia in this way. It is reminiscent of the sanctions that the United States imposed on Japan prior to World War II that blocked Japan's access to critical oil and rubber supplies. That was a precipitating factor in Japan's decision to attack us on December 7, 1941.

If you think I am just being chicken little, I suspect you did not read the recent comment of Deputy Chief of General Staff of Russia, Valery Gerasimov :

NATO exercises near the border with Russia reflect the alliance's preparations for a large-scale military conflict, Russia's chief military officer said in remarks published Wednesday.

The chief of the General Staff of the Russian armed forces, Gen. Valery Gerasimov, said at Tuesday's meeting with foreign military attaches that NATO's activities have heightened tensions and reduced security along the Russian border.

Asked if the Russian military sees a potential threat of war, Gerasimov said that Moscow doesn't see "any preconditions for a large-scale war."

He added, however, that Western pressure on Russia could trigger "crisis situations" that may spin out of control and provoke a military conflict.

The anti-Russia hysteria in the United States is tying the hands of Donald Trump to act responsibly to protect America. If he vetoes the bill put forward by the Congress he will be accused, as he has been for more than two years, of catering to Putin.

The fanatics and frauds waving the Russian threat ignore the fact that the United States and Russia work closely and productively on the Space Station. Our astronauts and their cosmonauts co-exist peacefully in space and we rely on the Russians to haul our folks to and from the Space Station. In Syria, the Combined Air Operations Center (i.e., CAOC) communicates daily with Russian counterparts to ensure that their respective air assets do not fire on each other or inadvertently wander into a combat space. This has been going on for more than three years.

Russia still has nuclear weapons. It is their ultimate deterrent against another invasion. The memory of losing more than 12 million soldiers in World War II remains vivid and painful. The U.S. public can barely remember that we lost less than 500,000 soldiers, marines and sailors in World War II. Our inability to remember coupled with unjustified belligerence is pushing us towards a war with Russia that would be beyond catastrophic.

Posted at 02:47 PM in Larry Johnson , Russia , Russiagate | Permalink

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catherine , 19 December 2019 at 03:23 PM

''The Trump administration should use sanctions to halt the construction of a pipeline that would allow Russia to transport natural gas directly to Europe, potentially generating cash to fuel President Vladimir Putin's military aggression, says Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas''

I don't know how many times I have ..Who do these politicians think they are !!??
They were not elected to 'run the world'. WE must get rid of them.
The Col told me awhile ago that the CIA doesn't do 'accidental deaths' ....too bad.

Adrian E. , 19 December 2019 at 04:05 PM
At least, these sanctions are not only directed against Russia, but also against Western Europe.
First,the sanctions directly affect not only Gasprom, but also Western European companies that are involved in building the pipelines (since only a small part of the work remains to be done, Nordstream 2 can probably be finished without some of them, but if everything continues as before, some Western European companies involved in building the pipelines would clearly be affected by US sanctions, among them a specialized Swiss company).
Second, the purpose of the pipelines clearly is not only to help Russia selling gas, but also to help Germany buying Russian gas.
The sanctions are not anti-Russian sanctions, but sanctions against Europe, including Russia, Germany, and other European countries.
Especially in Germany, there is absolutely no tolerance for such sanctions with which the US wants to force Europeans to buy uncompetitive expensive US fracking gas. There are talks about European countersanctions against the US. The US may hope to exploit disagreements among EU countries. After all some EU countries like Poland are against Nordstream. But the US should not rely on this - such blatant interference in European matters is clearly not tolerated by the EU. An appropriate countermeasure might be punitive Tarifs on US fracking gas exports - there is not much demand for it, anyway, but it would make sense to prevent any significant amounts of US fracking gas from being bought in Europe as long as the US wants to force Europeans to buy it.
In any case, these anti-European sanctions show once more that the US has become a pariah nation that has isolated itself and has no real allies any more (except perhaps Saudi Arabia and Israel).
Adrian E. , 19 December 2019 at 04:23 PM
I would not call these sanctions only anti-Russian sanctions. They are just as well directed against Western Europe.

First, it is not only Gasprom which is involved in building the pipeline (although it is the owner), but also European companies (among them a Swiss one). Since Nordstream II is almost finished, the services of some of these companies may not be necessary any more, but if they continued normally, also some Western European companies would be sanctioned.

Second, obviously, the purpose of the pipelines is not only to help Russia selling gas, but also to help Germany (and other Western European countries that will receive it via Germany) buying Russian gas.

In Germany, there is very little tolerance for such sanctions, and people talk about counter-sanctions against the US. An appropriate measure could be punitive tariffs on US fracking gas. There is little demand for US fracking gas in Europe, anyway, since it is more expensive, but it may make sense to make sure than no significant amounts of US gas are sold in Europe as long as the US wants to force Europeans to buy it.

The US may hope to exploit disagreements about Nordstream within the EU. After all, some countries like Poland are against it. But the US should not rely on this tactic working. Such blatant interference in European energy supplies with sanction will hardly be tolerated by the EU.

In any case, these anti-European sanctions show one more how much the US has become a pariah country that has isolated itself and hardly has allies any more (except perhaps Saudi Arabia and Israel).

I agree that one of the motives for these anti-European sanctions is anti-Russian insanity in the US. But another important motive is disrespect of the US for Western Europe, which it seems to regard as a kind of colonies or vassal states it can tell what to do.

In Europe, there is still a certain gap - while polls show that the US is very unpopular, among European elites, pro-US forces still have a certain influence. But probably, it won't take very long until European countries will adapt their policies towards the US in the direction a majority of their citizens wants. Another such example of US folly is the idea that Germany should pay more for the presence of US troops. According to polls, about half of the German population wanted US troops to leave, anyway, even before the question of increased payments was raised, and if the US is serious about this demand, the consequence that it will lose its military bases is obvious.

Harlan Easley , 19 December 2019 at 04:48 PM
John Titor
Factotum , 19 December 2019 at 04:53 PM
Who recently described Russia as third tier country, with an economy no bigger than the state of New York?
Factotum , 19 December 2019 at 04:55 PM
Send in Greta Thonburg. She'll show them. More use of fossil fuels zut alors! Who will even be buying Russian energy. How dare they.
Paul Damascene , 19 December 2019 at 07:43 PM
I credit you with possessing the good sense, seemingly rare, to not wish to enter into a direct military conflict with Russia, particularly out of some hyper inflated sense of threat, owing (no less) to their aggression. Kudos to you for acknowledging which country is the number one threat of military aggression in the world.

The sarcasm of referring to a mounting Russian threat is merited insofar as their military budget is actually falling as a proportion of output.

I would suggest, however, when assessing the strength of the enemy you rightly argue that it is stupid to provoke, that you do not limit yourself to the prevailing think-tank approaches to assessing that threat. It's pretty obvious to most people that comparing an Su-35 to an F-35 in dollar terms makes the F-35 3 or 4 times the military threat of the Sukhoi. Ditto with an Su-57 to F-22 comparison.

But it would be better to listen to actual military experts with technical training in the STEM disciplines needed to provide the analysis. I would suggest you look at the work of A. Martyanov's work, a retired Russian naval officer writing occasionally US Naval institute Blog. Or visit his blog, Reminiscence of the Future, through which you could get more background on his books, including the latest, The (Real) Revolution in Military Affairs.

His concern is that (while some of us use these CIA factbook-type analysis to cool off the hysterical claims of threat) Russia hawk politicians and think-tank military pseudo-experts are using these to seriously downplay Russia's capacity to counter American aggression. Would welcome your thoughts on his work.

Andrei Martyanov (aka SmoothieX12) , 19 December 2019 at 08:11 PM
Russia's 2018 GDP of $1.66 trillion, which is just 8% of America's total GDP of $21.5 trillion.

Larry, it is patently and, actually, grossly untrue on both counts. Nor comparison of military budgets is legitimate tool. In fact, all this is in the foundation of the United States failing, time after time, having a good grasp of the military balance.

Ghost Ship , 19 December 2019 at 09:07 PM
Last winter LNG from the Russian Yamal gas field was delivered to the United States. Perhaps Washington should deal with its own dependence on Russian energy before it starts pressuring Europe.
Stephanie , 19 December 2019 at 10:41 PM
The goal is to overturn the government of Russia, just like the goal has been to overturn the government of Bolivia (Mission Accomplished), Venezuela, Cuba, China, Russia, North Korea, Libya, Lebanon, Iran, Syria... This is imperialism. It's history is long and has been successfully practiced by far by the British and Americans. And it's goal is the theft of the resources, human and natural, of the countries targeted. It is old news. Nothing has changed for two hundred years. My God, the original Crimean War was fought for exactly the same reasons as the current Crimean War although the actual fighting is of a different scale and different style. Permit me to include in the litany above Native Americans who were slaughtered for their territory. It is astonishing that President Trump seems to be less than enthusiastic about this program, but it certainly recommends him highly if he is. And today, we may ask who is behind this program. It is certainly not the American people.

[Dec 19, 2019] US Concedes Defeat On Russia's Nord Stream 2 Pipeline Even As Sanctions Passed

Dec 19, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

A new Bloomberg headline reads "U.S. Concedes Defeat on Gas Pipeline It Sees as Russian Threat" just following new sanctions included in the House and Senate passed 2020 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) this week.

But two administration officials tell Bloomberg it's too little too late , despite Trump's heightened rhetoric of calling Germany "a captive to Russia" and charging Berlin with essentially giving "billions" of dollars to Russia :

Senior U.S. administration officials, who asked not to be identified discussing the administration's take on the project, said sanctions that passed Congress on Tuesday as part of a defense bill are too late to have any effect . The U.S. instead will try to impose costs on other Russian energy projects, one of the officials added.

Image via nord-stream2.com/Unian

The Bloomberg report sees this as a rare admission of defeat :

The admission is a rare concession on what had been a top foreign-policy priority for the Trump administration and highlights how European allies such as Germany have been impervious to American pressure to abandon the pipeline. It also shows how the U.S. has struggled to deter Russia from flexing its muscles on issues ranging from energy to Ukraine to election interference.

The resolution contained in the defense spending bill, expected to be immediately signed into law by Trump, are measures which specifically target companies assembling the pipeline -- a last ditch US effort to block the controversial 760-mile, $10.2BN project that would allow Russia to export natural gas directly to Germany, depriving Ukraine of badly needed gas transit fees along the current route for Russian supplies.

Washington's position has long been that it weakens European energy security, while Merkel's Germany has rejected Trump's "meddling" in European energy affairs, which the Europeans have lately sought to diversify.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo during a February visit to Poland said Nord Stream 2 ultimately "funnels money to Russians in ways that undermine European national security."

Via Bloomberg

It's expected to double Russian gas shipments to the EU's biggest economy Germany, while others fear -- including dissenters within Merkel's own ruling coalition -- it will give Moscow significant geopolitical leverage over Europe while also punishing Ukraine.

The new US sanctions measures will target executives of companies operating vessels laying the pipeline , and will further seek to hinder those companies' ability to operate on the project. It's been spearheaded by Russian giant Gazprom and five European energy companies, including French electricity and gas firm Engie SA and Royal Dutch, and the Swiss company Allseas Group SA, among others, and is nearing completion, expected soon this coming year.

Bloomberg reports further, "Trump has indicated that he'll sign the legislation passed Tuesday. The penalties on companies building the project, led by Russian energy company Gazprom PJSC, would be effective immediately, according to a Senate Republican aide."

In total, continues Bloomberg, "Some 350 companies are involved in building the undersea link, most notably the Swiss company Allseas Group SA, whose ships are laying the last section of pipe in Danish waters."

Regardless, Gazprom head Alexei Miller has for months said it's "past the point of no return" and that nothing would derail it. "We are working from the idea that Nord Stream 2 will be realized strictly in accordance with the planned timetable," he previously told shareholders.

RealRussianBot99 , 4 minutes ago link

As an european i say fuckmerica

Tirion , 6 minutes ago link

THE UNITED STATES CORPORATION needs to keep its nose out of European energy policy! In fact, it needs to keep its nose out of everybody else's business.

[Dec 19, 2019] One cannot understand any Ukraine politics and scams (and Uk-RF politics and conflicts) without understanding the role of gas, and of Ukraine as a bottleneck for a LOT of the gas flowing between Russia and the EU. The Ukrainians have always been fiddling the Russians and their gas.

Dec 19, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

Lurker in the Dark , Dec 19 2019 1:49 utc | 56

My apologies if this has been posted before, but here is a news conference broadcast by Interfax a few days ago detailing a joint French-Ukrainian journalistic investigation into a huge money laundering scheme using various shadow banking organizations in Austria and Switzerland, benefiting Clinton friendly Ukrainian oligarchs and of course the Clinton Foundation.

The link is short enough to not require re-formatting:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4309z--JcGk&feature=

Really?? , Dec 19 2019 2:57 utc | 68

Lurker #56

From the Youtube video it is all about the gas.

Of course. I have said this repeatedly. I say this with confidence because I have read a book that is solely about Gazprom and all aspects of gas production, distribution, payment etc. etc. within and outside Russia. Which of course includes the major special problem of Ukraine. You cannot understand any Ukraine politics and scams (and Uk-RF politics and conflicts) without understanding the role of gas, and of Ukraine as a bottleneck for a LOT of the gas flowing between Russia and the EU. The Ukrainians have always been fiddling the Russians and their gas. And then the EU got into the picture and caused more trouble for Russia. Anyhow, it is fitting that the scam described in the video runs on GAS.

[Dec 18, 2019] Erdogan clearly believes he can monopolize gas transit between Central Asia/Middle East/Eastern Mediterranean and Europe.

Dec 18, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

c1ue , Dec 17 2019 20:35 utc | 13

This doesn't seem very complicated to me.
Turkey is emboldened by Turkstream (and by the Ukraine/Georgia stalemate) - Erdogan clearly believes he can monopolize gas transit between Central Asia/Middle East/Eastern Mediterranean and Europe. This would be a huge geopolitical and economic benefit for Turkey - far above and beyond any religion based "leadership" Turkey could benefit from the Muslim world.
Russia doesn't really care as it already has a pole position regarding natural gas to Europe - Erdogan's actions will only serve to slow down any buildout of competing supply from Central Asia/Middle East. Erdogan is likely being financially backed by Qatar as well - they also stand to benefit if Turkey can carve out a pipeline domination in the Eastern Med.

Piotr Berman , Dec 17 2019 20:51 utc | 15

"Follow the money..." If I recall correctly, Haftar got a nice pile of money from Russia in the form of Libyan banknotes that he ordered, and the status of those banknotes was unclear, but in LNA zone they are as good as the central bank notes. Legally, payments for Libyan oil have to go to that bank, and the operations, location and loyalty of that bank deserve an investigative article.

Erdogan has too little money to succeed, IMHO. If he were flushed, he would place nice weapon orders in UK, France, Germany and USA, as KSA + UAE did, and as we know from Yemen, that secures NATO blessings, either verbal or quiet. His military is probably in a better shape than Egyptian, if vulnerable to attacks by mysterious submarines. The coastal highway from Egypt is surely good enough for military vehicles, but it is vulnerable to attacks from air.

Putin's priority number 2 in the region is South Stream, so he will probably not supply mysterious submarines, Greece could being irate over maritime claims, and Egypt would have the most obvious motif. My conclusion is that the sultan's dog's barks a lot, and sometimes bites, but with some caution. Libyan expedition has the smell of Sicilian Expedition, a notable event during the Peloponessian war.

snake , Dec 17 2019 21:08 utc | 16
Egypt will not tolerate a Muslim Brotherhood led Libya as its neighbor. Before the Turkish support allows the GNA government to defeat Haftar Egypt will intervene. The situation can thereby soon develop into an intense war during which Turkish troops fight on Libyan grounds against the Egyptian military.

<=I think if Egypt intervenes in Libya it will strengthen the brotherhood in Egypt and Libya and may terminate brother Sisi's rule.

i agree with Psychohistorian's Mezran quote.. a Russian Turkey agreement will foreclose USA and British access to oil from Libya, Egypt and Turkey( new OPEC will form).

frances , Dec 17 2019 22:42 utc | 19
Now the GNA is a UN construct so Turkey supporting it should not be a big deal politically for the west. As for the CIA fellow, if he is working as closely as he appears to be with Russia, I think Turkey stepping in is just as suggested:
"...from the karlof1 link:
""Mezran suggested. "If the Turks become the major supporter of the GNA, not the Europeans or the Americans, and the Russians are the ones who are the major supporter of Haftar, then all it would take is an agreement between Moscow and Ankara to solve the Libyan problem, causing much damage to American and European power.""Posted by: psychohistorian | Dec 17 2019 20:25 utc | 11.
I particularly like the strategy cutting out the Central Bank by the General and Russia, looks to me like there is a master plan being rolled out and it is moving quickly. Perhaps Peace is breaking out:)
ben , Dec 17 2019 22:58 utc | 20
b said; "After the NATO war destroyed Africa's richest country Libya is still split."

Another "mission accomplished" by the evil empire. They couldn't stand for any leader to share the wealth of the nation with it's people, so a lesson was given, and is still in effect.

psychohistorian , Dec 17 2019 23:36 utc | 21
@ Posted by: ben | Dec 17 2019 22:58 utc | 20 who wrote
"
b said; "After the NATO war destroyed Africa's richest country Libya is still split."

Another "mission accomplished" by the evil empire. They couldn't stand for any leader to share the wealth of the nation with it's people, so a lesson was given, and is still in effect.
"

Thanks for that perspective. That is THE reason that I continue to call out Hillary "We came, we saw, he died" Clinton as the war criminal I hope she is prosecuted for in her lifetime.

Matthiew , Dec 18 2019 0:11 utc | 23
If you want a way better analysis from a professional strategist read the following:
"Turkey's Libyan Gamble Is A Shrewd Geostrategic Move"
https://www.globalresearch.ca/turkey-libyan-gamble-shrewd-geostrategic-move/5697857
Antoinetta III , Dec 18 2019 0:24 utc | 24
Does anyone have an idea of both the size and combat readiness of Egyptian forces?

Would Sisi be in a position to send in a force of, say, 50,000 or 100,000 troops with armour and air cover? If so, he could end both the Muslim Brotherhood/Al-Quaeda problem in Libya as well as nip one of Erdogan's meddlesome adventures in the bud.

A User , Dec 18 2019 0:40 utc | 26
I want what Libyans want, but it seems nobody can be arsed to find that out. I strongly suspect Libyans' preference would be for neither of these two foreign funded options since both of these grubby groups are committed to maintaining the repeal of the petroleum act which has protected Libyans from rapacious foreign corporations and foreign-state owned enterprises who put sweet FA into any of their hosts' economies while meddling unceasingly in host politics to ensure everyone but them gets screwed.

IMO the amerikan interest is less about oil & other Libyan resources than ensuring that Libya can never again support North African nations who the empire is determined to annex and form into a vast super-national state where governments have no control, but corporations do.

AFAIK, both cliques in Libya are proponents of Arab nationalism which intend to pretend the black african and berber populations are all foreigners despite both groups having a longer history of living in the region than arabs do.

Arabs entered this region, the Magreb, about 647 AD fighting to take control off the indigenous population of the Magreb which up until then comprised myriad african ethnicities & language groups until around 709 when Arabs united under the banner of Islam had complete control.

There really hasn't been a demographic based census in Libya, most likely because the role of black africans or as the imperialists like to refer to them 'sub-saharan' (which of course implies they are outsiders) has always been contentious among some Libyans who consider themselves to be 'Arabs' or as they like to claim, the ruling class.
Generally the bulk of lighter skinned Libyans class themselves as Berber-Arabs, while other Libyans (eg Muamar Ghaddaffi -may he rest in peace) consider themselves to be Berber.

The iFUKUS intervention promoted a mob claiming to be solely Arab and therefore the legitimate rulers of the nation. They also reckoned all black africans in Libya were foreigners. A genocidal campaign of terror and good old amerikan style lynching of black folks followed. We rightly see the sociopath in H Clinton at this time, but what about Oblamblam, WTF was he thinking?

Eventually some bright spark saw that killing was wasteful, so those black Libyans remaining were rounded up and sold into slavery - to 'owners' primarily in Saudi Arabia and the UAE.

Who knows if Libya can ever find another leader as enlightened as the Colonel? All we do know is that there is no chance of such a leader emanating from either Haftar's gang or the 'UN-recognised' gang.

Libyans don't deserve either of these agglomerations of arseholes which is why they are copping them. A big message from the big states that any nation which indulges in such caring and sharing of neighbours & friends as Libya did, must be severely punished so no other decent society will dare try that on.

Haassaan , Dec 18 2019 0:43 utc | 27
@16 Snake

"<=I think if Egypt intervenes in Libya it will strengthen the brotherhood in Egypt and Libya and may terminate brother Sisi's rule."

I think Snake is on to something here. The power balance in Egypt is fairly evenly divided with only a slight advantage to Sisi over Muslim Brotherhood forces.

Who would benefit from an Egyptian Civil War?

flankerbandit , Dec 18 2019 1:01 utc | 28
@ Matthiew...

'Thanks' for the Andrew Korybko link...Pfft...

ADKC , Dec 18 2019 1:08 utc | 29
Part 1

What Turkey is seeking is fair treatment and recognition of rights it feels that it has in the Mediterranean Sea. What a group of nations (Israel, Egypt, Greece and the US – hereafter referred to as The Group) is attempting to do is deny Turkey any rights at all.

Those that disagree with Turkish claims have the following position:

1. Greek "owned" islands, which in some cases (e.g. Kastellorizo) go really close to the Turkish coast, exclude Turkey from any significant rights to the Mediterranean.

2. Turkey has no claim to the area around Cyprus.

3. Cyprus is partnered with Israel, Egypt, Greece and the US for energy exploration in the Mediterranean Sea and Turkey is not included.

4. In January 2019, the Eastern Mediterranean Gas Forum was convened as a means for Cyprus, Egypt, Greece, Jordan, Israel, Italy and the Palestinian Authority to develop a regional natural gas market. Turkey was excluded from this forum and was very upset. (A month later ExxonMobil announced a new gas discovery in Cypriot waters.)

In other words it is a melange of denying rights, legal assertions and exclusion tactics.

Now look at a map of the Eastern Mediterranean Sea and then tell me - Is it reasonable that Turkey should have practically no rights at all? Any fair-minded person would recognise that Turkey does and all reasonable people would recognise that all the countries bordering the area of exploration have rights and should cooperate and work together and none should be excluded. What is happening is that The Group wants it all.

It is a very big mistake to believe that Turkey is in the wrong and also that it will back down on this.

ADKC , Dec 18 2019 1:12 utc | 30
Part 2

The Excluded Countries

In addition to Turkey, the countries that are excluded appear to be Syria, Lebanon, and Libya. It is right that The Group is seeking to exclude all these other countries?

It doesn't matter whether the oil and gas are viable (it may or may not be) what is happening is that Turkey is not being allowed any recognition and they are choosing to assert (take) their rights (because there is no other option available to them). If Turkey did not do so then they would lose any future rights to the Mediterranean at all.

Syrian, Lebanon and Libya are obviously too weak to assert their rights. Although the Palestinian Authority participated in Eastern Mediterranean Gas Forum I don't really expect Palestine to benefit much and it should be noted the Palestinian Authority is are far too weak to do anything – I'm afraid they are just being used.

Greece and Cyprus are being used as pawns by the US (why else would US Ambassador Pyatt be based in Greece? This kind of disruption is his speciality) and Greece is being set to confront Turkey.

Now look at a map of the Eastern Mediterranean Sea and then tell me - Is it reasonable that Turkey should have practically no rights at all? Any fair-minded person would recognise that Turkey does and all reasonable people would recognise that all the countries bordering the area of exploration have rights and should cooperate and work together and none should be excluded. What is happening is that The Group wants it all.

ADKC , Dec 18 2019 1:15 utc | 31
Part 3

Libyan GNA

The reason why Turkey does not want the Libyan GNA to fall is because they fear that Haftar will fall into line with The Group and further strengthen Turkey's exclusion from the Mediterranean energy exploration. So it is in Turkey's great national interest to secure Libya as an ally. Also, the GNA are still recognised as the legitimate government of Libya by the UN so in legal terms Turkey is not doing anything wrong in recognising and supporting the Libyan GNA.

As regards the Turkey/Libyan Maritime Zone - What is happening is that Turkey and Libya are showing The Group that it to can carve out areas and claim to areas of the Mediterranean Seas just as much as they can.

ADKC , Dec 18 2019 1:17 utc | 32
Part 4

Cyprus

It was widely believed that the 2015-17 Cyprus reunification talks where positive and the closet ever to reaching a settlement. Who should be blamed for the collapse? Many believe that is was the Greek Cypriot side that was a fault. The big sticking point was that the Turkish Cypriot side wanted some 40,000 Turkish troops to remain based in the North of the Island because of fears over security. At the time the Greek Cypriot side said it was impossible to accept the continued presence of Turkish troops. This was a big mistake, Cyprus would have been federally united and in 10 years time the Turkish troops could well have been greatly reduced. When the talks collapsed the talk was of inevitable partition.

And what do we see in 2019? Anastasiades, the Greek Cypriot President, wants to reopen talks "exactly where they left off" - A belated recognition that it was the Greek Cypriots that threw away what would have been a fantastic settlement and a fairly blatant attempt to peel away Turkish Cypriots from Turkey (Anastasiades call for a resumption of talks seems to have come with some unnecessary hostile remarks directed at Turkey), and hasty desire (now that there has been a gas discovery off the coast of Cyprus) to rescue the agreement because The Group now they can use this agreement to further marginalise Turkey.

flankerbandit , Dec 18 2019 1:51 utc | 33
I like Frances's take on this...ie smells like a master plan between Russia and Turkey...

Why not...?...the Sultan and VVP deciding to carve up some territory, as in the old colonial days...?

Russia and Turkey are getting closer all the time...Helmer's take about the 'Stavka' not being fully on board with this notwithstanding...

The very useful clue is from that Atlantic Council article...the rule to apply here is to just be for everything they are against...and be against whatever they are for...

In this case they are agitating for the West to step up to the plate and arm the GNA...even a fly zone for farg's sakes...

Yeah...everything but let Turkey and Russia divide the spoils among themselves right...?...throw a wrench into the spokes at any cost...?

But the thing is that Trump is not interested in any new wars or proxy wars...and I think a Libya 2.0 is going to be an extremely hard sell anywhere, with the disaster of Killary's 2011 adventure still fresh in everyone's minds...

So nobody is stepping in...there is a vacuum there and I think that there may be some grand bargain cooking behind the scenes with VVP and the Sultan...who knows how far this thing could go...?

It's already causing HUGE headaches in Sodom on the Potomac...as is clear from the shrieks of agony from the likes of the Atlantic Council and many others...

Duncan Idaho , Dec 18 2019 1:55 utc | 34
Even though oil is on stage, it seems we are not dealing with Norway.
ADKC , Dec 18 2019 2:17 utc | 35
Part 5

Military Conflict

Turkey may not be the best militarily; they are slow and ponderous but they are strong enough to move forward, occupy and hold space and take a significant amount of attrition while doing so. Turkey is strong enough to be able to assert "facts on the ground" even if they have to absorb several hard blows - they have been learning a lot from Russia on this.

With regards to Libya, Turkey cannot be prevented from moving forward, occupying space, supplying the Libyan GNA, providing military equipment and troops, etc. UNLESS their lines of supply are cut and this means that The Group would have to attack first and sink a Turkish ship.

And this would mean that Greece (the obvious party that might be set-up for this role) would attack Turkey and sink a Turkish ship? This would be an act of war against Turkey and Turkey would, as a result of such action, be fully (and legally) entitled to respond. So, commonsense tells you that Greece and The Group can't really do this.

If The Group enables Haftar to sink a Turkish ship then Turkey will be able to claim an attack against them, and retaliate and occupy Libya and expect NATO support whilst doing so. The effect of such an act by Haftar's forces would inevitably result in victory for Erdogan (counter-intuitive though that may seem).

While Turkey and Erdogan's association with the Muslim Brotherhood can be seen as a vector that ensures Egypt's hostility towards Turkey's presence in Libya can this really express itself militarily?

The Muslim Brotherhood is a strong movement in Egypt which has been around for a very long time. Effectively this excludes Egypt from joining any direct attack on Turkey because they will fear the unintended consequences that will arise within Egypt.

I'm afraid The Group, in seeking to exclude a major country like Turkey (with an obvious major interest in the Mediterranean), is taking the first step towards war. Sinking a Turkish ship would be another step towards war. Turkey will win any conflict as long as they are prepared to accept some hard blows (and they will be). The Group will lose any conflict because they are only able to strike small (sink a ship at most) or strike huge (annihilation); they have no middle game – Turkey will be able to absorb small blows and China & Russia will not allow Turkey to be destroyed.

At present, Turkey has nothing to lose (as far as the Mediterranean Sea energy exploration goes) - it follows that in any military conflict that Turkey will gain. Military conflicts have to be settled by negotiation - it is only a western delusion that wars are fought to unconditional surrender or absolute destruction. It is The Group and, in particular, Greece that will lose (Greece has a lot to lose in any conflict - no matter how well it goes for Greece - they will have to give up something, even if they think they have won, because that will be price of ending any conflict (because it always is unless you can annihilate your adversary).

It is not Turkey that is over-reaching- it is The Group (Israel, Egypt, Greece, Cyprus and the US) that have overplayed their hand and have most to lose.

The only thing that makes any sense in terms of a strategic plan is that it nothing more than machinations by the US seeking to bring chaos closer to the heart of Europe. From the outset, The Group knew what they were doing to Turkey and they knew how Turkey would feel about it and how Turkey was likely to react.

div> On paper, Erdogan may have easy superiority in Libya, but he may get into troubles for two reasons:
1) Libyans, currently quite fractured, actually both major coalitions are riven by internal lack of cohesion. To compare, Assad government had no business surviving, but the opposition was split into moderates, i.e. small time gangsters and bandits having difficulties making units of more than 100 people, and jihadists who had some abstruse reasons to hate each other. And Turkey did not make such a good job in Idlib, Afrin and north Aleppo.
2) Egypt. Forget about ground troops, they would probably focus on air supremacy. This is an Achilles heel of an expeditionary force. If they are intelligent (a risk that has to be consider), they may hit the moment Turkey attempts to expand its foothold. Just letting it slide would be a considerable loss of face for al-Sisi

Posted by: Piotr Berman , Dec 18 2019 2:19 utc | 36

On paper, Erdogan may have easy superiority in Libya, but he may get into troubles for two reasons:
1) Libyans, currently quite fractured, actually both major coalitions are riven by internal lack of cohesion. To compare, Assad government had no business surviving, but the opposition was split into moderates, i.e. small time gangsters and bandits having difficulties making units of more than 100 people, and jihadists who had some abstruse reasons to hate each other. And Turkey did not make such a good job in Idlib, Afrin and north Aleppo.
2) Egypt. Forget about ground troops, they would probably focus on air supremacy. This is an Achilles heel of an expeditionary force. If they are intelligent (a risk that has to be consider), they may hit the moment Turkey attempts to expand its foothold. Just letting it slide would be a considerable loss of face for al-Sisi

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Dec 18 2019 2:19 utc | 36

ADKC , Dec 18 2019 2:48 utc | 37
Part 6

Kastellorizo – A Greek Island off the Turkish Coast

Greece "owns" Kastelorizo, an island which is only about 2 kilometres off the coast of Turkey. "Ownership" of islands such as Kastellorizo is meant to "give" Greece the "right" to exclude Turkey from the Mediterranean Sea? I'm afraid that this is an absolutist, simplistic and unrealistic position.

The "ownership" of Kastellorizo has changed many times throughout history and has been "owned" by Turkey (the Ottomans) on a number of occasions. If you look at the maps you can see that Kastellorizo is part of the same geological formation as the nearby Turkish coast. It's akin to claiming "ownership" of my doorstop and then claiming that you "own" everything outside the walls of my house (including my garden, car, garage, dog, cat, etc. and then telling me I can't even use my doorstep or leave my house. If you did that to me, I would push you aside and that is what Turkey is doing to Greece.

I know that many, many Greeks fundamentally disagree but they are just being partisan, unfair and realistic and are allowing themselves to getting carried away with hostility towards Turkey.

Kastellorizo could have been assigned to Turkey at the end of the WWII as part of the Paris Peace Treaties of 1947 but instead, the "ownership" of Kastellorizo was removed from Italy and given to Greece.

In any military conflict between Turkey and Greece (like, for instance) sinking a Turkish Ship, then islands Kastellorizo will be immediately taken into "ownership" by Turkey and it will be a long time, if ever, that Greece can think about re-"owning" Kastellorizo. Essentially, the issue of Kastellorizo and its "ownership" would be settled and there would be very little Greece could do about it.

When Greece asserts is rights to the Mediterranean Sea based on "ownership" of islands such as Kastellorizo and uses such "ownership" to deny Turkey rights to the Mediterranean Sea it is just being provocative and unreasonable and inducing Turkey.

Petri Krohn , Dec 18 2019 3:07 utc | 38
Turkey is wrong if it thinks something in international law allows it to annul the freedom of the seas and block pipelines. I will repost what I wrote on October 31:
MARITIME LAW EXPLAINED

The United Nations Convention on the Law of the Seas (UNCLOS) from 1958 guarantees to all countries the right to lay cables and pipes in international waters. This is part of the freedom of the seas. Laying cables and pipes is not "economic" activity as defined in the 1982 treaty that gave countries the right to a 200 nautical mile exclusive economic zone (EEZ).

Pipe laying is affected only by the little-known Espoo Convention from 1991 that obliges the parties to carry out an environmental impact assessment of certain activities at an early stage of planning. Nowhere in the treaty does it say that it can be used to stop the freedom of navigation or other freedoms of the seas.

ADKC , Dec 18 2019 3:11 utc | 39
Piotir Brennan @36

Turkey does not need and doesn't intend to conquer Libya.

All Turkey has to do is maintain the Libyan GNA which is the government legally recognised by the UN.

Only the Security Council can remove recognition of the Libyan GNA and this would be a fairly cynical move by the West if attempted (and, I imagine, would be vetoed by more than just Russia and China).

Military aircraft are vulnerable when ground troops have access to modern surface to air missiles and are trained in their use. Expect Libyan GNA forces to have copious supplies of the ground and shoulder-launched versions of these weapons. What good did aircraft do for Saudi Arabia in Yemen? There is no winner here, only stalemate and that's more than good enough for Turkey.

The only way to prevent Turkey from achieving its aims is to sink it's supply ships. This would be a rash and extremely inadvisable act.

I would advise policymakers and Governments (particularly, The Group) to see where this is all heading and not go down this path.

Copeland , Dec 18 2019 3:12 utc | 40
The coming debacle may present few heroes for our consideration. The weakest states are probably headed for the smash-and-grab treatment at the end of the day. How is one to believe that Erdogan gives a damn about the government in Libya?--any government? Hafter and the GNA are both pretenders who have only marginal support in that country. These are but stick figures in a land that's been thrown into a howling anarchy, thanks to the military operation that Obama green-lighted. Since Erdogan is dealing with virtual nonentities, this aggression is his aggression. And this illegal sea lane is his insult to international law and prior agreements that recognize the rights of regional nations. It looks a lot like an act of war or at least a pretty serious provocation.

Greece, for one, ought to be worried about this development, as some of the resources it counts on as its territorial right is threatened here.

ADKC , Dec 18 2019 3:31 utc | 41
Petri Krohn @38

I don't believe that any of the Mediterranean Sea is "international waters" it's all been carved up into Exclusive Economic Zone's (EEZ)- there's nothing left! The Group are carving everything up for themselves and left Turkey (and a number of other countries e.g. Syria) with very little.

Any person thinking rationally would be able to see that Turkey has been treated unfairly and will see Turkey has been left with no effective (peaceful) way to get any redress.

ADKC , Dec 18 2019 3:39 utc | 42
Copeland @40

This is just partisan rubbish.

All Greece and the rest of the Mediterranean nations need to do is get together, cooperate and share.

The actions of The Group (Israel, Egypt, Greece, Cyprus and the US) are the ones that are causing all the difficulties because they have tried to grab everything for themselves and exclude everyone else.

Greece and the rest of The Group need to include Turkey, Lebanon, Libya, Syria and Palestine (and remove the US).

ADKC , Dec 18 2019 3:44 utc | 43
ADKC @37

The last sentence of Part 6 should have read:

When Greece asserts is rights to the Mediterranean Sea based on "ownership" of islands such as Kastellorizo and uses such "ownership" to deny Turkey rights to the Mediterranean Sea it is just being provocative and unreasonable and inducing Turkey to consider military options.

Copeland , Dec 18 2019 3:57 utc | 44
Turkey controls the Dardanelles (the entrance to the Black Sea) by treaty. Turkey has been treated as it deserves. The Aegean Sea is recognized as Greek waters; and that probably includes the seabed beneath it. When Greece was at its most vulnerable after the recent financial collapse, Turkish air force ramped up overflights of Greek territory, some of it pretty aggressive, just to rub salt in the wound. It wasn't very neighborly. It looks like Erdogan's new sea lane trespasses the Greek island of Rhodes and several others.
ADKC , Dec 18 2019 4:46 utc | 49
Matthiew @23 posts a link to a very good analysis in Global Research by Andrew Korybko called Turkey's Libyan Gamble Is a Shrewd Geostrategic Move

What Andrew Korkblko suggests is that the pipeline, that Turkey is obstructing with the "Turkey/Libyan Maritime Zone", is not really about Cypriot gas (which b. believes will be too small and uneconomic to justify a pipeline) but about Israeli gas which is intended to be piped under the Mediterranean Sea into Europe as a competitor to Russian gas. Maybe the whole thing about Cypriot gas is just a smokescreen to disguise the true origins (Israel) of the gas.

What, I suppose, Israel is trying to achieve is to minimise the number of nations that have a say about (and, I guess, a cut of) the pipeline. So, the attempt to cut Turkey and other weaker countries out of share (gas transit fees) has forced Turkey to move on its long-held grievance about being treated unfairly in the Mediterranean Sea.

Are we about to see a war in the Mediterranean between Greece and Turkey caused by US and Israeli machinations?

ADKC , Dec 18 2019 6:15 utc | 54
BTGX @52

I am not talking about rights that are legally justified by "ownership" - what I am saying is that the whole of the Mediterranean Sea and its resources should be shared fairly and reasonably by all nations of the Mediterranean.

The proposed gas pipeline is just an example where a small group of nations (Israel, Egypt, Greece, Cyprus and the US - The Group) have got together to grab what they can for themselves and exclude others.

Your argument is essentially we have the legal right, we are recognised under international law, therefore we can do what we like, we can have it all, and you, who have been excluded, you will have nothing. But, anyone can see that this is unreasonable and the path to disaster.

But in some ways all this is now moot. The pipeline appears to be really about Israeli gas and the lack of wisdom in trying to exclude Turkey. If The Group has any sense they will share the booty with Turkey. If not, they will get Greece to sink a Turkish ship - the outcome won't be good for Greece.

[Dec 09, 2019] Crisis amid Plenty: The Politics of Soviet Energy under Brezhnev and Gorbachev

Dec 09, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

pogohere , Dec 9 2019 1:25 utc | 57

john brewster @ 18

Speaking of Shane Gustafson: this is an excellent book:

Crisis amid Plenty: The Politics of Soviet Energy under Brezhnev and Gorbachev (Princeton Legacy Library) Paperback – February 1, 1991

Although the Soviet Union has the most abundant energy reserves of any country, energy policy has been the single most disruptive factor in its industry since the mid-1970s. This major case study treats the paradox of the energy crisis as an essential part of larger economic problems of the Soviet Union and as a key issue in determining the fate of the Gorbachev reforms.

One of the theses of the book is that the Soviet industry had a "silo" structure: the various components (exploration, drilling, production, transport, export) didn't coordinate with one another and depended on the glue of communist party apparatchiks to keep the system functioning. Gorbachev is said to have eliminated that glue and chaos ensued.

Schmoe@ 36

Re: "Due to an EU ruling related to foreign-affiliated pipelines (or some variation of that), it will likely be forced to operate at 50% of capacity."

[Dec 09, 2019] We will see on Nordstream 2 sanctions' effectiveness. Generally, US sanctions, when aggressively enforced, are extremely effective (and lethal in many cases).

Notable quotes:
"... The sanctions against Russia are not that broad but they have impacted Russian energy E&P efforts in difficult to reach environments. ..."
"... That is just common sense...large Euro energy companies are partners in Nordstream and have invested billions...do you think they are just going to throw up their hands and say 'Ok we give up'...? ..."
"... And supposedly the owners of those ships [there is actually only one company in the world, Swiss-based Allseas, that operates these deep sea pipe-laying ships] are going to drop Nordstream because they don't want to lose potential US business in the Gulf of Mexico... ..."
"... That is bullshit...what pipelines are being planned for the Gulf...?...Zero... ..."
Dec 09, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

Walter , Dec 8 2019 20:32 utc | 35

@ 17 in re "...strong Nordstream 2 sanctions..."

We shall see how strong. I'd put money on the Germans doing business with their natural Eastern partners. Business is business, suzerain occupation since 75 years notwithstanding.

Actually I harbor doubts about the strength of imperial ability, as the natural reaction every time they use dollarweapon, is the weakening of the weapon...

That Good Man V Putin, I'm sure we all recall, recently spoke to this matter...signing off with "they (or the dollar) will collapse soon."

zerohedge > "The Dollar Enjoyed Great Trust Around The World. But For Some Reason It Is Being Used As A Political Weapon, Imposing Restrictions. Many Countries Are Now Turning Away From The Dollar As A Reserve Currency. US Dollar Will Collapse Soon."


Schmoe , Dec 8 2019 20:50 utc | 36

karlof1, c1ue

We will see on Nordstream 2 sanctions' effectiveness. Generally, US sanctions, when aggressively enforced, are extremely effective (and lethal in many cases). The sanctions against Russia are not that broad but they have impacted Russian energy E&P efforts in difficult to reach environments.

I would also add that:

a) LNG prices are currently at incredibly low levels and if they hold at these levels importation of LNG could minimize Germany's hit, and Qatar last week announced it will expands its LNG export capabilities;

b) Russia / Gazprom did not finance Nordstream 2's construction; initially I believe Gazprom did so but a consortium of 4 Netherlands (including Royal Dutch Shell), Austrian and German companies later assumed the financing obligation;

c) Due to an EU ruling related to foreign-affiliated pipelines (or some variation of that), it will likely be forced to operate at 50% of capacity.

Based on a) - c) there is much less than meets to eye for Nordstream 2.

A more likely outcome than violation of US sanction IMO is an asymmetric response from Germany; perhaps the EU aviation authorities will deny whatever Band Aid Boeing puts our for the 737 Max's MCAS system. Or Germany approves Huawei's 5g equipment.

Schmoe , Dec 9 2019 3:42 utc | 63
@pogohere

I'm not sure how I missed those Nov 16 posts so thanks for forwarding. This quote will be interesting:

"With some 85% of the pipeline already laid, new congressional sanctions aimed at companies participating in the pipeline's construction will not stop it.

Instead, they will become a new bone of contention between the United States and Europe.

That is just common sense...large Euro energy companies are partners in Nordstream and have invested billions...do you think they are just going to throw up their hands and say 'Ok we give up'...?

Even a child can see this Spiegel diarrhea for what it is...

And supposedly the owners of those ships [there is actually only one company in the world, Swiss-based Allseas, that operates these deep sea pipe-laying ships] are going to drop Nordstream because they don't want to lose potential US business in the Gulf of Mexico...

That is bullshit...what pipelines are being planned for the Gulf...?...Zero...

Yet the Russians are the world's gas and pipeline superpower and have more pipeline projects in the works...

As if Allseas is going to risk their biggest customer for some bullshit US sanctions...[they are also laying the Turkstream pipeline..."

Any company whose operations are all international will unfortunately have to think long and hard about losing accessing to dollars. Open violations of US Sanctions are still almost unheard of - Rosneft in Venezuala, Reliance Industries might now be buying Venezuelan oil - so I would not be pollyanish about their power. Note that European companies will not use Instinex out of fear of losing access to dollars.

mk , Dec 9 2019 8:10 utc | 74
@Nick 58

Your questions are absolutely justified. The original story was written by Georg Mascolo, the German Dana Milbank, i.e. the chief mouth piece of the intelligence services. This is an obvious attempt to put pressure on Merkel to hamper relations with "Evil Russia" just prior to a possible breakthrough in the Normandy talks. The German services, especially the BND, are the last strongholds of Transatlanticism here, and they try to brace themselves against any rapprochment between Russia and Germany. But this will be in vain. It's simply that the geopolitical imperative is too strong: the two countries fit together perfectly in terms of their respective needs and abilities.

[Dec 08, 2019] As Winter Comes Pipeline Wars Heat Up -- Strategic Culture

Dec 08, 2019 | www.strategic-culture.org

Tom Luongo December 8, 2019 © Photo: Wikimedia For all of 2019 December has been a magnet. A number of major geopolitical issues come to head this month and many of them have everything to do with energy. This is the month that Russian gas giant Gazprom was due to finish production on three major pipeline projects – Nordstream 2, Turkstream and Power of Siberia.

Power of Siberia is here. It's finished. Russian President Vladimir Putin and Chinese Premier Xi Jinping christened the pipeline to begin the month. Next month Putin will travel to Turkey to join President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to open the first of four potential trains of the Turkstream pipeline.

It is only Nordstream 2 that continues to lag behind because of insane levels of pressure from the United States that is dead set against this pipeline coming online.

And the reason for that is the last of the major energy issues surrounding Gazprom needing resolution this month, the gas transit contract between it and Ukraine's Naftogaz.

The two gas companies have been locked in legal disputes for years, some of which center on Crimea's decision to break away from Ukraine and rejoin Russia in 2014. Most of them, however, involve disputes over costs incurred during the previous and expiring gas transit contract.

The particulars today are ultimately irrelevant as these lawsuits have been used as nothing more than blackmail to keep a new contract from getting signed. Ukraine has sued Gazprom in courts, like in Sweden, that rule not by the tenets of contract law but rather through the lens of social justice.

These have been political decisions that allowed Naftogaz to seize Gazprom's European assets, further complicating any resolution to the conflict. These policies were pursued aggressively by former Ukrainian President and long-time US State Department asset Petro Poroshenko and they have done nothing to help Ukraine.

All they have done is strip-mine the country of its assets while keeping a war to prevent the secession of the Donbass alive.

This dovetails with the external pressure applied to EU member states, like Denmark, to delay if not outright thwart completion of Nordstream 2.

Opposition to Nordstream 2 in the US is all about leveraging influence in Ukraine and turn it into a client state hostile to Russia sharing a border with Russia. If there's no gas transit contract and there's no Nordstream 2 then US LNG suppliers can sell gas there and deprive Russia of the revenues and the business.

It's truly that simple. But that strategy has morphed over the years into a convoluted chess match of move/countermove in the vain hope of achieving something that looks like a victory. But this isn't a game of real chess but rather a timed match.

Because the end of 2019 was always coming. And Ukraine would eventually have to decide as to which direction it wanted to go. Moreover, that same choice was put in front of the EU who have clearly, in the end, realized that the US under President Trump is not a long-term reliable partner, but rather a bully which seeks its goals through threat and intimidation.

Stay with the US or green light Nordstream 2. The choice in Europe was clear. Nordstream 2 gets finished, as Denmark finally granted the final environmental permit for its construction in October.

That delay moves the completion date out into 2020. And that now gives the US Senate one last chance to stop the completion of the pipeline because everything else to this point has failed, including the EU changing the rules on its gas pipeline rules to force Gazprom to 'unbundle' the pipeline from the gas flowing through it.

Germany amended that directive to allow Nordstream 2 to be regulated at the German federal level and not at the EU level. This was as much of a win as could have been hoped for.

This prompted the response from the US Senate Foreign Relations Committee head Jim Risch who wants to sanction anyone assisting Gazprom building the pipeline to be sanctioned and forced out of business.

"The reason for the push is that this window is closing. A lot of Nord Stream is done already. It will cost them dearly. I think if those sanctions pass [the companies] will shut down, and I think the Russians will have to look for another way to do this if they can do this," Risch said.

In reality the window has closed.

At the end of the day even if this legislation passes there will be no way to stop the pipeline from being completed or the gas to flow through it. With so little of the pipeline left to complete there is no practical way to stop it from happening. Risch and other US senators are hoping to strand Nordstream 2 as an unfinished boondoggle but that's folly.

The German government wants this pipeline, therefore the German government will put up the funds to ensure the contractors are paid and the pipeline completed.

There is a limit to the extent which sanctions can block commerce and once completed the US will have no ability to sanction the gas flowing through the pipeline. It's a sad and pathetic state of affairs that so much time, manpower and capital was wasted to stop a pipeline that is necessary for Germany's future.

It also highlights the hypocrisy of US policy since there isn't a peep out of the US on Turkstream, which will stitch NATO ally Turkey to Russia via 15.75 cm of natural gas every year. Eventually it will replace the lost South Stream pipeline as the other trains are built and contracted for.

All of the countries in eastern Europe are hungry for a piece of Turkstream's future. Serbia Hungary, Bulgaria, Italy and Greece are all potential customers.

And all of these countries that currently get their gas from Ukraine are at risk if nothing gets resolved between it and Russia. This is why the meeting between Putin and Ukrainian President Zelensky is so important. It has the opportunity to begin reversing the damage done to the basic fabric of Ukraine and Europe by agreeing to a path to ending the war in the Donbass and coming to an agreement on gas transit.

There are more than $12 billion in lawsuits outstanding that Naftogaz has pending against Gazprom. With Nordstream 2 a fait accompli that is all the leverage Zelensky has at that meeting.

This game is a microcosm of the way the US foreign policy establishment uses Europe as the battleground in the war against Russia. And given the way the political winds are shifting, Europeans are getting very tired of it.

This is why gas storage facilities in Europe are full, there is real fear that Gazprom will walk away from the talks with Ukraine and will wait out the completion of Nordstream 2. Gazprom offered an extension of the current contract on the condition that Ukraine drop the lawsuits.

Naftogaz said no. We'll see if Zelensky is smart enough to say yes.

[Dec 07, 2019] China-Russia east-route natural gas pipeline is now operational

Dec 07, 2019 | economistsview.typepad.com

anne , December 02, 2019 at 06:52 AM

http://www.xinhuanet.com/english/2019-12/02/c_138600270.htm

December 2, 2019

China-Russia east-route natural gas pipeline in operation

HARBIN -- The China-Russia east-route natural gas pipeline was put into operation on Monday.

At the gas-distributing and compressing station in the city of Heihe, northeast China's Heilongjiang Province, the data screen was switched on, indicating parameter variations of the gas passage. The station is the first stop after the Russia-supplied natural gas enters China.

The pipeline is scheduled to provide China with 5 billion cubic meters of Russian gas in 2020 and the amount is expected to increase to 38 billion cubic meters annually from 2024, under a 30-year contract worth 400 billion U.S. dollars signed between the China National Petroleum Corp (CNPC) and Russian gas giant Gazprom in May 2014.

The cross-border gas pipeline has a 3,000-km section in Russia and a 5,111-km stretch in China.

Shao Hua, general manager of Heihe City Natural Gas Development Co., Ltd. of China Gas, said that the border city of Heihe still largely relies on coal for heat. With the Sino-Russian natural gas pipeline's operation, the city now has access to a stable supply of clean energy.

Heihe has registered 30,000 households for switching to natural gas for heating. It will take one year to complete full coverage of the gas network in the city, according to the company.

China's natural gas consumption reached 280.3 billion cubic meters in 2018. The country's demand for natural gas will continue to soar toward 2040, outstripping domestic output by around 43 percent, according to an International Energy Agency report.

China aims to raise the use of natural gas to 10 percent of the country's energy mix by 2020 and 15 percent by 2030, said the National Development and Reform Commission.

anne -> anne... , December 02, 2019 at 06:56 AM
https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2019-11-25/how-russia-china-gas-pipeline-changes-energy-calculus-quicktake

November 25, 2019

How Russia-China Gas Pipeline Changes Energy Calculus
By Olga Tanas, Anna Shiryaevskaya and Dan Murtaugh - Bloomberg

Russia is pivoting its energy business to the east. The world's largest exporter of natural gas has built an enormous pipeline running from Siberia to the Chinese border to feed China's insatiable energy appetite. The new conduit, called the Power of Siberia, is part of a plan by Russian President Vladimir Putin to reduce his country's dependence on gas markets in Europe and tap into the fast-growing economies of Asia. For China, whose domestic energy production can't keep up with demand, the pipeline offers a vital new source of supply....

Paine -> anne... , December 02, 2019 at 08:09 AM
"Deep Sam "
Is pushing Russia and China together. It's good for great game high jinx to have a formidable opponent. Nixon be damned

[Dec 06, 2019] The Gas war led to the creation of Russia-China pipeline and lessened the dependence of Russia on sales of the gas to the Westtern countries

Dec 06, 2019 | turcopolier.typepad.com

POWER OF SIBERIA. Putin and Xi turned on the pipeline on Monday . It carries gas from Russia's Far East into China and has a carrying capacity of 61 billion M 3 per year . There'll be more .

This has no small strategic significance: previously, for foreign sales, Russia was dependent on customers in Europe who are all, to a greater or lesser extent, subject to pressure from the war party.

Added to which transport was affected by Kiev's whims. Turkstream (scheduled to start next month) and the two pipelines to Germany help with the second problem and this one with the first. Sooner or later, Russia-China pipelines would have appeared but I think Ishchenko's argument that the Western war on Russia speeded up the process is credible.

(Come to think of it, now that Putin's hand is imagined everywhere, maybe it's time to consider that he's the American war party's real backer; after all, everything it's touched has turned to dust: from the forever wars, to Iran's increased influence, to the Russia-China alliance and now the furore in the USA over Ukraine – itself another disastrous project.)

[Dec 01, 2019] Ukraine considers the settlement agreement on legal disputes and the signing of a short-term contract to be unacceptable

Dec 01, 2019 | tass.com

MOSCOW, November 28. /TASS/. Russian-Ukrainian gas consultations with the participation of Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak, the Minister of Energy and Environmental Protection of Ukraine Alexey Orzhel, Gazprom CEO Alexey Miller, the heads of Naftogaz of Ukraine and LLC Gas Transmission System of Ukraine were held in Vienna on Thursday.

This is according to statements by the Russian Energy Ministry and Gazprom. Read also GECF believes Russia and Ukraine will manage to agree on gas transit to EU this year "The parties discussed Russian-Ukrainian cooperation in the gas sector -- settlement of mutual claims for the implementation of contracts, the terms for the transit of Russian gas to Europe from 2020, the prospects for direct purchase of Russian gas for Ukrainian consumers," the statement said.

Russia, the European Commission and Ukraine have been holding consultations on gas transit after 2020. The dialogue is complicated by the ongoing legal disputes between Russia's Gazprom and Naftogaz of Ukraine. Moscow offers a "package solution" that includes a settlement agreement on legal disputes and direct gas purchases at reduced prices. As a fallback, Russia is ready to extend the current transit agreement for the whole year of 2020.

Ukraine considers the settlement agreement on legal disputes and the signing of a short-term contract to be unacceptable. Earlier this month, Naftogaz' executive director, Yury Vitrenko, announced that Ukraine would pump Russian transit gas to its underground storage facilities (UGS), if this gas entered the country without an appropriate contract starting from January 1, 2020.

The next round of trilateral consultations on the transit of Russian gas to Europe through Ukraine from 2020 is scheduled for the first week of December.

The existing contracts for the supply and transit of Russian gas through Ukraine expire on December 31.

[Dec 01, 2019] Gas price in Ukraine will be $500 per 1,000 cubic meters if transit is halted - Minister

Dec 01, 2019 | tass.com

At a meeting of the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine on November 27, a gas price for the population was fixed at 8 hryvnias per cubic meter. KIEV, November 30. /TASS/. The gas price for Ukrainians may increase to 12,000 hryvnias (about $500) per 1,000 cubic meters in the event of the termination of transit from Russia from January 1, 2020, Minister of Energy and Environment of Ukraine Alexey Orzhel said on Friday.

"The price of 12,000 hryvnia is possible in the absence of transit," he said speaking on the national television.

Orzhel also recalled that the government had offered Ukrainians the so-called guaranteed price of gas in the amount of 8,000 hryvnias (about $333) per 1,000 cubic meters in case the gas transit is halted from the new year and the cost of gas increases significantly.

At a meeting of the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine on November 27, a gas price for the population was fixed at 8 hryvnias per cubic meter.

[Dec 01, 2019] Gasprom bypassing Ukraine via Turkey

Dec 01, 2019 | tass.com

Gazprom began construction of the offshore section of the Turkish Stream gas pipeline in May 2017. The pipeline with a length of 930 km runs along the bottom of the Black Sea to the coast of Turkey. Further, a land section will stretch for 180 km to the border of Turkey with neighboring countries.

Gazprom began construction of the offshore section of the Turkish Stream in May 2017, managed by South Stream Transport B.V. (100% subsidiary of Gazprom). The offshore section of the pipeline runs along the bottom of the Black Sea to the coast of Turkey. Its length is 930 km. The pipeline will be continues by a 180-km land transit line to the border of Turkey with neighboring countries. The first line will be designed for the Turkish market, the second - for gas supply to the countries of South and Southeast Europe. The capacity of each line is 15.75 billion cubic meters of gas per year. The first deliveries are scheduled for the end of 2019. Gazprom announced the completion of deep-sea laying of the offshore section of the first Turkish Stream in April 2018. Turkey is Gazprom's second largest export market. Currently, Russian energy is supplied to this country through the Blue Stream pipeline and the Trans-Balkan gas pipeline. In 2017, Gazprom exported a record volume of gas to the Turkish market - 29 billion cubic meters, which is 17.3% more than in 2016, and 1.7 billion cubic meters (6.2%) more than in 2014 when the previous maximum was set (27.3 billion cubic meters). At the end of May, Gazprom and the Turkish government signed a protocol on the land section of the Turkish Stream pipeline transit line to supply Russian gas to European consumers. Gazprom and the Turkish company Botas concluded an agreement on the basic conditions and parameters for the construction of the section. Joint venture TurkAkim Gaz Tasima A. S. will carry out construction of the land section.

Earlier, Deputy Chairman of the Board of Directors of Gazprom Alexander Medvedev said that in the near future the company would finally determine the route of the second line of the Turkish Stream for gas supply to countries in Southern and Southeast Europe. According to him, two main options are being discussed in accordance with the procedures in the European Union and the European Commission. Medvedev cited Greece, Italy, Bulgaria, Serbia, and Hungary as potential markets.

Gazprom's investments in the construction of the Turkish Stream for 2018 are planned at the level of 182.4 bln rubles ($2.76 bln) against almost 93 bln rubles ($1.4 bln) in 2017. The company estimates the cost of laying the pipeline at 7 bln euro.

[Dec 01, 2019] Naftogaz can consider waiving $12.2 bln claims against Gazprom

Dec 01, 2019 | thenewkremlinstooge.wordpress.com

Moscow Exile November 30, 2019 at 9:09 am

Is this what could be described as "playing silly buggers"?

30 NOV, 00:54
Naftogaz can consider waiving $12.2 bln claims against Gazprom
Ukraine is ready to do so on condition of compensation

Like Like

Mark Chapman November 30, 2019 at 5:32 pm
The Ukies imagine they are so clever! They will waive a claim they have pretty much no chance of ever being awarded, in return for a lesser amount of guaranteed cold, hard cash plus a transit deal which will commit Russia to giving them at least another $20 Billion in transit fees over 10 years. Russia should pretend to consider it, just to wind them up, and run out the clock on the signing of a new contract. Then say, "I've decided not to after all, old chap".

[Nov 28, 2019] The US Senate Foreign Relations Committee voted in late July to pass a bill on sanctions against Nord Stream 2. It was prepared by Republican Senator Ted Cruise and Democrat Gene Shahin, and, in particular, involves a ban on the entry into the United States and the freezing of US assets under the jurisdiction of persons involved in the "sale, lease, provision or assistance in providing" ships for laying at sea Russian pipelines at a depth of 30 metres.

Notable quotes:
"... the United States' high-handedness is taking it dangerously close to making an enemy of Europe. ..."
"... There is nothing remotely fair about carving out markets for your product by eliminating all other choices. I realize Washington will say it is only trying to stop Nord Stream II so that Russia will be forced to transit gas across Ukraine and pay it exorbitant transit fees, and that it is doing Ukraine a favour while not restricting Europe from getting pipeline gas. ..."
"... American strategy is always all about getting everyone else by the balls so that they have no choice but to accept American control and orders. That's called American Global Leadership, which they figure is good for the world because it's certainly good for American investors. ..."
Nov 28, 2019 | thenewkremlinstooge.wordpress.com

Moscow Exile November 23, 2019 at 9:33 pm

В сенате США рассказали о способе заблокировать "Северный поток -- 2"
06:37 24.11.2019 (обновлено: 06:54 24.11.2019)

In the U.S. Senate, they have spoken about how to block "Nord stream -- 2"
06:37 24.11.2019 (updated: 06:54 24.11.2019)

MOSCOW, 24 Nov – RIA Novosti. The U.S. Congress intends to include sanctions against the Russian gas pipeline "Nord stream -- 2" in the 2020 defence budget, says Jim Risch, head of the Senate Foreign Affairs Committee, in the latest edition of "Defense News".

Sanctions against companies involved in the construction of the pipeline have been included in a draft law "On National Defense for 2020", said Rish. "The reason for this step is that the window of opportunity is closings. Most of "Nord stream" has already been constructed", said the Senator. However, he expressed the opinion that the sanctions "will convince" the construction company to stop work on the project because the American restrictions "will cost them dearly".

If sanctions are included in the US defence budget, companies involved in the construction of Nord Stream 2 will close, and Russia will, supposedly, have to look for other contractors, says Riesch.
However, he noted that the House of Representatives and the Senate have not yet reached a final agreement on the bill as a whole.

The US Senate Foreign Relations Committee voted in late July to pass a bill on sanctions against Nord Stream 2. It was prepared by Republican Senator Ted Cruise and Democrat Gene Shahin, and, in particular, involves a ban on the entry into the United States and the freezing of US assets under the jurisdiction of persons involved in the "sale, lease, provision or assistance in providing" ships for laying at sea Russian pipelines at a depth of 30 metres.

For the bill to enter into force, it must be approved by the House of Representatives and the US Senate, as well as US President Donald Trump.

Let the Liberty Bell ring out loud! -- albeit that it is cracked and was never rung on 4th July, 1776, but, as usual, bullshit baffles brains!

Like Like

Mark Chapman November 23, 2019 at 11:19 pm
And that'd be Jean Shaheen; the translation managed to get both her name and her gender wrong.

As I have said before now, the United States' high-handedness is taking it dangerously close to making an enemy of Europe. It has made it clear it is trying to restrict Europe's energy choices to American LNG or American LNG.

There is nothing remotely fair about carving out markets for your product by eliminating all other choices. I realize Washington will say it is only trying to stop Nord Stream II so that Russia will be forced to transit gas across Ukraine and pay it exorbitant transit fees, and that it is doing Ukraine a favour while not restricting Europe from getting pipeline gas.

But Washington still aims to control Ukraine and use it as a bastion against Russia, and if it can arrange things so that Russian gas must pass across Ukraine under American control, why, it can conjure stoppages and interruptions of service at its pleasure, as well as helping Ukraine to jack up transit fees so that Russia must either raise its gas prices until American LNG is competitive, or sell at a loss.

American strategy is always all about getting everyone else by the balls so that they have no choice but to accept American control and orders. That's called American Global Leadership, which they figure is good for the world because it's certainly good for American investors.

Moscow Exile November 24, 2019 at 9:35 am

Like Like

Mark Chapman November 24, 2019 at 11:32 am
Time is running out for the US to be its usual dick self, and block another country's aspirations in order to advance its own interests.
Mark Chapman November 24, 2019 at 11:41 am
Except when he says "we all", he is talking about less than ten thousand people in a country of 147 million. Yes, few Russians get to breathe the rarefied air of true mental clarity.

So far as I am aware, the latest offer on the table is still for a one-year extension of the current contract, although Russia did agree to drop legal claims and counter-claims between itself and Ukraine, in which Russia claimed Ukraine underpaid/did not pay at all for gas it received. Ukraine has thus far not replied.

https://money.usnews.com/investing/news/articles/2019-11-18/gazprom-proposes-one-year-gas-deal-with-ukraine

Moscow has made some concessions, but there has been no movement at all toward a long-term contract that I have seen. I maintain that a cold winter of frozen bums in Europe would offer a salutary effect. Russia is actually better-placed to deliver LNG by vessel than the USA, as well, as it is much closer.

There must be a limit to European loyalty to the USA in the face of conditions so markedly against its interests, a limit to how much shit it will smear on its own face to keep its partner happy and amused.

Like Liked by 1 person

et Al November 25, 2019 at 1:47 am
Apparently U-ropean gas storage networks are full, not to mention that there has been heavy investment in the Austrian Baumgarten storage network, Germany, France, infact just about everywhere except the UK (coz the French will store it for them and sell the gas back at a nice mark up)

Like Like

Mark Chapman November 25, 2019 at 12:06 pm
Ukraine has already stated publicly that although its own gas storage bunkers are full, that amount will not likely carry it through the winter if there is an interruption owing to non-renewal of the gas contract, and if the winter is cold and harsh as usual. I imagine Europe is the same; storage facilities are not so extensive that they could take the entire region through a cold winter.
karl1haushofer November 24, 2019 at 1:33 pm
Not surprising that Navalny and his ilk oppose Nord Stream. They oppose anything that is good for Russia. They don't seem to be interested in developing russia into a better place, but tear it apart and ruin it from within. It is rather odd that Russia has these types of people as "opposition politicians". People who hate their own country and don't even pretend to hide their hatred.
I don't see them that dangerous though because they seem to lack wider support and Russia is not currently facing any troubles that would turn people against the current rulers.
And I'm not saying that Russia is ruled by a very competent government currently. The economy should be growing a lot faster than it has been growing for the past ten years. But the current government is still 100x better than Navalny would be. He would probably bring down Russia even worse than Yeltsin did.

[Nov 28, 2019] On January 1st at 10 am Moscow time Gazprom has no reason to keep the gas flowing in the direction of the Ukraine

Nov 28, 2019 | thenewkremlinstooge.wordpress.com

Moscow Exile November 28, 2019 at 12:13 am

The finger pointing by Banderastan has started!

"Нафтогаз" пообещал не перекрывать газовый вентиль
03:01 28.11.2019

"Naftogaz" has promised turn off the gas valve
03:01 28.11.2019 (updated: 10:45 28.11.2019)

KIEV, November 28 – RIA Novosti. The Ukraine does not intend to shut off the gas valve, even if Russia fails to sign a new contract on gas transportation, Executive Director of "Naftogaz of the Ukraine", Yuriy Vitrenko, has said in an interview with Deutsche Welle. In his opinion, the valve will be turned off by Gazprom, not Naftogaz.

"But I remind you, that in a letter sent by Gazprom to Naftogaz, in black and white [it states] that on January 1st at 10 am Moscow time Gazprom has no reason to keep the gas flowing in the direction of the Ukraine", he said.

So you Russia is going to hold Europe to ransom, not the Ukraine, right?

Has everyone got that message?

Did hear that EU, USA etc., etc?

Mark Chapman November 28, 2019 at 1:06 am

What happened to all the leverage Ukraine gained by its blinding victory in Swiss arbitration? They should be able to lead Moscow around by the nose now.

[Nov 28, 2019] The appeal court in Sweden has refused to satisfy the appeal of "Gazprom" in a dispute with the Ukrainian concern "Naftogaz", according to Tass. Executive Director of "Naftogaz of Ukraine" Yuriy Vitrenko on "Facebook" called the decision a "complete victory".

Notable quotes:
"... Gazprom sent about 200 BcM to Europe last year, of which 70 BcM went via Ukraine. If Ukraine is completely cut out now, Gazprom could manage about 195 BcM, with every other available pipeline to Europe straining at the rivets. But you need a 'technical reserve' capability, which would take Russia's requirement to 230 BcM. Obviously, the intent is that they should commit to sending this amount through Ukraine, forever. ..."
"... The other interesting figure is included in the claim that 'Ukraine's economy is growing nicely, but loss of transit income would shave 4% off of GDP.' When the initial threat that eventually transit would be stopped was floated, Ukraine squealed that it would bilk it of 2% of GDP. But now somehow that loss would be double but the economy is 'growing nicely'? Ummm .how do you figure? ..."
Nov 28, 2019 | thenewkremlinstooge.wordpress.com

Moscow Exile November 27, 2019 at 4:23 am

Well blow me down!

The appeal court in Sweden has refused to satisfy the appeal of "Gazprom" in a dispute with the Ukrainian concern "Naftogaz", according to Tass. Executive Director of "Naftogaz of Ukraine" Yuriy Vitrenko on "Facebook" called the decision a "complete victory".

"Complete victory, Ukraine wins again! We won the appeal at the first complaint of "Gazprom" the decision of the Stockholm arbitration!" said his statement.

It is anticipated that decisions in two other cases in court between the same parties will be taken in 2020.

The Stockholm arbitration court in December 2017 and February 2018 issued decisions on disputes between Gazprom and Naftogaz in respect of contracts for supply and transit of gas, obliging as a result, Russian the Ukrainian company to pay more than $ 2.5 billion. Gazprom appealed against the decision in March 2018, and in May demanded the complete abolition of the "transient" solution.

See: Суд Швеции отказал по апелляции "Газпрома" в споре с "Нафтогазом"
27 ноября 2019, 13:26

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Mark Chapman November 27, 2019 at 11:27 am
What will that mean for the gas deal? Only 16 days remain.

https://www.intellinews.com/ukraine-has-16-days-left-to-do-a-transit-deal-with-gazprom-172367/?source=russia

Ukraine allegedly offered to do a deal in which they would not drop their claim of being owed $2.5 Billion by Gazprom, but would take it in free gas. They say they have not had a reply yet. The same article suggests Russia would be perfectly happy to just run out the clock. Even happier now, I would think.

A few interesting figures are included in the article. For one, the author claims that in order to completely circumvent Ukraine for gas delivery to Europe, it would need pipeline capacity of 230 BcM. Here's how it breaks down – Gazprom sent about 200 BcM to Europe last year, of which 70 BcM went via Ukraine. If Ukraine is completely cut out now, Gazprom could manage about 195 BcM, with every other available pipeline to Europe straining at the rivets. But you need a 'technical reserve' capability, which would take Russia's requirement to 230 BcM. Obviously, the intent is that they should commit to sending this amount through Ukraine, forever.

The other interesting figure is included in the claim that 'Ukraine's economy is growing nicely, but loss of transit income would shave 4% off of GDP.' When the initial threat that eventually transit would be stopped was floated, Ukraine squealed that it would bilk it of 2% of GDP. But now somehow that loss would be double but the economy is 'growing nicely'? Ummm .how do you figure?

The way I see it, Russia has a couple of options; it can just let the clock run out, carry on with Nord Stream II, and pump everything it can right to capacity, without any going through Ukraine. That would leave it about 5 BcM short, obviously with no reserve capability. The USA could be invited to make that shortfall up with its Molecules of Freedom. But that relies on Merkel not suddenly deciding to slap more restrictions on Nord Stream II so that it could not pump to its full capacity – she has apparently said all along that Nord Stream II will not be allowed unless some gas continues to go through Ukraine – the obvious clash of wills is that Russia is trying to ensure that amount is as small as possible, while the west and Ukraine are trying to ensure that amount is as large as possible.

Another option is for Russia to speed up and intensify its own LNG-export capability, and perhaps it can make up the shortfall with its own LNG carriers. Either way, it is plain the Ukies think they have Russia by the balls, and can dictate terms as they like – perhaps they will even add the return of Crimea to their demands for a gas deal, they seem to feel so confident. Let's see how it plays out; only a couple of weeks remain to get a deal done, and it's everyone against Russia.

The look on Vitrenko's face will be priceless if the Russians just close up their briefcases and go home. Not to mention the look on Sefcovic's face. Not to mention the jump in gas prices in Europe.

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[Nov 26, 2019] A New Pipeline Could Undo America's Influence In Asia

Notable quotes:
"... this is why the US went into Afghanistan, to get in between China & Iran ..."
"... The implication of what you just said is that the United States will never leave Afghanistan as in ever. Even if the Taliban take the whole country leaving only Kabul and its surroundings, the US will still opt to stay to have bases to launch drones and aircraft from to dominate the region. ..."
Nov 26, 2019 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

A New Pipeline Could Undo America's Influence In Asia Posted on November 26, 2019 by Yves Smith By Simon Watkins, a former senior FX trader and salesman, financial journalist, and best-selling author. Originally published at OilPrice

From the moment that the U.S. re-imposed sanctions in earnest on Iran late last year, Pakistan has been looking at ways to resuscitate a deal that had been agreed in principle before the U.S. unilaterally withdrew from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) last May. This deal involved moving as much gas as Pakistan needs from Iran's Asalouyeh into Pakistan's Gwadar and then on to Nawabshah for further transit if required. At the same time, China has been in long-running discussions with Pakistan over the specific projects that Beijing wanted to place in Pakistan as part of its 'One Belt, One Road' (OBOR) programme. All the while, the U.S. has been trying to stymie any such arrangement but OilPrice.com understands that the Iran-China-Pakistan deal is now back on, and with a vengeance.

China's covert strategic deals are virtually always buried in interminably long anodyne statements that belie the true laser-focused intentions of Beijing and this time is no different. Joint statements just over a week ago from both Pakistan and China sides laid out four projects that are part of a 'broader co-operation' between China and Pakistan. They all sound relatively run-of-the-mill affairs, although still major undertakings, and are: the upgrading of the Pakistan Refinery Karachi, the building out of a coal to liquid engineering plant based on Thar coal at Thar Sindh, the utilisation of Thar Block VI for coal gasification and fertiliser projects, and the finalisation of the feasibility study on South-North Gas Pipeline Project that traverses Pakistan.

The fact that they are much more significant to the global geopolitical balance was evidenced by the U.S.'s furious warnings to Pakistan, based on the fact that all of these projects are in reality a key part of Beijing's planned China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), which, in turn, is a cornerstone of the OBOR initiative. Even as it was, U.S. South Asia diplomat, Alice Wells, warned that CPEC – which, vitally, includes heavy financing from Beijing and, therefore, a massive debt obligation to China by the host country over time – will only profit Beijing. As it stands, the cost of just the first round of CPEC projects has risen from an initial costing of US$48 billion to at least US$62 billion right now. "It's clear, or it needs to be clear, that CPEC is not about aid," said Wells. "[The CPEC] corridor is going to take a growing toll on the Pakistan economy, especially when the bulk of payments start to come due in the next four to six years," she added. "Even if loan payments are deferred, they are going to continue to hang over Pakistan's economic development potential, hamstringing Prime Minister [Imran] Khan's reform agenda," she underlined.

The U.S.'s fury would have been much worse if it knew that, in fact, the 'finalisation of the feasibility study on South-North Gas Pipeline Project' whilst true, is just proverbially the tip of the iceberg. "The actual plan is to resuscitate the Iran-Pakistan oil and gas pipelines over time, beginning with the gas pipeline, moving unlimited amounts of Iranian gas to Pakistan, and then into China and the rest of Asia should it be needed," a senior source who works closely with Iran's Petroleum Ministry told OilPrice.com last week. "It is being done in conjunction with Russia, with the twin aims of firstly ensuring that China's 'One Belt, one Road' initiative continues to run smoothly from the East through Pakistan and then Westwards into Iran and onwards into Europe," he said. "And, secondly, to ensure for Russia that Iran's gas does not start flowing freely into Europe as and when the U.S. sanctions are lifted, as this would undermine Russia's power over Europe, which is founded on supplying over a third of Europe's gas," he added.

For China, the new pipeline – integral to its plan of making Iran and Pakistan its client states over time – has the added benefit of putting the U.S. on the backfoot in the ongoing trade war. For Iran, the incentives of closer ties with China and Russia are principally financial but also relate to China being just one of five Permanent Members on the U.N. Security Council (the others being Russia, the U.S., the U.K., and France). For Pakistan as well there is the added incentive that it is tired of being lambasted by the U.S. for its duplicity in dealing with international terrorism. Not that long ago, the U.S. accused Pakistan of supporting the Taliban (correct but it was catalysed by the U.S.'s key Middle Eastern 'ally', Saudi Arabia), Al Qaeda (correct but catalysed, funded and logistically supported by the Saudis), the Haqqani network (correct but also funded and logistically supported by the Saudis), and Islamic State (sort of correct but that was also mainly, of course, the Saudis) against U.S. forces, despite taking hundreds of billions of dollars in aid payments.

Islamabad has also been an outspoken critic of renewed U.S. sanctions against Iran. Just after the first wave of the new sanctions were rolled out on 7 August last year, Pakistan's Foreign Office spokesman Muhammad Faisal said that: "We are examining the implications of the U.S.'s re-imposed sanctions on Iran, however, Pakistan, being a sovereign state, reserves the right to pursue legitimate economic and commercial interests while respecting the international legal regime." Later, in his inaugural speech as Pakistan's then-new Prime Minister, Imran Khan, called for improving ties with the country's immediate neighbours, including Iran, from whose President, Hassan Rouhani, he also accepted an invitation for an early state visit to Tehran. Bubbling back at that time to the top of the list of practical initiatives that could be advanced quickly was the Iran-Pakistan gas pipeline (IPP), which, according to the Iran source: "[Imran] Khan personally backs and has made a priority project."

In practical terms, Pakistan certainly needs all the sustainable energy sources it can get. As it stands, the country has seen domestic natural gas production stagnate at around 4 billion cubic feet per day (Bcf/d) against demand of more than 6 Bcf/d, which has led to repeated load shedding in many major cities of up to 15 hours a day. Moreover, the supply and demand disparity is set to become even worse very soon, as industry estimates project that Pakistan's domestic gas production is set to fall to nearer 2 Bcf/d by 2020, due to aging infrastructure, whilst demand will rise to around 8 Bcf/d by the same time, driven by rising demand from the power, industry, and domestic sectors as the economy continues to grow by around 5% per year. According to Pakistan's Ministry of Energy (MoE), the planned 0.75 Bcf/d of gas (for five years, in the first instance) that would flow from Iran's supergiant South Pars natural gas field would add around 4,000 megawatts (MW) of electricity into the Pakistan grid, via a direct Iran-Pakistan pipeline.

The original agreement for the IPP, signed between Iran and Pakistan in 1995, was predicated on the pipeline running from Iran's supergiant South Pars non-associated natural gas field into Karachi but the most recent iteration of the route involves the gas running from Iran's Asalouyeh and into Pakistan's Gwadar and then on to Nawabshah. The latest projection of the cost of the pipeline is around US$3.5 billion, according to industry sources, although US$2.5 billion of this has already been invested in the 900 kilometre stretch on Iran's side that has already been completed. Pakistan's 780 kilometre stretch has yet to be started.

Given the geopolitical importance of both Iran and Pakistan to Russia and China, though, as analysed in greater depth in my new book on the global oil markets , finding the money for the remainder of the project will not be a problem at all For China, there is a threefold motivation. First, its plans to integrate the IPP into the CPEC project means that Gwadar is earmarked to be a key logistical node in China's 'One Belt, One Road' initiative. Second, it wants to keep Iran as one of its key suppliers of oil and gas in the future. And third, it regards supporting those who the U.S. opposes as being a central plank of its foreign policy, even over and above the short-term tactic of wrong-footing the U.S. in the ongoing trade war. "One immediate reaction [of China to the burgeoning trade war with the US], will be to seek to expand and broaden economic links by offering improved market access to non-U.S. companies, by strengthening supply chain links and by replacing American commodities with imports from emerging market nations," according to Jonathan Fenby, China research chairman at TS Lombard, in London.

"There is a tectonic shift going on that goes well beyond the tariff war, as China seeks to assert itself regionally and tries to establish a wider global role for itself while the U.S. moves from the 'constructive engagement' of the Clinton, Bush and Obama administrations to regarding China as a 'strategic competitor'," he added. The U.S. clearly sees it the same way, not just based on the latest comments by Wells but also on the fact that as long ago as January 2010, the U.S. formally requested that Pakistan abandon the project in return for which it would receive assistance from Washington for the construction of a liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminal and for the importing of electricity from Tajikistan through Afghanistan's Wakhan Corridor.


rjs , November 26, 2019 at 8:28 am

this is why the US went into Afghanistan, to get in between China & Iran

The Rev Kev , November 26, 2019 at 9:26 am

The implication of what you just said is that the United States will never leave Afghanistan as in ever. Even if the Taliban take the whole country leaving only Kabul and its surroundings, the US will still opt to stay to have bases to launch drones and aircraft from to dominate the region.

So in twenty years time we might see a story how some young soldier has just arrived in-country to Afghanistan who will be proud that his grandfather took part in the original invasion and that he is now following in his grandfather's and father's footsteps.

Susan the Other , November 26, 2019 at 10:29 am

China, the new world-engineers, has gotta be looking at Pakistan as an industrial water source. They're probably already building several dams to catch the runoff. Perhaps mining too – same mountains as Afghanistan, just the other side, no?

China has the money and manpower. Iran the energy. In fact, we could be thinking the same thing.

Nergis Paul , November 26, 2019 at 11:09 am

Ambassador Wells' warning "..is going to take a growing toll on the Pakistan economy, especially when the bulk of payments start to come due.." indicates the lack of a mirror in the State Dept or a copy of the text of the 13th IMF 'bailout' signed last July.

[Nov 24, 2019] 25 Times Trump Has Been Dangerously Hawkish On Russia by Caitlin Johnstone

From the point of view of election promise of detente with Russia, Trump clearly betrayed them. He was a neocon puppet from the beginning to the end, His policy was not that different from hypothetical policy of Hillary administration.
Notable quotes:
"... Caitlin Johnstone discredits a CNN listicle on Trump's "softness" towards Moscow. In fact, she writes, the U.S. president has actually been consistently reckless towards Moscow, with zero resistance from either party. ..."
"... It would be understandable if you were unaware that Trump has been escalating tensions with Moscow more than any other president since the fall of the Berlin Wall; it's a fact that neither of America's two mainstream political factions care about, so it tends to get lost in the shuffle. Trump's opposition is interested in painting him as a sycophantic Kremlin crony, and his supporters are interested in painting him as an antiwar hero of the people, but he is neither ..."
"... Anyone who has not read Orwell's 1984 should do so sooner rather than later. The official control of narrative in the novel is what we are presently drowning in. To watch it work so spectacularly is beyond depressing. ..."
"... The complete corruption of Western MSM is the reason many of us regularly read Caitlin and Consortium, all desperately trying to get some sort of a reality-check in an otherwise "Orwellian" media environment. ..."
"... The simple truth here is that in regard to the military (read 'military complex', which includes the deep state and shadow government [intelligence agencies] every president is a puppet. ..."
"... The coup in Ukraine was a major provocation to Russia, but was also a repeat of the Americans' rape and pillaging of Russia under Yeltsin, Clinton's puppet. The per capita median income of Ukrainians has dropped in half from 2013, despite pumping $billions in from the US. ..."
"... Failing impeachment, from the attempts by the Clinton Campaign, to the Congressional sanctions on Russia, to sabotage of Syria withdrawal to the Mueller hoax, to the State Dept hawks protests on Ukraine, the effort to prevent Trump from following through on his campaign promise has been the primary goal of the intelligence community. It is instructive to note that the phone call that has led to the current impeachment inquiry was made on July 26, the day following Robert Mueller's clownish testimony before Congress, effectively ending that line of impeachment. ..."
"... Also note that although the phone call was made in July, nothing was said about it until after John Bolton was fired in September, 2 months later. ..."
Nov 19, 2019 | consortiumnews.com

30 Comments

Caitlin Johnstone discredits a CNN listicle on Trump's "softness" towards Moscow. In fact, she writes, the U.S. president has actually been consistently reckless towards Moscow, with zero resistance from either party.

CaitlinJohnstone.com

CNN has published a fascinatingly manipulative and falsehood-laden article titled " 25 times Trump was soft on Russia ," in which a lot of strained effort is poured into building the case that the U.S. president is suspiciously loyal to the nation against which he has spent his administration escalating dangerous new cold war aggressions.

The items within the CNN article consist mostly of times in which Trump said some words or failed to say other words; "Trump has repeatedly praised Putin," "Trump refused to say Putin is a killer," "Trump denied that Russia interfered in 2016," "Trump made light of Russian hacking," etc. It also includes the completely false but oft-repeated narrative that "Trump's team softened the GOP platform on Ukraine", as well as the utterly ridiculous and thoroughly invalidated claim that "Since intervening in Syria in 2015, the Russian military has focused its airstrikes on anti-government rebels, not ISIS."

CNN's 25 items are made up almost entirely of narrative and words; Trump said a nice thing about Putin, Trump said offending things to NATO allies, Trump thought about visiting Putin in Russia, etc. In contrast, the 25 items which I am about to list do not consist of narrative at all, but rather the actual movement of actual concrete objects which can easily lead to an altercation from which there may be no re-emerging. These items show that when you ignore the words and narrative spin and look at what this administration has actually been doing , it's clear to anyone with a shred of intellectual honesty that, far from being "soft" on Russia, Trump has actually been consistently reckless in the one area where a US president must absolutely always maintain a steady hand. And he's been doing so with zero resistance from either party.

It would be understandable if you were unaware that Trump has been escalating tensions with Moscow more than any other president since the fall of the Berlin Wall; it's a fact that neither of America's two mainstream political factions care about, so it tends to get lost in the shuffle. Trump's opposition is interested in painting him as a sycophantic Kremlin crony, and his supporters are interested in painting him as an antiwar hero of the people, but he is neither. Observe:

1. Implementing a Nuclear Posture Review with a more aggressive stance toward Russia

Last year Trump's Department of Defense rolled out a Nuclear Posture Review which CNN itself called "its toughest line yet against Russia's resurgent nuclear forces."

"In its newly released Nuclear Posture Review, the Defense Department has focused much of its multibillion nuclear effort on an updated nuclear deterrence focused on Russia," CNN reported last year.

This revision of nuclear policy includes the new implementation of "low-yield" nuclear weapons , which, because they are designed to be more "usable" than conventional nuclear ordinances, have been called "the most dangerous weapon ever" by critics of this insane policy. These weapons, which can remove some of the inhibitions that mutually assured destruction would normally give military commanders, have already been rolled off the assembly line.

2. Arming Ukraine

Lost in the gibberish about Trump temporarily withholding military aide to supposedly pressure a Ukrainian government who was never even aware of being pressured is the fact that arming Ukraine against Russia is an entirely new policy that was introduced by the Trump administration in the first place. Even the Obama administration, which was plenty hawkish toward Russia in its own right, refused to implement this extremely provocative escalation against Moscow. It was not until Obama was replaced with the worst Putin puppet of all time that this policy was put in place.

3. Bombing Syria

Another escalation Trump took against Russia which Obama wasn't hawkish enough to also do was bombing the Syrian government, a longtime ally of Moscow. These airstrikes in April 2017 and April 2018 were perpetrated in retaliation for chemical weapons use allegations that there is no legitimate reason to trust at this point.

4. Staging coup attempts in Venezuela

Venezuela, another Russian ally, has been the subject of relentless coup attempts from the Trump administration which persist unsuccessfully to this very day . Trump's attempts to topple the Venezuelan government have been so violent and aggressive that the starvation sanctions which he has implemented are believed to have killed tens of thousands of Venezuelan civilians .

Trump has reportedly spoken frequently of a U.S. military invasion to oust Venezuelan president Nicolas Maduro, provoking a forceful rebuke from Moscow .

"Signals coming from certain capitals indicating the possibility of external military interference look particularly disquieting," the Russian Foreign Ministry said. "We warn against such reckless actions, which threaten catastrophic consequences."

5. Withdrawing from the INF treaty

For a president who's "soft" on Russia, Trump has sure been eager to keep postures between the two nations extremely aggressive in nature. This administration has withdrawn from the 1987 Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty, prompting UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres to declare that "the world lost an invaluable brake on nuclear war." It appears entirely possible that Trump will continue to adhere to the John Bolton school of nuclear weapons treaties until they all lie in tatters, with the administration strongly criticizing the crucial New START Treaty which expires in early 2021.

Some particularly demented Russiagaters try to argue that Trump withdrawing from these treaties benefits Russia in some way. These people either (A) believe that treaties only go one way, (B) believe that a nation with an economy the size of South Korea can compete with the U.S. in an arms race, (C) believe that Russians are immune to nuclear radiation, or (D) all of the above. Withdrawing from these treaties benefits no one but the military-industrial complex.

6. Ending the Open Skies Treaty

"The Trump administration has taken steps toward leaving a nearly three-decade-old agreement designed to reduce the risk of war between Russia and the West by allowing both sides to conduct reconnaissance flights over one another's territories," The Wall Street Journal reported last month , adding that the administration has alleged that "Russia has interfered with American monitoring flights while using its missions to gather intelligence in the US."

Again, if you subscribe to the bizarre belief that withdrawing from this treaty benefits Russia, please think harder. Or ask the Russians themselves how they feel about it:

"US plans to withdraw from the Open Skies Treaty lower the threshold for the use of nuclear weapons and multiply the risks for the whole world, Russian Security Council Secretary Nikolai Patrushev said," Sputnik reports .

"All this negatively affects the predictability of the military-strategic situation and lowers the threshold for the use of nuclear weapons, which drastically increases the risks for the whole humanity," Patrushev said.

"In general, it is becoming apparent that Washington intends to use its technological leadership in order to maintain strategic dominance in the information space by actually pursuing a policy of imposing its conditions on states that are lagging behind in digital development," he added.

7. Selling Patriot missiles to Poland

"Poland signed the largest arms procurement deal in its history on Wednesday, agreeing with the United States to buy Raytheon Co's Patriot missile defense system for $4.75 billion in a major step to modernize its forces against a bolder Russia," Reuters reported last year .

8. Occupying Syrian oil fields

The Trump administration has been open about the fact that it is not only maintaining a military presence in Syria to control the nation's oil, but that it is doing so in order to deprive the nation's government of that financial resource. Syria's ally Russia strongly opposes this, accusing the Trump administration of nothing short of "international state banditry".

"In a statement, Russia's defense ministry said Washington had no mandate under international or US law to increase its military presence in Syria and said its plan was not motivated by genuine security concerns in the region," Reuters reported last month.

"Therefore Washington's current actions – capturing and maintaining military control over oil fields in eastern Syria – is, simply put, international state banditry," Russia's defense ministry said.

9. Killing Russians in Syria

Reports have placed Russian casualties anywhere between a handful and hundreds , but whatever the exact number the U.S. military is known to have killed Russian citizens as part of the Trump administration's ongoing Syria occupation in an altercation last year.

exact number the U.S. military is known to have killed Russian citizens as part of the Trump administration's ongoing Syria occupation in an altercation last year.

10. Tanks in Estonia

Within weeks of taking office, Trump was already sending Abrams battle tanks, Bradley infantry fighting vehicles and other military hardware right up to Russia's border as part of a NATO operation.

"Atlantic Resolve is a demonstration of continued US commitment to collective security through a series of actions designed to reassure NATO allies and partners of America's dedication to enduring peace and stability in the region in light of the Russian intervention in Ukraine," the Defense Department said in a statement.

11. War ships in the Black Sea

12. Sanctions

Trump approved new sanctions against Russia on August 2017. CNN reports the following:

"US President Donald Trump approved fresh sanctions on Russia Wednesday after Congress showed overwhelming bipartisan support for the new measures," CNN reported at the time . "Congress passed the bill last week in response to Russia's interference in the 2016 US election, as well as its human rights violations, annexation of Crimea and military operations in eastern Ukraine. The bill's passage drew ire from Moscow -- which responded by stripping 755 staff members and two properties from US missions in the country -- all but crushing any hope for the reset in US-Russian relations that Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin had called for."

"A full-fledged trade war has been declared on Russia," said Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev in response.

13. More sanctions

"The United States imposed sanctions on five Russian individuals on Wednesday, including the leader of the Republic of Chechnya, for alleged human rights abuses and involvement in criminal conspiracies, a sign that the Trump administration is ratcheting up pressure on Russia," The New York Times reported in December 2017 .

14. Still more sanctions

"Trump just hit Russian oligarchs with the most aggressive sanctions yet," reads a Vice headline from April of last year.

"The sanctions target seven oligarchs and 12 companies under their ownership or control, 17 senior Russian government officials, and a state-owned Russian weapons trading company and its subsidiary, a Russian bank," Vice reports. "While the move is aimed, in part, at Russia's role in the U.S. 2016 election, senior U.S. government officials also stressed that the new measures seek to penalize Russia's recent bout of international troublemaking more broadly, including its support for Syrian President Bashar Assad and military activity in eastern Ukraine."

15. Even more sanctions

The Trump administration hit Russia with more sanctions for the alleged Skripal poisoning in August of last year, then hit them with another round of sanctions for the same reason again in August of this year.

16. Guess what? MORE sanctions

"The Trump administration on Thursday imposed new sanctions on a dozen individuals and entities in response to Russia's annexation of Crimea," The Hill reported in November of last year. "The group includes a company linked to Bank Rossiya and Russian businessman Yuri Kovalchuk and others accused of operating in Crimea, which the U.S. says Russia seized illegally in 2014."

17. Oh hey, more sanctions

"Today, the United States continues to take action in response to Russian attempts to influence US democratic processes by imposing sanctions on four entities and seven individuals associated with the Internet Research Agency and its financier, Yevgeniy Prigozhin. This action increases pressure on Prigozhin by targeting his luxury assets, including three aircraft and a vessel," reads a statement by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo from September of this year.

18. Secondary sanctions

Secondary sanctions are economic sanctions in which a third party is punished for breaching the primary sanctions of the sanctioning body. The U.S. has leveled sanctions against both China and Turkey for purchasing Russian S-400 air defense missiles, and it is threatening to do so to India as well.

19. Forcing Russian media to register as foreign agents

Both RT and Sputnik have been forced to register as "foreign agents" by the Trump administration. This classification forced the outlets to post a disclaimer on content, to report their activities and funding sources to the Department of Justice twice a year, and could arguably place an unrealistic burden on all their social media activities as it submits to DOJ micromanagement.

20. Throwing out Russian diplomats

The Trump administration joined some 20 other nations in casting out scores of Russian diplomats as an immediate response to the Skripal poisoning incident in the U.K.

21. Training Polish and Latvian fighters "to resist Russian aggression"

"US Army Special Forces soldiers completed the first irregular and unconventional warfare training iteration for members of the Polish Territorial Defense Forces and Latvian Zemmessardze as a part of the Ridge Runner program in West Virginia, according to service officials," Army Times reported this past July.

"U.S. special operations forces have been training more with allies from the Baltic states and other Eastern European nations in the wake of the annexation of Crimea by the Russian Federation in 2014," Army Times writes. "A low-level conflict continues to simmer in eastern Ukraine's Donbas region between Russian-backed separatists and government forces to this day. The conflict spurred the Baltics into action, as Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia embraced the concepts of total defense and unconventional warfare, combining active-duty, national guard and reserve-styled forces to each take on different missions to resist Russian aggression and even occupation."

22. Refusal to recognize Crimea as part of the Russian Federation

even while acknowledging Israel's illegal annexation of the Golan Heights as perfectly legal and legitimate.

23. Sending 1,000 troops to Poland

From the September article " 1000 US Troops Are Headed to Poland " by National Interest :

Key point: Trump agreed to send more forces to Poland to defend it against Russia.