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Sanctions, Security and the Nord Stream 2 Pipeline

Binoy Kampmark

The Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline, construction of which is intended to transport 55 billion cubic metres of Russian gas to Germany per year under the Baltic Sea, is a ragbag of options and promises.  The fruit of a deal between Berlin and Moscow, it has troubled those within Russia, Germany, Europe and the United States, though for different reasons.

On the subject of environment, the ledger of negatives against the project are weighty.  Environmental organisations fear the ecological threat the pipeline poses to the Baltic Sea.  The Russian office of Greenpeace has claimed that Nord Stream 2 AG, owned by Public Joint Stock Company Gazprom, is an ecological misfit. It threatens the Kurgalsky nature reserve even as it promises transplanting various unique plant species affected by the gas pipeline. 

According to findings from the V. L. Komarov Botanical Institute, the picture is even uglier than a breach of promise: the plant varieties in question, listed in the Red Book of the Russian Federation and the Red Book of the Leningrad region, were actually destroyed.

Bird life has also been affected, with confirmation that white-tailed eagles, which are also Red-listed, have fled their nesting sites in the reserve.  Nord Stream 2’s response has been one of comparing apples and bananas, an analytical approach doomed to inaccuracy. 

“Eagles are known for their resilience. Documentary evidence from the first Nord Stream project shows us that construction activities did not affect eagles’ behavioural patterns in Germany.”

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.  And in all this, the prospect of ecological devastation remains genuine but an aside to the jabbering disagreement of political interests.

Dr. Binoy Kampmark was a Commonwealth Scholar at Selwyn College, Cambridge.  He lectures at RMIT University, Melbourne. Email: [email protected]

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TFS
TFS
Sep 10, 2020 10:44 AM

Keep this in mind, next time America dictates to Germany to cancel Nordstream2

https://www.ustradenumbers.com/country/russia/

Dungroanin
Dungroanin
Dec 25, 2019 2:10 PM

Here’s a nice view of the topic
Gazprom shares are up 50% on the years low!

https://astutenews.com/2019/12/24/nordstream-sanctions-a-sad-coda-to-u-s-foreign-policy/

Probably still worth a punt! They could go stellar. I’m putting a grand in.

Robbobbobin
Robbobbobin
Dec 25, 2019 7:09 PM
Reply to  Dungroanin

[Gazprom shares p]robably still worth a punt! They could go stellar. I’m putting a grand in.

I suspect that comment would score even more likes in the On-Guardian.

Franco DeCelis
Franco DeCelis
Dec 25, 2019 1:09 PM

American politicians and capitalists are evil. Ex president Carter pointed out that in every year since independence, apart from sixteen years, America had been at war with one or more countries. Fr

MASTER OF UNIVE
MASTER OF UNIVE
Dec 25, 2019 5:58 PM
Reply to  Franco DeCelis

America is a coward nation filled to the brim with real pathetic cowards & losers that think they are somehow superior beings because they are liars, thieves, & career criminals.

America is a gang of coward thugs that think gangsterism frightens us enough so that Americans can push us all around and take advantage of us all.

Americans are the world’s biggest losers & bullies.

MOU

Stomper of fuctards
Stomper of fuctards
Dec 27, 2019 5:11 AM

Let’s grant that this is all true. It’s still the case that you – a “master” of nothing – are yourself a premier coward and loser who can contribute nothing beyond the tiresome go-to battlecry of many losers today: ” America and Americans are evil. This ability of mine to jump onto a bandwagon and denounce an entire group of people with no distinctions drawn among them makes me smarter than you. HURR HURR HURR.” Usually, when people reason like this, rape, murder and thuggery ensue.

Myall
Myall
Dec 25, 2019 4:19 AM

Ever since his appointment, Richard Grenell, the White House’s ambassador to Germany has been labelled a ‘far-right colonial envoy’.
He’s truly and honestly living up to this reputation, and often, exceeding expectations!

Myall
Myall
Dec 25, 2019 3:33 AM

Capitalism, we were told, is largely built on the ‘offer and demand’ theory. Little did we learn at school that capitalism also feautres an invisible hand, plus, a very visible hand called ‘Sanctions’ which is becoming a euphemism for ‘Economic Terrorism’.

Neil McCormick
Neil McCormick
Dec 25, 2019 1:09 AM

And yet those in power would have us believe to boycott fine and confiscate assets of anyone who deals and trades with Russia is OK, but when we as individuals decide we’re not going to purchase anything that is exported from Israel we’re terrible anti-semites and they would take legal action against us including imprisonment.

richard le sarc
richard le sarc
Dec 25, 2019 12:11 PM
Reply to  Neil McCormick

You do realise that you just committed ‘antisemitic’ Thought Crime, don’t you?

MASTER OF UNIVE
MASTER OF UNIVE
Dec 25, 2019 5:53 PM
Reply to  Neil McCormick

Boycotting the Corporation of Israel export products & manufactured goods is completely acceptable manner of civil disobedience & protest participatory democracy. Boycotting business is acceptable whereas boycotting an identifiable minority ethnicity is not.

MOU

Robbobbobin
Robbobbobin
Dec 25, 2019 7:58 PM

Boycotting business is acceptable whereas boycotting an identifiable minority ethnicity is not.

So Judaism is an ethnicity. How about the Turkics ex Germany, Poland and Russia, overlords of the Mizrahim and Palestinians in the neoCanaan? What is it with Jn Venn? Never works when you want him to.

MASTER OF UNIVE
MASTER OF UNIVE
Dec 25, 2019 8:28 PM
Reply to  Robbobbobin

You simply want to foment hatred towards an identifiable minority enclave. You have no interest in the corporate malfeasance.

MOU

Stomper of fuctards
Stomper of fuctards
Dec 27, 2019 5:20 AM
Reply to  Neil McCormick

If that boycotting is done for reasons of antisemitism, then it is antisemitism. If it’s done for reasons of solidarity with the Palestinians, or to protest colonial and apartheid policies of the Israeli state and society, then it isn’t. The problem is that some people seek to cast any criticism of Israel as antisemitism, while some antisemites and neo-Nazis seek to hide behind pro-Palestine and anti-colonial/apartheid criticsm of Israel to smuggle their own filth under the table and to pretend that no one engages in BDS for reasons of gutter antisemitism. Both extremes are engaging in intellectual terrorism and thuggery.

RobG
RobG
Dec 25, 2019 12:35 AM

I feel like the Ghost of Christmas Past when I say that anyone interested should watch this…

Abby Martin & Lowkey: A Deeper Look at the UK Election

Try not to choke on your Turkey.

Grafter
Grafter
Dec 25, 2019 12:12 AM

Get the Americans to fuck out of Europe.

Robyn
Robyn
Dec 25, 2019 10:23 PM
Reply to  Grafter

And while they’re at it, take their bases from everywhere in the world.

harry law
harry law
Dec 24, 2019 11:19 PM

Reporting from Berlin —
Germany, one of the world’s biggest consumers of coal, will shut down all 84 of its coal-fired power plants over the next 19 years to meet its international commitments in the fight against climate change, a government commission said Saturday.
https://www.latimes.com/world/europe/la-fg-germany-coal-power-20190126-story.html
Do Greenpeace want to keep these plants open?
At least Nord Stream 2 has galvanized the German vassals into growing a spine. What the US fears is Germany trading with Russia and coming closer together, the huge Russian land mass, and plentiful natural resources and German industry a potent force, the US would need another enemy. Who is going to feed the MIC and NATO without the imagined fear of the Russians crashing through the Fulda Gap and slitting all our throats as we lie in bed?

richard le sarc
richard le sarc
Dec 25, 2019 12:12 PM
Reply to  harry law

Greenpeace sold out decades ago. I wouldn’t cross the street to micturate on them if they were on fire.

MASTER OF UNIVE
MASTER OF UNIVE
Dec 24, 2019 10:14 PM

Neuroscientists have deduced that all this ‘Merry Christmas’ shit translates into increased oxytocin neurotransmission which makes unwitting dupes buy shit because they are easily psychotropically & trophotropically induced to do so via simple neurological reflex much as Pavlov Classically Conditioned his now famous dogs with in the first historical experiment of Experimental Psychology as a discipline.

MOU

RobG
RobG
Dec 25, 2019 1:44 AM

I agree, but I will still wish you a Merry Christmas (just to annoy you).

MASTER OF UNIVE
MASTER OF UNIVE
Dec 25, 2019 2:32 AM
Reply to  RobG

I’m a secular Grumpy Marxist but I’m also an Anglican. I was raised in the Dickens tradition whereby Scrooge does not recall being a human with a conscience until after midnight on the clock when the metaphysical spirits help him remember his past.

My Chartered Accountant father raised me to be a Dickensian Capitalist knowing that the wizards of the accounts were every bit as ruthless as old Scrooge & Marley. Something about Dickens _A Christmas Carol_ is mysteriously fascinating to me still to this day.

Christmas is all about the evils of 18th century industrial Capitalism in the UK for myself every year. Dickens is way cool for disliking Capitalists as much as he did. I dislike the corporatists the same way.

MOU

Jen
Jen
Dec 24, 2019 9:43 PM

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
RobG
Dec 25, 2019 1:09 AM
Reply to  Jen

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 them 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.

richard le sarc
richard le sarc
Dec 26, 2019 7:47 PM
Reply to  RobG

US fracking has never made a profit, it has blown up a pile of junk status debt, it has polluted waters and the land, and the tens of thousands of wells will leak methane for decades, possibly centuries. Capitalism at its best.

BigB
BigB
Dec 24, 2019 8:20 PM

Fuck nordstream: merry christmas you old bastsards!

There’ll still be plenty to moan about in the New Year. Take a night off and enjoy yourself! 😀

RobG
RobG
Dec 24, 2019 9:23 PM
Reply to  BigB

I totally agree.

And a Merry Christmas to one and all!

harry law
harry law
Dec 25, 2019 8:18 PM
Reply to  BigB

You have been drinking BigB, you are slurring your words “bastsards”.
You could reply yes but in the morning I will be sober, but you will still be an ugly bastsard.

RobG
RobG
Dec 24, 2019 7:15 PM

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
MASTER OF UNIVE
Dec 24, 2019 10:04 PM
Reply to  RobG

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
ttshasta
Dec 24, 2019 5:51 PM

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
Jen
Dec 24, 2019 8:32 PM
Reply to  ttshasta

Excellent comment. As always, one should follow the money trail.

paul
paul
Dec 24, 2019 5:37 PM

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
MASTER OF UNIVE
Dec 24, 2019 9:55 PM
Reply to  paul

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
john ward
Dec 24, 2019 4:20 PM

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
pàul_m
Dec 24, 2019 3:39 PM

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
Guy
Dec 24, 2019 4:23 PM
Reply to  pàul_m

“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
MASTER OF UNIVE
Dec 24, 2019 2:53 PM

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
padre
Dec 24, 2019 12:28 PM

How very concerned about environment we are, when somebody else is “destroying” it!

paul
paul
Dec 24, 2019 5:45 PM
Reply to  padre

The US certainly showed how concerned it was about the environment with the North Dakota pipeline.

Francis Lee
Francis Lee
Dec 24, 2019 10:41 AM

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
Antonym
Dec 24, 2019 11:36 AM
Reply to  Francis Lee

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.

lundiel
lundiel
Dec 24, 2019 2:06 PM
Reply to  Antonym

No one in their right mind should want nuclear.

Frank Speaker
Frank Speaker
Dec 24, 2019 5:25 PM
Reply to  lundiel

Boron reactors rather than Uranium are much safer.
If we want an advanced society we cannot unfortunately Produce anywhere near enough renewable power. It’s not just my opinion, it’s based on fact as a professional in the environmental sector.

lundiel
lundiel
Dec 24, 2019 5:58 PM
Reply to  Frank Speaker

Sorry, my answer is above.

m181056
m181056
Dec 26, 2019 10:48 AM
Reply to  Frank Speaker

So Frank, how many Boron reactors can you tell me are out there?

richard le sarc
richard le sarc
Dec 26, 2019 7:49 PM
Reply to  m181056

‘In’ there, m-it’s all in the mind.

lundiel
lundiel
Dec 24, 2019 5:57 PM
Reply to  lundiel

Hmmm. We’re not in the market for any, are we? No. We’d rather spend billions on Hinkley point C, pay over the odds for generated power and leave the waste to our descendants.

Peter
Peter
Dec 25, 2019 2:44 PM
Reply to  lundiel

We had a well proven, CO2 cooled AGR, all ready to mass produce till Mrs T and Mr R put forward Sizewell B PWR, scrapped the AGR’s, Scrapped the Gas Turbine and coal degasification plant to run them.
Using coal to gas, Flexibility
Using AGR’s for bulk stable powe
Using Wind and solar as renewable sources
What was not to like? A fully integrated electrical supply system for the 21st cent?
What we have now are AGR’s coming to the end of their economic [safe] life
Coal burning electrical power stations all but closed down.
Gas powered electrical power station using imported gas [still a fossil fue]
Wind if the wind blows requiring [at least 80%] reserve electrical plan on standby, just in case.

Ditto in Europe plus the new generation of PWR’s are 100% over budget and about 3-4 years behind schedule.

lundiel
lundiel
Dec 25, 2019 3:23 PM
Reply to  Peter

Yes. I don’t have the knowledge you have, but it makes perfect sense to my understanding.

John Deehan
John Deehan
Dec 24, 2019 10:04 AM

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
Francis Lee
Dec 24, 2019 9:05 AM

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
George Cornell
Dec 24, 2019 9:49 AM
Reply to  Francis Lee

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.

Tim Drayton
Tim Drayton
Dec 24, 2019 11:28 AM
Reply to  George Cornell

The “imaginary bogeyman” would be the one that is currently occupying seven per cent of Ukraine, I take it?

Gezzah Potts
Gezzah Potts
Dec 24, 2019 12:11 PM
Reply to  Tim Drayton

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
Tim Drayton
Dec 24, 2019 12:14 PM
Reply to  Gezzah Potts

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
Gezzah Potts
Dec 24, 2019 12:29 PM
Reply to  Tim Drayton

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?

George Cornell
George Cornell
Dec 24, 2019 1:44 PM
Reply to  Tim Drayton

Glad to hear it.

paul
paul
Dec 24, 2019 5:49 PM
Reply to  Tim Drayton

Then no doubt you support the right of the Crimea and Donbas to self determination from the CIA installed Fascist Coup Regime.

richard le sarc
richard le sarc
Dec 25, 2019 12:21 PM
Reply to  Tim Drayton

I suspect it does. The Crimeans chose, almost universally, to return to Russia and avert Ukronazi genocide. I believe it’s called the Responsibility to Protect doctrine.

George Cornell
George Cornell
Dec 25, 2019 4:30 PM

Interestingly if you look up the upvoted percentages on apolitical You Tube performances, there is an irreducible ~5% who downvote everything from Mendelssohn’s violin concerto to Aretha Franklin’s Respect. For the Americans seizing on those very similar 5% of Crimeans voting No, and trying to make points with it, they perceive no hypocrisy there. And they call 55% of a vote a “landslide” in Aggressorstan.

George Cornell
George Cornell
Dec 24, 2019 1:41 PM
Reply to  Tim Drayton

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
lundiel
Dec 24, 2019 2:13 PM
Reply to  Tim Drayton

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
Jay
Dec 24, 2019 2:33 PM
Reply to  lundiel

If they were, the war would have been on Kiev’s doorstep.

Francis Lee
Francis Lee
Dec 24, 2019 2:37 PM
Reply to  Tim Drayton

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
Frank Speaker
Dec 25, 2019 4:20 AM
Reply to  Francis Lee

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
eddie
Dec 24, 2019 5:03 PM
Reply to  Tim Drayton

They are occupying Jacque Schitt, but their 93rd aid convoy to the Donbas in November, consisting of 45 trucks, was not imaginary.

Gall
Gall
Dec 24, 2019 8:52 AM

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
richard le sarc
Dec 24, 2019 7:13 AM

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.

Martin Usher
Martin Usher
Dec 24, 2019 5:20 AM

Like it or loathe it the truth is that our civilization is going to need supplies of fuel for the foreseeable future and natural gas — methane — is about the cleanest way to provide it. (Methane is also a potent greenhouse gas, more so than carbon dioxide, so burning it is probably performing a public service.)

It should be obvious by now that whatever the US can’t control it seeks to destroy using a variety of tools — economic warfare, subversion and, obviously, military intervention (aka ‘war’) if necessary. Nord Stream 2 — and Turk Stream — represent a danger to US hegemony so a lot of effort will go into trying to sink these projects, anything from sanctions on the builders to mentioning the negative ecological impact of the pipeline, greenhouse gas emissions and so on. We have no shame — we don’t mind running oil pipelines across pristine land or strip mining coal but we are really concerned about the environmental impact of something the Russians might be involved in. (So, how about looking at the big picture? Use surplus gas from the Arctic transferred by pipeline to Europe or get gas by fracking in the US, transport it similar distances across the US continent to liquefaction plants, use up a fair bit of energy liquefying the gas, transport it on ships half way around the world, unload it, store it, transfer it by pipeline……)

(Incidentally, I live in an area that has ecologically sensitive plant species. And a gas pipeline. The two coexist — obviously laying the pipeline is disruptive but once laid it pretty much disappears from view.)

richard le sarc
richard le sarc
Dec 24, 2019 7:15 AM
Reply to  Martin Usher

Fracked gas in particular is the greatest current source of methane, through fugitive emissions from the thousands of fracked wells. A real boon to humanity, as it will get the process over with much more humanely rapidly.

Tim Drayton
Tim Drayton
Dec 24, 2019 11:39 AM

I understand the methane leakage counterargument against natural gas vis a vis coal (despite the former emitting half the amount of carbon dioxide to generate the same amount of electricity), but I wonder if the answere could not be better technology or even just better constructed pipes to eliminate the methane leakages.

richard le sarc
richard le sarc
Dec 25, 2019 12:26 PM
Reply to  Tim Drayton

That is always possible, but it would be expensive, so threaten precious profits, which are already non-existent, and the life-destroying thugs just don’t give a damn what happens to their eternal enemy-other people.

Tutisicecream
Tutisicecream
Dec 24, 2019 4:07 AM

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/

richard le sarc
richard le sarc
Dec 24, 2019 7:17 AM
Reply to  Tutisicecream

The ‘coming ice age’ trope has been peddled since the 70s. It is dismissed immediately by science, but since when did science ever affect the denialist death-cult, or its fossil fuel patrons.

Zoggo
Zoggo
Dec 24, 2019 5:37 PM

Perhaps you could supply us with some links to the arguments which dismiss this trope?

richard le sarc
richard le sarc
Dec 25, 2019 12:29 PM
Reply to  Zoggo

It has already passed the point where greenhouse gas levels in the atmosphere are so high that any conceivable drop in solar radiance, and not just the tail end of a sunspot cycle, as this current kerfuffle appears to be, will have no great effect on continued global warming.

Antonym
Antonym
Dec 24, 2019 7:36 AM
Reply to  Tutisicecream

LNG ships can come from any destination so choice of supplier: a pipe line connects to only one supplier.
A wise Europe would go for both but the present EU leadership has the best interests of the Anglo-Arab oil dollar tie up at heart, not the interests of the average native inhabitants or Europe.

paul
paul
Dec 24, 2019 5:56 PM
Reply to  Antonym

This LNG trade would require large numbers of specialist tankers that do not currently exist.
And complex facilities which don’t exist either, to liquify and gasify the fuel.