Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
July 21, 2021

Russia And Germany Win War Over Nord Stream 2

The sanctions war the U.S. waged against Germany and Russia over the Nord Stream 2 pipeline has ended with a total U.S. defeat.


bigger

The U.S. attempts to block the pipeline were part of the massive anti-Russia campaign waged over the last five years. But it was always based on a misunderstanding. The pipeline is not to Russia's advantage but important for Germany. As I described Nord Stream 2 in a previous piece:

It is not Russia which needs the pipeline. It can sell its gas to China for just as much as it makes by selling gas to Europe.
...
It is Germany, the EU's economic powerhouse, that needs the pipeline and the gas flowing through it. Thanks to Chancellor Merkel's misguided energy policy - she put an end to nuclear power in German after a tsunami in Japan destroyed three badly placed reactors - Germany urgently needs the gas to keep its already high electricity prices from rising further.

That the new pipeline will bypass old ones which run through the Ukraine is likewise to the benefit of Germany, not Russia. The pipeline infrastructure in the Ukraine is old and near to disrepair. The Ukraine has no money to renew it. Politically it is under U.S. influence. It could use its control over the energy flow to the EU for blackmail. (It already tried once.) The new pipeline, laid at the bottom of the Baltic sea, requires no payment for crossing Ukrainian land and is safe from potential malign influence.

Maybe Chancellor Merkel on her recent visit to Washington DC finally managed to explain that to the Biden administration. More likely though she simply told the U.S. to f*** off. Whatever - the result is in. As the Wall Street Journal reports today:

The U.S. and Germany have reached an agreement allowing completion of the Nord Stream 2 natural gas pipeline, officials from both countries say.

Under the four-point agreement, Germany and the U.S. would invest $50 million in Ukrainian green-tech infrastructure, encompassing renewable energy and related industries. Germany also would support energy talks in the Three Seas Initiative, a Central European diplomatic forum.

Berlin and Washington as well would try to ensure that Ukraine continues to receive roughly $3 billion in annual transit fees that Russia pays under its current agreement with Kyiv, which runs through 2024. Officials didn’t explain how to ensure that Russia continues to make the payments.

The U.S. also would retain the prerogative of levying future pipeline sanctions in the case of actions deemed to represent Russian energy coercion, officials in Washington said.

So Germany will spend some chump change to buy up, together with the U.S,  a few Ukrainian companies that are involved in solar or wind mill stuff. It will 'support' some irrelevant talks by maybe paying for the coffee. It also promises to try something that it has no way to succeed in.

That's all just a fig leaf. The U.S. really gave up without receiving anything for itself or for its client regime in the Ukraine.

The Ukraine lobby in Congress will be very unhappy with that deal. The Biden administration hopes to avoid an uproar over it. Yesterday Politico reported that the Biden administration preemptively had told the Ukraine to stop talking about the issue:

In the midst of tense negotiations with Berlin over a controversial Russia-to-Germany pipeline, the Biden administration is asking a friendly country to stay quiet about its vociferous opposition. And Ukraine is not happy.

U.S. officials have signaled that they’ve given up on stopping the project, known as the Nord Stream 2 pipeline, and are now scrambling to contain the damage by striking a grand bargain with Germany.

At the same time, administration officials have quietly urged their Ukrainian counterparts to withhold criticism of a forthcoming agreement with Germany involving the pipeline, according to four people with knowledge of the conversations.

The U.S. officials have indicated that going public with opposition to the forthcoming agreement could damage the Washington-Kyiv bilateral relationship, those sources said. The officials have also urged the Ukrainians not to discuss the U.S. and Germany’s potential plans with Congress.

If Trump had done the above Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi would have called for another impeachment.

The Ukrainian President Zelensky is furious over the deal and about being told to shut up. But there is little he can do but to accept the booby price the Biden administration offered him:

U.S. officials’ pressure on Ukrainian officials to withhold criticism of whatever final deal the Americans and the Germans reach will face significant resistance.

A source close to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said that Kyiv’s position is that U.S. sanctions could still stop completion of the project, if only the Biden administration had the will to use them at the construction and certification stages. That person said Kyiv remains staunchly opposed to the project.

Meanwhile, the Biden administration gave Zelensky a date for a meeting at the White House with the president later this summer, according to a senior administration official.

Nord Stream 2 is to 96% ready. Its testing will start in August or September and by the years end it will hopefully deliver gas to western Europe.

Talks about building Nord Stream 3 are likely to start soon.

Posted by b on July 21, 2021 at 17:13 UTC | Permalink

Comments
« previous page

@Hoarsewhisperer #99
Indeed - I have noted before that Germany does the least possible in responding to American demands - the ones which don't correspond to German interests.

Posted by: c1ue | Jul 22 2021 15:50 utc | 101

Tom67 @85--

I highly suggest you visit the Gazprom website and educate yourself as to the scope of its projects of which you're clearly uninformed, and the do a reassessment of your comment. Oh, and don't just look at the pipelines but also at the massive Amur gas refinery that was carved from nothing. The videos chronicling its construction are quite amazing.

Posted by: karlof1 | Jul 22 2021 15:50 utc | 102

@Roger #98
I think American Deep State views on soft power differ than anyone else's.
Bribery, threats, spying etc are what they consider soft power.

Posted by: c1ue | Jul 22 2021 15:52 utc | 103

I have a brother-in-law who worked at the Byron (IL) nuke for 30 years; I heard his stories and saw his change from pro to cynical. Bottom line, what do you do with the waste for 250,000 years while we can't even secure a landfill for 50? If I need nukes for electricity I'm turning the lights out. for real

Answer.... you transport the waste to one of ROSATOM's lead cooled waste burners.... or to ROSATOM for recycling...

INDY

Posted by: George W Oprisko | Jul 22 2021 16:00 utc | 104

Rever @ 76: both wiki and France industry source says nuclear is 70.6 percent of total electricity!

Please explain!

Posted by: Gordog | Jul 22 2021 16:26 utc | 105

I guess today's internet disruption will be blamed on Russia: "lashing-out" in anger at the USA-Germany agreement.


!!

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Jul 22 2021 16:31 utc | 106

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Jul 22 2021 16:31 utc | 106

Indeed, from time to time there are mysterious events than inexplicably are not blamed on Russia. I recall that few years ago, USA, UK, Canada, Australia and even New Zealand were plagued by creepy clowns. Later there was some partial explanation, high school boys pranking middle school girls, but how that habit spread over all 5 Eyes Countries without some sinister on-line influence?

Perhaps the reason is that the experts finding Russian faults are already busy 24/7, so there is simply not enough of manpower to handle all of them.

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Jul 22 2021 16:59 utc | 107

A historical (hysterical) reference (Newsweek) ... the great clown panic of 2016, from accounts billing themselves as "killer clowns" led to intensive surveillance, according to records from Washington D.C.'s Metropolitan Police Department (MPD).

Clown sightings were recorded all over the U.S. in 2016, with the craze eventually coming to the attention of the police.

An October 3, 2016, document, entitled Social Media Clown Threats, obtained by The Guardian, reportedly laid out measures taken by authorities over the prior four days in relation to "threats coming from accounts created by unknown persons with profile pictures of clowns" on "the popular Social Media sites today like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc."

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Jul 22 2021 17:03 utc | 108

@ Jackrabbit | Jul 22 2021 14:43 utc | 96

Indeed. I would also add that the mere notion that the US should somehow have a say on resolutely sovereign matters such as a country's own energy strategy and trade relations in itself is indicative of who sets the rules.


Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Jul 22 2021 15:39 utc | 99

In the end it didn't matter what Germany SAID or DID about Navalny. He's back where Russia wants him.
Coincidence? Happenstance?
I see the Navalny show as a narrative operation waged by the West on a principally domestic battleground. We are the targeted audience.

With that in mind, as a main cast member of this production and by its participation, Germany has certainly helped in the success of this operation.

Posted by: robin | Jul 22 2021 17:09 utc | 109

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Jul 22 2021 1:17 utc | 63

Their alliance may also have been contingent on the completion of key infrastructure elements (promise of performance) before each successive step is taken and having a third hydrocarbon rich state in the mix may well have been an intolerable complication for R and C. This all the more so as they had to watch the FUKUSAi belligerent like a hawk.

That's a fair analysis. But there is very wide gap between two newlyweds excluding a third party from their honeymoon and throwing him to the wolves, as you succinctly write.

As I said earlier, the war against Iran is incremental so neither Russia nor China have the excuse of being surprised by Western belligerence. It was clear from the onset where this was going.

In your closing remarks, you suggest that these actions have inflicted a terrific loss to the rest of the world, and I certainly agree. I'm just having trouble explaining the strategy here. Was there coercion by the USUK, forcing a bad decision? Or was there a calculated move by Russia and China to make a quick and easy gain? Otherwise, we're left with the possibility of poor strategic thinking on China and Russia's part.

Posted by: robin | Jul 22 2021 17:11 utc | 110

How many more times must the United States turn Ukraine out like an economy-priced whore before the Ukrainians finally get wise?

Posted by: Feral Finster | Jul 22 2021 18:12 utc | 111

@ 16 robin

"To suggest Dear Uncle Sam is concerned with anything other than his own navel is naive. He's the man with the plan."

Remember what Mike Tyson says about plans? "Everyone has a plan until they punched in the mouth."

Posted by: Lawrence Miller | Jul 22 2021 19:11 utc | 112

@ Lawrence Miller | Jul 22 2021 19:11 utc | 112

True. But who's doing all the punching?

Posted by: robin | Jul 22 2021 19:27 utc | 113

@ robin (#113), we know the plan! What are the most essential elements that are missing in the plan? Why would Sauron’s plan FAIL?

Imperial STRATAGEMS are protracted affairs. The captains of world aggression measure their achievements, or failures, on a timescale whose unit is the generation. It is within such a frame that the incubation of new entities happen and an elaborate plan to capture them executed. This is how the Empire maintains its hegemony.

However, this time the Empire has been outsmarted and walked into a TRAP. Time is not on its side. Its end is arriving! What is the average age of Saruman’s first-level lieutenants?
“In God We Trust”

“It is not possible to found a lasting power upon injustice, perjury, and treachery. These may, perhaps, succeed at first, and limp along on hope for awhile with a flourishing appearance. But time betrays their weakness, and they eventually fall into ruin of their own designs."
– Demosthenes

Posted by: Max | Jul 22 2021 20:04 utc | 114


Norway assumes an interesting stance towards the Nord Stream projects: Knowing that any stance will draw unfavorable comments and reactions from either Russia, Germany or from Norway’s British and North American masters, mum is their word. Even though they know that this exposes Norway’s gas exports to the chance of drastic and dramatic rangers in the pricing games. Norway pays for their favored posisition thru byyng overpriced US aircraft that ware no good for defense, but olk´ly as stoker-bombers into Russian areas. Fortunately, it seems Chicom have penetrated parts of Norway’s defenses by now —mostly because they know US strike ships and costal flotillas will shortly be upgraded wit long.range Norwegian.producednweeaponry, 8in total disregard of the Sino.n
´Norwegian agreement fro four years ago!!

Posted by: Tollef Ås/秋涛乐/טלפ וש | Jul 22 2021 20:15 utc | 115

paco #92

Thank you, I did a search via lazyweb and found this closer image and brief story:
https://360tv.ru/news/mir/graffiti-s-lavrovym-i-prizyvaemym-emu-rezkim-vyskazyvaniem-pojavilos-v-londone/

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Jul 22 2021 21:11 utc | 116

Hoarsewhisperer #99

USA's Shadow Govt believes so much of its own infantile bs that it can be played like a fiddle by the simple expedient of feigning obedience and feeding its bs back to it - with due solemnity and reverence.

Exactly that. Hence my preference for Xerxes Biden. An expanded empire finally befuddled by pandering states, lying and conflicted dual nationals in the inner circle, greedy merchants gossiping in the market place and finally armaments rendered obsolete through the diligent inventiveness of opposition states.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Jul 22 2021 21:19 utc | 117

robin #110

But there is very wide gap between two newlyweds excluding a third party from their honeymoon and throwing him to the wolves,

Agreed, but there are times when the limits to action are curtailed by one's perception of how far to go, the threats/opportunities interpreted as requiring action or prudent avoidance. Russia came to Syria's aid at a very late stage and I see that as an indicator of a deep and somewhat intractable Russian discussion on what to do. China remained silent mostly.

I reasonably suspect there was mighty strong internal Russian resistance to entering an 'Afgan 2' scenario but the war on terror was already in the streets of Moscow, it just took a year to resolve to assist Syria and it is still there but in a very controlled manner to enable long range diplomacy, national recovery and circumstance to fall in its favour.

So, to consider Iran in that light and at that time I can appreciate that a decision was made that Iran would just have to tough it out and endure the predations of the paper tiger empire and accept that sanctions and persistent belligerence was to be their lot. Regardless of JCPOA etc. I believe that was a mistake. However time proved yet again that the paper tiger empire is insatiable and sacrifices are inadequate and it wants it all if I can put it that way.

Perhaps letting it run this way also consolidated more states at the UN to back R and C in the longer run. They are great believers in the UN as the single global authority and resist the BS of rules based disorder advocated by the paper tiger empire.

There are many at the UN who are appreciative of the R and C position while slobbering allegiance to the minotaur. What else is there to do in this fractured world but to play the hand as best as possible to put off a USA occupation force to 'restore order'. The example that sticks in my mind is Bolton threatening the head of OPCW to come up with anti Saddam 'proof and evidence of CBW or to resign as Bolton knew where his children lived in New York! That sets acutely defined parameters within which diplomacy is abandoned and savagery set free and it takes some time and sacrifice to work around it. But that was then and today I suspect another Bolton like event would be met with a wall of loud condemnation.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Jul 22 2021 21:46 utc | 118

But that was then and today I suspect another Bolton like event would be met with a wall of loud condemnation.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Jul 22 2021 21:46 utc | 118


uncle,

Qassem Solemeini?

It seems to me the opposite. We have a conspiracy of silence behind which the big beasts are positioning and the jackals are plotting their defection.

Posted by: John Cleary | Jul 22 2021 22:08 utc | 119

karlof1 | Jul 21 2021 21:44 utc | 44

Thanks for the RT article, karlof1, your postings are excellent, always worth reading, keep it up.

uncle tungsten | Jul 22 2021 1:31 utc | 64: also thanks for the short RT piece, uncle, the interesting thing is the book should be published in Russian, will try and find out when and where available.

Posted by: Baron | Jul 22 2021 22:13 utc | 120

Baron @120--

Thanks for your reply! I used Yandex to search for that book and got numerous Russian hits but didn't investigate any since I need an English version. Good Luck hunting!

Posted by: karlof1 | Jul 22 2021 22:20 utc | 121

Feral Finster #111

Some economy priced whores live from fix to fix to deal with their lives. As long as the paper tiger empire delivers the fix all is good and the banging on continues, the Waffen SS parades march down the streets, the neo nazi banner flutter in the air and the whole cursed nation crashes and burns. The gas pipeline revenue will collapse soon as the pipes corrode beyond replacement and they won't even have pipes to get their own gas let alone transport it. Unless that is what the deal was between Germany and the paper tiger empire was last week: replace the pipes IMF infrastructure loans. Hahahahaha. suckers.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Jul 22 2021 22:21 utc | 122

@ John Cleary | Jul 22 2021 22:08 utc | 119 who wrote
"
We have a conspiracy of silence behind which the big beasts are positioning and the jackals are plotting their defection.
"

Thanks for such words. Below is the title of a posting at The Register which adds another data point to the melting pot
"
NSO Group 'will no longer be responding to inquiries' about misuse of its software
"

As a conscious anti-mRNA vaccine person living in the USA I am noticing that the anti-mRNA vaccine folk are getting banshee screeching treatment that defies any logic or reason. That said, what ever the number of us, and I am not a Trump supporter part of the group, we are significant enough to be forcing, shall we say, a disruption in the force field of propaganda holding this shit show together in the US...don't know about elsewhere.

Go to the FLCCC web site and see the evolving list of US providers of Ivermectin....some drop off as they get overwhelmed with response is what I have heard....grin

The shit show continues until it doesn't and there seems to be some serious chinks in the armor that aren't going away and may be "growing".

What are the forest fires on the West coast of US going to do to the already "recession/depression in fact" local and national economies?....are you folks on the East coast enjoying our smoke?...don't worry, we will eat enough of it....sigh

Posted by: psychohistorian | Jul 22 2021 22:29 utc | 123

Several Democratic congresscritters (the usual suspects) have come out against this deal. Not sure if they will still try to pass their bill to force sanctions.

Posted by: schmoe | Jul 23 2021 1:02 utc | 124

John Clearly #119

Yes, point taken. But the idiot invader may yet depart. It seems to have been an insult too far for the Iraqis, the Iranians seem to have ditched the faction prepared to negotiate with the great Satan. For now.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Jul 23 2021 2:51 utc | 125

If I may jump into this discussion about Iran supposedly being thrown under the bus by Russia and China.

What hasn't been discussed is that both Russia and China had, and still have, to some extent, good reason to be mistrustful of Iran.

Iran, for all of its unfair attacks by the US is hardly an angel. This is a country that has supported radical Islamists in the past, including in Yugoslavia.

Just for that, Russia has reason to be circumspect, never mind Iranian ties to Chechen separatists, during the country's darkest moments in the nineties.

In both cases, Iran gladly cooperated with the Great Satan.

And as soon as China and Russia especially facilitated the JCPOA, Iran ran right to the west to do business.

There is much more. Iran has been on limbo in observer status at the SCO for many years. Why? Because the SCO was formed to combat radical Islamist unrest [that the US was mainly behind].

And it is not lost on the members how Iran had gladly partaken of those projects. Most recently Iran was again on the wrong side with the manufactured 'Rohingya' crisis in Myanmar. Much to the irritation of Russia, China, and the entire SCO.

How can this block, many of them secular Muslim countries, trust a well-proven radical like Iran.

For Russia, there is also the large Russian population in Israel. Now nobody is going to feel sorry for Israel, but those Russian Israelis still look to the mother country when Iranian lawmakers chant 'death to Israel.'

Bottom line is that Iran is a theocracy, with all the unpredictability that comes with religious zealotry.

So things are complicated. Russia and China are diplomatically very mature countries. Iran is still a wild card.

Posted by: Gordog | Jul 23 2021 3:43 utc | 126

Gordog #126

Thank you for that perspective. Can I add that there may be a serious element of fracture arising from the Iran presence in Syria and its activities that are perhaps beyond the containment of the Russian presence yet tolerated by Assad. This might explain the high level of tolerance by the Russian forces for the occasional Israeli missile attack on those pesky Syrian shiite forces (or are they Iranian fellow travellers?)

From memory, the difficulty between Iran and Russia goes back a few hundred years as well.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Jul 23 2021 8:26 utc | 127

@ Gordog | Jul 22 2021 16:26 utc | 105
(unfortunately I'm a little bit short of time just now....)

Electricity is NOT all energy consumption [transport and industrial warming mostly fuel and gas].
To turn 90% of energy needs to electricity [nuclear one], France needs 150 more nuke power plants!
A little bit too much.
And BTW, 66% of produced nuclear electricity is lost in transportation. (P=R*I²)

Don't be fooled by French [and other] pro nuke.

NS2, the nuclear pipeline

Nuke power plant will be the future of hydrogen production. H2 useful to transfer the power from desert place with clean water [for example North Russia] to high density of population country with need of clean energy [for example EU]

You know what? NS2 is built to transport of hydrogen too!

"Quelle coincidence"

Posted by: Rêver | Jul 23 2021 8:34 utc | 128

@ Gordog | Jul 22 2021 16:26 utc | 105
(unfortunately I'm a little bit short of time just now....)

Electricity is NOT all energy consumption [transport and industrial warming mostly fuel and gas].
To turn 90% of energy needs to electricity [nuclear one], France needs 150 more nuke power plants!
A little bit too much.
And BTW, 66% of produced nuclear electricity is lost in transportation. (P=R*I²)

Don't be fooled by French [and other] pro nuke.

NS2, the nuclear pipeline

Nuke power plant will be the future of hydrogen production. H2 useful to transfer the power from desert place with clean water [for example North Russia] to high density of population country with need of clean energy [for example EU]

You know what? NS2 is built to transport of hydrogen too!

"Quelle coincidence"

Posted by: Rêver | Jul 23 2021 8:38 utc | 129

Gordog @Jul23 3:43 #126

A few notes/questions about your surprisingly negative comments about Iran:

... both Russia and China had, and still have, to some extent, good reason to be mistrustful of Iran.

While Iran supports it's allies and Shia in neighboring countries, AFAIK Iran has NOT been one to export its religious fever. So I'd like to learn more about the religious basis for Russian and Chinese mistrust.

=
Iran ... has supported radical Islamists in the past, including in Yugoslavia.

AFAIK the Saudis were much more involved with Yugoslavian turmoil than Iran. Can you describe Iran's supposed role there?

=
... Iranian ties to Chechen separatists ... in the nineties.

Can you provide some detail? Aren't the Chechen separatists Sunni and much more likely to be supported by Saudis than Iran? If a few Iranians were involved, might it have been simply as individuals and not the Iranian government?

=
In both cases, Iran gladly cooperated with the Great Satan.

USA has been vehemently opposed to the Iranian government since the revolution. So the cooperation that you posit makes no sense to me.

=
And as soon as China and Russia especially facilitated the JCPOA, Iran ran right to the west to do business.

Well, China and Russia do business with the West too. I don't think Russia or China are demanding or expecting Iran to curtail commercial activities with the West.

=
Iran has been on limbo in observer status at the SCO for many years. Why? Because the SCO was formed to combat radical Islamist unrest [that the US was mainly behind].

Observer status is not "limbo" and Iran has been in that status because among SCO's specific qualifications is that a country not be sanctioned by the UN.

SCO was formed to combat radical Islamist unrest? Such unrest may have been one of many reasons, but not sine qua non.

=
And it is not lost on the members how Iran had gladly partaken of those projects.

Once again, this requires some explaining.

=
Most recently Iran was again on the wrong side with the manufactured 'Rohingya' crisis in Myanmar. Much to the irritation of Russia, China, and the entire SCO.

"On the wrong side" and "irritation" implies a litmus test that the countries that support a multi-lateral world do not apply.

Exactly what was Iran's stance on Rohingya? Exactly how did it irritate Russia, China and the entire SCO?

=
How can this block, many of them secular Muslim countries, trust a well-proven radical like Iran.

Iran acts consistently and has shown no interest in exporting its revolution so it's unclear why other countries (except Israel and Gulf Arab States) would distrust them.

=
For Russia, there is also the large Russian population in Israel. Now nobody is going to feel sorry for Israel, but those Russian Israelis still look to the mother country when Iranian lawmakers chant 'death to Israel.'

Bottom line is that Iran is a theocracy, with all the unpredictability that comes with religious zealotry.

Israel is also a theocracy ... and Russia is likely to be as wary of a Jewish theocracy as they are of Muslim theocracy.

=
So things are complicated... Iran is still a wild card.

Not so complicated that Russia and China aren't solidly behind Iran. The clearest examples of this: 1) Russia's denying USA-Israel's demand that Russia take a neutral position in the conflict with Iran - a position that would allow USA-Israel to bomb Iran; and 2) China's development assistance.

The most glaring "wild card" is just how far Israel take their conflict with Iran, and how much they will pressure USA to act.

!!

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Jul 23 2021 14:27 utc | 130

Uncle T @ 127:

There is real friction between the Syrians, especially the officer corps, and the Iranians, whom the Syrians view as haughty and often uncooperative.

Assad, while needing the Iranian boots on the ground, is also wary of Iran's cultivation of the Shia population. Syria is a secular, multiethnic, multi-confessional society. Assad doesn't need further fissures.

The Iranian help and sacrifice, while appreciated, doesn't come without at least some strings. All are mindful of that.

This is not a 'negative' view---it is the nuanced reality. Iranians can be prickly partners.

Posted by: Gordog | Jul 23 2021 15:13 utc | 131

The big problem with Ukraine is that its local natural gas supply depends on the pressure in the GTS (Gas Transit System) that the USSR spent a lot to build in its last decades.

This GTS can transport Russia's entire natgas exports to Europe, i.e. around 200 billion b.c.m. per year. It once did...

At the moment, the RF transits only about 40+ b.c.m., throwing a meagre bone to the hopeless cases in Kiev.

And now, NS2 makes (after the RU-GTS transit contract expires in 2024) the entire GTS a giant piece of junk - you have to finance the servicing of giant compressors and thousand kilometer pipelence with noone to fill them... And you have to compete with an underwater pipeline that has several times lower transit fees than you...

And, if transit stops, the whole of Ukraine is faced with a shortfall of 10 bcm per year (20 production, 30 consumption), pretty clear. And local gas supply is killed in an instant.

And no gas flows East, it's all East to West. If there is no transit, there is no "virtual reverse", bought by Ukr from Sk, as natgas cannot be pumped by non-exising compressors facing East...

And when transit stops, Ukraine dies.

They have no alternative but to consume Russian gas in ever incresing quantities just to stay alive.


---

Posted by: Vidar | Jul 23 2021 15:29 utc | 132

I'll second all the points made by Jackrabbit @129.

Posted by: karlof1 | Jul 23 2021 15:46 utc | 133

JR: My comments aren't meant to be negative, simply a response to the decidedly negative argument that has been put forth here that Russia and China threw Iran under the bus.

And those events at the UNSC going back nearly 15 years!

A lot has changed since then, and trust is slowly building. Iran has applied to join the EEU and has had a free trade agreement with the bloc for more than a year and that is working out well.

At the same time we have seen those bombshell anti-Lavrov comments from FM Javad Zarif recently that surely must have shocked the Russians--- but they kept mum and quietly let it pass.

Iran was the main supplier of weapons to Bosnian Muslims, working hand in hand with the US, in defiance of UNSC arms embargos. They played a much bigger role than Saudia.

On Chechnya, the Russia-Iran relationship never fully broke down, although it did buckle at times. The Russians did make serious accusations in 1996. Iran's support to the separatists was mostly verbal, although some fighters did train there.

Both of those respective histories are well known and are easily accessed.

The Rohingya 'genocide' was another western-manufactured 'crisis' aimed, ultimately, at China. Again, plenty of info about Iran on that issue.

Whether you like it or not, neither China nor the other SCO members found that helpful.

Another case is Azerbaijan, which is Shia. Yet Iran has long supported Armenia, because of its fears about South Azerbaijan, which is part of Iran.

And Iran's religious influence is not as benign as you may imagine. It considers itself the protector of the world's Shia. That has a political dimension.

Of course they are not on the level of Saudia, which has been an active partner of the US in causing global religious turmoil.

Russia and China relations with Iran are maturing and growing. Every decent human is going to take Iran's side in its struggle with a hyper-aggressive US and Israel.

But that doesn't mean we should take a simplistic view of history. Iran has warts too, and it can be a difficult dance partner.

Posted by: Gordog | Jul 23 2021 15:56 utc | 134

Strategic-Culture editorializes this topic and points out the numerous faux pas committed by the Outlaw US Empire. Here's the meat:

"Enter the Americans. Washington has been seething over the strategic energy trade between Russia and Europe. The opposition escalated under the Trump administration (so much for Trump being an alleged Russian stooge!) when his ambassador to Germany, Richard Grenell, fired off threatening letters to German and other European companies arrogantly warning that they would be hit with sanctions if they dared proceed with Nord Stream 2. Pipe-laying work was indeed interrupted last year by U.S. sanctions. (So much for European sovereignty and alleged meddling in internal affairs by Russia!)

"The ostensible American rationale was always absurd. Washington claimed that Russia would exploit its strategic role as gas supplier by extracting malicious concessions from Europe. It was also claimed that Russia would 'weaponize' energy trade to enable alleged aggression towards Ukraine and other Eastern European states. The rationale reflects the twisted Machiavellian mentality of the Americans and their supporters in Europe – Poland and the Baltic states, as well as the Kiev regime in Ukraine. Such mentality is shot-through with irrational Russophobia.

"The ridiculous paranoid claims against Russia are of course an inversion of reality. It is the Americans and their European surrogates who are weaponizing a mundane matter of commercial trade that in reality offers a win-win relationship. Part of the real objective is to distort market economics by demonizing Russia in order for the United States to export their own vastly more expensive and environmentally dirty liquefied natural gas to Europe. (So much for American free-market capitalism!)"

With the NS2 Saga seemingly over, Russia has initiated what I see as the next Saga--It's very justifiable complaint lodged with the European Court of Human Rights against what is essentially Ukraine's genocidal attack on Russians residing within its territory. IMO, a very powerful gauntlet's been slapped in the EU/NATO/Outlaw US Empire's face that will have profound consequences either way it's adjudicated.

Posted by: karlof1 | Jul 23 2021 16:52 utc | 135

Gordog @Jul23 15:56 #133

Thanks for your reply.

Iran was the main supplier of weapons to Bosnian Muslims ...

Wikipedia sources this claim to a book written by Steven K. O'Hern who served thirty years in the U.S. Air Force and Air Force Reserve including an initial nine years of active duty and a deployment to Iraq in 2005 as the Director of the Strategic Counterintelligence Directorate.

Is that you?

=
"working hand in hand with the US"

In the book, O'Hern claims that USA looked the other way after initially objecting to Iranian arms shipments. Is that what you mean when you say "working hand in hand with the US?"

=
Whether you like it or not ...

I neither like it nor dislike it. I just want to understand.

=
And Iran's religious influence is not as benign as you may imagine.

I'm a realist (aka cynic) so I'm not a fan of hopium or cheerleaders.

!!

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Jul 23 2021 17:03 utc | 136

JR: I don't want to continue flogging this horse, but the Iranian arms smuggling [and fighters] to Bosnia was approved at the highest levels of the Clinton regime.

There was much congressional investigation into this, and much more written than just one book cited by wikipedia, which has its own very heavy slant on most geopolitical issues.

Just one example:

Arms purchased by Iran and Turkey with the financial backing of Saudi Arabia made their way by night from the Middle East. Initially aircraft from Iran Air were used, but as the volume increased they were joined by a mysterious fleet of black C-130 Hercules aircraft.

The report stresses that the US was "very closely involved" in the airlift.

Mojahedin fighters were also flown in, but they were reserved as shock troops for especially hazardous operations.

America used Islamists to arm the Bosnian Muslims---Guardian

A much more comprehensive report from senate republicans in 1997.

http://www.parstimes.com/history/iran_bosnia.html

Posted by: Gordog | Jul 23 2021 17:49 utc | 137

AFAIK the Saudis were much more involved with Yugoslavian turmoil than Iran. Can you describe Iran's supposed role there?

JR @ 130

Even Nasrallah admitted to sending Hezbollah fighters to Bosnia

https://youtu.be/w6WyXyBkvr0

Posted by: Down South | Jul 23 2021 19:03 utc | 138

looks now like petition to ECRR was simply a proforma prerequisite to a Plan. Court rejected petition, which was entirely expected by some people. Resort to Court is simply overture.

Posted by: Walter | Jul 23 2021 19:18 utc | 139

Walter @139--

A very sad moment, but one that was anticipated.

Posted by: karlof1 | Jul 23 2021 19:39 utc | 140

Gordog @Jul23 17:49 #137

... Iranian arms smuggling [and fighters] to Bosnia was approved at the highest levels of the Clinton regime.

I knew about the Saudis paying for arms and the Americans allowing it, but I was unaware of significant Iranian direct involvement.

Iran doesn't generally help USA-Saudis to achieve their goals. Nor would significant Iranian help be needed as USA and Saudis have the resources to achieve their goals on their own.

It sounds like an Iran-Contra type of operation where Iran's main interest was to get paid for weapons or weapons trafficking. That doesn't mean that Iran no involvement other than commercial gain, it just means that Iran's role might be exaggerated.

Iran's support for Chechen rebels also sounds exaggerated.

!!

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Jul 23 2021 19:43 utc | 141

JR: I recommend the second link, a report by senate republicans.

Bosnian war was an extremely dirty project. Iran was the main partner of the Islamist Izetbegovic regime that Clinton championed.

It was indeed a Clinton-Iran axis, with only supporting roles by Saudia and others.

Btw, you will find in there also the suppressed investigations that found the Bosnian Muslims were in fact responsible for the big Sarajevo 'massacres' blamed on Serbs, and used for US military intervention.

This is a document of historical value for truth about the Balkans.

Politics make for strange bedfellows. Now, this is going back nearly 30 years, but Iran played a MAJOR role in this very dirty war. That is no exaggeration.

Again, my point is not to be negative about today's Iran, in which I find much to admire---particularly their socialism with 'Islamic Characteristics.'

But the original discussion was about lack of Russian and Chinese diplomatic support for Iran in the mid 2000s. At that time the major Iranian involvement in the destruction of Yugoslavia was very fresh indeed...for both Russia and China.

The Chinese still keep in mind the Belgrade Embassy bombing. For Russia, the destruction of Yugoslavia is still a national theme!

What I have given here is some historical context that might have informed Russian and Chinese attitudes towards Iran in the 2000s. Iran was indeed a partner with the west in this project [for their own reasons of course].

I felt the persistent argument of one party here, that Iran was hard done by, at the UNSC, required that historical context to be presented.

Posted by: Gordog | Jul 23 2021 20:13 utc | 142

Gordog @Jul23 20:13 #142

JR: I recommend the second link ...

You link to parstimes.com, which is published in Los Angeles. That alone means it's likely a source of anti-Iran info.

=
Again, my point is not to be negative about today's Iran ...

And yet you raise questions about Iran's reliability as a partner.

Nothing that you've presented thus far convinces me that Iran might be viewed as an unreliable partner.

=
The Chinese still keep in mind the Belgrade Embassy bombing. For Russia, the destruction of Yugoslavia is still a national theme!

And yet I don't see Russia or China blaming Iran - despite your assertion that Iran was so heavily involved in the conflict.

Note: the Chinese embassy was hit by 'smart bombs' from USA aircraft on a NATO mission.

!!

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Jul 23 2021 20:50 utc | 143

JR: what I linked to is a document written by the Senate Republican Policy Committee. Larry E Craig Chairman; Jade West, Staff Director.

The website that has put up a copy of this official and very insightful 1997 report is completely irrelevant.

I'm sure you can also find it in the senate archives.

Posted by: Gordog | Jul 23 2021 21:03 utc | 144

@ jr.... i appreciate your posts.. but sometimes i think you go too far... i know you are capable of seeing things from a few different angles!

Posted by: james | Jul 23 2021 21:18 utc | 145

Nobody's perfect. During the Soviet-Afghan war, China supported the mujahideen (see the chronology provided by uncleT). As recently as the late 60ies Russia wanted to nuke China. Russia has a colonial history in both Iran and China. Maybe the only thing the 3 have in common is that they have been (pardon my French) too many times by the Empire. And that's something they share with many other countries.

Posted by: Robert Macaire | Jul 23 2021 22:42 utc | 146


re: Gordog | Jul 23 2021 3:43 utc | 126
Iran didn't oppose the removal of Gadaffi with its distruction of Libya.

re: uncle tungsten | Jul 23 2021 8:26 utc | 127
Not many Syrians are Shia. Now, about 17% are Alawaite, who some say are not Shia. FWIIW https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alawites says Alawites are a Shia sect but then goes on to detail there significant differences.

Posted by: tucenz | Jul 24 2021 2:19 utc | 147

...
Iran is still a wild card.
Posted by: Gordog | Jul 23 2021 3:43 utc | 126

Might I respectfully suggest that you take the time to look up Oliver Stone's The Putin Interviews, Parts 1 to 4 and watch each episode carefully?
By doing so you may be able to avoid making a bigger fool of yourself than you already have.
Oh, and convey my worst wishes to Bibi, if it's not too much trouble.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Jul 24 2021 5:19 utc | 148

@all

Robert Macaire @Jul23 22:42 #146 makes an important point. Circumstances change and countries strategies and polices change with them.

But there's an additional aspect that we should not fail to note: the new Cold War is deliberately being played down by the West for propaganda purposes. Thus, we see an event like the HMS Defender incident explained as an attempt to rectify the behavior of Russia when it is simply bad behavior on the part of the British and one of many provocative actions that have raised tensions to a very dangerous level.

Gordog's concerns about Iran, assuming they are genuine, may be influenced by Western media's unwillingness to paint a true picture of the seriousness of the conflict between the Empire and the challengers. Their reluctance to paint a true picture is likely motivated by a desire to obscure the fact that it is the West that is most responsible for the tensions. Indeed, Western belligerence has united its opponents such that whatever Iran may have done 20+ years ago has little relevance today.

<> <> <> <> <>

I date the start of the new Cold War to Kissinger's WSJ Op-Ed of August 2014 because IMO that Op-Ed is virtually a declaration of war. Kissinger calls on USA to meet the challenge from Russia and China by reviving what worked in the first Cold War. Essentially, MAGA. Ten months later, Trump entered the race for President as the MAGA candidate. And this new-comer to politics easily swept away all of his seasoned Republican competitors.

Some date the new Cold War to an earlier date, but IMO it wasn't until the Donbas rebels were defeated that USA moved decisively to counter Russia and China.

Historical note: Within weeks of Kissinger's Op-Ed I wrote that it was virtually a declaration of war.

!!

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Jul 24 2021 8:15 utc | 149

re: Jackrabbit | Jul 24 2021 8:15 utc | 149

Actually, several years before August 2014, because of the destruction of Libya, Russia and China knew it was war. I remember reports (probably at syrianperspective or south front) early in Syrian conflict saying that Russian arms factories were operating 24/7.

Somewhere around 2007, 2008 I skimmed through a "Recent Acquisition" at my local university library which was a US stink tank publication that advanced the case of the threat that a growing China would pose. Simply, the argument was - China was likely to have GDP per capita similar to Japan or Vietnam and with it a comparable military % expenditure, but because of China's much greater population this expenditure would be proportionally greater and therefore an existential threat to US/Western interests and it was urgent this had to be countered!

Posted by: tucenz | Jul 24 2021 14:48 utc | 150

re: Jackrabbit | Jul 24 2021 8:15 utc | 149

Actually, several years before August 2014, because of the destruction of Libya, Russia and China knew it was war. I remember reports (probably at syrianperspective or south front) early in Syrian conflict saying that Russian arms factories were operating 24/7.

Somewhere around 2007, 2008 I skimmed through a "Recent Acquisition" at my local university library which was a US stink tank publication that advanced the case of the threat that a growing China would pose. Simply, the argument was - China was likely to have GDP per capita similar to Japan or Vietnam and with it a comparable military % expenditure, but because of China's much greater population this expenditure would be proportionally greater and therefore an existential threat to US/Western interests and it was urgent this had to be countered!

Posted by: tucenz | Jul 24 2021 14:48 utc | 151

Re: Posted by: Jackrabbit | Jul 24 2021 8:15 utc | 149


I date the start of the new Cold War to Kissinger's WSJ Op-Ed of August 2014 because IMO that Op-Ed is virtually a declaration of war. Kissinger calls on USA to meet the challenge from Russia and China by reviving what worked in the first Cold War. Essentially, MAGA. Ten months later, Trump entered the race for President as the MAGA candidate. And this new-comer to politics easily swept away all of his seasoned Republican competitors.

No, I'd suggest Georgia in 2008.

Before that the FUKUS were mucking around in the Arabian sandbox, sure, but what has Georgia got to do with that other than a way to antagonise Russia?

In fact, you could go back to Ukraine in 2004/2005 and the Orange Revolution - that was obviously aimed directly at Russia!

Because Yeltsin was a Western puppet - the "New" Cold War has to date from the post-Yeltsin era. January 1, 2000.

To note - Putin first came to prominence in July 1998 when he was appointed as the Director of the Federal Security Service. And within 18 months he was the President.

A meteoric rise.

Posted by: Julian | Jul 24 2021 14:51 utc | 152

tucenz and Julian

Those are good points. USA was clearly moving forward with an aggressive international agenda before 2014 that was implemented with covert ops and 'soft power'. They felt that they had a free hand because there was no peer adversary.

What changed in 2014 is that USA: 1) recognized that the Russia-China alliance had teeth; 2) developed a more confrontational approach that would also include an arms build-up under Trump. Obama started implementing such measures soon after Kissinger's Op-Ed.

Kissinger's 2014 Op-Ed: On the Assembly of a New World Order: The concept that has underpinned the modern geopolitical era is in crisis.

!!

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Jul 24 2021 15:46 utc | 153

Because Yeltsin was a Western puppet - the "New" Cold War has to date from the post-Yeltsin era. January 1, 2000.

To note - Putin first came to prominence in July 1998 when he was appointed as the Director of the Federal Security Service. And within 18 months he was the President.

A meteoric rise.

Posted by: Julian | Jul 24 2021 14:51 utc | 152

Yes, I agree. By the end of the 90s it was quite clear, or should have been, that "the West" meant Russia no good, and one may infer that Putin's rise was no accident. An interesting choice too, somebody had a sharp eye to spot Putin.

What I find interesting is that at no time in the following 20 years did any of the Grand Poobahs of the West consider adjusting policy in any serious way. And still they persevere in it ...

Posted by: Bemildred | Jul 24 2021 16:53 utc | 154

@Gordog #142:

Btw, you will find in there also the suppressed investigations that found the Bosnian Muslims were in fact responsible for the big Sarajevo 'massacres' blamed on Serbs, and used for US military intervention.

International experts insist that there was no genocide in Srebrenica (EurAsia Daily, Katarina Lane, July 22, 2021 — in Russian)

The war crimes committed in Srebrenica during the civil war in Bosnia and Herzegovina cannot be regarded as a genocide. This is the conclusion reached by the Independent International Commission of Inquiry on the Sufferings of All Peoples in the Srebrenica Region between 1992 and 1995.

International experts stressed that the executions of prisoners of war that took place in the Srebrenica region cannot be equated with genocide according to Roman law, therefore, the conclusions of the Hague Tribunal are incorrect.

Historians say that after the capture of Srebrenica by the Bosnian Serbs, the 28th division of the Army of Bosnia and Herzegovina “formed a military column of more than 12 thousand troops” and broke through the Serb defenses, heading for the territories controlled by the Muslims. As a result of this clash, the 28th division of the Army of Bosnia and Herzegovina lost about 5 thousand people. According to the commission, this battle should be considered a legitimate military action. It was also found that the number of civilians killed in Srebrenica is in the hundreds, not thousands, as claimed in The Hague.

“The commission has no doubts about the criminal nature of the killings. However, it is impossible to assert that they were committed with any other intent, except for the elimination of the military threat,” The Balkanist portal cites the commission’s statement.

According to experts, The Hague ignored the fact that the Bosnian Serbs living in the Srebrenica region were subjected to aggression and ethnic cleansing. At the same time, the commission stated that the trials of the political and military leaders of the Bosnian Serbs by the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) were biased, and the classification of the events in Srebrenica as a “genocide” was erroneous.

“The most striking example was the trial of Radovan Karadžić,” the report says.

Karadžić, who served as President of the Republika Srpska during the civil war, was sentenced by the ICTY to life imprisonment for “genocide”.

The work of the commission on Srebrenica, initiated by the government of the Republika Srpska, was led by the Israeli historian Gideon Greif. The Muslim–Croatian Federation of BiH refused to cooperate with the experts.

The report of the commission can be read on its website: incomfis-srebrenica.org.

Posted by: S | Jul 24 2021 18:38 utc | 155

Patrick Armstrong observes and some of us have learned:

"One of my most reliable guides to finding subjects to write about in these essays is to see what crimes the West is committing. It’s a very good bet that Russia will be accused of them. If the U.S. 'accidentally' destroys an MSF hospital in Kunduz, then Russia must be routinely and intentionally bombing hospitals in Syria; if American officials pick the future prime minister of a foreign country, then Russia must be doing it more often and bigger; if Washington condemns reporters on dodgy evidence than Russians must do worse things. Likewise, Western deficiencies are minor at home but huge in Russia. (Admittedly it’s getting harder to say that – especially with the West’s dismal situation with COVID-19 but that doesn’t stop the trying; vide 'U.S. takes the top spot on Bloomberg’s COVID Resilience Ranking as vaccine rollout speeds up return to normal.') And so on: it’s all projection to deflect your attention." [Many links at original]

Such deflection and projection inhabit not just the daily news but books and journals too, and not just the present but the past as well--for the Outlaw Anglo Empire, back to 1789 France, where both fascism and communism are supposed to have had their seeds planted.

Posted by: karlof1 | Jul 24 2021 19:02 utc | 156

The Financial Empire has betrayed Russia in 1917, 1947, 1991, 2008, 2013,...

In 1917, head of the Red Cross mission to Russia, William Boyce Thompson, may have lacked the know-how to bandage a wound, but he was a director of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York and agent for J.P. Morgan’s British securities operation. What a DECEIT.

Orcs (individuals without conscience - dark souls) are full of HUBRIS to think they can deceive all. Orcs don’t share reality but propaganda. The EVIL Financial Empire and its Orcs are the most evil & deceitful people on earth, and they graduated to absolute masters in the art of deceit and fraudulent negotiations, as well as in that of manipulating the press and public opinion. They don’t keep their commitments. Just ask natives, whose lands they have STOLEN. In summary, they aren’t agreement capable.

Vladimir Putin has understood this reality, along with his confidants, China and the Non-$ Bloc, prepared Russia to DEFEAT the Financial Empire. It is De-Dollarizing (Monetary & Economic sovereignty), developed a siege economy (governance & cultural sovereignty) and armed Russia to safeguard its territorial sovereignty. Russia is strengthening its position in Eurasia. Finally, good people in nations are coming together to take on Empire’s Orcs and end their ENSLAVEMENT!

Everyday the Evil Empire gets closer to its END!

Are you a good citizen of humanity or an Orc?

Posted by: Max | Jul 24 2021 19:07 utc | 157

VK has made the best comment here so far. In any event, Russia is patient and they are neighbors of Deutschland and USA is far.

Long distance relationships always fail.

Posted by: Fernando Martinez | Jul 26 2021 20:46 utc | 158

« previous page

The comments to this entry are closed.