The Wall Street Journal reports a Russian Gas Pipeline Is Driving a Wedge Between the U.S. and Its Allies.
Angela Merkel and her advisers, before a visit to the White House last spring, agreed on a priority: Avoid talk of Nord Stream 2. The German-Russian pipeline project had been a bone of contention between Berlin and Washington, which fears it will make Europe’s largest economy excessively reliant on Russian energy.
When the German chancellor took her seat at the Oval Office table, though, President Trump left her nowhere to hide. “Angela,” he said, according to people in the room, “you got to stop buying gas from Putin.”
The dispute is coming to a head, in a graphic example of how Russia’s estrangement from the West, far from bringing its members closer, is driving a wedge between the closest of allies.
“A Russian gas molecule remains a Russian gas molecule,” Ms. Merkel said last month at a Munich conference attended by Vice President Mike Pence, “irrespective whether it comes from Ukraine or from underneath the Baltic Sea.”
Fuel for Discord
Several U.S. officials said Nord Stream 2 sanctions would follow an amendment to existing measures against Russia, the Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act. These would target investors and companies contracted to lay pipes, they said.
Russian officials have told Ms. Merkel’s aides U.S. sanctions would prompt Gazprom to buy off the Western companies and complete the pipeline on its own, said German and EU officials and Gazprom representatives.
Gazprom officials said the project’s most complex part had been completed. Should specialized pipe layers be forced out, the project would be delayed and costs would rise, but Gazprom would be able to complete the work, they said. Without Western investors, Russian state-controlled banks would take over, possibly with some Chinese financing, a Gazprom spokesman said.
Germany Correct On All Counts
- Trump is blackmailing Germany
- A molecule of Russian gas is a molecule of Russian gas
- Germany, not the US should decide German security concerns
- US LNG would cost a minimum of 20% more
- The US cannot be counted on to deliver gas in a timely manner
- Nord Stream 2 makes sense.
Disastrous US Foreign Policy
US foreign policy is both a disaster and an embarrassment.
Lost in the discussion is the fact that the US meddled in the internal affairs of Ukraine, propping up a corrupt and fascist regime. That is what started the Ukraine civil war.
This is the culmination of yet another US foreign policy error.
Mike "Mish" Shedlock