Trump Blackmails Germany With Sanction Threats Over Nord Stream 2

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Nord Stream 2, a gas pipeline project connecting Germany to Russia beneath the Baltic sea, hasTrump hopping mad.

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.

Blackmail

Germany Correct On All Counts

  1. Trump is blackmailing Germany
  2. A molecule of Russian gas is a molecule of Russian gas
  3. Germany, not the US should decide German security concerns
  4. US LNG would cost a minimum of 20% more
  5. The US cannot be counted on to deliver gas in a timely manner
  6. 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

Comments
No. 1-15
Okri
Okri

Civil war in Ukraine? Russia uses it's proxies in it's war against Ukraine. New pipeline will give more money to Putin's regime. If US meddled in Ukraine (which is not true), why then US doesn't help with weapon? Why Ukraine is not invited to join NATO? The article is Russian propaganda

Stuki
Stuki

From Germany's perspective, Nord Stream 2 is just another option. It's not as if the presence of a pipeline in the Baltic prevents them from sourcing LNG, North Sea gas, East Med gas (if that thing ever gets done) etc.

What it does help prevent, is one of the West's last remaining (at least semi-) productive economies, being held hostage to the whims of US-dependent Ukraine, US LNG shipments, and teat sucking greeks and others, along with Israel and who knows who else in the Eastern Med.

Currently, Germany is burning coal like a Trump Voting West Virginian on a cold winter day. Something most Germans aren't exactly happy about. Yet the alternatives are just not there. Even remotely. Obtaining more security wrt gas supplies, can help wean them off this coal dependence, even past Peak Renewables Fad.

As for Russia, a pipeline straight to one of the few economies, retaining enough trappings of being a functional one that they can credibly offer to pay in something other than empty promises, is a Godsend.

The rest is just the same old layercake of incompetents trying to come up with excuses for why they should be granted some inalienable privilege to pilfer both Russia's natural resources, and Germany's productive ones. Instead of having to do the hard work entailed in doing something productive on their own.

Webej
Webej

O b f u s c a t i o n: Whether Germany buys Russian gas transported through Nordstrom2 or whether it gets the same gas via the Ukraine or Belarus/Poland, it's still Russian gas. The new pipeline simply cuts out transit countries: the dependance on Russia is identical in both cases.

Is there a history of Russia using gas to influence political conflicts? No. All previous issues with cutting off gas are due to conflicts with the transit countries, particularly the Ukraine which pilfers gas, doesn't pay bills, has traditionally benefitted from below market gas prices (as a brother nation) and multi-billion dollar transit fees. Nordstrom does not make Europe more dependent on Russia, but it does make it less dependent on the whims of Ukrainian and Polish authorities.

The purchase of American LNG is a red-herring thrown into the mix. The USA is trying to shield Poland and the Ukraine from being cut out of the loop for geopolitical leverage in Eastern Europe. Buying American instead of Russian is a new element thrown in my Trump.

Buying American LNG would make Europe more dependent on the whims of the USA. So far, application of sanctions, secondary sanctions, political black mail, extra-territorial jurisdiction on sovereign countries, etc., should convince anybody in Europe that being dependent on American whims is a far more real and present danger than being dependent on Russian gas purchases -- Russia benefits too much from this trade to recklessly risk its contracts the way America does so lightly.

Runner Dan
Runner Dan

“US foreign policy is both a disaster and an embarrassment.”

No, what would be embarrassing is if the President said, “Nord Stream 2 is a great project and you guys should go forward with it because there’s no way we could ever deliver LNG at such a cheap price. I mean we would have to ship it all the way over here! In really expensive shipping vessels too!” Which is basically how every President during the last 50 years has treated the ever-shrinking, small population of US citizens that actually produce things for a living. So, yes, “Germany is correct on all counts”, but thank you Mr. President for trying to help out the productive class. We can’t all work in the FIRE economy!

RonJ
RonJ

"Nord Stream 2, a gas pipeline project connecting Germany to Russia beneath the Baltic sea, hasTrump hopping mad."

Is it Trump that is hopping mad or the bureaucracy of 17 intelligence agencies?