Monday, September 21, 2020

Nord Stream 2: open letter in Newsweek to stop the pipeline

 Several personalities of the diplomatic milieu urge decisiomakers in Europe in an open letter published in Newsweek to use the Navalny poisoning as an opportunity to stop the contentious Nord Stream 2 pipeline:

"We are a group of acting and former diplomats, military and intelligence officials, and experts who have dedicated our careers to supporting Transatlantic security. We hail from countries on both sides of the Atlantic and represent a wide spectrum of political parties from our nations of origin. 

Over the past decade, the Government of the Russian Federation has engaged in a litany of malign activities aimed at upending liberal democratic norms across Europe and North America. The shocking poisoning of Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny by a variant of the weapons-grade nerve agent Novichok shows that Moscow has not been deterred by Western actions and statements and refuses to reverse its destabilizing political adventurism at home and abroad. And at the crucial moment of the ongoing demonstrations in Belarus for free and fair elections, Western values must be held up high. 

In light of this latest malign action, which we believe can only have been carried out or sanctioned by the Kremlin, we are calling on the European Commission, and the Governments of all European Union Member States, as well as the United States, Canada, Norway, the United Kingdom, Ukraine, Georgia, and Moldova to take immediate action to stop the Kremlin-backed Nord Stream 2 pipeline."

You can read the rest of the piece via the below link:


Monday, September 14, 2020

The network of german social democratic politicians supporting Nord Stream 2

 The poisoning of Alexei Navalny sparked a debate about the future of contentious gas pipeline project Nord Stream 2. German newspaper "WELT" has traced back the key players in the political sphere who have initiated and backed this project from the beginning. Pivot of this milieu are former german chancellor Gerhard Schröder and former Stasi operative Matthias Warnig.

"On this solemn day, no one is as close to Russia's center of power as two Germans. In the magnificent Andreas Hall of the Kremlin they stand directly in front of Vladimir Putin, behind them the rest of the 5,000 invited guests. The President will begin his fifth term at the ceremony in May 2018. One of the German listeners before him is very prominent, former Chancellor Gerhard Schröder.
The second is less well known: Matthias Warnig, head of the Nord Stream 2 Baltic Sea pipeline. Only two guests got similarly good seats in the magnificent Kremlin hall: Russia's Prime Minister and the Russian Orthodox Patriarch.
This picture is more than a snapshot. It's a symbol. For the technology of Putin's rule and for the mechanics of German-Russian relations. The president's influence rests on a network of friends with whom he has allied throughout his life. Thanks to Putin, they came to power.

Friday, September 4, 2020

Nord Stream 2: will Navalny poisoning be the coffin nail to the contentious project?

 After the poisoning of Alexai Navalny the first heavy weight exponents of an end of the construction of the pipeline raise their voices. Former parliamentary leader of the ruling party CDU Friedrich Merz pleads in favour of a 2 year moratorium of the construction work, writes german newspaper BILD:

"The Putin pipeline Nord Stream 2 comes under increasing pressure after the poison attack on the Kremlin critic Alexej Navalny (44).
On Wednesday the German government announced that a German armed forces laboratory had “unequivocally” identified a nerve agent from the Novitschok group in the body of the Russian opposition. According to BILD information, the German government assumes that the Russian state apparatus is responsible for the attack on Navalny.
Now Friedrich Merz (64), ex-Union parliamentary group leader and applicant for the CDU chairmanship, calls for a two-year construction stop on the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline.

Thursday, September 3, 2020

Nord Stream 2: will the project be cancelled over Navalny poisoning?

 Voices are being raised in Germany and especially among members of the ruling party CDU to end the controversial Nord Stream 2 pipeline project after powerful critic of the Putin government, Alexey Navalny, was posioned with the "Novitchok"-agent in Tomsk, writes german newpaper BILD:

"The German government can condemn the poisoning of Putin critic Navalny "in the strongest terms". She can be "dismayed". It can "urge" the Kremlin to explain itself.
But as long as she does common cause with Putin on the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline, all explanations will be empty words.

Sunday, August 30, 2020

LNG: Ebony Bennett is hard on the australian gas industry

 Ebony Bennett roasts the australian gas industry:

"Here's how the gas industry shafted Australians over the past 10 years. As my colleague and Australia Institute chief economist Richard Denniss has pointed out, Australia once had abundant and cheap domestic gas. The federal government then allowed the gas industry to build massive LNG gas export facilities so that gas companies could sell Australia's cheap gas overseas for higher prices, simultaneously driving up domestic gas prices.

Just as Ireland was exporting potatoes to England during the Irish potato famine, Australia had abundant and cheap gas - we just allowed companies like Santos to export it overseas for bigger profits. On the east coast of Australia, gas production roughly tripled, and so did domestic gas prices.

In the past few years, Australia has overtaken Qatar as the largest producer of liquefied natural gas. But Qatar is better at managing its mineral wealth. In one year, Qatar received $26 billion in royalties from LNG production, while Australia received around $1 billion from our poorly designed Petroleum Resources Rent Tax. Gee, wouldn't it be nice if we had an extra $25 billion in gas royalties right about now?"

You can read the rest of the piece via the below link:


Mediterranean: EU considers sanctions against Turkey

 Turkey's line of action in exploring possible gas fields in the Mediterranean viewed as illegal by Greece and the increasingle reckless actions of the NATO-member in Libya brings the EU to ponder sanctions against turkish state officials, writes french newspaper Le Monde:


"New stage in the dispute between Istanbul and Athens in the eastern Mediterranean. The 27 member states of the European Union are preparing sanctions against Turkey, which could be on the agenda of the next summit, scheduled for September 24, announced Friday August 28, the high representative of the 'Union for Foreign Affairs, Josep Borrell.

"In the absence of progress on Turkey's part, we could draw up a list of new restrictive measures" to be discussed at the EU summit on September 24, Borrell said after a meeting of foreign ministers of member states in Berlin.

These sanctions, intended to limit Turkey's ability to prospect for hydrocarbons in disputed areas, could concern individuals, ships or the use of European ports, said Josep Borrell, adding that the EU is would focus on everything related to “activities that we consider illegal”.

Monday, August 17, 2020

Nord Stream 2: how the impeding sanctions might affect the contractors and population of Sassnitz

 Reporters of the newspaper "WELT" have transported to the port of Sassnitz in Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania for a local inspection:

"There is black coffee and apricot strudel in the Peters bakery, Am Fährhafen 4. From the terrace with the neatly laid bricks you have the best view of the yellow crane with the orange tip that towers over everything here.