Sunday, October 24, 2021

Nord Stream 2: german politicians blame chancellor Merkel for high energy prices

 Several politicians blamed the hiking energy on Merkel's inactivity and naivity in dealing with russian president Putin, thus enabling him to blackmail Europeans with gas prices, writes german newspaper BILD

The signs couldn't have been clearer.

For years, experts and politicians, who know how Russia repeatedly uses energy as a weapon, have warned that the new Nord Stream 2 pipeline in the Baltic Sea will come with a political price. Not only for Ukraine, but above all for Germany.

Doubling the Russian-German gas transport capacity by bypassing all European partners would not result in a diversification of the sources of supply, as Chancellor Merkel and her foreign and economic ministers have been claiming for years. Instead, it creates one-sided dependencies, gives Putin influence over German politics and, above all, the power to freeze ourselves and others if we don't play by his rules.

But Angela Merkel (67) ignored all warnings.

Even when the completion of Nord Stream 2 was about to begin in the summer and Putin began to implement his plan, Merkel did what she did so often in crisis situations over the years - nothing.

► Nothing happened when Russia's state gas giant Gazprom announced in June that from October it would only feed half as much gas into the “Yamal” pipe via Belarus and Poland.

► Nothing happened when Gazprom announced in August that it would also drastically reduce additional bookings through Ukraine from October.

► Even when the Kremlin announced just one week after the completion of the Baltic Sea pipeline in September that “the fastest possible commissioning of Nord Stream 2 would of course compensate for natural gas prices in Europe”, Merkel did nothing to avert the impending catastrophe at the last second .

Today gas at the European trading point in the Netherlands costs twice as much as when the extortion tube was completed five weeks ago, and Vladimir Putin only made it clear on Wednesday that without the commissioning of Nord Stream 2, "the tensions on the European energy market" would persist .

What threatens is an extremely expensive winter, for which experts hold the Chancellor partly responsible.

"Germany's precarious situation results from various wrong decisions by the governments under Ms. Merkel," says Ostpolitik expert Jan Behrends (51) from the Leibniz Center for Contemporary History in Potsdam. These include "the hasty nuclear phase-out, the construction of the Nord Stream pipelines and the failed policy on Russia," the Russia expert told BILD.

The Eastern Europe expert Renata Alt (56, FDP) also goes tough with the Chancellor in court.

She told BILD: “The current gas price explosion is not least due to the naivety of the two grand coalitions under Angela Merkel's chancellorship. Anyone who sows naivety in dealing with Vladimir Putin's system will reap dependency and an energy crisis. "

Alt further criticized the outgoing Chancellor: “For a project that has no added value for Germany, Ms. Merkel has jeopardized our relations with EU partners such as Poland and the Baltic states. There is nothing to explain this ingratiation to Russia and nothing to excuse. "

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