Fear of the «Nord stream-2» finally split the West
Came this year on Wednesday may day and in Germany was a day off, a holiday. But Thursday was already a working day. And it began in Berlin with the emphatic statement of the Chairman of the ruling party Christian Democratic Union (CDU) Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer — ACC, as it is called in German media. This was followed by a statement by us Ambassador
in Germany, Richard Grenell, who once again threatened German companies with sanctions for participation in the Nord stream — 2 projects. This statement he made in an interview with Focus.
— From the American point of view, this gas pipeline not only transports gas but also has a high risk of sanctions», — again began to frighten the American diplomat. What point of view will adhere not only to the Germans but the whole of Europe?
In this case no «pipe» — and neither the amplitude and no study
«The CDU has always said that it supports this project (Nord stream 2), regardless of whether the heart lies to it or not, — the party leader said. — From the point of view of Germany, the fact is that if in the next few years we completely abandon the use of coal and nuclear energy, natural gas as an alternative will become an even more important source of energy. It is clear that this project causes fears and concerns in many neighboring countries — especially in Ukraine, as well as in Poland. But Chancellor Angela Merkel, representing the position of Germany, tries to respect the interests of other countries. It is very actively fighting for the settlement of security guarantees for Ukraine. After all, Kiev fears huge losses of income if less Russian gas flows through Ukraine to Europe. However, the recently adopted new regulation of the European gas Directive will give European partners more rights in this area. By the way, let’s not forget that many investments have already been made in this project, and many contracts have already been fulfilled. The fact that the main candidate from the CDU and the CSU in the European elections — Manfred Weber takes a different position than Merkel, does not harm either the Chancellor or Weber himself. He has been critical of this pipeline before. And now, during the European election campaign, he made it clear that if he becomes President of the European Commission, he will use all his influence to block the construction of this gas pipeline (in April, in an interview with the Polish newspaper The Polska Times, 46-year-old Manfred Weber, whose entire political experience is measured by 15 years of sitting in the chair of the European Parliament, said that if he is elected head of the European Commission, he will do everything possible to block the construction of » SP-2“; at the same time, Weber expressed confidence that this project is not in the interests of the European Union, as it will increase the EU’s dependence on Russian raw materials. — S. D.). It is, from my point of view, too, is understandable — he decided for himself,» said Crump, Karrenbauer, which is considered the most likely successor to Merkel on a post of the Federal Chancellor of Germany.»Green» verdict: the German government manipulates Russia
ACC for a reason began its first working day after the holiday with a statement about the «SP-2». On the eve of the first day — Monday, April 29, the German non-governmental organization LobbyControl published a 44-page report entitled «Konzerne haben Zu Viel Macht in Europa» (it. «Concerns have too much power in Europe»). But before I turn to the report, I will say briefly about the NGO that drafted it.
LobbyControl (full name of LobbyControl — Initiative für Transparenz und Demokratie; it. Control of influence — the Initiative for transparency and democracy) positions itself as a «non-profit organization that informs about the structures of power and strategies of influence in Germany and the European Union.» It was founded in 2005. Legal form — registered Association. A number of members 4 517. Location — Cologne. Annual budget 1 million 074 thousand euros. Declared sources of funding — donations, membership fees and revenue from the sale of their own publications. Staff: 20 employees, 5 assistants and 2 interns (2017 data).
The report «Concerns have too much power in Europe» — the first in the practice of LobbyControl document of this kind: it analyzes the activities of lobbyists in the highest bodies of the EU — the European Commission and the European Parliament. The authors of the report (which is important, it is mainly young people) outlined how business companies, PR agencies, and even individuals influence the policy of Brussels. Conclusion: in the last five years, the European Commission and the European Parliament have done much to enhance transparency in working with lobbyists, but «the power of concerns in the EU remains clearly too big; sometimes they can literally control the adoption of laws and the political process.»
According to the firm conviction of 38-year-old head of the research group LobbyControl Nina Katzemih, a vivid example of such lobbying activities — the story associated with the «Nord stream-2»: «She demonstrated that Russia is actively and deftly pulling the strings in Brussels, despite the fact that the very structure of such an important European institution as, for example, the Council of the European Union, is extremely opaque, because in very many cases we do not understand exactly how the Federal government of Germany protects its positions — it happens literally behind closed doors. And as a result, Germany played a major role in the fact that the Nord stream 2 projects will be implemented.» It is, in Katzemich, an example of lobbying work in the interests of Russia in the European Union.
At first glance, it is strange that the certified political scientist and political economist Nina Kattsemich to this day «does not quite understand» how, and most importantly — why the German government consistently defends the interests of its country in the implementation of the Nord stream-2 project — after all, this position has been repeatedly voiced by all the leading politicians of the parties currently ruling in Germany. But if we take into account that Frau Katzemich from his youth actively works for the party «Union 90/Green» and the functionaries of the party, being a member of it, then we should not talk about «misunderstanding», but about the fundamental reluctance of the «green» to listen to arguments that contradict their «General line».
It is enough to recall the February controversy that broke out in the Bundestag. Then, at the request of the Union 90/Green faction, a «parliamentary hour» took place, during which the «greens» with foam at their mouths declared that «the support of the German government for this gas pipeline torpedoes European energy and climate goals and betrays European solidarity, falling into even greater dependence on Russian gas.» And all the arguments of the representatives of both the ruling coalition of the CDU/CSU and SPD, and the opposition Left party, who convinced that the new gas pipeline, on the contrary, will increase Russia’s dependence on the export of its energy to the EU, bounced off the «green» Russophobes, as the fruits of the well-known plant of the legume family from the building structure separating one room from the neighboring.
«No matter what happened before us»
The next day after the publication of the report of the group Nina Katzemich warn green antirabbit tried the German magazine, Cicero. On Tuesday, April 30, he came out with an article entitled «Schleichende Ausgrenzung Russlands?»(«Russia’s creeping exception?»). The author is a former Ambassador of Germany in Poland and India, the former head of the Planning Department of the German Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Chevalier of the Grand cross «For merits before the Federal Republic of Germany» (the highest award of Germany), a professional lawyer Frank Elbe wrote:
«When it comes to Nord stream 2, the discussion gets pretty sharp. Opponents of the pipeline say: this is not economic, but a political project, it split Europe, ignores the security interests of Poland and the Baltic States and creates dependence on Russia. Criticism deserves to be taken seriously. This statement loses its force when criticism is reduced to a cacophony of political flatulence. What worries me is not so much dissonance as a lack of experience and thoughtfulness. Critics no longer seem to see the links between politics, Economics, law and established Western security strategies. Their political era begins after the fall of the Berlin wall, after the unification of Germany and after the withdrawal of Soviet troops from Central Europe. They do not take into account the experience gained over decades of Western security policy processes.
Let’s start with the interface of politics and law and ask the naive question: «What exactly is the Nord stream-2 project?
This is the second pipeline project to transport gas from Russia to the German Greifswald, from where it will flow into the European gas network. The project is managed by Russian energy supplier Gazprom and five European companies, namely German companies BASF and Uniper, Angie (France), OMV (Austria) and British-Dutch Royal Dutch Shell. The project requires a building permit in accordance with EU law. If the conditions are met, governments cannot refuse to approve it.
The entire history of Nord stream 2 proves that it was planned as a purely economic project. In 2012, the Prime Minister of England David Cameron and President Vladimir Putin had a conversation in London. Cameron told Putin about his concern that the reserves of British natural gas in the foreseeable future will be exhausted. Putin proposed to build another gas pipeline — parallel to the existing «Nord stream-1» in Greifswald, and connect Greifswald and Danish Jutland with the outlet line, which will supply Russian gas to the Norwegian-British network. It was about to compensate for the future decline in production — according to the then estimate of 80 billion cubic meters — received (from Russia) 55 billion cubic meters.
It should be borne in mind that younger NATO members — such as Poland and the Baltic States — have their own historical experience of working with Russia, but they should not be allowed to set an agenda for interaction with Russia. We Germans should also share our experience with Russia. Germany suffered for half a century under the threat of the Warsaw Pact. The Panzer wedges of the Warsaw Pact forces could reach the Rhine within hours; the German cities were the target of the other party’s nuclear weapons systems.
The confrontation between East and West has been reduced because we have consistently and persistently applied a dual strategy of military power and cooperation — quite often against the will of the allies. Poland’s need for protection is no greater than that of all other NATO allies in the unlikely event of a nuclear exchange between the US and Russia, with Russian missile targeting having a higher priority than Poland. Those with fear in their genes are ill-equipped for a security partnership in the nuclear age.
The Polish sentimental play loses credibility, as Poland’s criticism of Nord stream 2 harshly pursues its economic interests. The US wants to secure the European market for its liquefied gas and displace Russia as the main gas supplier to Europe. Poland aims to become the main distributor of American liquefied gas in Europe.
Meanwhile, we must ask ourselves whether the critics are really talking only about the «Nord stream-2″. Isn’t this topic included as a transmission belt for Russia’s creeping exclusion from cooperation with the West? This would have devastating consequences for the security and economic development of the European continent.»
Do not feed a horse
The monthly liberal-conservative «journal of political culture» Cicero, edited in Berlin, is a German-language analog of such major American magazines as The New Yorker and The Atlantic. Its sold circulation is 60 988 copies, and the audience has 390 thousand readers (data for February 2019). The target audience of the journal is described by the publisher as «German intellectuals who want to get a variety of political opinions».
As it seems to me, precisely because Cicero is designed for intellectuals, opponents of the «Nord stream-2», whose criticism of this project is reduced, in the apt expression of Frank Elbe, to «cacophony of political flatulence», his article, of course, will not master.