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Title: The Other Side of the Story: Russia’s view on Geopolitics, War and Energy Racketeering
Source: [None]
URL Source: http://thesaker.is/the-other-side-o ... s-war-and-energy-racketeering/
Published: Jan 26, 2022
Author: Nash Landesman
Post Date: 2022-01-26 07:49:11 by A K A Stone
Keywords: None
Views: 39

The following is an exclusive interview with Russian Duma deputy, Yevgeny Fyodorov, a high-ranking conservative, nationalistic lawmaker in President Vladimir Putin’s United Russia Party. He has been Chairman of the Committee on Economic Policy of the State Duma and a member of the Advisory Council of the President of the Russian Federation. Below we discuss war with Ukraine, principles of sovereignty and geopolitics, the ongoing energy battle, the nuclear option, and the reestablishment of the Soviet sphere, all within the context of US ambition and Russian counter-strategy.

INTRO:

Atop the unipolar priority list lies the looming Russian “threat” of providing European consumers with affordable, dependable heating and cooking gas at stable long-term contract terms amidst the dead of winter. Only America and its’ “allies”/ [subordinates/collaborators] can halt this menace by supplanting cheap Russian gas piped from relatively short distances with much more expensive, technically-complex US liquid natural gas shipped from across the Atlantic, capitalizing on America’s shale revolution while stamping out Russian influence in Europe—killing two birds with one stone. (Although at least twenty-nine multibillion dollar regasification intake terminals have been built across Europe under US pressure to import its supplies, a new Russian pipeline threatens to render them sunk costs).

The Russian pipeline would “pose an existential threat to European energy security,” states one US sanctions bill, implying that the very notion of energy security outside of US/EU auspices is the threat itself. Washington is trying to block this development, using various means that now include the threat of war under any pretext.

Since Soviet times as much as 80% of Europe’s Russian gas imports traversed Ukraine— but lately those flows have since slowed to a trickle, due to Washington’s eight-year proxy war in Donbas, NATO expansion, Kiev’s tendency to syphon Russian gas and not pay its bills, and other factors. It is little wonder Moscow is scrambling to establish alternate routes avoiding third-party generated instability.

This year European gas prices rocketed to record highs, adding fuel to Russian ambitions to circumvent its’ now-hostile neighbor with its’ latest project, the recently- completed $11 billion natural gas pipeline, Nordstream 2, running under the Baltic sea direct to Germany, crucially evading land transit states subject to external control.

Nordstream 2 could be a major geopolitical boon to both Russia and Germany, helping the latter achieve the energy independence it would need to take steps to chart an independent course and/or remove US occupation troops from its territory, still present under the NATO umbrella since WWII.

Despite the pipeline’s recent completion, the European Commission has delayed (indefinitely) the certification required in order for Russia to start pumping gas. Whether Moscow will go ahead and do it anyway remains up in the air.

What is clear is that US counter-strategy is a patchwork of threats, hysterics and racketeering. As Richard Morningstar, former US diplomat and founding director of the Atlantic Council’s Global Energy Centre, bluntly put it, “I think Nord Stream 2 is really a bad idea…If you want to kill the [US-based] LNG strategy go ahead with Nord Stream [2]”.

The pipeline also undermines an interrelated, long-developing, radical globalization scheme—an internal EU gas market established under the European Energy Charter that’s designed to dismantle Gazprom by preventing Russia from owning or controlling its downstream energy assets.

Large land transit states like Ukraine help to ensure that Russia obey the rules. But after withdrawing from the aforementioned treaty in 2009, Russia has struck bilateral gas deals with states like Hungary and Belarus, enraging Washington and Brussels. Now Nordstream 2 would symbolize the ultimate affront to the internal energy market architecture as it involves Europe’s most powerful nation, Germany, with no transit states in-between.

(Berlin has been left in the cold ever since caving to pressure to phase-out its nuclear capacity and cease domestic coal production). The pertinent question is: on whose outside supplies will Berlin come to depend? Europe’s future may hang on the answer.

Ex-German chancellor Angela Merkel supported the pipeline, her foreign minister, Sigmar Gabriel, along with the Austrian Federal Chancellor, Christian Kern, complaining, “The draft bill of the US [sanctions regime] is surprisingly candid about what is actually at stake, namely selling American liquefied natural gas and ending the supply of Russian natural gas to the European market. We cannot accept the threat of illegal extraterritorial sanctions…involving Russia, such as Nord Stream 2, [which] impacts European-American relations in a new and very negative way.”

Detractors, meanwhile, insist that a pipeline avoiding Ukraine would give Russia more leverage over its weaker neighbor, despite the implied detachment, a piece of double-think requiring little to no explanation.

Nevertheless, one hard-headed member of Russia’s Duma explains what’s really going on, from Moscow’s view, and what’s truly at stake in this developing saga.

INTERVIEW:

Q: How does EU policy affect European states’ energy consumption?

Click for Full Text!

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