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Germany Wobbles on Russian Gas Pipeline as Trump Pressure Starts to Bite

Rogue Valley

Putin = War Criminal
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Germany Wobbles on Russian Gas Pipeline as Trump Pressure Starts to Bite

nordstream-487x300.jpg

Pipeline layout schematic of NordStream-2.

1/7/19
Support in German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s coalition for a major new Russian gas pipeline is slipping as frustration with the Kremlin’s brinkmanship grows and pressure from U.S. President Donald Trump starts to bite. Nord Stream 2, an $11 billion project that will double the natural gas supply under the Baltic Sea to Germany, faces growing skepticism among German officials who had previously defended it against criticism from Trump and some European Union allies, according to senior lawmakers. The shift could translate into pressure on Merkel’s government to back down on the controversial pipeline and possibly delay its implementation. Social Democratic lawmaker Nils Schmid, whose party has been a reliable supporter of the project, said too many decision-makers in Berlin had been slow to factor in Nord Stream’s geopolitical significance. It will reduce the volume of gas pumped through Ukraine as Russia attempts to stifle its neighbor’s economy by depriving it of lucrative transit fees. “The debate in Germany has become more critical,” Schmid, the junior coalition party’s point man on foreign policy, said in an interview, adding that the project shouldn’t go forward until Russia and Ukraine reach a transit accord. “It would have been better to take this political dimension into account.” The 1,200-kilometer (750-mile) undersea pipeline -- being constructed by Russia’s Gazprom PJSC to bolster German supplies as Norwegian, Dutch and domestic sources dry up -- has been pilloried by some of the country’s allies, who say it bolsters Europe’s reliance on Russian energy and bypasses key partners such as Ukraine. Trump has blasted the project as holding Germany “captive” to Russia.

The ground is shifting, with an ever more fraught relationship with Russian President Vladimir Putin, particularly since the November seizure of two dozen Ukrainian sailors near the Sea of Azov. Merkel, who has sparred with Putin since the 2014 annexation of Crimea from Ukraine, is demanding the release of the naval personnel. The Azov incident in the Kerch Strait has soured prospects that Merkel’s diplomacy can scale back the conflict in eastern Ukraine, according Juergen Hardt, a lawmaker in Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union who speaks on foreign affairs. Richard Grenell, the U.S. ambassador to Germany, welcomed the more skeptical view in Berlin, saying the pipeline project undermines the EU’s energy and security objectives. “There is not only Russian gas coming through the pipeline, but also Russian influence,” Grenell said in a statement to Bloomberg News. “Now is not the time to reward Moscow.” “Something has changed,” Peter Beyer, the German government’s coordinator for trans-Atlantic relations, said in an interview. He attributed the mood shift on Nord Stream as much to concern about leaving EU allies out in the cold as with Russia’s recent maneuvers. Merkel’s government may have to adjust to the demands of those taking a harder line on Nord Stream, he said.

Putin's kidnapping of 24 Ukrainian sailors has awakened many EU politicians. From my viewpoint, why enrich a pariah nation that is preparing for European war?
 

Mycroft

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Germany Wobbles on Russian Gas Pipeline as Trump Pressure Starts to Bite

nordstream-487x300.jpg

Pipeline layout schematic of NordStream-2.



Putin's kidnapping of 24 Ukrainian sailors has awakened many EU politicians. From my viewpoint, why enrich a pariah nation that is preparing for European war?

Wow...who would have thought that the idiot...the incompetent...the Putin butt-buddy...Trump would be able to influence important European leaders against Russia to the extent that Merkel's pipeline is now in jeopardy?

Maybe Trump isn't such an idiot...maybe he isn't such a friend of Putin...as the Trump-hating crowd wants everyone to think.
 

Tom Horn

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Rogue Valley

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Wow...who would have thought that the idiot...the incompetent...the Putin butt-buddy...Trump would be able to influence important European leaders against Russia to the extent that Merkel's pipeline is now in jeopardy?

Maybe Trump isn't such an idiot...maybe he isn't such a friend of Putin...as the Trump-hating crowd wants everyone to think.

This is the only foreign policy issue where Trump and I agree, albeit for different reasons.
 
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