Written by Finian Cunningham; Originally appeared on strategic-culture.org
It was billed politely as a Franco-German “compromise” when the EU balked at adopting a Gas Directive which would have undermined the Nord Stream 2 project with Russia.
Nevertheless, diplomatic rhetoric aside, Berlin’s blocking last week of a bid by French President Emmanuel Macron to impose tougher regulations on the Nord Stream 2 gas project was without doubt a firm rebuff to Paris.
Macron wanted to give the EU administration in Brussels greater control over the new pipeline running from Russia to Germany. But in the end the so-called “compromise” was a rejection of Macron’s proposal, reaffirming Germany in the lead role of implementing the Nord Stream 2 route, along with Russia.
The $11-billion, 1,200 kilometer pipeline is due to become operational at the end of this year. Stretching from Russian mainland under the Baltic Sea, it will double the natural gas supply from Russia to Germany. The Berlin government and German industry view the project as a vital boost to the country’s ever-robust economy. Gas supplies will also be distributed from Germany to other European states. Consumers stand to gain from lower prices for heating homes and businesses.
Thus Macron’s belated bizarre meddling was rebuffed by Berlin. A rebuff was given too to the stepped-up pressure from Washington for the Nord Stream 2 project to be cancelled. Last week, US ambassador to Germany Richard Grenell and two other American envoys wrote an op-ed for Deutsche Welle in which they accused Russia of trying to use “energy blackmail” over Europe’s geopolitics.
Why France’s Macron, at the last minute, attempted to undermine the project by placing stiffer regulations is a curious question. Those extra regulations if they had been imposed would have potentially made the Russian gas supply more expensive. As it turns out, the project will now go-ahead without onerous restrictions.
In short, Macron and the spoiling tactics of Washington, along with EU states hostile to Russia, Poland and the Baltic countries, have been put in their place by Germany and its assertion of national interests of securing economical and abundant gas supply from Russia. Other EU member states that backed Berlin over Nord Stream 2 were Austria, Belgium, Cyprus, Greece and the Netherlands.
Washington’s claims that Nord Stream 2 would give Russia leverage of Europe’s security have been echoed by Poland and the Baltic states. Poland, and non-EU Ukraine, stand to lose out billions of dollars-worth of transit fees. Such a move, however, is the prerogative of Germany and Russia to find a more economical mode of supply. Besides, what right has Ukraine to make demands on a bilateral matter that is none of its business? Kiev’s previous bad faith over not paying gas bills to Russia disbars it from reasonable opinion.
Another factor is the inherent Russophobia of Polish and Baltic politicians who view everything concerning Russia through a prism of paranoia.
For the Americans, it is obviously a blatant case of seeking to sell their own much more expensive natural gas to Europe’s giant energy market – in place of Russia’s product. Based on objective market figures, Russia is the most competitive supplier to Europe. The Americans are therefore trying to snatch a strategic business through foul means of propaganda and political pressure. Ironically, the US German ambassador Richard Grenell and the other American envoys wrote in their recent oped: “Europe must retain control of its energy security.”
Last month, Grenell threatened German and European firms involved in the construction of Nord Stream 2 that they could face punitive American sanctions in the future. Evidently, it is the US side that is using “blackmail” to coerce others into submission, not Russia.
Back to Macron. What was he up to in his belated spoiling tactics over Nord Stream 2 and in particular the attempted problems being leveled for Germany if the extra regulations had been imposed?
It seems implausible that Macron was suddenly finding a concern for Poland and the Baltic states in their paranoia over alleged Russian invasion.
Was Macron trying to garner favors from the Trump administration? His initial obsequious rapport with Trump has since faded from the early days of Macron’s presidency in 2017. By doing Washington’s bidding to undermine the Nord Stream 2 project was Macron trying to ingratiate himself again?
The contradictions regarding Macron are replete. He is supposed to be a champion of “ecological causes”. A major factor in Germany’s desire for the Nord Stream 2 project is that the increased gas supply will reduce the European powerhouse’s dependence on dirty fuels of coal, oil and nuclear power. By throwing up regulatory barriers, Macron is making it harder for Germany and Europe to move to cleaner sources of energy that the Russian natural gas represents.
Also, if Macron had succeeded in imposing tougher regulations on the Nord Stream 2 project it would have inevitably increased the costs to consumers for gas bills. This is at a time when his government is being assailed by nationwide Yellow Vest protests over soaring living costs, in particular fuel-price hikes.
A possible factor in Macron’s sabotage bid in Germany’s Nord Stream 2 plans was his chagrin over Berlin’s rejection of his much-vaunted reform agenda for the Eurozone bloc within the EU. Despite Macron’s very public amity with Chancellor Angela Merkel, Berlin has continually knocked back the French leader’s ambitions for reform.
It’s hard to discern what are the real objectives of Macron’s reforms. But they seem to constitute a “banker’s charter”. Many eminent German economists have lambasted his plans, which they say will give more taxpayer-funded bailouts to insolvent banks. They say Macron is trying to move the EU further away from the social-market economy than the bloc already has moved.
What Macron, an ex-Rothschild banker, appears to be striving for is a replication of his pro-rich, anti-worker policies that he is imposing on France, and for these policies to be extended across the Eurozone. Berlin is not buying it, realizing such policies will further erode the social fabric. This could be the main reason why Macron tried to use the Nord Stream 2 project as leverage over Berlin.
In the end, Macron and Washington – albeit working for different objectives – were defeated in their attempts to sabotage the emerging energy trade between Germany, Europe and Russia. Nord Stream 2, as with Russia’s Turk Stream to the south of Europe, seems inevitable by sheer force of natural partnership.
On this note, the Hungarian government’s comments this week were apt. Budapest accused some European leaders and the US of “huge hypocrisy” in decrying association with Russia over energy trade. Macron has previously attended an economics forum in St Petersburg, and yet lately has sought to “blackmail” and disrupt Germany over its trade plans with Russia.
As for the Americans, their arrant hypocrisy is beyond words. As well as trying to dictate to Europe about “market principles” and “energy security”, it was reported this week that Washington is similarly demanding Iraq to end its import of natural gas from neighboring Iran.
Iraq is crippled by electricity and power shortages because of the criminal war that the US waged on that country from 2003-2011 which destroyed much of the country’s infrastructure. Iraq critically needs Iranian gas supplies to keep the lights and fans running. Yet, here we have the US now dictating to Iraq to end its lifeline import of Iranian fuel in order to comply with the Trump administration’s sanctions against Tehran. Iraq is furious at the latest bullying interference by Washington in its sovereign affairs.
The hypocrisy of Washington and elitist politicians like Emmanuel Macron has become too much to stomach. Maybe Germany and others are finally realizing who the charlatans are.
PAPAGALU DE MACRON UN SARLATAN NEBUN FARA CAP PROST IDIOT UN SCLAV
Macron, the “ex-Rothschild banker” doing what’s expected of him… as Trump does for Adelson. Good to see Germany still has some independence.
Surely the Europeans should be overjoyed to have the opportunity of buying American gas at two or three times the cost of ‘aggressive’ Russian gas ?
Without the barking mad USA, the Europeans would prefer reciprocal trade than war, but that would never do.
perhaps the EU should make a law forcing France to export all of its nuclear produced energy while buying US gas for their needs.
Perhaps they’ll stop meddling into other countries business then.
Will you send Macron that sensible idea , or shall I ,John?
With full credit to you naturally :)
I remember politics and geopolitics used to be much more complected than what they are nowadays, thanks to the greed, stupidity, arrogance and being out of touch with reality of the Empire which embodies in the US government:
– Whatever they accuse you of doing, they are doing it much worse themselves. – Whatever they insist you to do, rest assured it’s %100 against your own country’s interests. – Whatever they vehemently oppose to, has to benefit your country somehow. – Whoever they support, you can bet is a puppet, in their pocket and will work to hurt your country. – The ones they oppose, belittle, sanction, smear and character assassinate are more likely to be patriotic and work for the interests of their own countries. – Questionable elections means their guy didn’t get elected.
– Whenever they talk about the lack of freedom, democracy and human rights in a country, it’s a firm indication that country is not bowing to their demands and therefore is a target.
– Defending themselves or their allies means unwarranted aggression against their victims.
– “Activist” means either a terrorist, a spy or an agent. Someone who hurts his or her own country and society. – When they use “humanitarian crisis” to describe situation in a country, it means the good guys are winning there. – When they use “stability” to describe a country, it means an awful dictator rules over there, but it’s “their” dictator so it’s good.
The list goes on, feel free to add to it what you’ve learnt.
See this on:
It seems that most Americun State Department people are gay. The Americun Ambassador to Libya had sticks poked up his ass before they killed him, because he was a pedophile who had been buggering young Libyan boys. It’s just one of the many symptoms that accompanies a depraved and crumbling empire.
I enjoyed reading this article, owing to never understanding just why France would have any say in the project? Which was specifically designed to make sure the EU could not move an inch into negotiations. Will be so glad when Nord Stream II and Turkstream are both up and running and the Ukraine transit pipelines, wonder where all the gas went, besides Porkie’s back passage.
Are you suggesting Porkie should insert his bum in the oven to provide gas to cook his dinner? How disgusting! I think I will refuse his dinner invitation………..
Do believe he has enough gas to supply the energy needs of Kiev, if he was that generous.
No Money for Poky and Poland in transit tax…
so France produces energy mostly with nuclear plants, then wants to force others to buy US LNG at 150%+ the price.
Someone should throw a cake on Macron’s face everytime he talks.
A brown self-made cake, yes ?.
whatever. i go with normal cakes like in the 30ies movies.
That’ll do then.
As American I smell the anti-semitismo and Hitler nasi all over Germany again. Germany is against Macron´s proposal because Macron´s employer the Rothschilds are Jooish and Germany prefer Russia´s dictator gas from Jooish freedom fracking gas from USA. The world jooish congress in NYC will take that behavior up on the agenda of its next congress and decide how the world can avoid Germany pushing us all into WWIII and a new holocaust.
Do not fret, Gay Blade of US State D. Ambassador to Kleinedeutschland Grennell is with you!!!
Bang! bang! bang! goes the hammer that hits another nail in the coffin of US/ZIO/BANKER hegemony.