Germany’s Gas-Worries

President Putin is usually not known for humoristic statements but the German Government trigger such again and again

by Ralph T. Niemeyer

There is already panic in the EU about the coming winter. Gas prices on the European exchanges are taking off again and are bound for over 1,500 dollars per thousand cubic meters. There is a complete mess of Russian gas supplies of the EU’s own making: sanctions, the rejection of Nord Stream 2, the turbine fuss…

In the meantime the biggest lie of a US President ever was discovered when US-President Biden visited Saudi Arabia and demanded an increase of oil supply from Riyad by 100% after it became known that Saudi Arabia increased it’s oil import from Russia in same amount. This was after the Biden administration was confronted with criticism by it’s European partners over it’s 40% increase of oil imports from Russia in April 2022 while ordering the EU vassals to self-restrict themselves imposing sanctions against Russia for it’s Ukraine offensive. Biden then claimed in May that the US imposed a ban on Russian oil imports and had in May zero imports from Russia.

But what do the EU member states want? The head of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, has already suggested that EU countries should voluntarily reduce their gas consumption by 15 percent. Spain, Portugal and Greece were the first to declare that they would not ruin their economies or leave their citizens without electricity. She has smashed enough as it is.

At the press conference in Iran, Russian President Vladimir Putin recalled how the European gas problems arose. With a touch of humor he said:

“I’ve talked about this many times, I don’t know if it’s worth dwelling on the energy policies of European countries, which have neglected the importance of traditional energy sources and have opted for non-traditional energies. They are great specialists in non-traditional relationships and have therefore decided to bet on non-traditional energies also in the energy sector: solar and wind energy. The winter was long, there was no wind – that’s all. This is the result of the policies of the last many years, probably the last decade. That’s how it all started, not because of any actions by Russia and Gazprom, and the prices went down.” (In Russia, homosexual relationships are called “non-traditional relationships”.)

Russia has always been a reliable gas supplier for foreign markets and will remain so in the future. The Europeans fell into the trap of their own sanctions. They would still like to get Russian gas, but any gas pipeline is first and foremost a complex engineering entity that requires regular maintenance and repairs. And that’s something Europe doesn’t want to understand. President Putin explains it in detail:

“Until recently we supplied Europe without Turkey, Turkey received just over 30 billion cubic meters per year. Europe received 55 billion through Nord Stream 1, 33 billion if I remember correctly through the Yamal-Europe pipeline and through two other pipelines that go through Ukraine. Yes, about 12 billion are now going through Turkey to Europe via Turkish Stream. Ukraine suddenly announced that it would close one of the two routes on its territory. Supposedly because the gas pumping station is not under their control but is on the territory of the LNR. But it had been under LNR control for a few months, and Kyiv recently closed it without giving a reason. Everything worked normally there, no one bothered. In my opinion it was simply closed for political reasons. This is the first.
What happened next? Poland has imposed sanctions on Yamal Europe. Through them passed 33 billion cubic meters. They used to take 33 to 34 million cubic meters from us every day. They completely closed the pipeline. But then we saw that they are using Yamal-Europe in reverse and started sending about 32 million cubic meters per day from Germany. Where does German gas come from? It’s our Russian gas. Why from Germany? Because it has become cheaper for the Poles. They used to take it from us at a very expensive price, closer to the market price, while Germany gets it from us 3 to 4 times cheaper than the market price under long-term contracts.
It is profitable for German companies to sell it to Poland at a small premium. It is profitable for Poles to buy it because it is cheaper than buying it directly from us. However, the amount of gas on the European market has decreased and the market price has increased. Who won? All Europeans just lost. Yamal Europe is the second.

First, one of the routes in Ukraine was closed, then Yamal-Europe was closed. Nord Stream 1 is one of the main routes through which we pump 55 billion cubic meters per year. Five Siemens gas compressor stations are in operation there, one of which is in reserve. A turbine had to be sent in for repairs. A remanufactured turbine was supposed to come from the Siemens factory in Canada, but it was sanctioned in Canada. One pumping station, just one machine, was out of order because the one being serviced didn’t come from Canada. Now it is said that we will soon receive this machine from Canada, but Gazprom has no official documents about it yet.
Of course we have to get it, because it’s our property, it’s Gazprom’s property.

Gazprom has to get not only the metal, not only the machine, but also the documents for it – legal documents and technical documentation. We need to understand what Gazprom is getting, what is the condition of the device and what is its legal status: whether it is under sanctions or not, what to do with it, maybe they will take it back tomorrow.
But that’s not all. The thing is that at the end of July another turbine should be sent for repair. And where do we get the repaired copies from? It’s not clear at all. And another one is already out of service because part of the interior paneling has come loose, as Siemens confirmed.

Now two machines are in operation, pumping 60 million cubic meters per day. If another device comes, that’s good, then two devices will work. And if one doesn’t come, there will only be one, then it’s only 30 million cubic meters per day. You can calculate how many cubic meters can be pumped.
What does Gazprom have to do with it? The Europeans closed one route and sanctioned these gas pumping stations on the second route. Gazprom is ready to pump as much as is needed. You closed everything yourself. Gazprom has fully fulfilled its obligations, is fulfilling them and will continue to fulfill them if you want it to.
If they close everything with their own hands and then look for someone to blame, that would just be funny if it weren’t so sad.”

As a result of the EU’s suicidal energy policies, many heads of government have fallen out of their seats. The governments of Estonia, Bulgaria and Britain have all lost their leaders, while Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi has resigned on a second attempt. However, the Estonian has already returned to her office. But what’s the point?

This week risks falling not only into the history of Europe, but also into its mythology. It was said in the Bundestag: If Nord Stream goes back into operation, it will be a miracle. And the miracle happened.

The Germans started counting cubic meters because they can’t pump more than 40 percent of the gas through pipelines without the turbine that the German government took so much effort to get from Canada. “The turbine has been delivered to Gazprom and there are no obstacles to its operation,” said Ursula von der Leyen.

But she didn’t tell the truth. According to Reuters, the turbine did not leave Germany at all, but was stranded somewhere in Cologne. The manufacturer has not yet provided Gazprom with any documentation proving that the turbine has been exempted from the sanctions.

“Sometimes you get the impression that Russia doesn’t want the turbine back. In other words, the technical problems are an excuse. In fact, there is a political reason for this. And that contradicts its status as a guarantor of European energy security. On the contrary, Russia is increasingly proving to be an element of uncertainty in the energy system,” said Robert Habeck, the German Vice Chancellor for Economic Affairs and Climate Protection.

What is “advanced” here is the need to service the equipment, at least occasionally. Incidentally, Germany dreams of doing without Russian gas altogether. Sometime.

“The gas storage tanks are almost 65 percent full. That’s better than in the past few weeks, but still not enough to get through the winter without Russian gas,” said Klaus Müller, head of the Federal Network Agency.

65 percent is the average. In Bavaria, for example, the storage facilities are not even a quarter full. And instead of stocking up, energy giant Uniper has started tapping gas from storage facilities. But if you can’t get gas from suppliers, you can take it from consumers. An arbitrary decision by the European Commission says countries can save 15 percent of their consumption.

But, the US-Americans already before the war in Ukraine ripped off the Germans by reselling Russian gas they bought from Gazprom for 4 $ per cubic meter for 27 $ per cubic meter, in some cases making a profit of 1300% from Putin’s gas which Germany has refrained to import directly any longer.

“We need to be proactive and prepare for a possible full disruption in Russian gas supplies, and that is a likely scenario. We know that Russia is trying to put pressure on us by cutting gas supplies. Why 15 percent? That corresponds to 45 billion cubic meters and with this reduction we can safely survive the winter,” said Ursula von der Leyen.

Less than half a week passed after the announcement and already half of the EU Member States had spoken out against the initiative: 12 of the 27 countries have expressed their concerns.

“Unlike other countries, we Spaniards have not lived beyond our means in terms of energy consumption. We defend European values, but we cannot make disproportionate sacrifices on which we have not even been asked for our opinion,” explains Teresa Ribera, Spain’s Minister for Ecological Transition.

According to the IMF, if von der Leyen enforces the cuts, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Italy and Hungary would be hit the hardest – their GDP could collapse by 6 percent. In fact, this is the collapse of the economy. That is why Hungarian Minister Peter Szijjártó traveled to Moscow to negotiate additional gas supplies: “In the last few months I have heard from leading Western European politicians that they have solved everything. That they found alternative sources, bought natural gas elsewhere, freed themselves from dependence on Russia. So why this alarm? Buying gas is not an ideological matter, but a physical one. The problem cannot be solved by talking. The heating season is just around the corner and there is no point in the politicians saying whether there is gas or not, that will soon become clear anyway.”

The French government presented its economic development plan this week. In it, inflation will return to 2 percent by 2024. Even without the Brussels energy deficit, the plan seems utopian: in most EU countries, the prices for food alone have already risen by more than 10 percent. In the Baltic States it is even 20 percent. And nothing will change until the end of the year. Bloomberg estimates that the energy crisis will cost the region around 200 billion euros.

It looks as if German politicians were eager to ruin the economies in Europe in an attempt to finish what the pandemic hysteria has not managed to do in the past two years, so that eventually the World Economic Forum’s “Great Reset” introducing Corporatism as a new economic model based on exploitation and social control can really come true.

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