Why the Russia fearmongering? It's about Nord Stream 2 and money, of course
While the fearmongering from the warmongers about Russia have reached a deafening level, it's important to look at how the money-based (aka reality-based) policy is trending.
Back in February the IMF stopped giving Ukraine more loans because of the endemic corruption.
Further loans have been frozen due to the slow pace of reforms.
The IMF was also concerned about the government’s decision made in January to regulate household gas prices.
“Very predictable the latest IMF mission “departs” with no deal ... Gas price cap was the last nail in the coffin of hoping to get sign off,” Timothy Ash, head of emerging market research at Blue Bay Asset Management, wrote on Twitter.
Ukraine has since accomplished almost no more reforms, but the IMF released some money anyway because of Russia.
Speaking of Russia, it seems Ukraine has been firing American-made Javelin missiles at Russian-backed separatists, but no one cares about that.
What people do care about is that Russian troops are being stationed in Russia, hundreds of kilometers away from the border of Ukraine. Well, the media cares about that.
What the insiders care about is the recently completed Nord Stream2 pipeline. Washington managed to put enough pressure on Germany, so that last week Germany's energy regulator suspended its certification process. It's interesting what conditions it wants to impose on the Russian company.
Germany has suspended its approval process for the controversial Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline which would double its reliance on Russian gas following growing geopolitical pressure to scrap the project...
The German energy regulator said it would not continue its approval process until the Nord Stream 2 company, which is registered in Switzerland, transfers its main assets and staffing budget to its German subsidiary.
Uh, when has this EVER been necessary? And outside of an obvious political answer, why?
The whole pipeline was built and approved at every stage according to approved contracts and legality.
Until Gazprom had dropped billions into the project and it was almost completed. Then the U.S. imposed sanctions and chased away almost all of the European companies in the project. Gazprom then said "Fine, we'll finish it ourselves." Much to Washington's surprise, they did. So now Washington has decided to change the rules.
The problem is that Russia is capable of waiting it out.
Europe faces a looming winter gas crisis, which has fuelled fears of a widespread industrial slowdown due to factory shutdowns and potential power outages. It is also expected to drive a cost of living crisis for homes and small businesses.
Gas prices have reached record highs in recent months, ignited by a global surge in demand after the Covid-19 economic slowdown last year, and fuelled by Russia’s reluctance to export extra supplies to Europe to help meet demand despite rocketing market prices.
The boss of commodities trading giant Trafigura, Jeremy Weir, warned that Europe could face “rolling blackouts” this winter due to tight gas supplies and low gas storage levels.
That's one Hell of a price to pay for Washington's political agenda.
We already know that approving Nord Stream 2 would alleviate the problem.
So what is Ukraine doing, while under the threatening shadow of a "Russian invasion"?
Surely if they are talking to Russia at all, it's with threats and warnings, right?
Ukraine has asked Russia’s gas behemoth Gazprom to extend the current gas transit deal that expires in 2024 for another 15 years and offered to cut transit fees in half.
Sure, if you feel threatened by military invasion your first instinct is to cut a deal in which you offer that invading army "half off".
What is obviously happening is that this entire "Russia is gonna invade" garbage is nothing but a negotiation ploy. And a badly handled one at that.
Gazprom signed off on a new transit deal at the last minute in December 2019 that commits the Russian gas giant to send 40 bcm via Ukraine’s Druzhba pipeline until 2024.
Currently Gazprom has been sticking scrupulously to the deal that will earn Ukraine’s pipeline operator, the Gas Transmission System Operator of Ukraine (GTSOU), some $2bn in fees this year. But the Russian gas company is sending exactly the amounts stipulated in the deal and no more, despite the gas shortage crisis in Northern Europe. At the same time, Gazprom has increased exports to Europe, mostly via the southern TurkStream route that came online in January.
It's obvious what is going on. If Ukraine keeps going in the anti-Russia/pro-NATO direction, then the Kremlin will refuse to fund their government with transit fees.
And speaking of TurkStream.
Russian President Vladimir Putin told his Turkish counterpart Tayyip Erdogan on Wednesday that Turkey is shielded from a gas crisis, which has gripped Europe, thanks to the Russian-built TurkStream gas pipeline.
Turkstream also runs through Greece, Bulgaria, Serbia, and Hungary.
Washington is 'deeply concerned'...about Bulgaria.
"The United States is deeply concerned by the recent statements of Bulgarian President Rumen Radev in which he referred to Crimea as 'Russian,'" the embassy's statement said...
"The sanctions that were imposed because of Crimea and Ukraine are not yielding results," Radev said, per the AP, calling Crimea "currently Russian" and even adding, "What else can it be?"
Radev recently won re-election, so he's not going anywhere soon.