Europe's economy is about to be sacrificed on NATO's throne

Rainer Dulger, head of the Confederation of German Employers’ Associations, gave a dire warning a few days ago.

We are facing the biggest crisis the country has ever had. We have to be honest and say: First of all, we will lose the prosperity that we have had for years,” Dulger told the Süddeutsche Zeitung regarding the consequences of a gas shortage to everyone.

Dulger was not alone. Yasmin Fahimi, the country's top union official, was even more explicate.

"Entire industries are in danger of collapsing permanently because of the gas bottlenecks: aluminum, glass, the chemical industry," Fahimi, the head of the German Federation of Trade Unions, told Bild am Sonntag. "Such a collapse would have massive consequences for the entire economy and jobs in Germany."

The German government had a similar take. Robert Habeck, Germany’s minister for economic affairs and climate action, echoed business and labor with a scary comparison.

“Even if we don’t feel it yet, we are in the midst of a gas crisis. From now on, gas is a scarce asset,” Habeck said in a statement accompanying the ministry’s announcement.

Habeck added that if supply continues to fall, and prices continue to rise, it could create ripples that would do irreparable and wide-reaching damage to the energy market, in what he likened to a “Lehman Brothers effect,” referring to when the Lehman Brothers investment bank declared bankruptcy in 2008, sending economic shock waves through the global financial system.

“The whole market is in danger of collapsing at some point,” Habeck said.

Germany is the 4th largest economy in the world, so this is a big deal.
The reason for the alarm bells is because Russia has shut down the Nord Stream 1 pipeline for maintenance and people are scared that Russia won't start it up again. Germany has already started to tap its winter reserves...in July.

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The western media has wasted no time to accuse Russia of doing what it did for years.
This Guardian article was written seemingly without any self-awareness or sense of irony.

‘Gas blackmail’: how Putin’s weaponised energy supplies are hurting Europe
One question is dominating the energy industry: will Vladimir Putin turn the tap back on? This week the Kremlin-controlled energy firm Gazprom shut off gas supplies through the Nord Stream 1 pipeline for maintenance until 21 July, having already cut its output to less than 40% of capacity. Now there are growing concerns that the Russian president may simply refuse to reactivate it...
Andriy Yermak, chief of staff to Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskiy, has accused Russia of conducting “gas blackmail”. By contrast, nations with closer links to Russia, including Belarus and Turkey, have seen little disruption.

It's almost as if The Guardian is counting on no one noticing that there is a "1" behind the words "Nord Stream" and not a number "2".
Let's roll back the clock to 2019 and see what the news stories looked like back then.

The annually-set NDAA is also significant for Europe’s energy scene, however, as the 2020 bill also contains provisions to impose sanctions on companies installing deep sea pipelines for Russia’s $10.5 billion Nord Stream 2 (NS2) gas pipeline linking Russia and Germany (via the Baltic Sea).
...The NS2 pipeline is particularly controversial for the U.S. which see it as a way for Russia to increase its energy dominance in Europe, a region the U.S. wants to increase its own liquefied natural gas (LNG) exports to.
...Ukraine is most unhappy with the Nord Stream 2 pipeline as it is currently the main conduit for Russian gas to central Europe and earns roughly around $3 billion a year in gas transit fees.

This isn't Russia Today. This is CNBC openly admitting it.

Then at the end of March there's this: Nord Stream 2 cost $11 billion to build. Now, the Russia-Europe gas pipeline is unused and abandoned

Then last month we see this: Germany looking at repurposing unused Nord Stream 2 pipeline for LNG use, report says

Wow! Using the pipeline for natural gas. I wonder if Russia had thought of that?
Wait a sec. Is using a natural gas pipeline to ship natural gas weaponizing energy? Or is not shipping natural gas through a natural gas pipeline weaponizing energy?
I'm confused now.

Just a couple days ago, this happened.

Russia’s shunned Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline won a legal boost in its pre-war challenge against European Union rules that subjected all new and existing pipelines involving foreign suppliers to the EU’s energy market-opening requirements, after the bloc’s top court said its appeal can be heard.

While the ruling is a win for Nord Stream 2, its impact may have been overtaken by events in Ukraine, which led Germany to withdraw its backing for the project.

So the U.S. and EU were using possibly illegal methods to block Russia from using the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline after all.

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Good job, good analysis, excellent juxtaposition.

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"We'll know our disinformation program is complete when everything the American public believes is false." ---- William Casey, CIA Director, 1981

@on the cusp
It's better now

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Perhaps if the US taxpayer subsidized oil and gas remained for domestic use, prices to the
consumers would return to earth.

Also, if Germany would honor their contract with Russia on the Nord Stream 2 deal, they would not be facing a gas shortage. The political weaponization of energy is directly related to the West's
sanction ploys. Cutting Ukraine out of the transmission process is not hurting Germany.

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snoopydawg's picture

are cutting off their noses to spite their economy. Denying certification for NS 2 was dumb enough, but everything else they have been doing is just boneheaded suicide for their economy and they know it. They had to know what would happen if they did what they are doing. Lots of countries were starting to depend on L G from America, but then a plant in Texas blew up and might not be operational until the end of the year which means none for Europe.

American fracking companies were going bankrupt during Covid and the sanctions on Russia has given them a 2nd chance at profit. At our expense I might add. We’ve been pumping tax dollars into them. And so much for addressing climate change with Biden begging everyone to pump more oil. But still the oil from Venezuela and Iran are under sanctions. So Biden went to kiss MSB's buttocks in Saudi Arabia who sent a lowly prince to meet him at the airport and then he went himself to greet other leaders. BAM! Huge slap in the face for Biden. Or should I say Blinken? Smile

But still just don’t understand why Europe is doing what it is.

But my bet is that Russia will turn the pipeline back on if they get the parts back from Canada because they have signed agreements with their customers. It’s why they hadn’t cut Europe off after the start of the sanctions. If they abandoned their agreements they wouldn’t be any better than America that walks away from theirs at the drop of a hat. My bet.
QMS is right. Biden’s been tapping the strategic reserve to lower prices here at home, but has been selling it to China. But then goes begging to human rights abusers the Saudis. Go figure.

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@snoopydawg @snoopydawg
Norway was the second biggest supplier of natural gas to Germany.
And Norway promised to ramp up production this summer.

But then Norway's energy workers went on strike, before the government stepped in and ended it.

And then a bigger problem happened.

July 12 (Reuters) - Production at a Norwegian gas platform and North Sea gas transportation hub Sleipner Riser were shut on Tuesday after gas leaks occurred, operator Equinor (EQNR.OL) said, adding it was unclear when output would resume.

Combined with that Texas LNG plant fire, and virtually all of the West's Plan B has failed.

My prediction is that if things keep going the way they are either NATO or the EU unity collapse this fall/winter.

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Russian Roulette with a fully loaded gun.

https://tass.com/world/1481153

BERLIN, July 18. /TASS/. The EU will not withdraw the sanctions, imposed on Russia over the situation in Ukraine, if Moscow and Kiev sign peace treaty on Russia’s terms, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz said in his article for the Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagzeitung, published Sunday.

"The part of the new reality is that the EU has also consolidated. It has reacted to the Russian aggression quite unanimously and imposed unprecedentedly harsh sanctions," Scholz said. "We knew it from the start that we will potentially have to keep these sanctions for a long time."

"And it is also clear that not a single one of these sanctions will be withdrawn in case of peace, dictated by Russia," he continued. "There is no other path for an agreement with Ukraine for Russia than the one that could be accepted by the Ukrainians."

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Cassiodorus's picture

Germany has already started to tap its winter reserves...in July.

Maybe there won't be a winter this coming season. If it happens, you can blame capitalism for that.

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"The West doesn't spend any time, or, our policymakers in Washington spend no time thinking about, like, what are the achievable goals here?" -- Tucker Carlson, on Project Ukraine

Rewrite has improved it, but your points were pretty clear earlier..
As I think Snoop mentioned above, not approving or licensing NS 2 seems like committing economic suicide. Which suggests, someone made it very clear that *approving it* would have been somehow much worse. Between NATO and Blinken etc I'd guess the "clear" wording might have even been a pretty concise threat to individuals. It makes little sense, and some of the NATO alliance are carrying a much heavier burden from the UK/Rusian war than other members.

Another late-night cynical take on the situation: The leaders here in the US don't really care if the EU tanks and thousands die from the heat/cold/lack of food/housing that will come. Not a bit. Some probably even think of it as an opportunity. All countries will soon be fighting some level of demographic "war" trying to attract young workers. I think our Foreign Policy etc. experts might see the coming EU situation as a way to attract young, *white* immigrants. "We'll take the ones that survive, thanks." For the racist fucks in power, this checks off a lot of boxes in a single go...

Edited: fixed the worst typos, sorry for the ones I missed...

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snoopydawg's picture

@humphrey

There is no other path for an agreement with Ukraine for Russia than the one that could be accepted by the Ukrainians."

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@peachcreek

some of the NATO alliance are carrying a much heavier burden from the UK/Rusian war than other members.

Remember that one of the reasons why NATO was created was to keep Russia out of Europe, keep Germany down and America on top. Also we only signed an armistice with Germany and not a peace agreement. Germany is still occupied by us. Hudson writes that one reason for NATO was to keep European countries in US orbit and no deals with Russia. Either people were bought off or threatened to go along with the plan to try to destroy Russia. If Russia does turn the gas back on July 22 they might turn it off after the contract ends. But by then Germany might have already been destroyed itself.

Russia says that they are going to reset NATO to what it was in 1997. Maybe they will help Germany get free of US troops? Smile

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ggersh's picture

@snoopydawg This guy has to be taking orders from Joementia/Schwab/CIA/WEF?

https://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2022/07/links-7-18-2022.html

EU keeping sanctions if Ukraine peace signed on Russia terms: Scholz Al Mayadeen

Germany’s Scholz Says EU Can No Longer Afford National Vetoes Radio Free Europe

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I never knew that the term "Never Again" only pertained to
those born Jewish

"Antisemite used to be someone who didn't like Jews
now it's someone who Jews don't like"

Heard from Margaret Kimberley

UK plans to cut pipelines to EU if Russia gas crisis intensifies

The UK will cut off gas supplies to mainland Europe if it is hit by severe shortages under an emergency plan that energy companies warn risks exacerbating a crisis on the continent.

Europe’s plans to replace Russian gas are deemed ‘wildly optimistic’ — and could hammer its economy

“We are also working together with other alternative energy suppliers such as the USA, Qatar and Azerbaijan, to give just some examples.”

However, TS Lombard’s Granville predicted that there could be significant cost implications for Europe as it looks elsewhere for gas supplies.

″[The EU] will pay more on average for its [non-Russian] oil and gas than its peers. Asian countries will buy more Russian oil at discounted prices,” Granville projected.

“LNG imported by Europe from the U.S. will cost more than the price paid by U.S. consumers owing to transport and liquefaction/re-gasification costs.”

This could hit Europe’s economy hard, at a time when it’s already struggling, given so-called “forever sanctions” on Russia, as the war drags on.

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I was watching clips of a demonstration by Ukrainian supporters the day of the Russian invasion. One woman with a heavy accent yelled out "Ukranian is now the most important country in the world". Well, okay.

Turns out for the West, the claim has been prophetic. Strange that. The collective West is willing to do what amounts to economic suicide in a bid to support Ukraine at all costs. Not only economically but militarily as one pundit noted that the West is unilaterally disarming themselves shoving military equipment to the Ukraine which either the Russians promptly destroy or goes down a black hole. The good news from the second point is that maybe somebody in NATO will realize going into a direct conventional war is impossible as they would run out of munitions in about a month.

My speculation is that other than rabid hysterical Russia Phobia the one reason to commit economic suicide is force countries off a reliance on fossil fuels. I remember years ago a band of people on DK advocated for sky high gas prices to force the US off fossil fuels regardless of the cost to people in terms of jobs and potential famine due to impossibility of moving food from farm to table. But the crowd did not care. Their urgency allowed them to sacrifice people.

BTW just saw this.

'Very Worrying': Swedish Police Ring Alarm Bell Over Gangs Armed With Anti-Tank Weapons

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snoopydawg's picture

@MrWebster

I remember years ago a band of people on DK advocated for sky high gas prices to force the US off fossil fuels regardless of the cost to people in terms of jobs and potential famine due to impossibility of moving food from farm to table. But the crowd did not care. Their urgency allowed them to sacrifice people.

One person there who always attacks people personally before getting to his point is pissed that Carlson is saying that Ukraine is none of our business and that we the people are paying the price for Biden’s misadventure with higher gas prices. How dare he put American people’s economic survival over Ukrainian lives? Of course we need to pay higher prices if it allows one Ukrainian to live!

And here’s an interesting perspective on Russia taking their time doing their military operation.

Did the West Fall into a Russian Trap?

The tactics of unhurried military operations in Ukraine are still bewildering the best Pentagon analysts, and only a few have begun to guess that the main goal of the operation is not at all the surrender of Kyiv.

The fall of the Kyiv regime is undoubtedly spelled out in the plans for a special military operation, but not at all as the culmination of Russia’s actions, but only as an intermediate stage. The war is actually being waged at a much higher level.

American politicians and generals firmly believe that the United States is using Ukraine as a weapon to deplete Russia. In fact, everything is exactly the opposite — the Anglo-Saxons were lured to this battlefield in order to put an end to their dubious and extremely dirty hegemony.

Some in Washington began to suspect something, but it was already too late, as the deadly trap for the United States was slammed, and the Americans themselves did the most to achieve this.

The main trick of the special operation of the Russian Federation was revealed by the Ukrainian politician and journalist Dmitry Vasilets, noting that with their unhurried advancement, the (Russian) allied forces most effectively implement the process of demilitarisation not only of Ukraine, but of the entire collective West. He said:

“The Russian army took some tactical pause to regroup before the attack on Slavyansk. Even in the West, many have already concluded that this is far from a traditional war. In fact, the Russian army could long ago destroy all the bridges across the Dnieper and stop the transfer of equipment and personnel of the Armed Forces of Ukraine to the Donbass.

“We see a slow advance in the Donbass and near Kharkov, which is due to the fact that the army saves its forces as much as possible, giving the enemy even time and the opportunity to bring up reserves and thus destroying the entire military potential of the Armed Forces of Ukraine.

“It is already clear that Russia is planning a long-term war with the West in Ukraine. Most of the territory of Ukraine is becoming a financial yoke for Europe and the United States. As they say, politics is a concentrated economy, and war is an even more concentrated economy. The West has fallen into a deadly trap.

“For many years, Kyiv’s “partners” exported all its resources out of the country, but now they are only forced to inject huge amounts of money without receiving anything in return. This is a death trap for the US and its satellites.”

“Most likely, this is why Russia operates in Ukraine with a limited contingent and does not rush things at all, ”Vasilets explained.

Biden is spending billions to keep Ukraine’s government afloat whilst more Americans are shoved into deeper poverty, millions are living on the streets and our infrastructure is failing into deeper disrepair. The $54 billion in weapons could have ended homelessness here twice over. Biden is even paying for Ukrainian's health care while reneging on lowering the age for Medicare here.

Also though the longer this operation is stretched out the more Ukrainians will die, but so will the thousands of foreign mercenaries. Russia says that they wiped out 250 mercenaries yesterday.

Awesome if true!

Sergie Lavrov is also calling out America’s hypocrisy on human rights abuses.

Today, the Russian Armed Forces, together with the self-defence units of the Donetsk and Lugansk people’s republics, are delivering on the objectives of the special military operation with great resolve to put an end to the outrageous discrimination and genocide of the Russian people and eliminate direct threats to the security of the Russian Federation that the United States and its satellites have been creating on Ukrainian territory for years. While losing on the battlefield, the Ukrainian regime and its Western patrons have descended to staging bloody incidents to demonise our country in the eyes of the international community. We have already seen Bucha, Mariupol, Kramatorsk, and Kremenchug. The Russian Defence Ministry has been regularly issuing warnings, with facts in hand, about upcoming staged incidents and fakes.

There is a distinctive pattern that betrays the provocations staged by the West and its henchmen. In fact, they started long before the Ukrainian events.

Take 1999 – the village of Račak in Serbia’s Autonomous Province of Kosovo and Metohija. A group of OSCE inspectors arrived at the site where several dozen corpses dressed in civilian clothes were discovered. Without any investigation, the mission head declared the incident an act of genocide, even though making a conclusion of this kind was not part of the mandate issued to this international official. NATO immediately launched a military aggression against Yugoslavia, during which it intentionally destroyed a television centre, bridges, passenger trains and other civilian targets. Later, it was proved with conclusive evidence that the dead bodies were not civilians, but militants of the Kosovo Liberation Army, an illegal armed group, dressed in civilian clothes. But by that time the staged incident has already taken its toll, offering a pretext for the first illegal use of force against an OSCE member state since the signing of the Helsinki Final Act in 1975. It is telling that the statement that triggered the bombings came from William Walker, a US citizen who headed the OSCE’s Kosovo Verification Mission. Separating Kosovo from Serbia by force and setting up Camp Bondsteel, the largest US military base in the Balkans, were the main outcomes of the aggression.

Next up is Colin Powell's lie about the vial of anthrax that he accused Saddam of having. Anyone think that if anthrax was actually in that vial he would have held it in his bare hand or taken it in front of some of the most important people in the world?

Russia has given the military a new task and that is to wipe out the HIMLARS and other military equipment supplied by America. They are certain that there are American military helping Ukraine to operate them.

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snoopydawg's picture

@snoopydawg

From the above article.

Efforts by Russia, Germany, and France paved the way to stopping the war between Kiev, Donetsk and Lugansk in February 2015 with the signing of the Minsk Agreements. Berlin and Paris played a proactive role here as well, proudly calling themselves as the guarantor countries. However, during the seven long years that followed, they did absolutely nothing to force Kiev to launch a direct dialogue with Donbass representatives for agreeing on matters including the special status, amnesty, restoring economic ties, and holding elections, as required by the Minsk Agreements which were approved unanimously by the UN Security Council. The Western leaders remained silent when Kiev took steps which directly violated the Minsk Agreements under both Petr Poroshenko and Vladimir Zelensky. Moreover, the German and the French leaders kept saying that Kiev cannot enter direct dialogue with the Donetsk and Lugansk people’s republics, and blamed everything on Russia, although Russia is not mentioned in the Minsk agreements even once, while remaining basically the only country that kept pushing for the agreements to be implemented.

If anyone doubted that the Minsk Package was anything but yet another fake, Petr Poroshenko dispelled this myth by saying on June 17, 2022: “The Minsk Agreements did not mean anything to us, and we had no intention to carry them out… our goal was to remove the threat we faced… and win time in order to restore economic growth and rebuild the armed forces. We achieved this goal. Mission accomplished for the Minsk Agreements.” The people of Ukraine are still paying the price of this fake. For many years now, the West has been forcing them to accept an anti-Russian neo-Nazi regime. What a waste of energy for Olaf Scholz with his calls to force Russia to agree to an agreement guaranteeing Ukraine’s territorial integrity and sovereignty. There already had been an agreement to this effect, the Minsk Package, and Berlin with Paris were the ones who derailed it by shielding Kiev in its refusal to abide by the document. The fake has been exposed – finita la commedia.

I highly recommend reading this article. Lots of highlights pointing out America’s hypocrisy on the international rules based order which just means we make the rules and can break any we want.

Ukraine, Moldova and other countries being courted by the EU today are destined to be extras in the games of the West. The United States, as the main producer, calls the tune and devises the storyline based on which Europe writes the anti-Russia screenplay. The actors are ready and possess the skills acquired during their tenure at the Kvartal 95 Studio: they will provide a voice-over for dramatic texts no worse than the now forgotten Greta Thunberg and play musical instruments, if needed. The actors are good: remember how convincing Vladimir Zelensky was in his role as a democrat in the Servant of the People: fighter against corruption and discrimination against Russians and for all the right things in general. Remember and compare it with his immediate transformation in his role as president. It is perfect Stanislavsky Method acting: banning the Russian language, education, media and culture. “If you feel like Russians, then go to Russia for the sake of your children and grandchildren.” Good advice. He called Donbass residents “species” rather than people. And this is what he said about the Nazi Azov battalion: “They are what they are. There is plenty of such people around here.” Even CNN was ashamed to leave this phrase in the interview. (Shades of Trump saying that there are good people on both sides.)

This prompts a question: what will be the outcome of all these storylines? Staged incidents based on blood and agony are by no means fun but a display of a cynical policy in creating a new reality where all principles of the UN Charter and all norms of international law are attempted to be replaced with their “rules-based order” in an aspiration to perpetuate their dwindling domination in global affairs.

Heh I read that after I said what I did about America’s rules based order. Great minds… Smile

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@snoopydawg I was beginning to wonder how the West was going to maintain the Ukraine both economically and militarily. It seems that Zelinsky escalates his demands to high and higher levels. He now wants $7billion a month to maintain the government. Most of which will of course be stolen. He lectured Canada about not giving up the Siemens turbine to drive Russian gas to Germany which they desperately need.

The Trap could be accidently or Russian military planners are working at the highest of levels. You know playing chess rather than Tic Tac Toe. I watched this youtuber called HistoryLegends where he asked the question "Could a European Union Army Defeat Russia?" He does a numbers comparison. At end of video he goes into how much of such an Army at this moment can go into battle. Pathetic. The guy I think is pro-Ukrainian but also a realist. He does not really answer the question but his numbers on military readiness do answer the question. To me the answer is no. Which is good news as I thought any direct incursion by NATO would trigger a massive war maybe going nuclear.

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snoopydawg's picture

@MrWebster

People keep saying that Ukraine prevented Russia from taking Kiev, but they never planned on doing it, but just faked everyone out and it kept Ukraine from sending backup to Mariupol. And they are taking their time so not to have civilian deaths. Collateral damage is our motto and they don’t want to be like us which Lavrov points out in the 2nd article I posted. But one thing all countries are doing is depleting their stock of old military equipment and will replenish it with brand new stuff. Good luck with that because for one thing our defense companies are making crappy equipment anymore because they invest their money in stock buybacks and have retired or fired lots of knowledgeable people because they got paid too much and lots of the parts come from foreign countries because we’ve outsourced so many things.

As for who would win the war between NATO and Russia more people think that Russia would win it because NATO would have a hard time getting equipment and troops into place nor would Russia allow them to take their time doing it. Plus most armies haven’t fought real battles since WW2 and Russia is rotating their troops to get experience. We’ve fought against people who didn’t have an Air Force like ours. Troops in Iraq and Afghanistan would call in air strikes if they were losing the ground battles. Most Afghanistans had older equipment and still after 20 years we turned tail and ran. AQ and ISIS kicked our buttocks in Iraq and Syria. And I think every war game against Russia was a loss for NATO. I think I posted something on it awhile back.

I think Biden should call Putin and tell him that he will quit sacrificing Ukrainians and meet his demands on NATO and call the whole thing off. Why waste so many lives and money when the outcome is going to be Russia fulfilling their goals? My $.05 adjusted for inflation.

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Cassiodorus's picture

@MrWebster more important than life itself, you know.

Quick solution: wind the proxy war down, do something about climate change. A general strike might make it happen.

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"The West doesn't spend any time, or, our policymakers in Washington spend no time thinking about, like, what are the achievable goals here?" -- Tucker Carlson, on Project Ukraine

@Cassiodorus The point has been reached. The frog is crying out realizing the pot he is in has gone from nice and warm to boiling. People who study climate change have predicted that certain parts of the planet will become uninhabitable because the extreme heat.

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The political leadership within the American hegemony are either drooling morons OR there is a unified strategy of some kind being followed toward some other end than survival of the current civilization.

Like its end.

It is not like the current civilization was going to proceed much longer without some kind of structural change. Maybe some folks with more money and power than ethics want to change it to something they desire.

I find it impossible to believe that the entire political and business leadership of the USA and its allies is just too stoopid to see what is coming.

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I cried when I wrote this song. Sue me if I play too long.