Natural Gas Crisis Hits Germany
The U.S. and Europe has been applying the sanction screws to Russia, and it's been working to perfection - for Russia.
Russia’s account surplus reached a new record for the second quarter, according to data released by the central bank cited by Bloomberg.
The surplus, now more than $70 billion, comes on the back of surging oil and gas—and other commodities as well—exports, which outweighed the sanctions placed on the country by Western powers.
The surplus was also bolstered by high prices and decreasing imports—to $72.3 billion in Q1 from $88.7 billion in Q2—thanks to the sanctions, which have a greater effect on imports than on exports.
One of the latest ideas is a "price cap for Russian oil". The idea is a buying cartel. All they need, in theory, is to get China and India onboard with the idea. There's just two problems with this idea - China and India.
The G-7′s pursuit of a price ceiling on Russian oil is not without its challenges, however, with energy analysts highly skeptical about the integrity of the proposal.
...China and India have “benefitted enormously” from discounted Russian crude, Atkinson said. Russian oil has been selling at a heavy discount of $30 or more when compared to international benchmark Brent crude futures at $110 a barrel — and China and India have been snapping it up.
Atkinson also highlighted a lack of unity over Russia’s invasion of Ukraine given that China and India have failed to explicitly condemn the Kremlin.
Even after selling oil at a $30 discount, Russia is still making higher profits than before the sanctions. India, for it's part, can't buy the oil fast enough, because it can then resell surplus oil to the West at market prices and then pocket the difference.
It also doesn't help that Washington has made it perfectly clear that they plan on going after China once we're done humiliating Russia. So why exactly should China cooperate with us?
Now it turns out that Brazil is about to cut a deal with Russia for it's cheap oil.
This is ironic because Brazil is one of the last remaining right-wing governments in Latin America.
Today Russia cut off the Nord Stream 1 gas pipeline.
A major gas pipeline from Russia to Germany shut down for annual maintenance on Monday, as Berlin grew concerned that Moscow may not resume the flow of gas as scheduled.
But German officials are suspicious about Russia’s intentions, particularly after Russia’s Gazprom last month reduced the gas flow through Nord Stream 1 by 60 percent.
Gazprom cited technical problems involving a gas turbine powering a compressor station that partner Siemens Energy sent to Canada for overhaul.
That turbine could not be returned because of sanctions imposed over Russia’s war on Ukraine.
Canada has said that it could waive sanctions in order to deliver the turbine (that it was refusing to return to Russia after repairing it).
[note: this is different from the Nord Stream 2 pipeline that set off this political, and now economic crisis, when the U.S. managed to arm-twist Germany into breaking their signed contract with Russia's Gazprom energy company.]
Whether you believe Russia is telling the truth or not, the fact is that Germany and the West is complaining because Russia WON'T SELL THEM GAS is what matters.
This is in-your-face proof that the sanctions against Russia are not working. If they were working Russia would be scrambling to find a way to sell Germany natural gas.
In case you weren't following the news closely, or had been listening to American propaganda too much, you may not be aware that Germany was in full blown energy crisis before Russia cut off Nord Stream 1.
This week, a city official in Hamburg—Germany’s second-largest city—warned that “warm water could only be made available at certain times of the day in an emergency,” forecasting the possibility of a severe natural gas shortage. And on Friday, residents in the eastern German state of Saxony were told by their housing association that they could take hot showers only between 4 a.m. and 8 a.m., 11 a.m. and 1 p.m., and 5 p.m. and 9 p.m. each day, the Financial Times reported.
It isn’t just hot water that’s being rationed. In addition to shorter shower times, officials are asking city councils nationwide to turn off traffic lights at night, stop illuminating historic buildings, and go easy on using air conditioners in a bid to conserve electricity, according to the FT.
In early 2021 gas traded at €16.30 ($18.47) per megawatt hour in Europe. When Nord Stream 2 was decertified for political reasons, the price of natural gas for delivery in Europe next month leaped to about €79 ($89.54) per megawatt hour. Now Europe would do anything for just $90 natural gas.
Both Russia and the West are suffering. Russia has lost thousands of soldiers that it never expected to lose. While the West is getting hit with inflation and recession that it never expected to blow back on itself.
The solution is a negotiated peace for Russia and Ukraine, but before that can happen the West must be able to acknowledge that Russia has a right to have security concerns, and that the West can't simply dismiss that those concerns can exist.. For instance, Russia has a right to not want to be surrounded by a hostile military coalition, and that Russia being surrounded by NATO preceded Russia's aggression.
But the MIC-captured media in the U.S. isn't interested in peace.
It’s not time yet to negotiate an end to the Ukraine war
Why more weapons will help Ukraine and Russia negotiate a lasting truce
Both of those articles talk about "negotiating from a strong positioning is the most important factor." Which I guess is an improvement, because only a month ago they were talking about regime change in Moscow.
One thing is for certain, Britain and the U.S. have been strong-arming Ukraine not to negotiate with Russia. Ukraine cannot continue this war without western arms, and we've told Ukraine that we would drop them like a soggy diaper if they even considered talking peace.
The western nations, led by the United States, do not allow Ukrainians to talk about peace, negotiate it or even think about it,” Peskov noted in an interview published on Sunday by the Rossiya channel 1.
Peskov referred to the potential reasons why German Chancellor Olaf Scholz and French President Emmanuel Macron discontinued their calls to Russian President Vladimir Putin, and indicated this was another sign that sugests western leaders are not interested in achieving peace through dialogue and negotiations.
In related news, the Eastern European nations of Poland and the Baltic States have been effectively blockading the Russian region of Kaliningrad. Well, Russia appears to have an idea of how to respond.
The governor of Russia’s Kaliningrad region has proposed a total ban on the movement of goods between Russia and the Baltic states in response to what authorities in the exclave have called a “blockade” by Lithuania.
“As a reciprocal measure, we propose to completely prohibit the movement of goods [including those in transit from third countries] between the three Baltic States and Russia,” Governor Anton Alikhanov said, referring to Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia.