Friday, April 20, 2018

ICYMI: "No Russia-German pipeline plan without Ukraine role: Merkel"

Back on March 21 we intro'd "Germany’s Pivot From Russian Gas Will Be Costly":
This is what the Poles have been trying to tell the EU for at least the last half-decade.
Poland has an understanding of their neighbor to the east that Brussels (and even Berlin) seems to lack. As noted in the introduction to January's "Poland's Plan to Dominate Europe, Continued", the Poles built their LNG terminal knowing full well the cost of various sources:
Following the December series of posts* on Poland I had intended something on a gas pipeline or two or geopolitics or the Baltic-to-Black Sea (and Greece) Via Carpathia Highway or the new (security-at-a-cost) LNG terminal but....but...Bambi !!
Some things you can't measure in zlotys alone....
(or rubles or euros or krone or...)
It seemed to be a major change in the Nord Stream 2 story but there wasn't much reaction.
Here's more, from Radio France Internationale, April 10:
German Chancellor Angela Merkel said Tuesday that plans for a controversial second underwater pipeline to bring gas from Russia could not go forward without Ukrainian involvement in overland transit.

"A Nord Stream 2 project without clarity about the Ukrainian transit role is not possible," Merkel said, after talks in Berlin with Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko.

The German leader said the pipeline plans, which have long thrown a wrench in bilateral ties, had played a big role in their discussions.

In an interview with German business daily Handelsblatt Monday, Poroshenko urged Berlin to abandon plans to build Nord Stream 2, saying it would enable an "economic and energy blockade" against Ukraine and blasting it as "political bribe money for loyalty to Russia"

Merkel has long called Nord Stream 2 a purely "economic project" with no need for political intervention. Her comments mark a significant shift from that stance.

She said that in her talks with Poroshenko "I listened closely to the concerns of Ukraine".

"The fact is that we cannot allow that, with Nord Stream 2, Ukraine would have no significance at all any more with regard to gas transit," Merkel told reporters at a joint press conference....MORE
At minimum the Chancellor's statement would seem to make the CDU's Joachim Pfeiffer look like a bit of a dolt, see last month's "US Afraid of Europe Consuming More Russian Gas– German MP".

Additionally the fact that Mutti echoed, almost word for word, the Polish concerns in Feb. 16's "Natural Gas: 'Polish PM: Nord Stream II Would Make Russia Free to act Against Ukraine, So Must Not be Built'" may indicate something bigger is afoot.

Feb. 11
Europe’s Energy Geopolitics is Getting Dicey