Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.

Antagonizing Europe's Best Partner to Deliver Gas

by Oui Sat Feb 5th, 2022 at 03:35:39 PM EST

Germany's Economy Minister Robert Habeck warned against Europe's No.1 economy becoming a "pawn" in Russia's game. Natural gas stockpiles across the EU are at their lowest in years as tensions over Ukraine intensify.

False representation of facts in behest of Biden's war on the European consumer for American interests only.

Ukrainian gas storage facilities can become a 'gas safe' for Europe says PM Denys Shmyhal | Nov. 22, 2021 |

Natural Gas Stockpiles Across the EU

A falsehood as the researchers of European energy supply and demand, stockpiles and failure of countries to renew contracts with Gazprom for delivery. Key nations blocked delivery of Russian gas to heighten the tension for the rest of Europe, specifically Poland and the Yamal pipeline and Ukraine that was in a long negotiation with Gazprom for a long-term gas transport contact. As the allied powers blocked supply though Nord Stream 2, and high demand in Asia, much of Russian gas and LNG supply by tankers were heading to the Far East. Furthermore Poland thought it opportune to start a lawsuit vs. Gazprom.

Europe's gas crisis: Could LNG help boost energy security? | DW News - Jan. 20, 2022 |

"Current inventories are about 47% of full capacity," Bernd Weidensteiner, senior economist at Commerzbank in Frankfurt, told DW. "Normal for this time of the year is about 60% ... so we are significantly lower."

Indeed, a Commerzbank graphic posted to Twitter shows that, in previous years, EU inventories have ranged from 60% to more than 85% in January.

Plus for Putin: The natural gas storage facilities in the EU are currently only about 55% full - significantly less than the long-term average. Deliveries of liquefied natural gas, which are transported by tankers, could not quickly replace missing Russian gas.

The year 2020 was a low demand due to the global pandemic and the winter 2020/21 was severe across Europe with a higher demand. The vaccinated powers came out of the Corona crisis late Summer 2021 with an upsurge for demand and Europe falling behind the demand by the Asian countries. The US has become a fossil fuel exporter, thus in a comfortable seat of economic power. It are the European nations themselves responsible for the gas contracts and timely supply for their stockpiles. Brussels has deregulated the production and transport of gas from government level to private business. "To advance competition in the market and benefit the consumer." Just an ugly blame game and pointing fingers at our common "enemy".

Poland to buy spot gas once Gazprom contract ends | Argus Media - Sept. 21, 2021 |

Poland is preparing to buy gas on the European spot markets when its long-term 10.2bn m³/yr contract with Russian state-controlled Gazprom expires at the end of next year, although it expects most of its supply to come from the newly-built 10bn m³/yr Baltic Pipe pipeline and LNG imports.

The Polish minister did not rule out the possibility of the tightness in European gas market persisting by the time the Polish deal with Gazprom expires. Poland's gas supply focus will therefore be imports from Norway through the under-construction Baltic Pipe terminal and imports of LNG through the Swinoujscie terminal as well as the planned floating storage and regasification unit in Gdansk, which will start operating by 2028.

Poland shuts down Yamal-Europe Pipeline as it switches to alternate suppliers LNG from Qatar, Norway and USA. Gas spot price surges to new record.

A contentious and highly incorrect content. Lies and Russophobia in DW News ... I can imagine Moscow banned the German site in retaliation of German government banning the propaganda mouth Russia Today earlier.

Germany must cut reliance on Russian gas, minister says | DW News - Feb. 5, 2022 |

The Kremlin was accused of weaponizing its gas exports when it slashed deliveries to Europe through existing pipelines.

What did Habeck say?

"We must improve our preparedness for next winter," the Green Party politician told the newspapers of the Funke Media Group and the French regional daily Ouest-France.

Habeck said the Ukraine crisis is forcing Germany to "create other import opportunities and to diversify its supply, including infrastructural issues."

"We have to act here and better secure ourselves. If we don't, we become a pawn in the game [of Russia]." [or any foreign power as far as I'm concerned - Oui]

Europe was already struggling with an energy crunch when Russia's state-controlled Gazprom slashed gas deliveries to the bloc in October, sending soaring prices higher still.

Last month, Commerzbank warned that stockpiles of natural gas across EU countries were at just 47%, compared to between 60% and 85% in previous years.

Describing the shortfall, Habeck said: "The last few weeks and the conflict in eastern Ukraine have increased our concern that Russia is also using its gas supplies against German interests."

He went on to criticize the gas market for being completely deregulated and hinted that the government may have to play a greater role.

What is the truth in the warning from Commerzbank ... simply analyse the numbers w/o wearing political sunglasses. See articles below ...

Supply-side factors in the European gas price rally in 2021 and outlook for the rest of winter | Oxford Energy |

European gas prices have been on a rollercoaster ride in the past two years. In 2019, oversupply on the global LNG market led to a gradual price decline that was subsequently intensified by the impact of the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic in Europe in Q2-2020. This decline in prices was analysed in a series of papers at OIES by Mike Fulwood and in our regular OIES Quarterly Gas Review series. As summer turned to autumn in 2020, prices recovered, but with European storage once again effectively full at the start of winter, the seasonal price increase remained modest.

In mid-winter 2020/21, a rolling wave of particularly cold weather spread across the northern hemisphere. In January 2021, it led to an Asian LNG pricing spike.6 In February, snow storms impacted US Gulf Coast LNG exports, with cargo loadings being completely suspended for several days. In Europe, spells of unusually cold weather occurred repeatedly between February and May, interspersed with shorter spells of warmer weather. Finally, in March, the Suez Canal was blocked for a week as a container ship, the Ever Given, became lodged, causing further (albeit brief) LNG market disruption.

Given that the European market did not experience any sustained pricing surges in Q1-2021 despite the global market conditions noted above, the fact that European prices subsequently rose continuously throughout the summer of 2021 took many by surprise, given that plentiful storage stocks had allowed Europe to cope with the winter developments noted above. By 21 June 2021, the TTF Front-Month price was at its absolute highest since January 2014, and its highest summer price since mid-2013 (€29.40 /MWh - $10.27 /MMBtu). Thereafter, the bull run continued until it peaked at €117 /MWh ($39.83 /MMBtu) on 5 October, before falling back slightly to around $30 /MMBtu, as illustrated in Figure 1.

In the two months since then, TTF Front-Month prices have experienced extreme volatility, falling by €52.70 /MWh (45 per cent) between 5 and 29 October, before rebounding and stabilising again at around €90 /MWh ($30 /MMBtu). The period of stability lasted until the beginning of December, when prices again surged, reaching €127.40 /MWh on 14 December. As Europe moves towards the coldest part of winter (January-February), uncertainty remains over whether prices will continue rising as mid-winter seasonal demand tightens the market, or whether the recent bull run has effectively `priced in' a cold winter similar to that of 2020/21 and, by extension, a mild Q1-2022 could see prices either stabilise or even decline.

Russia denies responsibility for Europe's winter energy crisis | World Oil - Jan. 18, 2022 |

Russia has nothing to do with the energy crisis in Europe, Deputy Prime Minister Alexander Novak said, rejecting allegations from the International Energy Agency that it's holding back supplies and driving up prices of natural gas.

"Neither Russia nor our main exporter Gazprom have anything to do with this," Novak told state television Saturday, according to the Interfax news agency. Russia has "delivered significantly more" to clients such as Germany and Turkey that had exhausted their contracted limits, he said.

Novak blamed "the shortsighted policy of the European Union and European Commission, which for many years has deliberately moved away from long-term contracts, shifted its energy sector toward reducing dependence on Russia."

Europe is grappling with an energy crunch that's resulted in gas and power prices breaking multiple records over the past few months. The continent's gas inventories are already at their lowest in more than a decade, and the two coldest months of the year have only just begun.

Russia is ready to increase deliveries, Novak said, but needs long-term contracts to justify making investments in production.

Novak was responding to comments earlier this week from IEA Executive Director Fatih Birol, who accused Russia of holding back supplies to the spot market despite high prices. He said Russia could boost deliveries by at least a third.

France has presidency of the EU Council Ministre de la Transition écologique Barbara Pompili

Volatility and rising gas prices has everything to do with US and European political intrigues with warmongering about Ukraine. Using fossil fuel once again to foster a war. Shame.

Europe temperatures and gas inventories | Reuters John Kemp - Feb. 2, 2022 |

US Domestic Performance

U.S. distillate fuel oil inventories have fallen to the lowest seasonal level for eight years, a sign of booming manufacturing and freight transportation demand.

Distillate shortages are another manifestation of the supply chain bottlenecks that are fuelling inflation around the world as the economy expands rapidly after the coronavirus recession.

Low distillate inventories will boost demand for crude oil and are likely to put upward pressure on prices over the next few months as refiners and distributors try to rebuild them to a more comfortable level.

OPEC and Global Oil Supply and Demand

Is Europe destined to be guided by violence and fear? The American Dream is for the wealthy few with some exceptions, but it's not a nation of equal opportunity. Just open the pages of US national news outlets and screaming headlines of violence, racism, hate towards LGBT community, minorities and a major political party run by misogynists. Europe should be focused on its very own foundation and work towards internal unity. Cut the BS of warmongering and propaganda by war hawks.

Europe was already struggling with an energy crunch when Russia's state-controlled Gazprom slashed natural gas deliveries to the bloc in October, sending soaring prices higher still.

Europe's energy security threatened

Just as German and US diplomats have warned Russian President Vladimir Putin against escalating the crisis, leaders on both sides of the Atlantic are growing anxious about the vulnerability of Europe's energy security.

If Putin were to cut off natural gas supplies during a military conflict or in retaliation for any future Western sanctions, Bernd Weidensteiner warned that "some [European] inventories might run extremely low."

To help ease demand for gas to heat and power homes and businesses, last month some 10 cargoes of liquefied natural gas (LNG) that were destined for Asia were diverted to Europe.

Energy Policies and Risks on Energy Markets -- A Cost-Benefit Analysis

The general picture following from the cases studied is that security of supply measures are hardly ever beneficial to welfare: benefits of policy measures do generally not outweigh costs. From an economic point of view, therefore, it would be often wiser to accept consequences of supply disruptions than to pursue security of supply at any cost. This implies that governments should exercise caution in imposing measures regarding security of supply. If serious market failure is detected, careful attention should be paid to the design of the corrective measure. Establishing and maintaining well-functioning markets appears to be an efficient approach in realising a secure supply of energy. That approach would include removal of entry barriers, securing equal access to essential facilities and increasing transparency of markets.

From one crisis in capitalism to the next as inequality between the very rich and middle-class surges ... called voodoo Reaganomics "the trickle down" economy. No taxation for the very brightest in society.

Natural Gas EU Dutch TTF (EUR)

EU natural gas prices steadied around €80 per megawatt-hour  on Friday amid a backdrop of tightening Russian supplies. After a sharp rebound to December levels in natural gas flowing into Slovakia earlier this week, volumes fell sharply again on Thursday, Milder weather across Europe, strong wind power generation, and ongoing arrivals of LNG shipments to the region capped gains, as utilities are pushing to restock their natural gas inventories. Still, the balance of risks remained tilted to the upside, with traders uneasy about the possibility that Russia could halt supplies, as tensions with the West over Ukraine were still high. The bloc is drawing up contingency plans and Dutch British oil and gas giant Shell has pledged to help ease a potential energy crisis in the continent. On a weekly basis, the contract is headed for a 12% loss.

Analysis by pelgus - Poland Surges Towards Energy Sovereignty

AFAIK, Russia provides 40% of the NG Europe uses (100% for some countries and 1% for some) and 30% of the crude. So EU is pretty dependent and can't find replacement energy within a decade or so - if at all.

I don't see a war in Ukraine possible, unless Ukraine does something very, very stupid (which is always a possibility).

Russia has nothing to gain but a lot to lose in that conflict, while it does have some "red lines". Considering that Putin got USA administration talking about Minks Accords again, I would expect slow turn towards de-escalation in Ukraine.

From my previous diary, negotiations between Gazprom and Russia were well under way until US/NATO interference ...

Ukraine asks Gazprom to extend gas transit deal for 15 years | BNE - Nov. 24, 2021 |

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.

Ukraine's Prime Minister Denis Shmyhal said in an interview with Radio Svoboda on November 21 that Ukraine wants to extend the transit contract with Gazprom and is currently negotiating with its European partners.  

The Russian government reported the start of talks on a new transit deal on September 8 held by Russian Deputy Prime Minister Alexander Novak and the German government's commissioner for gas transit through Ukraine, Georg Graf Waldersee.

"Germany has been, is and will remain the main partner for the Russian fuel and energy complex in the European direction," Novak said at the time.

Ukrainian gas storage facilities can become a `gas safe' for Europe, says Denys Shmyhal | Ukraine Gov't Portal - Nov. 22, 2021 |

Ukraine expresses readiness to offer additional capacity for gas transit to Europe in the amount of at least 55 million cubic meters per day. This was stated by Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal in a Saturday Interview program on Radio Svoboda.

"We have a transit contract until 2024, but we are negotiating to extend it for 15 years. Such talks are currently underway with European partners, as they, as gas buyers, are interested in Ukraine remaining a reliable transit country for blue fuel. In general, our gas transit system can transport twice as much gas as is currently contracted. The system is prepared for that and it is completely reliable," the Prime Minister stressed.

Denys Shmyhal also noted that Ukraine had addressed the EU with an initiative to use Ukrainian gas storage facilities as a `gas safe' for Europe. Ukraine has historically filled its gas storage facilities with 20-26 billion cubic meters out of 33 available, and the rest can be offered to European partners. According to the Prime Minister, such a `gas fund' will become a good stabilizing factor for overcoming energy crises.

Besides, the Prime Minister stressed that Nord Stream 2 is a hybrid weapon of Russia not only against Ukraine but also against Europe.

So. How has UKRAINE gas exploration and production come along since 2020?

Excluding Russia's gas reserves in Asia, Ukraine today holds the second biggest known gas reserves in Europe. As of late 2019, known Ukrainian reserves amounted to 1.09 trillion cubic meters of natural gas, second only to Norway's known resources of 1.53 trillion cubic meters. Yet, these enormous reserves of energy remain largely untapped.
Until recently, Ukraine's total average annual consumption amounted to approximately 29.8 billion cubic meters (bcm). Of this entire yearly need, approximately 14.3 bcm consists of imports. Thus, unlocking its unused reserves would provide for a revolutionary future for Ukraine's gas sector and energy consumption.
According to an assessment study by the Ukrainian Institute for the Future, a transformation of Ukraine into a self-sufficient energy consumer and potential exporter would require a number of investments amounting to approximately US$19.5 billion. Of this amount, about US$3.5 billion are needed for developing gas fields and building pipelines, US$14 billion would have to be invested into oil extraction, and US$2 billion would go toward oil refining.
EIA 2021 | Energy Sector Highlights, Last Updated: August 2021
by Cat on Sat Feb 5th, 2022 at 05:37:35 PM EST

'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Sat Feb 5th, 2022 at 11:00:03 PM EST

'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Sat Feb 5th, 2022 at 11:13:40 PM EST
So US media are busy with imminent invasion of Ukraine by Russia ... the Pentagon briefings to US Congress are covered by stenographers from leading newspapers NY Times of the Iraq War infamy and the WaPo of Watergate heroics by Woodward and Bernstein.

A blogger from dKos believes it worthwhile to post his analysis based in these very articles .... hilarious and sad from a progressive outlet.

Putin Setting the Scene for a Complete Invasion of Ukraine

Both the Washington Post and The New York Times have grim reports of Biden administration briefings to Congress on Putin's buildup on the borders of Ukraine.  

"WaPo: Russia could seize Kyiv in days and cause 50,000 civilian casualties in Ukraine, U.S. assessments find."

and to guarantee the facts in reporting ...

"NYT: U.S. Warns of Grim Toll if Putin Pursues Full Invasion of Ukraine."

His analysis ...

China has made it clear it would not be happy if Putin invaded Ukraine while the Olympics are still happening. But beyond that ...

China, by the way, has a similar attitude to Russia's about territories it once controlled: "Once part of China, always part of China." That applies to Taiwan and Tibet, and China bases its claims to large chunks of the South China Sea on a fourteenth-century map. So for China to be embarrassed when Russia makes the same claim is interesting -- though perhaps China's embarrassment is more over Putin's bluntness; China likes to think it is more subtle in its aggression.

In other words, a quick coup to remove Zelensky and install a puppet. I'm not a military strategist, but it seems to me that Putin could accomplish that with a lot less manpower than he has assembled. It's possible he might send in a small force to carry out the coup, leaving the bulk of his forces on the border to keep the Ukrainians from objecting too loudly.

But I fear that Putin and his hard-line advisors from Soviet days have talked themselves into a corner with their dreams of restoring Russia to its glory days when it was big enough to call itself equal to the United States.

[Slam dunk ending ...]

It's been pointed out recently, on this blog as well as elsewhere, that World Wars I and II started in eastern Europe (WWI in Serbia, WWII in Poland). Both are incomplete object lessons: the Serbian mess could have been contained, but all Europe was armed to the teeth and thought they could fight a war within the constraints of nineteenth-century wars. That's not quite so true this time, but there is this disturbing commonality between WWI and today: Russia felt bound to come to the aid of fellow Slavs, and it was overconfident in its ability to do so. WWII started with a deliberate false-flag operation ...

Unfortunately not the unusual dimwit in America about history. 😡

President Johnson, the Gulf of Tonkin incident and the  Vietnam War.

Related reading ...

Poroshenko Doing a 'Gulf of Tonkin' Provocation

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Sun Feb 6th, 2022 at 01:14:48 PM EST
Stenographers? Do you mean Matt Lee?

by gk (gk (gk quattro due due sette @gmail.com)) on Sun Feb 6th, 2022 at 02:32:30 PM EST
[ Parent ]

'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Sun Feb 6th, 2022 at 01:17:14 PM EST
Don't remind him next year what he promised today ... loss of memory Mark Rutte vows he is not in for becoming next NATO SG.

Never reflect on a job opening for SG at NATO HQ in Brussels. One needs to be vetted by Pentagon top military brass and it becomes serious when invited by the White House for final interview. Any hint to the job beforehand will be an automatic disqualification. Basic qualification and ability 🤥 for a career boost.

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Sun Feb 6th, 2022 at 01:18:58 PM EST
[ Parent ]
How MI-7 Fake News in 1917 Impacted the Nazi Genocide

Why does this story remind me of the UK/USA plot to enter the Iraq War under false pretences? Spooks of any nationality are not to be trusted, not now, not ever! The George Bush years and USA as a Lie Factory.

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Sun Feb 6th, 2022 at 01:19:54 PM EST
Dulce bellum inexpertis -- America and war

Man, says Erasmus, is the one creation made entirely for friendly acts, yet in war his social disposition turns him into "a brute so monstrous that no beast will be called a brute in future if compared to man." After all, "When did anyone hear of a hundred thousand animals falling dead together after tearing each other to pieces, as men do everywhere?"

How is such perversion even possible? It is due to concerted campaigns for amnesia by which the bitter lessons of the past are unlearned. Though experience teaches that the expenses of bloodshed are ten times higher than those of peace with results much worse, the propaganda of clerics, lawyers, and princes has again made war "such a respectable thing that it is wicked -- I might almost say 'heretical' -- to disapprove of this which of all things is the most abominable and most wretched."

G W F and McCarthyism In A Digital Age - Part 1

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Sun Feb 6th, 2022 at 01:20:51 PM EST
Brilliant! Thanks for the link. For French-speakers,
this long interview of E. Todd is mind-blowing too.
by Tom2 on Sun Feb 6th, 2022 at 02:39:36 PM EST
[ Parent ]
One of my favorite bloggers here @EuroTrib and @BooMan, now Progress Pond.

'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Sun Feb 6th, 2022 at 06:37:52 PM EST
[ Parent ]
NATO Launches 'Biggest Military Exercise Since The End Of The Cold War' | RFERL - Oct. 25, 2018 |

NATO has launched its largest military exercise since the collapse of the Soviet Union, mustering tens of thousands of troops in what the head of the Western alliance called a "strong display" of its capability, unity, and resolve at a time of growing danger in Europe.

The main phase of the exercise Trident Juncture -- involving military forces from all 29 NATO allies, plus partners Finland and Sweden, and stretching from the North Atlantic to the Baltic Sea -- began in Norway on October 25 and was scheduled to run for two weeks.

Another source of discord is what NATO says is Russia's deployment of a missile that violates a key U.S.-Russian nuclear arms treaty and could potentially be used to target alliance members in Europe.

"Trident Juncture sends a clear message to our nations and to any potential adversary: NATO does not seek confrontation, but we stand ready to defend all allies against any threat," Stoltenberg told a news conference on October 24.

The exercise "is a strong display of our capabilities and our resolve to work together," he said.

Without mentioning Russia by name, he said that "Europe's security environment has significantly deteriorated" in recent years and that NATO has responded with the biggest adaptation of our collective defense since the end of the Cold War. Trident Juncture demonstrates that adaptation."

"Trident Juncture 18 will include around 65 ships, 250 aircraft, 10,000 vehicles, and 50,000 personnel," Stoltenberg said of the exercise, which will run in two phases.

"It is ambitious and it is demanding," he said.

Assessing Russian Reactions to U.S. and NATO Posture Enhancements | Rand Corp - 2017 |

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Sun Feb 6th, 2022 at 01:22:42 PM EST
Doing the rounds ... Pentagon - White House - US Congress ... perhaps an exclusive tour of CIA HQ in Langley, Va? Only for the very close allies of America's War On Russia ...

Denmark helped US spy on Angela Merkel and European allies - report

USA war hawks will try to convince the German Chancellor there is a Peace War dividend to be won.

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Sun Feb 6th, 2022 at 03:39:25 PM EST
German Navy chief strikes a tough note on China | The Hindu |

China is "giving money to dictators and killers" so long as they give rights over their country's resources, said Chief of German Navy Vice-Admiral Kay-Achim Schönbach while also stating that Ukraine "cannot" meet the requirements of joining the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) and what Russian President Vladimir Putin really wants is "high-level respect" and it is "easy" to give him that as countries need Russia against China.

He made these strong comments during an interactive session at the Manohar Parrikar Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses (MP-IDSA) on January 21 during his visit to India coinciding with the docking of German Naval Frigate `Bayern' at Mumbai.

On January 22, Germany's Bild newspaper reported that Vice-Admiral Schönbach has been asked to explain his comments at the German Ministry of Defence in Berlin. "The [Admiral's] statement in no way correspond to the position of the [German government] in terms of content and choice of words. Vice Adm Schönbach is given the opportunity to make a statement to the Inspector General," Bild reported that the Ministry of Defence official had said.

Why do generals not get sacked for making provocative statements against nations where Ministers responsible for foreign policy should speak out?

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Sun Feb 6th, 2022 at 03:40:42 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Scholz condemns German navy chief's remarks on Russian-Ukraine conflict | Irish Times |

Chancellor Olaf Scholz has welcomed the resignation of Germany's naval chief for suggesting western leaders should show Russian president Vladimir Putin more "respect".

Vice-admiral Kay-Achim Schönbach resigned on Saturday, ahead of his expected firing on Monday, after suggesting Ukraine would never regain the Crimean peninsula annexed by Russia in 2014.

"The remarks that the vice-admiral made do not reflect the views of the federal government, which is why his demission was accepted," said Mr Scholz on Monday.

The departed navy chief's remarks triggered fury in Ukraine and sparked fresh concerns about German attitudes towards Russia in general, and in particular inside the ruling Social Democratic Party (SPD).

As tensions continue to build on the Ukrainian-Russian border, Germany foreign minister Annalena Baerbock is closely involved in a dual western strategy of diplomacy and deterrence with Moscow.

But leading SPD figures, echoing the departed vice-admiral, have called for greater empathy with Russian concerns and greater efforts to demilitarise the looming conflict.

SPD parliamentary leader Dr Rolf Mützenich has accused NATO of a "singular fixation on military-political considerations". He and others see themselves in the tradition of former SPD chancellor Willy Brandt, whose Ostpolitik of détente towards the Soviet union half a century ago eased Cold War pressures.

'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Sun Feb 6th, 2022 at 03:41:37 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Rolf Mützenich: Building on the lessons of the policy of detente

Q: What goals will you pursue more as group leader? Is there a topic that you personally want to work on in particular?

RM: Because the pandemic is keeping us all on edge, it's easy to overlook other very important developments. Recently there have been very serious attempts to improve relations between the western world and Russia. I would like to do whatever I can to contribute to the de-escalation, particularly on the Ukrainian-Russian border. I am grateful to American President Joe Biden left the wrong path of his predecessor and sees conversation and dialogue as the right policy. If it is possible to return to the principles and lessons of the policy of detente - which are urgently needed in times of new tensions - this can be a first step towards a more peaceful world.

Criticism of Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer after commenting on nuclear weapons

SPD faction leader Rolf Mützenich accuses the defense minister of escalation. Your thoughts on a conflict with Russia are irresponsible. "Unfortunately, Ms. Kramp-Karrenbauer (CDU) is no different from the equally unfounded threats from the Russian side."

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Sun Feb 6th, 2022 at 03:42:26 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Russia Retaliates Reduces US Diplomats to 455 | July 30, 2017 |

As anti-Russia hysteria reaches a boil in Washington DC ...

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Sun Feb 6th, 2022 at 05:43:15 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Pentagon Offering Russia More Options

Deep archive of historic blue prints @langley

'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Sun Feb 6th, 2022 at 09:35:42 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I was at a gas station yesterday behind a gigantic new Ford pickup truck. (You can tell when they are new because they have temporary paper license plates.) After he pulled out, I glanced at his pump. He had put in 20 gallons of gasoline, charge was $71.

That was a partial fill, because that particular model (Ford F-250 crew cab) has a 48 gallon tank.

I wonder if he budgeted for this?

by asdf on Sun Feb 6th, 2022 at 06:57:27 PM EST
by Cat on Sun Feb 6th, 2022 at 08:10:05 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Good old days ... lived in St. Louis Co. in my college years - mid sixties - remember as yesterday the sign "Gas War - 199 cents per gallon". Lived on a small budget, so often I asked for $1 worth of gas. 😂

The 1973 OPEC oil embargo ruined a lot. In the seventies super inflation, high interest rates followed by a deep recession. Brought forth Margaret Thatcher and Ronald Reagan. Their economic policy changes are well documented and would ultimately lead to growth of multinationals and globalization.

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Sun Feb 6th, 2022 at 08:49:08 PM EST
[ Parent ]

"The situation on the #Ukraine border is very serious. One thing is clear: violating the country's territorial sovereignty would have a high price for Russia. We are doing everything we can to get out of this stalemate by using different discussion formats.

The Ukraine conflict poses major challenges for Chancellor Olaf Scholz (SPD). In @heutejournal he announces an upcoming meeting with Russian President Putin in Moscow."

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Mon Feb 7th, 2022 at 07:22:33 AM EST
In today's news 'journalists' are now asking people in Kiev if they have a bag ready in case things turn bad (but not if they are ready to die frozen at some Schengen border).
The 'normal' passerby, a woman on Maidan square (of all places), explains that her bag is ready and that she (and others, "on") has weapons.
Last week they were asking people close to the Russian borders WHY they were not panicking and storing food.
(for the archive, at the beginning of the bulletin; the radio in question receives governmental subventions via taxes and more)
by Tom2 on Mon Feb 7th, 2022 at 09:50:07 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Can one imagine any other nation or members from parliament talking about the Alaskan pipeline and point to the environmental damage? Sovereignty for some nations, Germany is not one of them.

    Headline The New York Times:

    Germany's 'Invisible' Chancellor Heads to Washington Amid Fierce Criticism

    "Olaf Scholz will try to repair Germany's credibility in the Ukraine crisis when he meets President Biden on Monday. Next on his agenda: Kyiv and Moscow."

What will satisfy the American nation moving away from democratic principles towards fascism: a declaration of war on Russia? NO WAY!

German leader's stance on Russia looms over 1st visit to US | ABC News |

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz set off Sunday for Washington seeking to reassure Americans that his country stands alongside the United States and other NATO partners in opposing any Russian aggression against Ukraine.

Scholz has said that Moscow would pay a "high price" in the event of an attack, but his government's refusal to supply lethal weapons to Ukraine, bolster Germany's troop presence in Eastern Europe or spell out which sanctions it would support against Russia has drawn criticism abroad and at home.

"The Germans are right now missing in action. They are doing far less than they need to do," Sen. Richard Blumenthal, a Democrat and member of the Armed Services Committee, recently told an audience of Ukrainian Americans in his state, Connecticut.

This sentiment was echoed by Republican Sen. Rob Portman, who questioned why Berlin hadn't yet approved a request to let NATO member Estonia pass over old German howitzers to Ukraine. "That makes no sense to me, and I've made that very clear in conversations with the Germans and others," Portman told NBC.

Ahead of his trip, Scholz defended Germany's position not to supply Kyiv with lethal weapons, but insisted that his country is doing its bit by providing significant economic support to Ukraine.

Asked about the future of the Nord Stream 2 pipeline that seeks to bring Russian natural gas to Germany under the Baltic Sea, bypassing Ukraine, Scholz refused to make any explicit commitments.

"Nothing is ruled out," he told German public broadcaster ARD.

As I have written many moons ago, the United States itself is moving towards being a pariah state. Overextending military assets across the globe, military interventions leaving hundreds of thousands of deaths, wounded, ruins and devastation of sovereign nations. Speaking of respecting borders. State sovereignty is a founding principle of the United Nations.

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Mon Feb 7th, 2022 at 10:01:57 AM EST
During the Cold War, the Soviet Union has always been a reliable partner to deliver its gas to Europe and specifically to West-Germany. The rest is bulls**t and Atlanticist propaganda ...

Energy Diplomacy: West Germany, the Soviet Union and the Oil Crises of the 1970s

Europe's turbulent energy market is now at winter's mercy | World Oil - Dec. 17, 2021 |

Prices soared to new records this week because of the impact of unexpected nuclear outages in France and worryingly low stockpiles across the continent. On Friday, natural gas prices plunged as Russia decided to supply the market at the 11th hour, yet they are still at dizzyingly high levels.

Buyers and sellers are now high alert for signs of cold that would send prices into total meltdown. "Only a mild winter seems capable of alleviating the stress on the energy market," said Jean-Paul Harreman, an analyst at research firm Enappsys Ltd.

It all adds up to a precarious outlook for European economies and consumers as the pandemic roars back and countries become increasingly concerned about Russia and geopolitics.

Higher energy prices are having a broader impact too. The European Central Bank is projecting 3.2% inflation for 2022 with two thirds of that increase attributed to energy price gains. In Britain, "more persistent" inflation was behind a surprise decision to raise interest rates for the first time in three years on Dec. 16.

About a third of France's nuclear capacity will be halted at the start of January. The nation usually exports power at peak times to its neighbors but now it will require imports, pushing prices up everywhere. Maintenance is also being disrupted by the pandemic. Three of Germany's nuclear power plants will also shut at the end of this year and thus unavailable during the coldest part of winter.

European Union leaders met this week in Brussels to discuss the energy crisis, the bloc's pandemic response and Russia's buildup of troops near Ukraine, a key gas-transit nation.

'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Mon Feb 7th, 2022 at 10:05:02 AM EST
[ Parent ]
"the United States itself is moving towards being a pariah state"

That's GREAT news. Because it suggests that the US of A has not in the past been a pariah state!

I think there needs to be a sensible evaluation of US foreign policy. The USSR was a mess, and the US tried to contain it in various theaters around the world. Pax Americana has been pretty successful for 3/4 of a century. But as time goes on, the need for the US to be going around policing the world recedes. Trying to go back and re-light the Cold War is either a cynical political strategy or a program being pursued by people who entered politics when the Cold War was a current event.

by asdf on Mon Feb 7th, 2022 at 04:45:01 PM EST
[ Parent ]

'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Mon Feb 7th, 2022 at 12:17:44 PM EST

Leviathan Gas Field, Levantine Basin, Mediterranean Sea | Off-shore Technology |

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Mon Feb 7th, 2022 at 12:18:45 PM EST
Partners of Noble Energy with interest in Israel's Mediterranean field

Houston-based oil and natural gas exploration and production company Noble Energy is the operator of the Leviathan gas field. Its share in the project is 39.66% and it is the company's largest discovery.

Delek Group subsidiaries Delek Drilling and Avner Oil Exploration have a working interest of 22.67% each in the project. Ratio Oil Exploration is the other stakeholder with 15%.

'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Mon Feb 7th, 2022 at 12:19:49 PM EST
[ Parent ]
US finds salvation in Russian diesel
Americans are forced to increase their dependence not only on Russian oil but also on Russian diesel fuel. In February, the US will receive a three-year record volume of diesel from Russia. This once again reveals the double standards of the US: neither geopolitical war with Russia nor transition to green energy prevents the Americans from making profitable business at the expense of Russian traditional hydrocarbons.

The US will receive more diesel fuel from Russia this month than it has in the past three years. According to oil supplier Vortexa, the US bought more than 1.55 million barrels of diesel from Russia with delivery in February. This is a record since 2019. This represents 22% of all US diesel imports, Bloomberg notes.

US to EU (pointing at Russia): Let's you and him fight!
by pelgus on Tue Feb 8th, 2022 at 11:30:49 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Hey, it's not our gas line that we are going to be shutting down. What's the problem???
by asdf on Tue Feb 8th, 2022 at 04:15:49 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Erdogan says Israel, Turkey can jointly bring gas to Europe

Turkey and Israel can work together to carry natural gas from Israel to Europe and the two countries will discuss energy cooperation during talks next month, Erdogan was cited as saying on Friday.

Turkey has been working to mend its strained regional ties with Israel and other nations as part of a charm offensive launched in 2020. In an apparent easing after years of animosity, Erdogan said on Thursday that Israeli President Isaac Herzog will visit Turkey in mid-March.

Speaking to reporters on a return flight from Kyiv, Erdogan said energy cooperation would be on the agenda during Herzog's visit, and added Ankara was also in talks on signing a natural gas supply deal with Iraq, according to Turkish media.

Chevron's $5b Noble Energy buy brings a new owner to Israel natural gas fields | TOI - July 20, 2020 |

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Mon Feb 7th, 2022 at 12:20:41 PM EST

'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Mon Feb 7th, 2022 at 04:55:34 PM EST
the allied powers blocked supply though Nord Stream 2

You don't provide a link for this bit of information ;)
As I recall, the structure of the proposed Nord Stream operating company didn't comply with EU energy market regulations (Gazprom is not stupid, so I imagine they did this for political reasons?)

They have since proposed an operating company incorporated in the EU, and the wheels of bureaucracy are presumably turning at their usual speed.

However, the German government has felt obliged to point out that Nord Stream is inevitably part of any sanctions package, should Putin choose to do something stupid. This may be one of the drivers of the whole obscure crisis (once it's part of the sanctions mix, it becomes a potential reward for sensible behaviour).

I think it's a really stupid idea in the first place, and should be permanently mothballed, sunk costs and all. Western Europe does not have a capacity problem for importing Russian gas. Gazprom is the only winner if Nord Stream is approved. Ukraine is the principal loser.

Other than that... all sorts of people are lining up to sell gas to Europe. I have not yet understood why the market actors all over western Europe got themselves into a hole with low gas stocks at the end of last year, exposing themselves to a supply squeeze. I imagine the current situation is globally profitable for them (though extremely costly for their customers, and the economy of western Europe as a whole).

On a cursory analysis, with a multitude of actors and no particular responsibilities, it seems that the gas market needs a severe re-design, with strategic planning and storage capacities in the hands of the EU itself.

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II

by eurogreen on Mon Feb 7th, 2022 at 05:03:05 PM EST
The German regulator, Bundesnetzagentur, said this:
Following a thorough examination of the documentation, the Bundesnetzagentur concluded that it would only be possible to certify an operator of the Nord Stream 2 pipeline if that operator was organised in a legal form under German law.

Nord Stream 2 AG, which is based in Zug (Switzerland), has decided not to transform its existing legal form but instead to found a subsidiary under German law solely to govern the German part of the pipeline. This subsidiary is to become the owner and operator of the German part of the pipeline. The subsidiary must then fulfil the requirements of an independent transmission operator as set out in the German Energy Industry Act (sections 4a, 4b, 10 to 10e EnWG).

Ii may have confused Gazprom that Nord Stream AG that owns and operates Nord Stream pipeline since 2011 is based on Zug (Switzerland) and had no problems whatsoever to start pumping gas trough it's pipelines.

Something changed in the rules of the rules based world during the 10 years between the construction of the two pipelines.

by pelgus on Mon Feb 7th, 2022 at 05:57:18 PM EST
[ Parent ]
German court: Russia must split up Nord Stream 2 | EU Observer - Aug. 26, 2021 |

The EU energy-monopoly laws, which came into force in 2019, exempted existing pipelines.

And the Gazprom-owned Nord Stream 2 consortium had argued its pipeline was 'complete' because the €10bn funding for it was already in place by then.

But with some 15km of the 1,230km pipeline still to be put in place in the Baltic Sea, the Düsseldorf court rejected its case.

"The pipeline was not completely built and therefore not completed in accordance with the law," the court said in a statement.

Bipartisan Bill Expands Sanctions on Nord Stream 2 Pipeline | June 25, 2020 |

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Mon Feb 7th, 2022 at 06:48:36 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Update on US sanctions in respect of Nord Stream 2 and TurkStream pipelines

This updated guidance means that Section 232 of CAATSA now potentially affects any persons involved in financing or contributing to the expansion of either Nord Stream 2 or the second line of TurkStream. This could include any persons facilitating the construction or deployment of the pipelines, such as pipe-laying vessel operators and related engineering service providers, or those involved in financial aspects of such activities.

Protecting Europe's Energy Security Act (PEESA)

PEESA, which was enacted on December 20, 2019, requires the DOS to identify, not later than 60 days after the enactment of the NDAA and every 90 days thereafter: (i) vessels that are engaged in pipe-laying at depths of 100 feet or more below sea level for the construction of the Nord Stream 2 or TurkStream pipelines, or any successor projects to either pipeline; and (ii) foreign persons that have knowingly sold, leased, or provided the vessels for construction of either project or facilitated deceptive or structured transactions to provide such vessels.

US Senate Rejects Nord Stream 2 Sanctions | Kyiv Post - Jan. 17, 2022|
[Biden waivers to finish Nord Stream 2]

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Mon Feb 7th, 2022 at 06:52:51 PM EST
[ Parent ]
a brief history of eurotrib comments to refresh the sequence of events to the present FUEL CRISIS, orchestrated by US (bush, obama, cheeto, biden) seeking EU demand for LNG exports.

First they came after the Swiss ...

by Cat on Mon Feb 7th, 2022 at 06:37:30 PM EST
[ Parent ]
by Oui (Oui) on Mon Feb 7th, 2022 at 06:47:22 PM EST
[ Parent ]

Posted in my diary ...

East-West Schism: Destruction Process Inside Europe | Dec. 29, 2019 |

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Mon Feb 7th, 2022 at 07:28:42 PM EST
Russia-Hungary Sign 15 Year TurkStream Gas Deal | Sept. 25, 2021 |

Earlier ...

Greece to Participate in TurkStream - 2015

Tsipras: 'Turkish Stream' will have another name on Greek territory | EurActiv - Apr. 9, 2015 |

During a press conference with Vladimir Putin on Wednesday (8 April), Greek PM Alexis Tsipras expressed his country's will to play a big role in the Turkish Stream pipeline project aiming to boost investments in the cash-strapped economy.  Greece reports.

In the light of the worst standoff between the West and Russia since the Cold War, Tsipras is paying a two-day visit to Moscow (8-9 April), where energy issues dominated the discussions between Greek and Russian government officials.

The previous day (7 April), foreign ministers from Greece, Hungary, Serbia, Turkey and the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM) signed a declaration of intent regarding the Turkish Stream project, in Budapest.

'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Mon Feb 7th, 2022 at 07:30:52 PM EST
by Oui (Oui) on Mon Feb 7th, 2022 at 07:31:55 PM EST
[ Parent ]

'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Mon Feb 7th, 2022 at 07:32:46 PM EST
[ Parent ]

Macron warns don't expect 'miracles' in talks with Putin over Ukraine | The Guardian |

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Mon Feb 7th, 2022 at 08:47:36 PM EST

'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Mon Feb 7th, 2022 at 08:48:29 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Expert explains why Macron was informal with Putin
Russian and French leaders Vladimir Putin and Emmanuel Macron met in Moscow like old friends. "Dear friend, it's good to see you!" the Russian leader said. His French counterpart reciprocated. Yuri Rubinsky, head of the Centre for French Studies at the Institute of Europe of the Russian Academy of Sciences, explains what such warm welcome means.

- In general, Putin has decided to communicate in the style of Macron. The French president cannot be called frivolous, he just likes to address his allies and opponents in this way even in the international arena. For example the former German Chancellor Angela Merkel felt somewhat uncomfortable with Macron's arm around her shoulder.

- How good is Macron's relationship with Putin?
- He has invited Putin to France on several occasions. They met in 2017, two weeks after Macron was elected president, then he invited him to address French diplomats in 2019, calling for dialogue with Russia as a country with a European culture, and so on.
It's not just that they are communicating on a "first name" basis, after all. France has interests in Africa, from which it is gradually being displaced and its military advisers are being replaced by Russian specialists. There are Russian and French interests in ensuring that the US does not go to war against Iran, which has stopped complying with the demands made on its nuclear programme. In addition, Paris is involved in resolving the conflict in Nagorno-Karabakh.

- Why is Macron on first name basis?
- Macron believes that his departure from formality is a way of dealing with serious problems when it is necessary to go beyond protocol. He pursues this line firmly.
At the same time, Macron's rivals in the presidential election are also quite pro-Russian. For example, one of his main rivals, Valérie Pécresse, recently spoke in Russian. She stated that she learned it because she was interested in communism, of which she is an opponent, and she claims to have always appreciated Russia's role in the history of Europe and France.

I guess Pécresse's Russian monologue was short, but it showed respect and sought detente. Is it really political capital in this French presidential election to have sort of magnanimous attitude towards Russia?
by pelgus on Mon Feb 7th, 2022 at 09:35:51 PM EST
[ Parent ]
That's an interesting question. In recent times, pro-Russian sentiment in France is concentrated on the far left and the far right.

Mélenchon and his followers mostly love Putin and Russia; partly this is explained by the common fallacy "the enemy of my enemy is my friend"; and partly by nostalgia for the Soviet bloc. These two traits I find to be distressingly common among older Marxist-Leninists all over the world.

The far right (in the current context, both Le Pen and Zemmour express pro-Russian positions) are at least more coherent : they know a right-wing strongman when they see one.

My guess is that Péceresse is doing two things with her Russian monologue : she's reaching out to the electors of the far right, and positioning herself as a statesperson comparable to Macron.

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II

by eurogreen on Tue Feb 8th, 2022 at 03:01:46 PM EST
[ Parent ]
eurogreen: pro-Russian sentiment in France is concentrated on the far left and the far right.

Pro-Putin sentiment, you mean?

I haven't seen any specific hostile feelings vis à vis the Russian people in general in France; actually, there have been quite a number of French people of Russian origin over the past century (along with Poles, Italian etc...).

The Putin government and its assorted cronies and oligarchs, OTOH, is not widely admired, except, as you noted, by the dinosaurs on the extreme left and the usual extreme right admirers of every authoritarian strongman.

Pécresse has traveled several times to the USSR during her youth and can (obviously) speak some Russian. And yes, several of her voters are being seduced by the dark side of the force Eric Zemmour.

Macron has been foisting an informal tone and speech to every interlocutor: it's a deliberate strategy to get closer to the mark person he's trying to convince (not to listen to, mind you, even though he's making convincing impression of it; experience shows otherwise). Pols are doing the same with journalists to create an artificial proximity and chuminess. Nothing personal, just a set of techniques for Macron to get what he wants from others (if it works).

Putin, who's no spring chicken, has also reciprocated the method with Macron, from what I understand, even adding some flattery to the mix before Macron boarded the plane to Moscow.

by Bernard (bernard) on Tue Feb 8th, 2022 at 04:49:16 PM EST
[ Parent ]
You're right, I meant pro-Putin sentiment.

Personally I love Russia for a number of reasons, none of them relating to its political governance, past or present.

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II

by eurogreen on Wed Feb 9th, 2022 at 10:40:29 AM EST
[ Parent ]
by Bernard (bernard) on Mon Feb 7th, 2022 at 09:13:07 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Looks like the US is thinking about bringing democracy to Germany again.
by asdf on Mon Feb 7th, 2022 at 11:33:36 PM EST
Republicans slam Biden administration on report of Nord Stream sanctions waivers | EurActiv - May 19, 2021 |

Republicans slam Biden's 'total surrender' to Russia by dropping opposition to Nord Stream 2 pipeline | Daily Mail - July 21, 2021 |

Biden's acquiescence to Russia and Germany on Nord Stream 2 pipeline threatens European stability, critics say | Oct. 7, 2021 |

A year ago, the completion of the controversial $ 11 billion Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline looked dead in the water. The 759-mile Russian-owned pipeline built to pump natural gas from Russia directly to Germany appeared mortally wounded after Capitol Hill passed a sanctions package that effectively halted construction until 2020. In December, Senator Ted Cruz, a Republican for Texas was so sure the pipeline was kaput that it stated that Nord Stream 2 "will never deliver gas."

But in May, the Biden administration offered good news for the project when Secretary of State Antony Blinken, minutes before his first meeting with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, announced that the United States would waive two key sanctions imposed. by Congress to Nord Stream AG, which oversees the pipeline. The decision left critics enraged, even more so when the pipeline was completed last month.

Those were "the sanctions that could have stopped him," former US Ambassador John Herbst, now director of the Atlantic Council's Eurasia Center, told Yahoo News. "And they lifted those sanctions. To zip ".

Biden Bets Big on a Gas Pipeline to Prevent Putin's War in Ukraine | Daily Beast - Dec. 9, 2021 |

Related reading ...

Nord Stream 2: The dead-end of Germany's Ostpolitik | DGAP - Feb. 20, 2019 |

How West Germany's Ostpolitik Contributed to German Unification | 1998 |

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Mon Feb 7th, 2022 at 11:38:00 PM EST

Threat to All of Europe

The era of partition -- Allied occupation and the formation of the two Germanys, 1945-49

Is the mindset of members US Congress one of a New Cold War era with a failing democracy within America. Horrific development ...

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Mon Feb 7th, 2022 at 11:39:04 PM EST
[ Parent ]

'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Mon Feb 7th, 2022 at 11:55:48 PM EST
[ Parent ]
That's cruel, but not unusual.

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II
by eurogreen on Tue Feb 8th, 2022 at 03:03:15 PM EST
[ Parent ]

Supreme Court allows Alabama voting maps that advocates say disenfranchise Black voters | NBC News |

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Mon Feb 7th, 2022 at 11:56:51 PM EST
[ Parent ]

'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Mon Feb 7th, 2022 at 11:57:39 PM EST
[ Parent ]
It's a republic, what else is new. According to the original intent of the founding fathers, wealthy white males ran everything. And that is what the Supreme Court is getting us to.
by asdf on Tue Feb 8th, 2022 at 04:19:37 PM EST
[ Parent ]
That's a funny way to spell US Congress!
by Cat on Thu Feb 10th, 2022 at 04:08:20 PM EST
[ Parent ]

'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Tue Feb 8th, 2022 at 12:00:15 AM EST

'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Tue Feb 8th, 2022 at 07:46:36 PM EST
The Bunker: When Common Sense is Blasphemy

Broken record

Helicopters lifted Americans to safety from Saigon 47 years ago, just as they did from Kabul last summer. Why doesn't Washington learn from its mistakes, retired Army colonel Andrew Bacevich asked January 23 over at TomDispatch.

Where have all the flowers gone ....

As Moscow's tanks prance along Russia's border with Ukraine, Harvard professor Joseph S. Nye forlornly wonders, in a January 19 post at the Australian Strategic Policy Institute, whatever happened to "soft power"--the push to influence other nations by attraction and values rather than armor and coercion.

Slouching Towards Armageddon

Given that such belligerence is making a comeback, defense scholar James Kitfield argued January 20 at Defense One that governments start "rebuilding the strategic architecture of arms control and verification treaties, confidence-building and de-confliction protocols, and open lines of communication that kept the Cold War from turning hot for decades Time is of the essence."

'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Tue Feb 8th, 2022 at 08:21:57 PM EST
[ Parent ]

'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Tue Feb 8th, 2022 at 08:36:11 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Pay your taxes!

'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Tue Feb 8th, 2022 at 08:40:23 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Russian Avant-Garde | Revolution in the Arts |

'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Tue Feb 8th, 2022 at 07:57:48 PM EST
Emmanuel Macron's remarks on Russia set alarm bells ringing | The Guardian |

Macron hinted at the need to acknowledge Russian concerns. He states: "There is no security for Europeans if there is no security for Russia", a formulation of respect but one that also legitimises Moscow's demands for a new security architecture based on the Russian concept "indivisible security". But what Macron meant was unclear.

He said he firmly opposed repeating "the mistakes of the past about spheres of influence", but then said "Russia is European. Whoever believes in Europe must know how to work with Russia and find the ways and the means to construct the European future among Europeans."

In fact, in Macron's statement there are elements of German Navy admiral Schönbach before his forced resignation.

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Tue Feb 8th, 2022 at 10:22:20 PM EST

Ahead of Dutch referendum on EU Association agreement with Ukraine. (failed 😉)

Cultural Diplomacy: The Elegant Tandem of Arts and Politics

The American political scientist Milton Cummings calls cultural diplomacy "the exchange of ideas, information, values, beliefs and other aspects of culture to foster mutual understanding". Jerzy Onuch, a practicing cultural diplomat, ex-director of the Polish Institute in Ukraine and the USA, believes that "cultural diplomacy is the selling of a country's image by means of culture".

The New Public Diplomacy: Soft Power in International Relations

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Tue Feb 8th, 2022 at 10:52:29 PM EST

My recent diary ...

Macron Urges EU Dialogue with Russia

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Tue Feb 8th, 2022 at 10:59:17 PM EST

'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Tue Feb 8th, 2022 at 11:04:51 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Not available in Russia, obviously.
by Bernard (bernard) on Wed Feb 9th, 2022 at 05:56:01 PM EST
[ Parent ]
by Oui (Oui) on Wed Feb 9th, 2022 at 06:23:09 AM EST
[ Parent ]
"Here the Ukrainian government is like a small animal that runs between giants and tries to bargain for something for itself for the future. Kiev and Berlin are incomparable quantities. Kiev cannot put pressure on Berlin, Kiev can show their resentment and disappointment. Germany is generally indifferent to any statements and actions of the Ukrainian authorities considering the scale of the tasks that Berlin is trying to solve," the expert said.

This is why I don't like reading Russian media.
"Germany needs to be smart and choose Russia."

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II

by eurogreen on Wed Feb 9th, 2022 at 11:18:07 AM EST
[ Parent ]

In our digital democracy everyone has a voice and can propagate on social media. In My home country, the national tv broadcaster runs daily polls and spends costly time of news item to explain what the government should decide and prioritize. Daily madness ...

In the last referendum Dutch voted on, the EU association agreement proposed to let the Ukraine join was voted down by a clear majority. The result embarrassed PM Mark Rutte in Brussels ... not for long as he worked his way around his promise to the electorate. A matter of memory 🤥

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Wed Feb 9th, 2022 at 06:08:29 AM EST
Checking the news this morning there was nothing about the imminent or impending invasion of Ukraine. What little there was, was all about peace in Europe and who will replace the resigned chair of parliament's Foreign Affairs Committee, Mika Niikko*.

Is this calm before the storm, or has something changed?

* He resigned due coming under pressure after asking in a tweet why there's no statesman in Europe courageous enough to tell Ukraine it will never be part of NATO or EU.

by pelgus on Wed Feb 9th, 2022 at 08:56:52 AM EST
[ Parent ]
A Kremlin meeting of Putin with Macron was the most honour anyone can get during the stand-off about the national security interests of Russia and the US.

Putin has to keep the Duma backing, a mix of loyalists and war hawks .. Vlad will manage.

Joe has greater problems with the US Congress which holds the BBB purse on any White House action domestic or foreign. The Russophobia on the Hill  has increased exponentially in the last two decades. Extremists have taken over with the ascendency of xenophobia and Islamophobia, nurtured by far-right politics and funding. Apparently Die Donald has the purse of Tesla boss Musk -- Elon Musk says he may vote for Trump ...

Electric cars is his business model and from this viewpoint Musk gives token support for Joe Biden "to tackle climate change." In fact, on taxation, economics and foreign policy Musk and the coal lobby are on the same page.

These are record support reminding me of the Soviet era of Communism ... Putin only wants to negotiate with the Boss on the other side. He refuses to talk to Zelensky, a puppet. The EU in Brussels has no clout in the matter. NATO Commander and SG is on the strings of the US president (and Atlantic Council for policy input).

The Senate overwhelmingly voted to impose new sanctions on Russia, joining the House in approving the measure by veto-proof margins.

The vote on the bill -- which would also add sanctions against North Korea and Iran -- was 98-2, with only Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., and Rand Paul, R-Ky., dissenting. The House passed the measure on Tuesday by 419-3.

The bill targets Russia's aggression in Ukraine and Syria, citing corruption, human rights abuses and weapons sales.

No doves in the House or Senate thinking beyond the next election cycle. The President is shackled by the Legislative branch of government.

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Wed Feb 9th, 2022 at 11:25:15 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Committee on Foreign Affairs chairman Mika Niikko (ps) suggested on Twitter on Tuesday that the French president Emmanuel Macron or someone else should now "step into the public eye and say that Ukraine will not join NATO".

"Otherwise, the negotiations failed from Russia's point of view and the consequences are dire. Isn't there one wise principal in the West who knows Russia? "

Niikko has since removed the tweet, but it has garnered widespread amazement and criticism.

Member of the Defense Committee Joonas Könttä (center) described Niiko's tweet as "incomprehensibly thoughtless and careless".

"Finland's position is clear and voiced several times. All independent states have the right to make their own security solutions. It is not Finland's job to advise how other countries will make these decisions, "he said in a press release.

Niikko later posted a new, explanatory tweet:

"It's not about selling anyone. Of course, Ukraine, like Finland, has the right to apply for NATO membership, but reality has not existed in Ukraine for a long time and it seems to be quite difficult for everyone to say it out loud."

Exactly the position of Putin ... our national security concern for missiles threatening Moscow.

NATO membership is out of the question due to conflict anyhow. EU membership could be expedited and I wonder if that was offered to Zelensky in Macron visit.

Listening carefully to Zelensky, he is pushed by fascist parties at home and Joe from overseas to demand end of Russia colonizing the Donbas and Crimea. Militarily he would need NATO to make an impression. Regaining these regions is condition for Ukraine to succeed in NATO membership.

BTW For Turkey NATO membership was so much easier than becoming EU member ... a complete reversal. Hint: place ballistic missiles first, a spot guaranteed.

The Turkish Missile Crisis: The Root of Anti-American Sentiment in Turkey

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Wed Feb 9th, 2022 at 11:57:50 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Regaining these regions is condition for Ukraine to succeed in NATO membership.

...and there's the Ukrainian dilemma in short. These regions would never vote for joining NATO in a referendum, thus Ukraine is more likely to join without them. And yet them rules say one can't join with (major) unresolved border issues or conflicts.

Options seem to be: a) waive the rules, b) occupy the regions without them pesky "oppositionists" or c) secede the regions to Russia.

Since ethnic cleansing is still mostly frowned upon in the circles Ukraine wants to join and secession is unacceptable to the regions and to the Banderistas both it leaves USA bending the rules as Ukraine's only hope.

by pelgus on Wed Feb 9th, 2022 at 12:37:07 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I like this guy Niiko. The Finns are no doubt best placed to empathise with, and advise the Ukrainians.  

But I disagree that what is required is for NATO members to announce that Ukraine will never join (I'm too young to remember : did they do that with Finland? I think not.)

It is legitimate for Russia to demand that Ukraine (and Finland) never join NATO; it is not legitimate for Russia to insist that NATO members should provide guarantees that it will never happen (and to threaten war otherwise).

No, that's for the Ukrainians, and the Finns, to determine, once they have sufficient security guarantees from Russia, and an untouchable, internationally recognised border.

Which Finland has, and Ukraine, verifiably, has not.  

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II

by eurogreen on Wed Feb 9th, 2022 at 05:05:39 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Finland has untouchable, internationally recognized borders with Russia because Finland ceded areas to Russian Federation (then part of Soviet Union) after loosing two wars. Part of this was for Russia to feel secure, part of Russia being punitive.

Until recently Finland had many generations of politicians who understood that when a nation of few million people discusses security with a nation of several hundred million people, "legitimacy" is just a nice word. When Russia/Soviet Union/Russia feels St.Petersburg/Leningrad/St.Petersburg is safe, Finland is safe.

That simple fact would still hold even if Finland joined NATO, which is why majority of population still opposes membership.

Regardless, it seems that even Borrell yesterday figured out Russia is not invading Ukraine, but restructuring the European security. Maybe the problme with NATO will be solved by the end of this.

Also, I saw yesterday (can't remember where) that under all this war hysteria Russia has started flying air patrols over Golan (with Syrians), moved troops to Latakia harbor (thus prevent Israeli strikes) and opened their Latakia airbase for Iranian transport planes. Putting pressure on Israel is next best thing to put pressure on USA, eh?

Including a little news that several Mig-31Ks (capable of carrying Kinzhals) had landed in Kaliningrad "for training" in bright daylight with missiles attached it seems to me that the "military technical" options mentioned by Putin are starting to happen here and there.

by pelgus on Wed Feb 9th, 2022 at 06:50:50 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Well yes, after all, Finland had its nazis too, just like Ukraine... I thought it impolite to point that out :)

But I hope (like you) that the days of ethnic cleansing are behind us in Europe, and I would like to think that unilateral border changes are, too.
This means, of course, that Ukrainians need to learn to live with their minorities. That is a tough task for a young democracy, as numerous examples in central Europe demonstrate; they need guidance from the EU, but it's hard to get a EU concensus on this sort of stuff these days, because of nationalistic regression.

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II

by eurogreen on Thu Feb 10th, 2022 at 11:47:43 AM EST
[ Parent ]
by Oui (Oui) on Wed Feb 9th, 2022 at 06:12:16 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Security issue to be decided on a higher level ... nor Blinken, nor Biden can deflect responsibility to NATO HQ in Brussels ... a non-starter.

Even the completion/operation of Nord Stream 2 is not decided in Berlin, Paris or Brussels but in Washington DC.

NATO's deputy secretary general Mircea Geoana:

"NATO will not get involved militarily in Ukraine - we support Ukraine in many other ways, individual allies support Ukraine. And in order to deter Russia from doing that ... is to really demonstrate to the leadership in the Kremlin that in a cost-benefit analysis, an additional military intervention in Ukraine is a net loss for Russia."

Policy of forward presence 🔥 🇷🇺 ...

'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Wed Feb 9th, 2022 at 12:01:35 PM EST
Regarding support to Ukraine, I wonder how it complies with the

of 8 December 2008
defining common rules governing control of exports of military technology and equipment

3.   Criterion Three: Internal situation in the country of final destination, as a function of the existence of tensions or armed conflicts.

Member States shall deny an export licence for military technology or equipment which would provoke or prolong armed conflicts or aggravate existing tensions or conflicts in the country of final destination.

I mean, in a rules based world no EU country would be sending weapons to Ukraine. Just saying. I'm sure council will point this out soon...
by pelgus on Wed Feb 9th, 2022 at 02:04:58 PM EST
[ Parent ]
NATO membership for Ukraine would be a bridge too far | by Derk Jan Eppink - former MEP | (Member of the Parliament of the Netherlands (JA21-ECR)

Unsurprisingly, NATO expansion, after the end of the Soviet Union in 1991, would inevitably come to a head. That limit has now been reached. Ukraine literally means 'on the edge'; between East and West. Any attempt to make Ukraine a NATO member escalates conflict with Russia. That goes quicker than people think. Especially when there are no conversation channels left.

Former VVD leader Frits Bolkestein was the first to see this. In 1997 he argued in the House of Representatives against NATO expansion. He risked a cabinet crisis. It was then about Poland, the Czech Republic and Hungary. However, the process continued unabated. NATO now has 30 members.

NATO Enlargement: The Process and Allied Views | CRS Report for Congress - July 1, 1997 |

On EU expansion looking towards Turkey ...

Beyond Enlargement Fatigue?
Part 1 The Dutch debate on Turkish accession | 24 April 2006 |

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Wed Feb 9th, 2022 at 02:42:39 PM EST
Easy solution to the NATO question would be to enlarge it to include Russia.
by asdf on Wed Feb 9th, 2022 at 04:19:49 PM EST
[ Parent ]
It appears that Soviet Union attempted to join in 1954 and in 1990, only to be rejected by USA. Russia discussed about joining in 2010, to no avail.

Apparently NATO while is not directed against Soviet Union/Russia and is open to any country, except Soviet Union/Russia...

NATO can have only one boss, which is the main problem with NATO. It's not collaborative security organization, it's a tool for conflict.

by pelgus on Wed Feb 9th, 2022 at 04:42:49 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Treaty on the Eurasian Economic Union
Some call that a "structural evolution" of "Third World" civilizations, or, ahem, a rational system of government that is invisible to allied forces of nature, seeping from north Atlantic territorial borders.
by Cat on Thu Feb 10th, 2022 at 04:05:29 PM EST
[ Parent ]
NATO-Russia Founding Act Signing - The White House

PRESIDENT CHIRAC: Excellencies, Secretary General, ministers, ambassadors, ladies and gentlemen: There are times when history pauses for a moment before embarking on a new path. There are moments when the future of whole populations is in the balance, and this for several generations. This summit is one of those appointments that history has made with itself. Today we are building peace.

For the first time, the leaders of the countries of the Atlantic Alliance and of Russia are gathered together as bearers of a great ambition, to guarantee peace in Europe based on our common values and the awareness that we share the same destiny. By signing in a few moments the Founding Act of a new European security organization in which Russia will occupy its full place, we will be turning the page on half of century of misunderstanding, of confrontation, of division on our continent.

What happened in between?

  • Drastic reduction in arms spending and size of standing armies
  • Reduction ballistic missiles
  • Treaty to banish all biological and chemical weapons
  • Clinton's cigar
  • After the first bombing of WTC, double embassy attack East Africa
  • Election George Bush, entry neocons
  • OBL attack on America
  • Article 5 call for NATO to a global war on terror
  • Invasion and occupation Iraq (2003)

Diversion of goals of NATO to participate with America in overthrow of regimes and increase investment in military affairs.

New goal to make America great again, delusion of the greatest generation fighting WWII. A New World Order with intervention of a new kind. Entry of R2P and Colour revolts Made in USA.

Ousting of Russia in all partnerships and declaring it an enemy state. Russian reverts to Cold War tactics, espionage and asymmetric warfare. Full Circle.

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Wed Feb 9th, 2022 at 05:28:06 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Sounds like a lot of opportunities for Europe to take control of NATO away from the US of A?
by asdf on Wed Feb 9th, 2022 at 05:51:31 PM EST
[ Parent ]

Example set by Polish bishop of Rome, Pope John Paul II to initiate revolt against the agnostic Soviet Empire ...

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Wed Feb 9th, 2022 at 03:48:02 PM EST
Politics causes a split in the Orthodox Church between Russia and Ukraine | TRT World - Oct. 22, 2018 |

On October 11, in Istanbul, the Synod of the Ecumenical Patriarchate restored the Ukrainian Orthodox Church - Kiev Patriarchate and the Ukrainian Autocephalous Orthodox Church to full Orthodox communion, calling them to unite and form a new ecclesiastical structure.

The armed conflict as context

In order to understand the current movement toward an independent, autocephalous Orthodox Church in Ukraine one must take account of the larger context of armed conflict in which it is taking place. After four years of fighting, Ukraine's war continues, according to a United Nations report "with no end in sight." 

Putin has achieved his goal of destabilising the insubordinate former Soviet state for refusing to be sucked into his neo-Soviet vortex. For his part, Ukraine's President Poroshenko can focus public attention on an enemy in his campaign for re-election in 2019. Oligarchic interests feed off each other, even across borders and battlefields.

Mercenaries on both sides of Ukraine's eastern front pursue their own ends - to make money or to die doing what they love most. Priests and ministers dutifully bury the dead, even as most of their leaders remain silent on the immorality of war. Instead, four years and over 10,000 casualties into the conflict, Ukraine's war with Russia is still being framed as a just war against an unjust aggressor. 

While such a perspective may be convenient for politicians concerned about declining ratings and for those who ship arms to Ukraine, it offers little in the way of long-term outlooks or strategies for peace-building.

Yet the critical silence of Ukraine's religious communities is only one dimension of their involvement. Long before the conflict, and with heightened intensity since its outbreak, a more pro-active strategy has been brewing inside the Orthodox Churches of Ukraine, one that in 2018 President Poroshenko took the momentous step of endorsing. Its name is autocephaly, and its geopolitical significance reaches far beyond any fraternal arrangements between churches in Ukraine. Its mere mention provokes heated social and political debates both at home and abroad.

'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Wed Feb 9th, 2022 at 03:50:29 PM EST
[ Parent ]

'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Wed Feb 9th, 2022 at 06:15:01 PM EST
Russia Is Connected to Western Europe | Nov. 4, 2021 |

I have voiced strong views about the choice of NATO to set a policy of division. Former US Ambassador Ivo Daalder to Brussels stated as such: make Russia a pariah state. The process followed a step-by-step procedure to boot Russia out of all channels of diplomacy and communication. Angering the Russian Bear, the expected and calculated push-back followed in response.

The so-called social revolutions in Ukraine and Georgia were prime examples of forcing regime change to get these nations into the sphere of NATO in opposition to Russia. The last NATO Summit in Bucharest under George Bush stated a clear goal to boot Russia out of NATO. What did not succeed in revolutions 2004 and 2008, succeeded in 2014 under Joe Biden and right-hand Cheney hold-out Victoria Nuland. Lots have been opinioned and written about that chapter. What followed was extensive lobbyists and utter propaganda to discipline media to write unfavorably about Russia.

This media chapter has all the hallmarks of Operation Mockingbird by US Intelligence during the hot Cold War.

'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Wed Feb 9th, 2022 at 06:15:46 PM EST
[ Parent ]
😂 🇷🇺 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿 🇺🇦

Secretary Blinken's Call with UK Foreign Secretary Truss | Dec. 23, 2021 |

2022 Timeline

United Kingdom taking the lead in Europe against Russian aggression - Liz Truss by absence of PM Boris Johnson

British Foreign Secretary Arrives In Moscow As European Leaders Pledge Unity On Ukraine | RFERL |

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Wed Feb 9th, 2022 at 11:21:50 PM EST

Never misses a photo-op opportunity -- Liz Truss in front of Kremlin

Message heading to meet counterpart Sergei Lavrov ...

Liz Truss heads to Moscow with 'toughest sanctions' plan delayed | The Guardian |

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Wed Feb 9th, 2022 at 11:24:50 PM EST
[ Parent ]
A good sign, half way around the globe where the Russian invasion of Ukraine is imminent ...

It could also mean there is no room for diplomacy, handing the reigns to the generals in the Pentagon ... getting out of the way.

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Thu Feb 10th, 2022 at 12:20:52 AM EST

US and UK Military Ahead of NATO Action

Both nations and Major media are on a war footing .. journalists will be embedded as soon as conflict starts ... US troops stationed in Poland may go into Ukraine to help evacuate US citizens ... embattled PM Johnson is set to visit ally Poland leading the British troops. Could both nation operate outside of NATO ... all options are on the table ... seems like major partners Germany and France have refused to be led into a new military adventure ... interesting times.

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Thu Feb 10th, 2022 at 04:05:01 PM EST
PM Boris Johnson unwavering military support for security of Europe

Every other statement, the PM inserts the words "we want to de-escalate" and the only path forward is "diplomacy". But with Poland and Lithuania, staunch allies for aggression, Boris, Liz and Joe have a frosty tenure in their synchronized messaging. No one will get a warm feeling when the duplicate couple Churchill and Thatcher threat with more of British military to teach dictator Putin a lesson.

Here come the British, Europe watch out!

PM offers support to European allies facing Russian aggression

The Prime Minister will fly to Brussels and Warsaw today as he calls on international partners to demonstrate their solidarity with NATO allies who bear the brunt of Russian aggression.

The Prime Minister will stress to allies that they must not compromise on NATO's fundamental principles. This includes inviolability of countries' sovereignty, the right of every European democracy to aspire to NATO membership and NATO's obligation to protect the security of its member states.

The UK is ready to work for a diplomatic way forward and we believe this can be achieved. But it can only be based on existing international agreements and the fundamental principles of a Europe whole and free.

The UK has been at the vanguard of efforts to curb Russian hostility towards its neighbours. Earlier this week the Prime Minister welcomed Lithuanian Prime Minister Ingrida Šimonytė to Downing Street to discuss the need for NATO unity in the face of aggression.

'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Thu Feb 10th, 2022 at 04:06:21 PM EST
Stinger anti-aircraft missiles from Lithuania to reach Ukraine within days

'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Thu Feb 10th, 2022 at 04:07:18 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Prime Minister will travel to Brussels and Warsaw today for discussions with the NATO Secretary General and Polish leaders

Foreign Secretary and Defence Secretary travelling to Moscow as the UK leads international de-escalation efforts

The Prime Minister announces 1,000 more British troops to be put at readiness to support to NATO and allies in the event of a humanitarian crisis

Joe, Liz and Boris On A Lonely Path of War

Biden administration considering options for possibly evacuating US citizens from Ukraine if Russia invades |CNN News - Dec. 7, 2021 |

No Evacuation for Now of U.S. Citizens in Ukraine: State Dept. | Moscow Times - Jan. 22, 2022 |

White House says no evacuation of US citizens being planned for Ukraine | The Hill |

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Thu Feb 10th, 2022 at 04:11:06 PM EST
~ Jacques Lacan
by Cat on Thu Feb 10th, 2022 at 04:12:56 PM EST
Boris and Liz attempt to undo effort for diplomacy by France and Germany in Normandy Four Meeting today: France, Germany, Ukraine and Russia.

Kiev at talks of Quartet advisers to raise issue to release detained individuals -- office

Last month ...

'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Thu Feb 10th, 2022 at 06:33:34 PM EST

'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Thu Feb 10th, 2022 at 06:34:26 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Truss' Moscow visit seen as gift on Diplomats' Day, Russian Foreign Ministry says.

Truss in tense Moscow talks as UK pushes 'diplomacy'

Russia hit back at the UK's warnings on Russian activity, saying that Russian forces were operating on their own territory, unlike UK forces in the Baltic.

Speaking after talks with British Foreign Secretary Liz Truss, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said that he could not understand British anxiety over Russia's military drills in Belarus. He also said that he had presented several facts to Truss during their talks, which he felt had been ignored. 

Truss called Russia's bluff, saying that if the country were serious about wanting to use diplomacy to defuse the crisis it would move the thousands of troops amassed on the border with Ukraine.

"I can't see any other reason for having 100,000 troops stationed on the Ukrainian border apart from to threaten Ukraine, and if Russia is serious about diplomacy they need to move those troops and desist from the threats," Truss told a news conference in Moscow, standing alongside Lavrov. 

'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Thu Feb 10th, 2022 at 06:36:09 PM EST
One-Two punch to set war rhetoric ...

PM Johnson @NATO HQ: Europe faces biggest security crisis as Ukraine tension deepens

Russian top diplomat points to lack of understanding at talks with UK foreign secretary

Like the news agency RIA Novosti reports, British Foreign Minister Liz Truss explained in a conversation with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov that Great Britain has never and does not recognize the cities of Voronezh and Rostov-on-Don as state territories of the Russian Federation.

The German Press Agency (dpa) has now confirmed this. Lavrov and Truss had argued at the press conference in Moscow about the affiliation of the two regions.

After a two-hour conversation on Thursday, Lavrov accused Truss of having traveled to Moscow unprepared. "Our detailed explanations fell on unprepared ground at least once," Lavrov said at a joint press conference.

'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Thu Feb 10th, 2022 at 06:37:40 PM EST
[ Parent ]
An extension of the Downing Street seat of government implosion under PM Boris Johnson.

'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Thu Feb 10th, 2022 at 08:38:44 PM EST
[ Parent ]
by Cat on Thu Feb 10th, 2022 at 11:30:17 PM EST
[ Parent ]

'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Thu Feb 10th, 2022 at 06:39:59 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Russian and Belarusian forces are starting a 10-day large-scale military exercise | DW News |

'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Thu Feb 10th, 2022 at 06:43:04 PM EST

'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Thu Feb 10th, 2022 at 06:44:55 PM EST
[ Parent ]

'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Thu Feb 10th, 2022 at 06:45:54 PM EST
[ Parent ]

'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Thu Feb 10th, 2022 at 06:48:48 PM EST
[ Parent ]

'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Thu Feb 10th, 2022 at 06:51:22 PM EST
[ Parent ]

'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Thu Feb 10th, 2022 at 06:54:08 PM EST
'Weimar Triangle' could recalibrate Western Russia stance

While Germany and France have so far opted for a more diplomatic approach towards Russia and continuously emphasised the need to resume dialogue with Moscow, Poland has taken a tougher stance. Experts hope the trilateral format could recalibrate Europe's approach to the Kremlin.

Though the so-called "Weimar Triangle", ed to boost co-operation between the three countries, has fallen out of favour in recent years, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz is set to meet his French and Polish counterparts on Tuesday in Berlin under the format for an "exchange views in particular on the situation in and around Ukraine".

The three countries would have a "special responsibility" to ease the tension in the region, German deputy government spokesperson Christiane Hoffmann said.

However, the format has proven to be more a triangle of difference, and not just because of the dispute between Warsaw and the European Commission over the rule of law and reform of the judiciary. On migration and climate issues, the positions between Paris, Berlin and Warsaw couldn't have been, and can't be, more divergent.

'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Thu Feb 10th, 2022 at 06:56:34 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Denmark's Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen has announced that her country will allow American military troops on its soil if need be as part of a new bilateral defence agreement with the US.

"The United States have reached out to Denmark, proposing a bilateral defence cooperation. The exact nature of this collaboration has not yet been defined but it could include the presence of US troops, materiel and military equipment on Danish soil," she told reporters.

'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Thu Feb 10th, 2022 at 06:58:30 PM EST

'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Thu Feb 10th, 2022 at 06:59:26 PM EST
[ Parent ]

Russia is closing passage through Black and Azov Seas. Preparations for the naval blockade of Ukraine's seaports may be under cover of missile and artillery exercises.

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Thu Feb 10th, 2022 at 08:09:52 PM EST

Previous Ukrainian President ...

'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Thu Feb 10th, 2022 at 08:14:36 PM EST
[ Parent ]

Ukrainian president's meeting with German foreign minister cancelled | Anadolu Agency |

Meeting called off due to president's busy schedule, says Ukraine's foreign minister

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky called off a meeting with Germany's foreign minister who was in the capital Kyiv for an official visit amid rising tensions with Russia. 

Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba confirmed that Zelensky's meeting with Annalena Baerbock did not take place due to the president's busy schedule.

Baerbock said the meeting did not take place as French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian, along with whom she was going to meet the Ukrainian president, had to cancel at the last minute.

Germany is among the largest donor countries to Ukraine and has provided nearly €1.83 billion ($2.09 billion) in development aid since 2014, according to government figures.

The formal contacts would be on level of foreign ministers, nothing to see here. 😉 🇫🇷 🇩🇪

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Fri Feb 11th, 2022 at 12:12:04 PM EST

'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Fri Feb 11th, 2022 at 01:10:00 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Grasping with nuances in diplomacy ... rests fully on self-confidence of military power and bi-partisan Congress complete with Russophobes ...

Joe-Boris-Liz on path of intense war talk offering an united front with outgoing NATO SG Stoltenberg ... tactic of Indians Wars, circling the wagons. Awaiting the first strike and praying for the best. Having no opening for diplomacy, positions taken are solid rock, as a result the reaction of Sergei Lavrov a meeting of a mute communicating with deaf ears.

Imagine we wait 10 days for the Russian military exercises to expire and all young recruits can go back to their bases and a small contingent will remain.

Biden warns Americans in Ukraine to leave, says sending troops to evacuate would be 'world war'

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Fri Feb 11th, 2022 at 12:51:41 PM EST
In the old days of Soviet Communism and the Politburo, we would be quite uncomfortable with octogenarians on Red Square and military parades. How come I get that same creepy feeling of a leader not in full command ...

... not much later the state collapsed.

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Fri Feb 11th, 2022 at 12:53:33 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Oui; Imagine we wait 10 days for the Russian military exercises to expire and all young recruits can go back to their bases and a small contingent will remain.

We'll see...

by Bernard (bernard) on Fri Feb 11th, 2022 at 09:18:14 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I'm not betting any money on the outcome ... especially not a bottle of beautiful French wine!

Understand the people in Kyiv are going about their normal business ... living already 8 years under these conditions. Under the rightwing fascist militia there is some anxious nervousness. They will be doing the fighting.

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Sat Feb 12th, 2022 at 01:42:05 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Neither am I. Folks who pretend to "know Putin's mind" are lying.
by Bernard (bernard) on Sat Feb 12th, 2022 at 10:03:39 AM EST
[ Parent ]
by Bernard (bernard) on Sat Feb 12th, 2022 at 10:13:45 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Well, you don't have to "pretend" to know "his" mind, if you just listen (ok, read) to them:

President Putin's speech in Munich, 2007 Even Wikipedia knows that "the speech expressed significant points of future politics of Russia driven by Putin".

Medvedev's proposal for European security treaty, 2009, when he was the president of Russia. Now he's vice-president of the Security Council, which kinda makes him the vice-grand vizier of Russian security issues (likely in reality Patrushev in Nr. 2 and Medevedev Nr. 3, but close to the top, still).

Agreement on Measures to Ensure the Security of the Russian Federation and Member States of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, 2021

Treaty between the United States of America and the Russian Federation on Security Guarantees, 2021

One might want to read these and then, if not understand, at least have an inkling of what the Russian leadership has in their mind, almost as if they told it themselves.

I think it's much, much harder to understand what EU wants, or what USA wants (although destruction of EU and Russia come to mind). NATO is the only easy one, it's only purpose is to keep on existing, no matter what. Since nobody cares what Ukraine wants, it's not worth anybody's while to figure it out

by pelgus on Sat Feb 12th, 2022 at 05:36:24 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Great stuff thx.

Have heard this bullsh**t now so often ... lead up to the Iraq War ... US/UK combo of lies and militarized propaganda in 2002/03.

Read the playbook of the Cuban Missile Crisis ... Kennedy papers.

I said that there could be no quid pro quo... this was a decision that would have to be made by NATO. 🤥 😂

However, President Kennedy ... had ordered their removal some time ago, and it was our judgment that, within a short time after this crisis was over, those missiles [Jupiters] would be gone. [stationed in Turkey]

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Sat Feb 12th, 2022 at 07:33:45 PM EST
[ Parent ]

'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Fri Feb 11th, 2022 at 01:11:18 PM EST

'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Fri Feb 11th, 2022 at 01:42:40 PM EST
Claiming the high road in diplomacy ... what a big farce!

For the first time in 20 years contact with Russian military leadership ... illustrates compleet breakdown on the side of the United Kingdom. Is by definition an aggressive stance towards another nation.

Joe Biden says US citizens should leave Ukraine now

UK Defence Secretary Ben Wallace was due to meet Russian counterpart Sergei Shoigu in Moscow on Friday, a day after a frosty encounter between Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and Britain's Liz Truss.

Mr Lavrov said relations between the UK and Russia "leave much to be desired" and are at the "lowest point over the past few years". Ms Truss accused Russia of "Cold War rhetoric".

Before flying to Moscow, Mr Wallace confirmed the UK was providing more defensive equipment - including body armour, helmets and combat boots - to the Ukrainian government. He also said it was important to show that Nato countries "won't let threats push us around".

'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Fri Feb 11th, 2022 at 03:22:56 PM EST
UK defence secretary heads to Moscow on a ratings high | The Guardian |

Ben Wallace, Britain's defence secretary, heads to Moscow on Friday riding high: ranked by Conservative members as the best performer in cabinet, his name is being whispered as a possible future secretary general of Nato.

It marks a peak for the 51-year-old, who once observed he had "never had an accelerated path through the Tory party" but who has, unlike most members of Boris Johnson's cabinet, come through crises with his reputation enhanced.

This time, Wallace has attempted to prepare thoroughly for his meeting with Sergei Shoigu, the first bilateral between UK and Russian defence ministers since 2013, even reaching out across party lines.

The minister contacted Lord Robertson, a former Labour defence secretary and Nato secretary general, for advice, because the peer is one of the few British politicians to have met Shoigu (the inscrutable Russian once gave him an ice pick as a present).

Relations with Britain over Ukraine at sub-zero, Russian defence minister warns

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Fri Feb 11th, 2022 at 03:24:21 PM EST
[ Parent ]
by Oui (Oui) on Fri Feb 11th, 2022 at 03:26:49 PM EST
[ Parent ]

'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Sat Feb 12th, 2022 at 11:53:17 PM EST
[ Parent ]

'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Fri Feb 11th, 2022 at 06:27:12 PM EST

'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Fri Feb 11th, 2022 at 06:28:15 PM EST
[ Parent ]

'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Fri Feb 11th, 2022 at 06:29:06 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Russian Defence Minister General of the Army Sergei Shoigu held talks in Moscow with his British counterpart Ben Wallace

The head of the Russian military department noted that before the meeting he carefully read the speeches of the British Defence Minister and his colleagues.

"Unfortunately, we still see in every speech, through the line, threats of sanctions. I would not like our conversation today to be a continuation of this kind of interview," said General of the Army Sergei Shoigu.

During the talks with his British counterpart, the Russian Defence Minister suggested that Western countries contribute to reducing tensions in Europe and stop supplying weapons to Ukraine.

"For our part, we would also like to offer to contribute to reducing this tension and stopping the stuffing of weapons in Ukraine. It is coming from all sides, it is being done publicly. This is done in a demonstrative manner. It's not quite clear what for. I would also like to understand why Britain, the kingdom, is sending its special forces to Ukraine, and for how long will it be there?", the head of the Russian military department added.

Sergei Shoigu also expressed concern about the possible use by terrorists of weapons left by the troops of the Western coalition in Afghanistan.

'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Fri Feb 11th, 2022 at 10:10:53 PM EST
[ Parent ]

'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Fri Feb 11th, 2022 at 09:50:34 PM EST

'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Fri Feb 11th, 2022 at 09:52:59 PM EST

Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov's statement and answers to media questions at a joint news conference following talks with UK Foreign Secretary Elizabeth Truss, Moscow, February 10, 2022 | Transcript |

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Fri Feb 11th, 2022 at 09:54:01 PM EST
[ Parent ]
An independent and sovereign Ukraine is key to Euro-Atlantic security | NATO Review |

Russia's aggressive actions against Ukraine have seriously undermined Euro-Atlantic security. Ukraine has engaged constructively towards a settlement. But the key for the normalisation of relations between NATO, Russia and Ukraine remains Russia's recognition of Ukraine's sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity. Sanctions relief in the absence of significant moves would undermine the West's credibility and risk further destabilisation.

Six years have passed since Russia illegally annexed Crimea, an integral part of Ukraine's territory. This was the first time since the end of the Second World War that a country in Europe tried to change borders by force. This gross violation of international law was followed by Russia's destabilisation of eastern Ukraine, where it has supported militants in waging war with Ukrainian forces and sent its own troops. In response, NATO has firmly supported Ukraine's sovereignty and territorial integrity. It launched the biggest reinforcement of its collective defence since the end of the Cold War. It suspended cooperation with Russia, while remaining open to dialogue. Western nations also imposed sanctions on Moscow.

Is this still the right approach?

There are voices in the West advocating for new pragmatism in dealing with Moscow.1 Some may be doing so out of an interest to return to normal business relations with Russia. Some may be motivated by an understandable concern about the risks posed by the reinforced military activity. Others may believe that compromises are necessary because Russia is needed to resolve many other challenges and crises facing global security.

But can these objectives outweigh the need to support Ukraine's sovereignty and territorial integrity?

'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Sat Feb 12th, 2022 at 03:10:39 PM EST

'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Sat Feb 12th, 2022 at 08:58:48 PM EST
Nord Stream I taps are still ON?
by Cat on Mon Feb 14th, 2022 at 02:28:03 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Only about 206 million m3/day. Around the same as before the "imminent invasion" 8 weeks ago. Something like 75% of the capacity.

24M m3/day coming trough Poland and 60M m3/day trough Ukraine.

by pelgus on Mon Feb 14th, 2022 at 04:25:41 PM EST
[ Parent ]
by Cat on Mon Feb 14th, 2022 at 04:37:40 PM EST
[ Parent ]

While reaffirming Western opposition to more than 100,000 Russian troops massed around Ukraine's borders, Macron also hinted that the West must consider Moscow's concerns that Kyiv might one day be allowed to join NATO.

The French leader also claimed to have secured a guarantee that Russia would not further escalate. This purported guarantee was later disputed by the Kremlin.

"Macron is coming to Ukraine saying, 'I brought peace,' almost like Chamberlain, but in French," Prystaiko--who previously served as Ukraine's foreign minister--added.

"There is no security for Europeans if there is no security for Russia," Macron said, an apparent departure from the relatively unified Western position in support of Ukrainian sovereignty, defense of NATO's open-door policy, and rejection of Russian demands.

"Russia is European," Macron said. "Whoever believes in Europe must know how to work with Russia and find the ways and the means to construct the European future among Europeans."

Asked whether he thought Macron's position in Moscow reflected that of other key NATO partners like the U.S. and Germany, Prystaiko replied: "I believe the simple answer is yes. I haven't seen their papers. I don't know the official position, how far they will go. But yes, that's what will be very well met in many capitals, this position."

Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba told a briefing on Thursday that there was "no betrayal" by Macron.

'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Mon Feb 14th, 2022 at 10:04:49 AM EST
Energy bills: E.on's one-year fix sells out amid cost-of-living fears | The Guardian |

Dual fuel gas and electricity bills are already set to rise more than 50% to an average of just under £2,000 per household on 1 April after the regulator, Ofgem, increased the cap on unit prices - the maximum suppliers can charge households.

My 1 year contract expired end of January ... early January only offer was doubling of cost and flexible price, a revision every six months. I too received mid-January a special customer only offer for 3 years fixed ... an offer I couldn't refuse. 😉

Still the energy costs are far above household budget (retired) and every year will eat into savings. The Dutch do not have a price cap and do pay a lot more for energyl. Taxation on energy cost is 100%.

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Tue Mar 1st, 2022 at 08:51:54 PM EST
Remember, it's the economic growth with the end of the Covid crisis which has pushed up gas prices to record levels, and not the war in Ukraine. Spot prices are still lower than at the end of December.
Probably Putin counted on the extra income in his decision to go to war...

The UK energy market is just completely nuts, ever since Thatcher decided to let the market decide. Most of the gas retailers have gone bust, squeezed between spot prices and a government price cap.

Personally I would go without gas if I could, but I own my apartment and the only alternative would be an air heat pump (also known as reversible aircon).

Logically, both oil and gas will calm down in price in coming months. Otherwise, massive "demand destruction", and a rush for renewables.

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II

by eurogreen on Tue Mar 1st, 2022 at 09:17:40 PM EST
[ Parent ]
In the evening news, a spokesperson of Essent stated it was not possible to offer new energy contract of a short- or long-term deal. All new contracts will be based on flexible pricing. Today's price natural gas the consumer will be charged 3 Euros per cubic meter.

In terms of the January deal I made, instead of already a raised cost of €370,- per month, my bill today would be €800, a month.

In last week's poll 80% of Dutch backed NATO and the EU on a tough stance towards Russia and Gazprom. The people are willing to pay the price of higher energy bills ... I see the convoy of trucks heading towards The Hague in a few weeks time.

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Sat Mar 5th, 2022 at 09:14:29 PM EST
[ Parent ]

Europe Natural Gas Price Hits Record High

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Wed Mar 2nd, 2022 at 11:27:21 PM EST
Eastbound is transport from German storage, westbound is Gazprom sales to Germany. Lack of contracts ... Poland got themselves in a tight spot by not renewing Gazprom contracts. Gas spot price market only makes Russia happy.

Russian gas flows via Yamal pipeline to Germany decline sharply

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Thu Mar 3rd, 2022 at 11:42:38 PM EST

Go to: [ European Tribune Homepage : Top of page : Top of comments ]