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Is support for Nord Stream 2 in Germany starting to falter (Video)

The Duran Quick Take: Episode 58.

Alex Christoforou

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RT reports that a U.S. ambassador has reportedly threatened to punish German contributors involved in the multinational Nord Stream 2 pipeline project, and has tried to fan the ‘Russia scare’ to make his point.

US Ambassador to Germany Richard Grenell warned companies based in the country that they may face sanctions from Washington over their participation in the Nord Stream 2 project.

“As you are aware, the United States strongly opposes Nord Stream 2… The pipeline poses serious geopolitical consequences to our European allies and partners,” he wrote in a letter obtained by Bild am Sonntag newspaper.

We continue to stress that firms operating in the Russian energy export pipeline sector are engaging in activities that carry significant sanctions risk,” Grenell asserted.

Every German company contributing to Nord Stream 2 should “consider the danger this project represents to European energy security as well as reputational costs and sanctions risk associated with it,” he added.

The Bild report raised the ire of some German politicians in Berlin. Fabio De Masi, a top Left Party MP, demanded that the government reprimand Grenell, saying“The US Ambassador seems to make an impression that he is a viceroy of the Washington emperor.

The Duran’s Alex Christoforou and Editor-in-Chief Alexander Mercouris take a quick look at Nord Stream 2, and whether the energy pipeline from Russia, into Germany and onwards towards all of Europe, is under threat from U.S. sanctions.

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Via Bloomberg


Nord Stream 2, an $11 billion project that will double the natural gas supply under the Baltic Sea to Germany, faces growing skepticism among German officials who had previously defended it against criticism from Trump and some European Union allies, according to senior lawmakers. The shift could translate into pressure on Merkel’s government to back down on the controversial pipeline and possibly delay its implementation.

Social Democratic lawmaker Nils Schmid, whose party has been a reliable supporter of the project, said too many decision-makers in Berlin had been slow to factor in Nord Stream’s geopolitical significance. It will reduce the volume of gas pumped through Ukraine as Russia attempts to stifle its neighbor’s economy by depriving it of lucrative transit fees.

The 1,220 kilometer (758-mile) Nord Stream 2 undersea link to Germany initiated by Russia in 2015.Source: Gazprom

“The debate in Germany has become more critical,” Schmid, the junior coalition party’s point man on foreign policy, said in an interview, adding that the project shouldn’t go forward until Russia and Ukraine reach a transit accord. “It would have been better to take this political dimension into account.”

Russia’s ‘Captive’

The 1,200-kilometer (750-mile) undersea pipeline — being constructed by Russia’s Gazprom PJSC to bolster German supplies as Norwegian, Dutch and domestic sources dry up — has been pilloried by some of the country’s allies, who say it bolsters Europe’s reliance on Russian energy and bypasses key partners such as Ukraine. Trump has blastedthe project as holding Germany “captive” to Russia.

The ground is shifting, with an ever more fraught relationship with Russian President Vladimir Putin, particularly since the November seizure of two dozen Ukrainian sailors near the Sea of Azov. Merkel, who has sparred with Putin since the 2014 annexation of Crimea from Ukraine, is demanding the release of the naval personnel.

The Azov incident in the Kerch Strait has soured prospects that Merkel’s diplomacy can scale back the conflict in eastern Ukraine, according Juergen Hardt, a lawmaker in Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union who speaks on foreign affairs.

Unfulfilled Hopes

“The events on the Kerch Strait at least showed me that these are unfulfilled hopes,” Hardt said in an interview. “Russia, in my view, isn’t moving a millimeter from its objectives.”

Hardt said Germany’s governing parties need to find consensus with the European Commission on energy diversification and reliance on Russian gas. He also questioned the economic viability of Nord Stream, poking holes in the government’s previous defense of the project.

Merkel shifted her position on Nord Stream last April, acknowledging the political dimensions of the pipeline and departing from her previous insistence that it was solely a business venture by private investors. The project must not weaken Ukraine by disrupting its gas transmission system, she said at the time.

Richard Grenell, the U.S. ambassador to Germany, welcomed the more skeptical view in Berlin, saying the pipeline project undermines the EU’s energy and security objectives.

Russian Influence

“There is not only Russian gas coming through the pipeline, but also Russian influence,” Grenell said in a statement to Bloomberg News. “Now is not the time to reward Moscow.”

The U.S. administration has indicated that sanctions on the pipeline are imminent. Trump brought tensions over Nord Stream into full view at last July’s NATO summit, raising the issue as he attacked Merkel over Germany’s slack defense spending.

U.S. restrictions would potentially hit companies in Austria, France, Germany and the Netherlands. Royal Dutch Shell Plc, BASF SE’s Wintershall unit, Uniper SE, OMV AG and Engie SA are Gazprom’s partners in the project. The Russian gas giant reported a record 201 billion cubic meters of gas exports to Europe in 2018 and plans to maintain those volumes into 2020.

Simmering Tensions

Schmid maintained that the project, which would double the 55 billion cubic meters of natural gas flowing through the original Nord Stream pipeline that opened in 2011, isn’t in danger. He also defended SPD support, particularly in Germany’s east where, the pipeline makes landfall. But simmering geopolitical tensions are having an effect in Germany.

“Something has changed,” Peter Beyer, the German government’s coordinator for trans-Atlantic relations, said in an interview. He attributed the mood shift on Nord Stream as much to concern about leaving EU allies out in the cold as with Russia’s recent maneuvers. Merkel’s government may have to adjust to the demands of those taking a harder line on Nord Stream, he said.

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Vince DhimosDr. William FusfieldOlivia KrothnomangePhori Recent comment authors
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JNDillard
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JNDillard

Much ado about nothing. Money talks. Nordstream is the only viable economic option. End of story.

Olivia Kroth
Guest

True! The Germans like Nordstream because it brings them cheap gas. USA should shut up, close its military bases and withdraw. Good-bye!

Platon
Guest
Platon

That would make sense if the EU were not The Fourth Reich and just as controlled by the Zionists and Anglo-Zionists as the Third Reich was.

Eric Zuesse
Member

Why is there no discussion in German ‘news’-media regarding the clear and ample and conclusive evidence that the overthrow and replacement of Ukraine’s democratically elected President Viktor Yanukovych was a U.S. coup and the opposite of the ‘democratic revolution’ that the U.S. regime describes it as having been? Even Catherine Ashton came to know the fact on 26 February 2014: see http://archive.is/dYFxJ So, Merkel certainly knows it. Why doesn’t she present the evidence to the German people? Besides being mere basic decency, that would free German firms to continue their partnerships with Russia on the Pipeline. And why doesn’t there… Read more »

Platon
Guest
Platon

All too true, Mr Zuesse. Alas, Germany has been an wholly occupied country since the fall of the USSR (and West Germany was in thrall since 1945). The Church Senate inquiry found that the USA MSM has been controlled by the CIA since 1975, which means that the German MSM has been controlled by them since 1945. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Church_Committee_report_(Book_I,_Foreign_and_Military_Intelligence).pdf WIKI had a pretty good precis of the Committee’s findings but it has been seriously redacted since I began posting the link at every opportunity (about 2000 times) over ten years and people began talking about the report – sometimes even on… Read more »

Regula
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Regula

Merkel was involved in the coup against Yanukovich herself.

nomange
Guest
nomange

Very true. In this regard, and as a legal matter, Germany should be held responsible for violating the Helsinki Final Act, and later failing to honor its guaranty of the Yanukovitch government when the coup occurred only one day after Germany signed its guaranty, as well as its failure today to insist on Ukrainian compliance with the Minsk Accords, or prevent the Kiev government’s attacks against the populations of Donetsk and Luhansk. Germany is also heavily invested in Ukraine with large concessions in Ukrainian businesses, land and other natural resources held by German multinationals. Since WW2, the German government and… Read more »

Platon
Guest
Platon

How fortuitous that The Talmudo-Satanist Empire found a Hitler in-a- skirt to be frontsperson for the Fourth Reich – the latest in a thousand year string of attempts to kill all Russians and steal their resources.

The fact that their little scheme has failed has not occurred to anyone it seems. Like a mad Golem, Germany continues to self-destruct both socially (by importing terrorists) and economically, (by cutting themselves off from cheap reliable fossil fuels and resources).

I guess that is what comes of having a US occupying army on nominally German territory.

Cap
Guest
Cap

The Yanks will get their way as usual…the Germans as the rest of the world have no courage “balls” to oppose their true master the Yanks!

Olivia Kroth
Guest

No, they won’t get their way. The pipeline is nearly finished.The USA are not well-liked in Germany. Get over it.

Regula
Guest
Regula

I doubt that there will be any change: for one thing: a third of this €10b gas pipeline is already finished. Abandoning it now would mean € multi billion losses to the EU companies involved without any possibility to recover the loss and that at a time when the economy of the EU and of Germany in particular, is slowing. Second, Merkel knows all too well that the Kerch straight incident was provoked by Ukraine on behalf of the US and that Russia acted in its full right – any country would have acted the same way. Hence her refusal… Read more »

Phori
Guest
Phori

Is this as much about Angie’s closeness to the old Russian/Soviet system, being an East German who’s fluent in the Russian language, enabling a deeper one-on-one communication between her and her counterpart to the East? Is there some sort of perception that Angie is a spoiler in the old “Cold War” alliance, perhaps a fellow traveler of Vlad, both of whom emerged from the old ways to become their respective nations’ leaders? https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/politics/angela-merkels-unlikely-journey-from-communist-east-germany-to-the-chancellorship-a6738271.html

Olivia Kroth
Guest

Diplomat slams US ambassador’s ‘unacceptable’ letters to German firms over Nord Stream 2

US Ambassador to Germany Richard Grenell earlier sent letters to German companies warning them of possible US sanctions over their participation in the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline project

More:
http://tass.com/economy/1039921

Dr. William Fusfield
Guest

All I can think at once is that if the Europeans are so cowed by the American neocon/Zionists as to cave in on the NordStream2 project, then they deserve just what they get, or more precisely, what they won’t be getting, namely a reliable source of cheap natural gas!!

Vince Dhimos
Guest

Nord Stream is in its final stages of completion. There is no turning back, although the Trump administration is still kicking the dead horse:
http://www.newsilkstrategies.com/economics-and-finance/us-attempt-to-bully-germany-into-buying-american-lng-is-having-the-opposite-effect

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EU leaders dictate Brexit terms to Theresa May (Video)

The Duran Quick Take: Episode 115.

Alex Christoforou

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The Duran’s Alex Christoforou and Editor-in-Chief Alexander Mercouris discuss how EU leaders have agreed on a plan to delay the the Article 50 process which effectively postpones Brexit beyond the 29 March deadline.

The UK will now be offered a delay until the 22nd of May, only if MPs approve Theresa May’s withdrawal deal next week. If MPs do not approve May’s negotiated deal, then the EU will support a short delay until the 12th of April, allowing the UK extra time to get the deal passed or to “indicate a way forward”.

UK PM Theresa May said there was now a “clear choice” facing MPs, who could vote for a third time on her deal next week.

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Theresa May outlines four Brexit options, via Politico

In a letter to MPs, U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May set out the four options she believes the country has in light of Thursday’s decision by EU leaders to extend the Brexit deadline beyond next Friday.

The U.K. is faced with a four-way choice, May wrote late Friday.

The government could revoke Article 50 — which May called a betrayal of the Brexit vote; leave without a deal on April 12; pass her deal in a vote next week; or, “if it appears that there is not sufficient support” for a vote on her deal in parliament next week or if it is rejected for a third time, she could ask for an extension beyond April 12.

But this would require for the U.K. taking part in European elections in May, which the prime minister said “would be wrong.”

May wrote that she’s hoping for the deal to pass, allowing the U.K. to leave the EU “in an orderly way,” adding “I still believe there is a majority in the House for that course of action.”

“I hope we can all agree that we are now at the moment of decision,” she wrote.

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US media suffers panic attack after Mueller fails to deliver on much-anticipated Trump indictment

Internet mogul Kim Dotcom said it all: “Mueller – The name that ended all mainstream media credibility.”

RT

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Via RT


Important pundits and news networks have served up an impressive display of denials, evasions and on-air strokes after learning that Robert Mueller has ended his probe without issuing a single collusion-related indictment.

The Special Counsel delivered his final report to Attorney General William Barr for review on Friday, with the Justice Department confirming that there will be no further indictments related to the probe. The news dealt a devastating blow to the sensational prophesies of journalists, analysts and entire news networks, who for nearly two years reported ad nauseam that President Donald Trump and his inner circle were just days away from being carted off to prison for conspiring with the Kremlin to interfere in the 2016 presidential election.

Showing true integrity, journalists and television anchors took to Twitter and the airwaves on Friday night to acknowledge that the media severely misreported Donald Trump’s alleged ties to Russia, as well as what Mueller’s probe was likely to find. They are, after all, true professionals.

“How could they let Trump off the hook?” an inconsolable Chris Matthews asked NBC reporter Ken Dilanian during a segment on CNN’s ‘Hardball’.

Dilanian tried to comfort the CNN host with some of his signature NBC punditry.

“My only conclusion is that the president transmitted to Mueller that he would take the Fifth. He would never talk to him and therefore, Mueller decided it wasn’t worth the subpoena fight,” he expertly mused.

Actually, there were several Serious Journalists who used their unsurpassed analytical abilities to conjure up a reason why Mueller didn’t throw the book at Trump, even though the president is clearly a Putin puppet.

“It’s certainly possible that Trump may emerge from this better than many anticipated. However! Consensus has been that Mueller would follow DOJ rules and not indict a sitting president. I.e. it’s also possible his report could be very bad for Trump, despite ‘no more indictments,'” concluded Mark Follman, national affairs editor at Mother Jones, who presumably, and very sadly, was not being facetious.

Revered news organs were quick to artfully modify their expectations regarding Mueller’s findings.

“What is collusion and why is Robert Mueller unlikely to mention it in his report on Trump and Russia?” a Newsweek headline asked following Friday’s tragic announcement.

Three months earlier, Newsweek had meticulously documented all the terrible “collusion” committed by Donald Trump and his inner circle.

But perhaps the most sobering reactions to the no-indictment news came from those who seemed completely unfazed by the fact that Mueller’s investigation, aimed at uncovering a criminal conspiracy between Trump and the Kremlin, ended without digging up a single case of “collusion.”

The denials, evasions and bizarre hot takes are made even more poignant by the fact that just days ago, there was still serious talk about Trump’s entire family being hauled off to prison.

“You can’t blame MSNBC viewers for being confused. They largely kept dissenters from their Trump/Russia spy tale off the air for 2 years. As recently as 2 weeks ago, they had @JohnBrennan strongly suggesting Mueller would indict Trump family members on collusion as his last act,” journalist Glenn Greenwald tweeted.

While the Mueller report has yet to be released to the public, the lack of indictments makes it clear that whatever was found, nothing came close to the vast criminal conspiracy alleged by virtually the entire American media establishment.

“You have been lied to for 2 years by the MSM. No Russian collusion by Trump or anyone else. Who lied? Head of the CIA, NSA,FBI,DOJ, every pundit every anchor. All lies,” wrote conservative activist Chuck Woolery.

Internet mogul Kim Dotcom was more blunt, but said it all: “Mueller – The name that ended all mainstream media credibility.”

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Canadian Lawmaker Accuses Trudeau Of Being A “Fake Feminist” (Video)

Rempel segued to Trudeau’s push to quash an investigation into allegations that he once groped a young journalist early in his political career

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Via Zerohedge

Canada’s feminist-in-chief Justin Trudeau wants to support and empower women…but his support stops at the point where said women start creating problems for his political agenda.

That was the criticism levied against the prime minister on Friday by a conservative lawmaker, who took the PM to task for “muzzling strong, principled women” during a debate in the House of Commons.

“He asked for strong women, and this is what they look like!” said conservative MP Michelle Rempel, referring to the former justice minister and attorney general Jody Wilson-Raybould, who has accused Trudeau and his cronies of pushing her out of the cabinet after she refused to grant a deferred prosecution agreement to a Quebec-based engineering firm.

She then accused Trudeau of being a “fake feminist”.

“That’s not what a feminist looks like…Every day that he refuses to allow the attorney general to testify and tell her story is another day he’s a fake feminist!”

Trudeau was so taken aback by Rempel’s tirade, that he apparently forgot which language he should respond in.

But Rempel wasn’t finished. She then segued to Trudeau’s push to quash an investigation into allegations that he once groped a young journalist early in his political career. This from a man who once objected to the continued use of the word “mankind” (suggesting we use “peoplekind” instead).

The conservative opposition then tried to summon Wilson-Raybould to appear before the Commons for another hearing (during her last appearance, she shared her account of how the PM and employees in the PM’s office and privy council barraged her with demands that she quash the government’s pursuit of SNC-Lavalin over charges that the firm bribed Libyan government officials). Wilson-Raybould left the Trudeau cabinet after she was abruptly moved to a different ministerial post – a move that was widely seen as a demotion.

Trudeau has acknowledged that he put in a good word on the firm’s behalf with Wilson-Raybould, but insists that he always maintained the final decision on the case was hers and hers alone.

Fortunately for Canadians who agree with Rempel, it’s very possible that Trudeau – who has so far resisted calls to resign – won’t be in power much longer, as the scandal has cost Trudeau’s liberals the lead in the polls for the October election.

 

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