Many in the German establishment are trying to point out the absurdity of the whole “stick it to Putin” trope, as Germany is effectively cutting down the branch on which its industry rests by ditching Russian energy supplies.
Written by Drago Bosnic, independent geopolitical and military analyst
Since the day the Nord Stream 2 project was announced, the United States and many of its vassals have been trying to torpedo it, from “advising against” the project at first to imposing sanctions on all parties involved. Since February, even before Russia launched its counteroffensive against NATO aggression in Europe, Western officials, pundits and mainstream media gleefully dismissed the Nord Stream 2 as “scrap metal at the bottom of the sea.” And indeed, the project now does seem like a vestige of some distant, alternative timeline, when close economic ties between Russia and the EU were a given. However, it seems not everyone has dismissed Nord Stream 2.
As the Russian state-owned energy giant Gazprom is set to further reduce its natural gas flow to Germany by the end of this month, sending energy prices to record highs this week, one German official offered an unexpected solution to this issue. To address the ongoing energy crisis, a German MP (Member of Parliament) suggested Russia’s Nord Stream 2 natural gas pipeline to resolve the energy crisis. According to TASS, Steffen Kotre, representative of the Alternative for Germany party (AfD), believes that the launch of the Nord Stream 2 is the only sensible solution to the historic energy crisis in Germany.
“The only reasonable solution is the launch of Nord Stream 2,” Kotre said.
According to the AfD MP, the German government should be guided by facts in its energy policy. He noted that Nord Stream 2 was completed but was not certified.
“Even if the gas storage facilities are full, this will be enough for about three months in the winter. And what’s next? Ideology should give way to real politics, guided by facts,” Kotre said.
He believes that Germany’s simultaneous refusal of nuclear and coal energy in the face of gas shortages harms the country’s economy. For its part, the German government reported several times that there are no plans to officially launch the Nord Stream 2 pipeline, as it has never been certified. Nevertheless, the Left Party and the Free Democratic Party also supported the idea proposed by the AfD.
The Nord Stream 2 pipeline was fully completed on September 10, 2021. The initial deadline to complete construction was before the end of 2019, but due to US sanctions, the project was delayed several times. The natural gas pipeline consists of two strings with a total annual capacity of 55 billion cubic meters, running from northwestern Russia through the Baltic Sea to Germany. After a visit to Tehran in July, Russian President Vladimir Putin himself stated the pipeline could be used to increase Russian gas supplies to Europe, although half of the pipeline’s capacity has already been reserved for domestic consumption. Certification of the Nord Stream 2 in Germany was stopped after Russia recognized the Donbass republics in response to the Kiev regime’s escalation.
Nord Stream 2 - Not 'Scrap Metal' After All?
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Germany is experiencing difficulties in getting natural gas supplies through the Nord Stream. Since mid-June, this pipeline has been using only 40% (67 million cubic meters per day) of its full capacity. This issue is the result of an untimely return of gas turbines after repairs due to Canadian sanctions against Russia. Worse yet, as a result, natural gas supplies were recently reduced to only 20%, which could soon be slashed to zero by the end of the month. Berlin is currently trying to reduce its Russian energy dependence, but the German government’s plans to completely halt Russian imports like coal and oil are highly unlikely to work when it comes to Russian natural gas.
Citing the forecasts of the German Housing Association, the Bild reported that the energy bills spike in Germany will hit consumers in 2022 harder than initially expected. The association reported that the additional electricity costs per household consisting of one person would be €2,700 per year. A household of four would need to pay nearly double – €5,000. Energy prices in Germany have been rising steadily since the last quarter of 2021. The process accelerated after Germany, along with the rest of the EU, imposed sanctions on Russia. According to the Federal Statistical Office of Germany, the cost of energy carriers increased by a staggering 38% in June alone.
Powering Germany has jumped to a new record high on August 25. Electricity prices for next year soared 13% to a mind-numbing €725 per megawatt-hour. To put that in context with global energy costs, German power prices are trading at an equivalent to a $1,200 barrel of oil – far worse than last winter, highlighting the debilitating impact on the country’s economy. Many in the German establishment are trying to point out the absurdity of the whole “stick it to Putin” trope. By ditching Russian energy supplies, Germany is effectively cutting down the branch on which its industry rests, to say nothing of the coming winter. German people will be freezing while paying exorbitant energy prices, which will only result in hyperinflation and recession. This, in turn, will most certainly cause social instability not seen since the end of WWII.