New Attempts of the Trump Administration "Bury" Nord Stream-2
US Ambassador to Germany Richard Grenell again threatened sanctions against German companies for participating in the Nord Stream 2 project.
As Grenell said in an interview with Focus, the pipeline could increase the dependence of European countries on gas supplies from Russia. The American ambassador threatened directly not only the German companies Wintershall Dea and Uniper participating in this project, but also the Austrian OMV, the French Engie and even the British Shell.
In January of this year, Grenell sent letters to leading German companies in which he threatened to impose sanctions from Washington. Grenell also constantly reminds the Germans that they do not spend 2% of GDP on defense as promised. Although in terms of military spending, the FRG is still among the top ten countries in the world, settling in eighth place in 2018 on this indicator, between Great Britain and Japan.
Apparently, Grenell is absolutely not afraid to go down in history and get into the Guinness Book of Records as the first American ambassador declared by the FRG to be persona non grata. This is exactly what the Vice-Chairman of the Bundestag Wolfgang Kubiki proposed to do with the American.
Germany’s concession, which was Berlin’s decision to build a terminal for receiving liquefied natural gas (LNG) tankers that was not very necessary for it, in order to diversify gas supplies and thus reduce its “dependence” on Russia, did not impress Washington: compromises are not suitable, Berlin must comply with the will of the United States, to abandon the import of Russian energy. After all, both Germany and Russia in this case will become weaker economically, and hence politically.
The first will not be able to counteract the dictates of the United States in Europe, the second - in the world.
At the same time with Grenelle, US Energy Secretary Rick Perry, who called Russian gas "cheap" and "unreliable", struck down on energy cooperation between Europe and Russia in Brussels. Moreover, he derived the former from the latter: the price of Russian gas that is attractive to European consumers is allegedly due to its unreliability, and not obvious competitive advantages over American gas, both in price and in quality.
Why is this done?
All American leaders in this matter are like a cheating husband, suspecting that if he does this, then his wife can repay him the same. After all, it is the United States that is known for the fact that if they don’t like something, they will not hesitate to apply sanctions.
The question will be put like this: if you do not accept our conditions, we will reduce gas supplies. In any case, if the Germans pay more for gas, their cars, like all their products, will become more expensive and therefore less competitive. And this, from the point of view of Trump, is also not bad, since “America is above all”. One less competitor.
The truth is that, even by increasing its LNG supply to Europe, the United States is not able to replace Russian pipeline gas, on which, according to Perry, eleven European countries depend "up to 75% of their total imports." The United States simply does not have and never will have such a volume of liquefied gas for the European market, the prices of which are lower than in rapidly growing Asia, where American companies sell primarily their LNG. In Europe, the Americans in general sometimes deliver the LNG bought from Russia under the guise of their own.
What do Europeans do?
The Europeans are well aware of this, but they are compelled to assent, as the EU Energy Commissioner Miguel Arias Canethe did. Speaking at an energy conference in Brussels, at which Perry was noted, he supported an increase in US gas imports, since “diversification is important not only for security of supply, but also for competition.”
But it's obvious - Without Russian gas, Germany faces an unpleasant future. Therefore, in this case, American desires do not matter much.
One of the politicians who speaks boldly on this subject is Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz. According to him, Vienna supports the construction of the Nord Stream - 2 and considers it the basis of the country's energy security, despite the opposite opinion of some politicians in Brussels and Strasbourg.
What will this conflict lead to?
The presence of other politicians and other interests, the main of which is to appease the United States will lead to the fact that the construction of the gas pipeline may be somewhat delayed and it will become “slightly” more expensive.
However, this is probably all that the enemies of Europe are capable of. The completion of the Nord Stream 2 installation was scheduled for the end of 2019. Perhaps it will be built in six months after this or in a year.
European authorities understand one thing. If they yield, they will create an extremely undesirable precedent that will allow the United States to constantly intervene in their own interests in their internal affairs and economic policies. Nobody will like this.