My live discussion with DW (Deutsche Welle, the German national broadcaster; in English) on 14 Jun 2022 on Gazprom Germania’s Euro 10 b loan from the German state. I stressed that German Energy policy has made the EU hostage to Russian energy, and enabled Moscow’s Ukraine war. Why did Germany do this?
From 1980-to-2022 German elites depended on their Russian oil-and-gas partnership as a means to carve out a space for German capital despite general USA predominance, while still remaining inside the USA-protected Western alliance and global trade system. Their geostrategic gamble — a “strategic balancing” of Russia for perogatives vis-a-vis USA predominance — has led to disaster..
We discussed the reasons the German government is offering up to Euro10 billion to bail out Gazprom Germania, which was a daughter of Russian state gas export monopoly, Gazprom, in St. Petersburg.
I explained how deeply intertangled German and Russian gas firms are in Germany, and have been since the early 1980’s, and how central the infrastructure owned by Gazprom Germania inside Germany and Central Europe is to the functioning of the German (especially) and European gas system. After the war in Ukraine, 24 February, it is necessary for German’s energy security that the government bailout the company – a de facto nationalization. It has already been under temporary control of the German state for about three months, and this will formalize and extend that control. The firm has been run in that time by the German Federal Network Agency (BundesNetzAgentur), which is slowly learning how the firm functions and how to run a gas firm.
The firm owns the largest gas storage sites in Germany and participates in a firm, Gasunie, that owns most or the gas distribution pipelines in the country.
I explained that the USA and esp. many Baltic and Central and Eastern European states always opposed this deep oil and gas partnership of German industry with the Russian gas industry – a systematic and deep vertical integration from the fields in Urengoy in Siberia reaching all the way deep into European countries. This was a risk; however, that the German political elites, the political parties and German capital, was eager to maintain.
This was because German elites have always chaffed under the USA predominant position in European and global markets and geopolitical relations. They have always seen their special access to Russian gas and being its purveyors in Europe with the Russians as carving out for themselves a field of independent activity free of the prerogatives of the USA superpower. They were repeatedly warned, however, for decades, that they were opening themselves and the entire transatlantic alliance, but especially the Intermarium, the Baltic States and Central and East European states, to subversion and energy blackmail by Moscow. Now their special relationship gamble with Russia has done exactly that, causing a severe energy security crisis in Europe and empowering Putin while he wages a war of aggression against Ukraine. C GlobalBarrel.com Tom O’Donnell