My fellow expert-guest, in Moscow, Dr. Stanislav Mitrakhovich, was notably frank.
He did not insist, as have various Russian Federation officials lately, that Nord Stream 1 gas flow has been cut for technical reasons to do with the lack of a Siemens compressor.
The compressor in question was sent to Canada for repairs, but its return has been waived from sanctions restrictions. As Chancellor Scholz rightly said, the lack of a compressor is clearly not what cutting gas to Europe is about. It is political.
Nor did the expert in Moscow claim it was due to bureaucratic German-Russian difficulties with paperwork, as Putin and others have claimed..
He instead pointed out that the EU has said it will stop by year’s end the import of Russian oil, and Germany has said it will not use Russian gas in two years, and, without this and some sort of “political compromise,” gas could undoubtedly be fully flowing again from Russian into the EU.
So, I asked – rhetorically – just what possible sort of “compromise” might Putin be angling for? The Donbas for gas? Odessa for gas?
I asserted my opinion that “Europeans have their sense of dignity” and would never agree to such a “compromise.” Put that way, they will prefer to be cold this winter and to have industries and businesses have to shut for lack of gas.
We also discussed a few details of what sort of suffering – rationing of energy, low temperature heating and closing of businesses – Germany and the EU can expect to have to endure this winter.Continue reading