Tag Archives: Ukraine war

On Al Jazeera with expert in Moscow | Putin wants a “compromise” for gas. Like what, Donbas? Odessa?- In my view, EU citizens will choose the cold … & their dignity.

English audio above. — Arabic video below

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.

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My DW TV: Why Putin cuts EU gas bit-by-bit? Can Germany handle it? Wind’s low, so we’re buring gas! | Many EU states warned Berlin: “Don’t open our door to Putin’s Trojan horse!”

It’s always great to talk with Deutschewelle’s Rob Watson on “DW Business.” We spoke at midday 26 Jul 2022 on the new NS1 . gas pipeline cut in flows to only 20% by Putin’s regime.

The title tells most of it. I explain why I think Putin is playing with gas, not oil and the EU and German vulnerabilities.

Now, German storage will not be able to be filled to the ministry’s target level of 95% by November, according to the Federal Transmission System chief, Mr. Klaus Muller – in fact, even if NS1 were still flowing at 40%.

Not only that, although Energy Minister Habeck has agreed to bring back online all the coal power plants possible, in fact Germany has a poorly thought-out over dependence on wind and it simply is not blowing much this summer. So, in actuality, we are burning more gas now to produce electricity than last year – a complete waste of gas. Also, the Rhine is low and coal barges are having difficulty delivering coal to power plants.

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Putin cuts Nord Stream1 to 20%. Gas is Moscow’s key economic lever: Exports earn much less than oil & EU needs two-to-four years to replace it | USA-EU should hit Russian oil harder

ENGLISH Audio ABOVE }} ARABIC Video BELOS

We discuss the excuses Putin is giving for cutting Nord Stream 1 flows now from 40% to only 20%. I asserted that they are nonsense. (Various links are below, under Read More.)

This pipeline has been in service since 2011 and there has never been a cut back of flow due to a defective or poorly maintained compressor, and now Russia is claiming a second one is in disrepair. Putin, in Tehran, last week warned he would do this and also said that Ukraine refusing to transit Russian gas through territory Russia has forcibly occupied is another reason he might cut Nord Stream 1 flows. So, this is clearly political, not technical.

This will mean, according to comments recently by Klaus Mueller – head of the German Federal Gas Transit Agency, that it will be impossible to fill German storage to the 95% level the minister has ordered — Mueller had said this was the case even at the former 40% flows of NS1.

I explained the reason Putin is playing this game with gas deliveries – because natural gas brings his regime far less revenues than the all-important business of Russian oil exports, while at the same time natural gas is much harder now for Europe to replace for some years hence from other sources – as it arrives mostly via pipelines from Russia, not by sea like most oil. So, gas is Putin’s greatest lever for now in the energy front of the economic war being waged in support of Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine.

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