Prof. ST Hsieh
Director, US-China Energy Industry Forum
July 7, 2022
The war in Ukraine is getting very stressful, not for Putin, but for Germans. When the war started on February 24, 2022, US, and European nations, specifically Germany, stood on the moral high ground exercised unprecedented rounds of economic sanctions against Putin. The key target of the sanction is cutoff Russian energy exports. Unfortunately, this strategy has not paid off yet, and it may break the back of Germany’s economy soon. It is bad news for everyone.
It takes courage for German Economy Minister Robert Habeck to show contrition in public but swiftly shifted the blame of current disaster to previous administrations: “It was a grievous mistake that Germany was so dependent on one country with the energy supply, and this country is Russia.” Was he born yesterday? For the past 50 years, German’s economy depended on Russia energy! Hitler invaded Russia almost 80 years ago, Russia is not a new neighbor for German.
The next astounding statement from Habeck is: but strong sanctions means it must hurt and harm Russia and Putin more than it does our economy! He even said that: “I’ll be the first one who will fight for a further strong EU sanction package.” Who was the asshole that fought for the original strong EU sanction package that endanger German economy to the extent that Habeck has to make this “public” plea?
Then Chancellor Olaf Scholz said the government is “doing everything to prevent an energy shortage” and wants the turbines to be delivered. Does “everything” include stopping the war? If the war in Ukraine drags on, these “turbines” will not save German’s economy because Putin makes the call on how to retaliate against EU sanctions and German is, unfortunately, on the receiving end along with other EU nations.
A new phrase is “Ukraine Fatigue” means that the US led alliance may be tired or could not afford to paying Ukraine for fighting an endless war. So, next headline is newsworthy: Exclusive: Ukraine urges Canada not to hand over gas turbine to Russia. This means:
- Ukraine is splitting the G7 alliances: Europe against Americas.
- Ukraine has no intention for peace.
The US Readers’ Responses are also worthy a review. They reflect on how the US public’s view of this German approach to the Ukraine war. For example:
Mr. German Green, what is the guarantee Russia will send you gas even if the turbine is returned?
Germany’s Habeck Urges Canada to Help Thwart Putin on Gas
Brian Platt and Arne Delfs
Thu, July 7, 2022, 10:55 AM
(Bloomberg) — Germany’s vice chancellor made a public plea to the Canadian government to release a turbine that’s caught up in sanctions against Russia and critical for gas flows to Europe.
“I’ll be the first one who will fight for a further strong EU sanction package, but strong sanctions means it must hurt and harm Russia and Putin more than it does our economy,” Habeck said in a phone interview late Wednesday. “Therefore, I ask for understanding that we have to take this turbine excuse away from Putin.”
Chancellor Olaf Scholz said the government is “doing everything to prevent an energy shortage” and wants the turbines to be delivered. “It would be good if they would be there, even though they are not necessary” for the maintenance, Scholz told ZDF television.
Germany is facing the prospect of energy rationing in the coming months, which would hit businesses and consumers and drag Europe’s largest economy into recession.
“We need capacities in Nord Stream 1 to fill up our storage,” said Habeck. “Filled storage capacities in Germany are not only important for the German market, but as well for the European market and for the security of supply in Europe.”
The higher prices coupled with a supply shortage is putting companies such as Uniper SE at risk. Germany’s biggest buyer of Russian gas is in talks with the government over a bailout as it struggles to fulfill delivery contracts amid the price surge. Habeck said the situation risks creating “cascading effects” for Germany’s energy system.
The turbine, built in Canada by Siemens Energy AG, was sent to Montreal for repairs but became stranded due to sanctions on Russia’s oil and gas industry announced by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s government last month. Acknowledging the legal bind created by the Canadian sanctions, the vice chancellor proposed a workaround.
“If it’s a legal question for Canada, I want to make clear that I’m not asking them to deliver it to Russia, but to bring it to Germany,” Habeck said. “It is with a heavy heart that we had to ask for this.”
Canadian officials were non-committal when asked about Germany’s plea for help on the sanctioned turbine.
“We will not stop imposing severe costs on the Putin regime while their unjustifiable invasion is ongoing,” Ian Cameron, a spokesman for Natural Resources Minister Jonathan Wilkinson, said by email. “We will continue to support our European friends and allies by working to help stabilize energy markets and to develop long-term and sustainable solutions on energy supplies.”
Habeck said he understands why sending the pipeline back could be politically controversial for Trudeau’s government, citing the Ukrainian diaspora in Canada — the largest in the world outside of Russia.
“I know that they are carefully thinking through the situation and I completely understand the situation they have to balance,” he said, declining to express frustration with Canada’s delay in making a decision on the turbine.
Habeck instead cited Germany’s past policy mistakes and his personal duty as a cabinet minister in explaining his plea for Trudeau’s assistance.
“It’s part of the oath I have given to the German people” to ensure energy security, he said. “It was a grievous mistake that Germany was so dependent on one country with the energy supply, and this country is Russia.”
US Raders’ Comments
So sanctions are good, until they aren’t? Russia should refuse delivery of the turbine out of principle.JohnS
That would be a breach of the sanctions this Habeck guy heavily promoted. He can’t breach the sanctions.Reinhard
It’s hard to believe that a guy like Habeck still has a job in government Sholtz is going to have replace a number of his cabinet members or he is going to end up like BoJo. Winter is coming. BASF has been crystal clear about the effect of current sanctions policy on German industry.ROBERT
people are speechless ? or not reading at all ? Isn’t it interesting to see very less comments on this article which shows the “direct consequences of thoughtless sanctions impacting itself”, but still on principle “we are asked to keep on hating Russia” ?Bhadresh
Germany could also open nord stream 2 right? Politics fracks everything up. I still think it was a bad idea moving nato to russias borders. We were the bully and daring russia to do something about it. Well there you go. The bully has a bloodied nose.roger
Nord Stream 2. All they have to do is to open the valves.He
So Germany is planning on ‘finding a work around’ for its own sanctions.Reyter
The harsh and hateful tone of the hypocrites continues against Russia. The long standing deep desire to harm Russia goes on. Maybe in response the Russian government will feel a little less urgency to whip the pipeline into shape. I for one am enjoying the spectacle of these otherwise dim hypocrit…Mi
The crack start to open , don’t break the sanctions…. good exa. lithuania , the poorest country in EU bulgaria and you should keep the snctions too.lxolm
You are welcome to the show which start on ” 11 JULY 2022 ” …..enjoy the show .Mi
And Joe killed our pipeline. HuhGod
Mr. German Green, what is the guarantee Russia will send you gas even if the turbine is returned?Paul
is this the same as cutting off your nose to spoil your face?stephen
Canadian Trudeau is an ally of Russia.Voltaire16
Pitiful clowns vs real menRussianJew
Russia has always been an enemy, why did Germany not plan in advance?Michael
Kalt Winter fur Deutschland.Ziad Fadel
Sergiy Karazy and Max Hunder Thu, July 7, 2022, 2:27 PM
KYIV (Reuters) – Ukraine opposes Canada handing over a turbine to Russia’s state-controlled Gazprom for natural gas supplies to Germany as the move would contravene sanctions on Russia, a Ukrainian energy ministry source told Reuters on Thursday.
“The sanctions forbid the transfer of any equipment related to gas,” the energy ministry source said.
“If, God forbid, this decision is approved, we will undoubtedly appeal to our European colleagues that their approach must be reassessed. Because if countries do not follow decisions they have agreed about sanctions, how can we talk about solidarity?”
Kyiv has repeatedly called for more sanctions to be imposed.
“If the decision is made by the Canadians to hand over the turbine, regardless of whether it’s to Gazprom or to Germany for it to hand it over further … this would be a precedent of two G7 countries circumventing sanctions imposed against Russia,” the energy ministry source said.