• English posts

    General Court of the European Union declares actions against Directive 2019/692 inadmissible

    The General Court of the European Union declares that the actions brought by NordStream AG and NordStream 2 AG against Directive 2019/692, which extends certain rules of the internal market in natural gas to pipelines from third countries, are inadmissible The operators of the NordStream 1 and NordStream 2 pipelines are not, in any event, directly concerned by that directive On 17 April 2019 the Parliament and the Council adopted Directive 2019/6922 (‘the amending directive’) amending Directive 2009/73 concerning common rules for the internal market in natural gas. 3 That directive entered into force on 23 May 2019 and was, in principle, to be transposed by the Member States into…

  • English posts

    Putin’s Strategy Extends Further Across Europe

    POISON AND DARK MONEY spy scandal in the Czech Republic involving Russian diplomats has reached new heights. At the end of April, the Czech publication Respekt reported that, according to an unnamed source in the security services, a man carrying a diplomatic passport arrived in Prague with a suitcase containing the fatal poison ricin. According to the report, the poison was intended for Czech politicians whose actions aroused the wrath of Moscow – the dismantling of the monument to the Russian commander Ivan Konev and the renaming of the square in front of the Russian Embassy in honour of the murdered Russian opposition politician Boris Nemtsov. The police provided security to all potential…

  • English posts,  Polish translated

    Germany will not outlaw Stream, but how will the Russians implement it?

    The gas directive may delay the launch of Nord Stream 2  An official decision by the German regulator was made that the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline would not be removed from the gas directive, which could further delay it and reduce its profitability. If the new US sanctions do not stop him, his architects may try to apply EU law so that it does not disturb their interests – writes Wojciech Jakóbik, editor-in-chief of BiznesAlert.pl.   Continue reading the in Polish language published blog article on the Wjakobik website.    

  • English posts

    Key MH17 Figure Identified As Senior FSB Official: Colonel General Andrey Burlaka

    In November 2019, the Dutch-led Joint Investigation Team (JIT) announced the broadening of its criminal investigation into the shoot-down of MH17 to encompass the role of individuals within Russia’s military and administrative hierarchy who enabled the tragedy. The JIT made public 23 telephone intercepts from the days before the shootdown, which appeared to prove the close involvement of Russian officials with fostering and funding the war in Eastern Ukraine — as well as directly coordinating with and providing substantial military support to ostensibly “independent” militants. Continue reading the news article on the Bellincat investigative website.  

  • English posts

    Prague mayor under police protection amid reports of Russian plot

    Zdenêk Hřib says there is ‘risk to my life’ as magazine alleges he was poisoning target. The mayor of Prague has said he is under police protection from a “risk to my life”, with one Czech investigative outlet reporting he had been targeted in a Russian poisoning plot. Zdeněk Hřib confirmed on Monday that police had placed him under protection several weeks ago after identifying a threat against him, but declined to say whether had been been targeted by Russia or reveal the nature of threat. Continue reading the published article on The Guardian news website.  

  • English posts

    WHO IS BEHIND THE RENEWED EFFORT TO PUSH NORD STREAM 2 ON EUROPE?

    Who Paid for the PR Campaign?  The poll was commissioned by the German Eastern Business Association (Ostausschuss – Osteuropaverein der Deutschen Wirtschaft, OAOEV) OAOEV is a fairly new NGO that promotes German business in “Eastern” countries – from Russian to China. It was founded in 2018 through the partnership of the German Committee on Eastern European Economic Relations (Eastern Committee) and the Eastern Europe Business Association of Germany. In December 2019, several OAOEV members met with Vladimir Putin. Following the meeting, OAOEV published a press release.   Continue reading the news article published on the Free Russia.org website.  

  • English posts

    Hot Issue – They’re Gonna Need A Bigger Boat: The Curious Voyage of the Akademik Cherskiy

    EXECUTIVE SUMMARY Autor: Benjamin L. Schmitt Since its announcement in 2015, Russia’s proposed Nord Stream Two natural gas pipeline has remained the infrastructure project posing the largest single threat to the energy and national security of the European Union and Ukraine. The year 2019 witnessed the culmination of years of growing diplomatic opposition to the pipeline and resulted in two tangible actions taken by the Transatlantic community to respond to the national security challenge of the project. First, the European Union passed an update to the Gas Directive of its largest energy market liberalization regulatory framework, the EU Third Energy Package, which will impede Gazprom’s ability to operate the pipeline…

  • English posts

    EU warned on ‘vigilance’ after Davos spy fail

    European counter-intelligence services need to “seriously raise the level of vigilance” on Russian spies, UK activist Bill Browder has said after news of a botched operation at Davos in Switzerland. “The Swiss informed me that they were aware that I was coming to Davos, they knew the Russians were furious about me being publicly critical of Russian corruption and the Swiss believed that there was a heightened risk to my security at this year’s forum as a result,” Browder told EUobserver on Tuesday (21 January). He spoke on the first day of the World Economic Forum, an elite yearly gathering at a Swiss ski resort, after being briefed by Swiss…

  • English posts

    Russia gas export pipeline in jeopardy as Trump signs sanctions bill

    WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Swiss-Dutch company Allseas said it had suspended work on building a major Russia-to-Germany natural gas pipeline in order to avoid U.S. sanctions contained in legislation signed by President Donald Trump on Friday. The move throws into doubt the completion date of the $11 billion project that Moscow had said would be ready in months, jeopardizing plans to quickly expand Russian sales of natural gas to Europe via pipeline. The participation of privately-held Allseas, a specialist in subsea construction and laying underwater pipeline, is integral to the completion of Nord Stream 2, led by Russia’s state energy company Gazprom.   Continue reading the article on the Reuters news…

  • English posts

    The Neue Ostpolitik approach to Nord Stream 2: A legal fiction carried a little too far

    EnergySource by Dr. Benjamin L. Schmitt On April 10, 2018, signs emerged that the German government was finally beginning to recognize the geostrategic implications of the proposed Nord Stream 2 pipeline. Standing next to then Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko in Berlin, German Chancellor Angela Merkel stated: “I made very clear that a Nord Stream 2 project is not possible without clarity on the future transit role of Ukraine…so you can see that it is not just an economic issue, but there are also political considerations.” In one short statement, the chancellor had seemingly repudiated years of arguments that she and other German politicians had made since the pipeline’s announcement: namely, the claim that…

  • English posts

    Superfluous and politically lethal. The construction of the Nord Stream 2 pipeline is highly contentious. Two German experts present their different views for The Security Times

    By Ralf Fücks February 2018. If we listen to those groups advocating on behalf of Nord Stream 2 – the second double pipeline designed to move Russian natural gas through the Baltic Sea – we might come to think the new project is a highly energy-efficient project and politically quite harmless. According to them, Nord Stream 2 will increase European energy security – after all, the Soviet Union was a reliable provider – and remain a purely commercial project. They argue that the European Commission would do well to stay out of the matter, and should refrain from interfering in Germany’s energy sovereignty. Objection, your Honor! Continue reading the blog…

  • English posts

    Congress to target Russian pipeline in defense bill

    HALIFAX, Canada ― Congress’s must-pass defense policy bill will be the vehicle to stop Russian President Vladimir Putin’s $11 billion project to deliver natural gas to Europe via a new pipeline from Russia to Germany, a top U.S. lawmaker revealed Friday. Sanctions on companies involved in the Nord Stream 2 pipeline have been added to the draft 2020 National Defense Authorization Act, Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Jim Risch told Defense News on the sidelines of the Halifax International Security Forum. The inclusion of the sanctions in the bill is a strong sign, but House and Senate lawmakers have yet to reach a final deal on the massive bill. Continue reading the…

  • English posts

    Three months left to kill Nord Stream 2

    Protecting Europe’s Energy Security Act has received overwhelming bipartisan support and proposes targeted sanctions to halt completion of Nord Stream 2, Russia President Vladimir Putin’s natural gas pipeline designed to control Europe. But there has been a procedural delay and time is running out. The act targets sanctions against one company, Allseas, which is providing a critical deep-sea pipe-laying vessel to install Nord Stream 2 on behalf of Gazprom, and it is only three months away from finishing the job unless it is stopped. “There is emerging consensus about placing this sanctions bill in the defense budget bill called the National Defense Authorization Act,” said Daniel Vajdich, whose firm Yorktown Solutions advises…

  • English posts

    Nord Stream 2: Falling at the Last Fence?

    Thanks to interventions by Washington or Brussels, Nord Stream 2 may end up either not being completed or, once completed, find that much of the pipeline cannot in fact be used. The Nord Stream 2 pipeline project has been subject to immense controversy ever since President Putin launched the project in tandem with his German business partners in June 2015. Contrary to the desires of the German government, most of the Central and Eastern European EU member states have come out against the pipeline. The EU itself has formally extended EU energy law to import pipelines such as Nord Stream 2, while the Polish authorities have launched antitrust proceedings against the project.…

  • English posts

    Finish the Fight: A Washington-Brussels Double Play Can Still Stop Nord Stream 2

    The Washington Nationals’ ubiquitous World Series victory slogan, “fight finished,” has been draped across every corner of the US capital for weeks. At the same time, a second, unfinished fight that for years has united lawmakers in both parties has hit a critical phase. On October 30, officials at the Danish Energy Agency (DEA) issued a final construction permit for the deployment of the Kremlin-conceived Nord Stream 2 pipeline within Denmark’s exclusive economic zone (EEZ). The Danish permit should not be viewed as a tacit approval of the project’s merits. In fact, Danish officials have been public with their concerns about the pipeline’s negative impact—especially for Ukraine’s strategic stability—and resisted the project…

  • English posts

    The Russian connection to a Berlin hit job that Germany doesn’t want to talk about

    Berlin, Germany (CNN)Murders happen in Berlin. They’re not common — the crime rate in Germany is currently at its lowest level in more than 25 years — but as with all major cities, the occasional violent killing is all but inevitable. What’s far less common is for them to occur at noon, in the city center. And what’s truly unprecedented is when the target is a former Chechen fighter, and the suspect an alleged Russian government hitman. But that’s exactly what happened on August 23. Zelimkhan Khangoshvili, a 40-year-old Georgian citizen of Chechen descent, was on his way to midday prayers at a mosque in the Moabit district of downtown Berlin. A man following him on…

  • English posts

    Replacing Dutch gas with Russian gas contributes to global warming (and no one seems to care)

    Dutch gas production is expected to fall to about 10 bcm in 2025, little over 10 per cent of the 2013 production level. Within the EU, Dutch gas has so far mostly been replaced by Russian gas. However, when compared to Groningen gas, Russian gas has a carbon footprint that is greater by about 30 per cent. For the Netherlands, replacing Dutch gas with Russian gas negates, by far, all the progress that is being made by increasing the share of renewables in the electricity mix. This has hardly played a role in decision making on gas supplies. It should. Continue reading the news article on the Emerging Europe website.

  • English posts

    Nord Stream 2 labor camp. The prisoners’ work was used in the construction of the gas pipeline

    During the construction of the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline, the Russian authorities illegally used the forced labor of prisoners – informed Russian human rights defenders at a conference in Strasbourg. “Russian authorities and state-owned companies use the forced labor of prisoners, in accordance with the practices used in the GULAGs” – announced at the conference “Putin’s Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline and its real price for Europe” organized on October 22 in Strasbourg, the founder of the organization dealing with human rights protection “GULAG – NO “Vladimir Osieczkin. Continue reading the article on the Polish Energetyka24 website.

  • English posts

    Pressure builds over environmental impact of Nord Stream 2

    Environmental activists in Russia have claimed that the company building the Nord Stream 2 pipeline have violated Russian laws on environmental protection by harming natural reserves inside the country, the Russian press has reported. According to the Russian office of international climate watchdog Greenpeace, the destruction of certain endangered species in the Kurgalsky nature reserve in Russia’s northwest are “massive and continuing.” The organisation’s claims are based on the on-site scientific examinations of Russia’s Komarov Botanical Institute, which said that a significant number of unique plants, which were promised to be transplanted by the gas pipeline’s project company, have been destroyed. Continue reading the news article on the Emerging Europe…

  • English posts

    RUSSIAN GOVERNMENT HELPED BERLIN ASSASSIN TRAVEL ACROSS EUROPE TO KILL TARGET

    The mysterious assassin who killed a former militant in Berlin last month was likely assisted by officials within the Russian dgovernment, who facilitated his travel across Europe and wiped his faked records from official databases after the killing, new research indicates. According to evidence uncovered by the Bellingcat investigative journalism organization, the killer could not have carried out the assassination of Georgian Zelimkhan Khangoshvili on August 23 without help from Russian officials. Khangoshvili fought against Russian forces in Chechnya. There are conflicting reports regarding the identity of the gunman, who has reportedly refused to speak with German law enforcement since his arrest, though he has met with Russia diplomats. Continue reading the news article…