• German posts

    Die EU hat Trump höhere US-Flüssiggasimporte zugesagt – doch der Deal ist in Gefahr

    Bis 2023 will die Europäische Union die Importe von US-Flüssiggas verdoppeln. Doch Russland und Saudi-Arabien könnten den Plan durchkreuzen. BerlinDie Gefahr droht aus zwei entgegengesetzten Richtungen, und dazu noch von zwei Staaten, die früher einmal Erzfeinde waren: Russlandund Saudi-Arabien. Die EU hat den USA zugesagt, bis 2023 die Importe von US-Flüssiggas bis 2023 auf acht Milliarden Kubikmeter pro Jahr zu verdoppeln. Doch Moskau und Riad wollen auf diesem Markt auch mitmischen. So war der russische Gaskonzern Novatek im Februar erstmals der größte Importeur von verflüssigtem Erdgas (LNG) in Europa. Und der Oligarchen-Konzern hat noch größere Projekte in der Pipeline. Russland ist bereits größter Gaslieferant Europas – aber bisher ausschließlich über Pipelines. Und der…

  • English posts

    U.S. Senate Threatens Sanctions Over Russian Pipeline

    Washington and Berlin face off again over Nord Stream 2 as European ships are targeted. In the latest uptick of trans-Atlantic tensions, European ships involved in the construction of a controversial gas pipeline from Russia to Germany could be subject to U.S. sanctions under a new bipartisan bill that will be introduced in the U.S. Senate as early as Monday. The bill, sponsored by Sens. Ted Cruz, a Republican, and Jeanne Shaheen, a Democrat, would sanction companies involved in laying deep-sea pipelines for Russian energy projects, taking direct aim at the Nord Stream 2 pipeline, which has emerged as a major source of tension between the United States and Germany. Foreign…

  • English posts

    EU Gas Directive Approval Could Delay Russian-Led Nord Stream 2 Pipeline

    The EU Council approved a European gas directive on April 15 that is expected to delay commissioning of the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline – and potentially leave it half empty. By extending EU rules to non-EU pipelines — particularly those outside EU territory —  the directive will force Gazprom to “unbundle” or hand over operation of the line to a company independent of Russia’s state gas producer. However, Gazprom maintains a jealously guarded monopoly over gas exports from Russia and will be very reluctant to share the right to export with anyone. Currently, the only other entity allowed to export gas is privately owned Novatek, which is limited to…

  • English posts

    Nord Stream 2 threatens to take EU to court over gas rules

    The company behind the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline is threatening to sue the EU if it’s not allowed to avoid new regulations that it says endanger the billions of euros that have been invested in the project. In a letter obtained by POLITICO, Nord Stream 2 CEO Matthias Warnig wrote to European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker that if the pipeline is not eligible for a derogation from the new rules, “the measure would be discriminatory against [Nord Stream 2] as an investor” and the EU may be breaking an international treaty. The EU’s Gas Directive was revamped earlier this year and extends the bloc’s gas liberalization rules to cover new offshore gas…

  • English posts

    Nord Stream 2: A failed test for EU unity and trans-Atlantic coordination

    From its inception, the construction of the Nord Stream 2 pipeline has triggered a controversial debate in the European Union and the United States. Sponsored by the Russian Gazprom (which is the sole shareholder), the German Wintershall and Uniper, the French ENGIE, the Austrian OMV, and Royal Dutch Shell, the Nord Stream 2 is expected to extend and double Nord Stream 1’s existing capacity, transporting Russian gas directly to Germany via the Baltic Sea. While the EU Council has just establishedthat pipelines with third countries must comply with EU gas rules, it remains unclear how this will impact Nord Stream 2––specifically, whether the pipeline will get an exemption or if its…

  • English posts

    Germany’s Social Democrats defend Nord Stream 2

    The Social Democratic Party (SPD) Parliamentary Group has published its official position on the Nord Stream 2 pipeline (NS2). The document outlines the party’s strategy on NS2 in the project’s final stage and future activation. Based on the assumption that NS2 is close to completion, the SPD intends to stabilise Germany’s central position as a hub for Russian gas in Europe. At the same time, the Social Democrats want to strengthen their message that NS2 will benefit the EU gas market, including by expanding the circle of those who will gain from the investment. The SPD’s consolidated position is principally intended to ensure that the party presents a consistent line…

  • English posts

    Last Stop for Some of Danske Bank’s Dirty Money: Spanish Real Estate

    Some of the $230 million at the heart of Europe’s widening money-laundering scandal was ultimately spent on Spanish real estate, according to anti-corruption prosecutors in Madrid. Their investigation following a trail that originated in Russia broadens an inquiry that so far has concentrated on the Baltic states and Scandinavian banks including Danske Bank A/S and Swedbank AB. The Spanish probe alleges that a money-laundering ring moved about 35 million euros ($39 million) through accounts in Moldova, Ukraine and Lithuania and then via Estonia to Spain, providing new details about the final destination of some of the cash. The funds “have been laundered since 2008 through an international structure of companies, banks and…

  • English posts

    Will Nord Stream 2 omit the gas directive?

    Politico and Ukrainian Naftogaz have organized a discussion about the future of energy security. The panelists were arguing about Nord Stream 2 and the relations between the European Union and Russia. Will the project omit the EU law? I am very curious how the Russians will avoid the principle of separation the pipeline ownership from gas transfer company. Continue reading the article on the Polish Biznes Alert news website.

  • English posts

    Europe is Entering its Golden Age of Gas

    In a 2011 report, the International Energy Agency (IEA) asked a provocative question: are we entering a golden age of gas? At the time, U.S. shale gas production was surging and new fields were coming online around the globe, encouraged by high oil prices. Gas, it seemed, was poised to “play a far more prominent role in the global energy mix.” Since 2011, the short answer to the IEA’s question has been ‘not yet,’ at least on a global scale. Though many of the IEA’s assumptions have been coming to fruition in the last two years, including major demand growth from China, major supply growth from unconventional sources, and low growth…

  • English posts

    How to lose friends and alienate people or Germany on Nord Stream 2

    Germany’s proceedings around Nord Stream 2 will not only hurt this country, but also European common policy as a whole from a security point of view. Additionally, they are undermining Germany’s already-fragile position as the European mediator and dealmaker. In the 1970s Henry Kissinger famously wondered, “Who do I call if I want to call Europe?” His statement underlined the Old Continent’s lack of common policy. Divisions of this nature are especially evidenced in contemporary times when it comes to the Nord Stream 2 project. The European Commission (EC) already assumed that this project, which calls for the construction of another gas pipeline from Russia to Germany, would not serve common European…

  • English posts

    U.S. House passes bill to lure Europeans away from Nord Stream 2

    WASHINGTON, March 26 (WNM staff/TASS) –  The House of Representatives of the US Congress voted on Monday for the bill on assisting Central and Eastern European countries to diversify energy supplies sources for countering Russia’s influence, with 391 and 24 congressmen voting for and against the bill, respectively. A live broadcast of the voting was provided by the C-SPAN TV channel. The bill must be passed by the Senate and then be signed by the President to become law. The authors of the draft law suggest that it is necessary for the US to assist “Central and Eastern European countries to reduce their dependence on energy resources from countries that…

  • English posts

    The Credibility of German Multilateralism

    Berlin’s consistent calls to protect multilateralism in the wake of President Donald Trump’s verbal attacks on the post-1945 institutions often ring hollow. That’s all Berlin’s allies needed to hear. Finance Minister Olaf Scholz intends to reduce Germany’s defense budget. It will rise to 1.37 percent of national income in 2020 but fall to 1.25 percent by 2023. Forget the fact that just last year Chancellor Angela Merkel’s center-right government had planned to increase defense spending to 1.5 percent by 2024. And forget too that it was Merkel who, at the NATO summit in Wales in 2014, promised with other allies that Germany would in principle spend 2 percent of its gross domestic…

  • English posts

    Russian hackers are targeting European governments ahead of May election, FireEye says

    Russian hackers have targeted European government systems ahead of the EU parliament election, cybersecurity firm FireEye said Thursday. The company found that two state-sponsored hacking groups, APT28 and Sandworm, used spear phishing — the practice of sending out emails designed to look like they’re from a trusted party — in an attempt to obtain government information. FireEye said European government institutions were sent emails with links to websites that appeared to be authentic, luring a person into changing their password and thus sharing their credentials with hackers. APT28, more popularly known as Fancy Bear, is believed to be linked to Russian military intelligence agency GRU and has been labeled as one…

  • English posts

    Nord Stream 2 eyes way to curb EU oversight of $9.5bn pipeline

    The group building the Nord Stream 2 pipeline to import Russian gas into Germany is exploring plans to hive off its last 50km into a separate company, a move that would undermine EU plans to regulate the entire $9.5bn project. Under the proposal, a new company would own and manage the small part of the undersea pipeline within German territorial waters. While this section would be subject to EU rules, the rest of Nord Stream 2 — nearly 1,200km through the Baltic Sea — would remain outside the bloc’s jurisdiction, according to three people familiar with the plans. The plan, while in its early stages, could stoke further criticism of…

  • English posts

    European Parliament calls to Stop Nord Stream 2

    The members of the European Parliament also came to a conclusion that Russia can no longer be considered “a strategic partner” PARIS, March 12. /TASS/. The European Parliament considers necessary to curtail the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline project, according to the report on the state of EU-Russia political relations approved on Tuesday. “Russia and the EU will remain key economic partners in the foreseeable future, but Nord Stream 2 reinforces EU dependency on Russian gas supplies, threatens the EU internal market and is not in line with EU energy policy, and therefore needs to be stopped,” the report says. “The EU’s dependency on Russian gas supplies has increased since…

  • English posts

    Russia ‘very likely’ to meddle in European Parliament elections, warns Estonia spy chief

    The intelligence boss also says Russia is continuing to develop and train its armed forces for a “large-scale war against NATO”. The Kremlin will “very likely” try to intervene in European parliamentary elections this May to help pro-Russia and anti-EU politicians win seats, Estonia’s equivalent of MI6 has warned. The Estonian Foreign Intelligence Service said President Putin’s goal is to undermine unity with the European Union “by sowing disorder and disbelief” within and between the 28 – soon to be 27 – member states. The comments came in an annual security report that also said Russia’s secret security services are still carrying out hostile activity in cyber space despite the…

  • English posts

    Sandra Kalniete: “Russia can no longer be considered a strategic partner of the EU”

    “Awareness of the threat of Russia is ever growing,” says MEP Sandra Kalniete ahead of a vote on the state of EU-Russia relations on 12 March. Find out more in our interview. Five years after Russia’s illegal annexation of Crimea, what is Parliament’s message on Ukraine? As our close neighbour, stability, prosperity and democracy for Ukraine are very important for Europe. In our report, we stress that Russia can no longer be considered a strategic partner of the EU. We call for the full implementation of the Minsk Agreement, and on Crimea, we do not accept Russia’s annexation. We also draw attention to the human rights situation of Crimean Tatars, the…

  • English posts

    Denmark can buy time with a new proposal for Nord Stream 2 routing

    New boundary drawing can give Denmark a year more before the election for Nord Stream 2 must be made. One year can change everything. After years of tug-of-war, Denmark is still in a grim clamp when it comes to the great expansion of the Russian gas pipeline Nord Stream through the Baltic Sea, Nord Stream 2. Prime Minister Lars Løkke Rasmussen (V) is squeezed between the giants Germany and Russia on the one hand and the United States and a number of Eastern European countries on the other. Therefore, it is not insignificant that, according to Politiken, Denmark, after a settled border dispute with Poland, now has a technical possibility to…

  • English posts

    Browder Says Europe May Be Looking at $1 Trillion in Dirty Money

    Bill Browder, the investor who’s made a career of chasing money launderers, says the cases he’s brought against banks so far only represent a tiny fraction of the full amount in dirty money trying to get out of Russia and into the West. The Hermitage Capital Management co-founder, who says he has worked closely with law enforcement agencies across Europe, estimates that roughly $1 trillion in questionable funds from the East are either already inside the European Union or looking for loopholes to get in. “Our investigation continues to lead to new evidence and new information and new suspicious transactions,” Browder said in an interview with Bloomberg Television’s Guy Johnson.…

  • English posts

    European Involvement with Nord Stream 2 Is a Deal with the Devil

    Since having seized Ukrainian territory and energy installations in 2014, Russia and its gas company, Gazprom, have been waging systematic economic warfare against Ukraine in an attempt to destroy Naftogaz—Ukraine’s energy company and the single biggest source of state revenue—and the Ukrainian state. To date, however, Russia has failed. Indeed, Naftogaz won three arbitral awards against Gazprom in 2017 and 2018; these were about Gazprom’s efforts to divert gas using the Nord Stream 2 pipeline, blocking Central Asian gas from traveling through Ukraine. But Gazprom has refused to pay the $2.6 billion arbitration award granted to Naftogaz. Instead, Russia is blocking that award, building Nord Stream 2, and trying to…