In A Word: Yes

Is Germany Protecting Russia’s Gazprom From Latest Anti-Trust Discovery?

Gazprom

German companies like BASF and Wintershall may be successful at lobbying their government to keep the new Russian pipeline going, despite opposition from Washington. Such are the worries being made behind closed doors within the state owned Central and East European (CEE) gas companies that are no fans of Russia’s Gazprom.

On April 10, someone leaked the Statement of Objections against Gazprom from the European Union’s competition authority known as the Directorate-General for Competition (DG Comp). The leaked document was a 270-page report of abuse cases filed by nearly every Gazprom partner in eastern Europe, including Poland where the news first broke last week…

As Gazprom is responsible for nearly a third of all of Germany’s foreign gas supply, and because Germany has two big companies with money on the line with Gazprom projects, some believe Brussels is ready to let Gazprom off the hook from disputes with at least five countries.

“DG Comp is said to be pressured by some high-ranking German officials to make a soft deal with Gazprom so they can start building the new Nord Stream 2 pipeline.”

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German Of The Day: Oligarch

That means oligarch. Take former chancellor Gerhard “Gazprom Gerd” Schroeder, for instance. Please.

Gerd

Sanctions aimed at key individuals can be surprisingly effective, it turns out. They help to undermine internal support for the regime or at least its most unattractive policies.

One oligarch, though, remains overlooked. Arguably he is the most important of all. That’s former German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder

Mr. Schroeder has been a one-man Trojan horse against every European Union commitment to curb Russian energy leverage and improve the competitiveness of its gas market. Notice that the alternative was never to shut Russian gas out of Germany. It was simply for Germany, at every step, to stop lending itself to the enhancement of Russia’s energy power, with Mr. Schroeder leading the influence brigades.

Schröders Engagement in Russland und Nähe zu Putin, den er einen Freund nennt, stößt seit Jahren auf Argwohn. Im vergangenen September ließ sich der Altkanzler allen Einwänden zum Trotz zum Aufsichtsratsvorsitzenden des halbstaatlichen russischen Ölkonzerns Rosneft wählen.

Kiss Me You Big Dummy

But no more tongues.

Gerhard

Already head of the shareholders’ committee for Nord Stream (majority-owned by Russian state gas company Gazprom), Vlad Putin’s point man/gas man Gazprom Gerd Schroeder (he’s a former German chancellor (SPD) or something) has now been named head of the board of directors of Russian state oil giant Rosneft.

Rosneft is on the European Union’s list of companies facing sanctions following Russia’s annexation of Crimea, for starters, but who’s going to make a stink about that?

The chair of the Bundestag’s Foreign Affairs Committee, Norbert Röttgen, told German public broadcaster ZDF on Friday that it was “completely unbelievable” that Schröder would “cash in” on his earlier role as chancellor at a Russian company.

Rosneft was a “central building block” in Russian President Vladimir Putin’s system of power, Röttgen said. He went on to accuse Schröder of working to heighten Germany’s energy dependence on Russia.

Completely unbelievable? This has been going on for years, folks. What’s there not to believe about it now? We live in a world where there are no consequences for behavior like this. Get used to it already.

Gazprom Gerd Gets A Raise

You’ve got to have principles. As many as possible. For all eventualities. Take former German chancellor Gazprom Gerhard Schroeder (SPD), for instance. Please.

Gerd

His nomination to the board of Rosneft, Russia’s largest oil company – majority-owned by the Russian government – is breathtaking in its brazenness. You can’t really call it a sell-out, however. This guy sold out long ago.

Rosneft is under Western sanctions over Moscow’s role in the Ukraine crisis. By pure coincidence, Schroeder, who calls Vladimir Putin his friend, has regularly criticized any moves to impose sanctions on Russia.

I know it’s hard to take an unpopular stand sometimes, especially when it is unethical, mercenary and just plain wrong, but he certainly is consistent here, at least.

“Schröder macht sich zum russischen Söldner.”

PS: Germany is predictably outraged about this (not) (or not particularly). But rest assured that if this had been a US-Amerkan oil company there would have been hell to pay.

US-Amerikan Gas Conspiracy In Full Swing

German survey time – and no Russian influence here, either. Honest: BASF-owned Wintershall, one of Gazprom’s closest upstream partners and backer of its Nord Stream 2 project, has published results of a survey which it says indicate that most Germans not only oppose an expansion of US sanctions against Russia but also prefer Russian gas to US LNG.

LNG

More than three-quarters (77 percent) believe that the US is attempting to bolster its own economic interests in the European natural gas market… The survey also showed that the vast majority of Germans (83 percent) reject the planned increase in US economic sanctions, which would also restrict the actives of German and European companies. Only seven percent considered criticism of planned US sanctions as exaggerated.

“Whereas half the Germans surveyed support a further diversification of the natural gas provision, only six percent want more imports of US LNG,”

European Gazprom Lobby Outraged By US Senate Bill

A US Senate bill aimed at toughening sanctions on Russia has been slammed by leading members of the European Gazprom lobby as a dirty American trick to promote bad American liquefied petroleum gas and squeeze out good Russian gas from the European market.

Gazprom

The two outraged Gazprom spokespersons, German foreign minister Sigmar Gabriel (SPD) and German chancellor Angela Merkel, reminded the Americans that “Europe’s energy supply is a matter for Germany, that is, Europe to decide and not for the United States of America! We, as Germans, would never put our own economic interests before those of other countries or continents so like stop doing it immediately already. Did I just say we, as Germans? I meant we, as Europeans, of course.”

Ex-Kanzler Gerhard Schröder (SPD) leitet den Verwaltungsrat des Unternehmens Nord Stream II, das dem russischen Energiekonzern Gazprom gehört. Kürzlich erst hatten sich Gabriel, Schröder und der russische Präsident Wladimir Putin am Rande des russischen internationalen Wirtschaftsforums in St. Petersburg getroffen. Schröder hatte auf dem Forum für den Bau der Nordstream-Pipeline geworben.

 

Speaking Of Friends…

This guy gives me gas for some reason.

Gazprom

And he gives Germany some 35 percent of their natural gas, too (not that mine isn’t). AND he’s got this big cat-shit eating grin on his face right now because he just warned them (and the rest of Europe) about the big Versorgungslücke (gas supply gap) that will soon be hitting them but not to worry one little bit because I got all the gas you want for you right here, pal.

Thank goodness countries like Germany thought ahead and only import a mere 35 percent of the natural gas they need from Russia. Otherwise a dangerous dependency might have developed that could have eventually even threatened the Energiewende itself!

Gazprom warnt “Träumer” im Westen vor Gas-Engpass

What Would Gazprom Gerd Do?

Or what will he do, I should ask. Duh. Talk about your no-brainer. You can say what you want about Gerd, but at least he’s consistent.

Gazprom

The European Union has accused Russian energy giant OAO Gazprom of hindering competition and charging unfair prices in the natural-gas markets of Central and Eastern Europe, in a move that risks deepening a rift with Moscow.

“Gazprom has been able to charge higher prices in some countries without fearing gas would flow in from resellers or where the prices were lower.”

Wer ein Staatsunternehmen straft, meint auch den Staat. Moskau versteht die Botschaft des Kartellverfahrens gegen den russischen Gas-Giganten sehr wohl – und wird antworten.

To Russia With Love

I mean with debt. Go with God, Greece, but go (to Russia for more dough). I’m sure they’ll make you an offer you can’t refuse.

Russia

Greece’s energy minister is visiting Russia today after calling for a confrontation with a “Germanised Europe” in the country’s stalling bailout negotiations.

The visit comes less than a fortnight before Greek prime minister Alexis Tsipras is due to visit Russian president Vladimir Putin, the date of which was reportedly brought forward because of Greece’s financial disputes with the European Union.

“Today, it becomes even more evident to me that the pathway of the country away from the crisis goes through tough confrontation, if not collision, with the Germanized Europe.”

Gazprom Gerd Pushing To Pass More Russian Gas

To Germany, that is. Not less (less was yesterday).

Gerd

And being chairman of the Shareholders’ Committee of Nord Stream, the Russian-German natural gas pipeline (51 percent owned by Gazprom, the Russian state gas monopoly), has absolutely nothing whatsoever at all in the slightest to do with this push one itty-bitty tiny little bit.

Former Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder (SPD) said Wednesday that Germany should deepen energy ties with Russia and urged an end to sanctions. Schroeder, who served as Social Democratic chancellor from 1998 to 2005, retains close ties to Russian President Vladimir Putin and celebrated his 70th birthday this year in St. Petersburg, where he was photographed in a bear hug with the Russian leader.

“We would be well-advised to further expand this energy and raw materials partnership with Russia.”