Warn?

Warn? Sure. But nothing will change.

Warn

German Conservatives Warn on Russian Pipeline Project – Contenders for Angela Merkel’s seat as head of the CDU question controversial project amid mounting Kremlin aggression.

An official close to Ms. Merkel said the German government wouldn’t have any legal means of stopping the pipeline as authorities have already issued permits and construction was under way.

How convenient.

“Many people inside Germany are coming to realize what most people outside of Germany already know: It is unwise to give Russia more influence over Europe’s energy security,”

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Make Law International Again

Ouch. The Kremlin certainly wasn’t expecting that one.

Maas

After Russia’s latest display of disregard for territorial sovereignty, Germany’s foreign minister Heiko Maas has bravely stepped forward and told the roughhouse renegade of a nation that it must now respect international law again. Or else. Or something.

To achieve this, Germany and its European allies need clear principles and a “true dialogue” on common security in Europe, Maas added.

Wow. Dialogue. That’s never been tried before. This guy is the greatest thing since Bismarck. No, not the herring. That chancellor dude.

“The aim must be that Russia sticks to international rules again and that it does not violate the territorial sovereignty of its neighbors.”

PS: The EU ITSELF would have done the lecturing but it’s too busy trying to get rid of daylight savings time. Actually, it’s not all that busy anymore. It just failed at that attempt. Kind of like it always does at practically everything it tries. But to be fair, it was way too ambitious a project for the EU to handle in just one generation.

This Guy Needs Immediate Medical Attention

After Russia’s seizure of three Ukrainian ships in the Black Sea, Ukraine’s ambassador in Berlin has called for – now get ready for this – the deployment of German warships to help clear up the situation.

Ukraine

Either he’s been drinking too much happy juice or he’s living in some parallel universe none of the rest of us have access to. Germany doesn’t have any worships to begin with (that are ready for deployment) and how can you expect a country that isn’t even willing to defend itself to defend somebody else’s country? Coo coo for Coco Puffs!

Kann Deutschland der Ukraine in der neuen Krimkrise militärisch beistehen? Zumindest wünscht sich das der ukrainische Botschafter in Berlin. Die Nato berät in Kürze über das weitere Vorgehen.

German Of The Day: Zusage

That means pledge – like the one Germany just made (increase in defense spending to 2% by 2024 instead of 2028 or 2030).

Zusage

President Donald Trump appeared to declare victory on Thursday in his battle with America’s closest allies to get them to contribute more money to the NATO alliance. Mr. Trump acknowledged that he had taken a tough stance with his European counterparts, demanding they contribute more of their national budgets to defense and saying after Thursday’s meetings, “they upped their commitments and I am very happy…”  

Under fire for his warm embrace of Russia’s Vladimir Putin, Mr. Trump on Wednesday turned a harsh spotlight on Germany’s own ties to Russia, alleging that a natural gas pipeline venture with Moscow has left Angela Merkel’s government “totally controlled” and “captive” to Russia.

Auch Deutschland habe große Zusagen gemacht – das Zwei-Prozent-Ziel solle nun wesentlich früher erreicht werden als ursprünglich geplant – laut Trump nicht erst 2028 oder 2030, sondern schon 2024.

German Of The Day: Gefangener

That means prisoner or captive. You know, as in “Germany is a captive of Russia.”

Yeah. A captive who finally got caught.

Germany

“It pays billions and billions of dollars to Russia for energy. Germany is a rich country. Why should the U.S. protect you against Russia when the two countries are making deals? You tell me, is that appropriate?”

Deutschland ist ein Gefangener Russlands.

Poland Gets It

The U.S. doesn’t stand to lose anything by accepting Poland’s generous proposal and gradually relocating troops there from Germany. A move of this kind would be consistent with stated U.S. goals, such as deterring Russia. It would also allow the U.S. to support an ally eager for closer military ties.

Poland

It might also force Germany to give more thought to its position. Would it feel unprotected with a smaller U.S. presence? Would it, perhaps, be motivated to enhance its own defense? Or would it still be secure in its apparent conviction that no one is interested in attacking it?

The U.S. should offer protection to the countries that want it most, and reduce its involvement with nations that benefited in the mid-20th century. The American military presence should be aligned with its allies’ sense of being threatened. This anxiety gets stronger the closer a country is to Russia’s borders. Ignoring that makes little military or political sense.

Hard As Jello-O

This guy is. When it comes to Germany’s dealings with Russia. He’s making Vlad Putin shake in his boots as we speak or something.

Maas

And that’s why his comrades over at the SPD are expressing their irritation over Foreign Minister Heiko Maas’ “harsh criticism of Moscow” these days. Harsh criticism of Moscow? From Germany? From the SPD? I must have slept right through that.

Since taking over the reigns of the Foreign Ministry some 10 weeks ago, Maas has accused Moscow of “increasingly hostile behavior,” particularly over its actions in Syria where it continues to prop up the regime of Syrian President Bashar Assad.

Maas was also quick to point the finger at Moscow for alleged interference in western elections, last year’s cyber attack on the German government’s computer network, and the poison attack on ex-spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia in Salisbury, England.

But a Russia hardliner from the SPD? Let’s get real. That would be like Gazprom Gerd climbing into to bed with somebody in the White House.

PS: You’ll always find the people who stand for something somewhere else.

Memorial Day

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.”

Russia To Begin Behaving Better Now

Because, well, Germany’s foreign minister has told them to.

Heiko

Thank goodness. I wish someone would have told them this earlier. These tensions with Russia have been really sucky lately. Germany may not be much when it comes to hands-on action in matters like these but they really take the Kuchen (cake) when it comes to giving good advice.

German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas (SPD) on Sunday criticized Russia for a series of activities beyond its borders, blaming it for a cyber attack on his own ministry, and said Moscow must change its ways.

Maas listed a series of what he called problematic actions that also included the lack of progress in implementing a ceasefire in eastern Ukraine, a poison gas attack in Britain, support for the Syrian government, and efforts to influence Western elections.

“It is time, I think, to point out that we expect constructive contributions from the Russian side, including on the Syrian conflict. And also that they don’t always simply protect (Syrian President Bashar) al-Assad.”

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.