Thursday, 23 June 2022

Mr Putin's Gas is Heating Things Up

We've several times mused over Putin's gas weapon:  how he's carefully kept Germany supplied and, in turn, how careful Ukraine has been with the transit pipelines; how 'green' ignorance on the critical and frankly irreplaceable role of gas in European economies contributed to the remarkable willingness of European countries to approve swingeing sanctions; how Putin couldn't believe this degree of ignorance really existed; how on earth Germany might do without their continual fix of Russian gas.

Well now he's done it: not content with shutting off supplies to non-ruble-compliant buyers in half a dozen 'lesser' countries, Putin has now cut back Nord Stream 1, Germany's only direct import route from Russia, to 40% of capacity, at exactly the time new German laws require that much-depleted gas storage be steadily filled, in order to be full at the start of winter.  The Germans are running around like headless chickens, busily bringing old lignite burners, FFS, back into the powergen fleet.  There isn't a country in Europe with any coal capacity that isn't actively trying to maximise it, Greta or no Greta.

The MSM in this country hasn't really cottoned on yet: hey, it's a record June heatwave!  Barring some astonishing (and right now, quite unexpected) climbdown by somebody, this makes next winter a perilous time for us all: outright gas shortages in mainland Europe, and unheard-of prices everywhere.  Oil won't be far behind gas and electricity.

What is the UK government doing?  Tinkering with a couple of coal plants.  What it's NOT doing is preparing the populace for what's to come.  Ordinarily, this would be a rather obvious thing to do: at least there's a very genuine externality to blame, however you define it.  But I guess an 'optimist' like Johnson has absolutely no interest in looking forward further than, well, the next shag.  I can't even guess how this is going to play out, socially or politically.

ND

72 comments:

rwendland said...

I thought the 60% capacity cut was to press Siemens/Germany/Canada to return the Nord Stream compressor pump under maintenance. Siemens sends them to Canada for servicing, and it has got stuck there because of sanctions. Is this story wrong, or simplified, ND?

https://www.reuters.com/business/energy/canada-seeking-pathway-enable-german-gas-flow-amid-russian-sanctions-bloomberg-2022-06-21/

I guess all the Nord Stream pumps are Siemens pumps from their part of the joint venture, and Russia foresees this maintenance issue growing into a total shutdown eventually (or expensive pump replacement), so want to nip it in the bud.

Nick Drew said...

In Germany it is widely being reported as just a pretext, a form of dumb insolence, and they are reacting accordingly

Gazprom has very adequate capacity to make good the shortfall through other routes, which ordinarily is what they would do, and they ain't.

rwendland said...

... An older Reuters story has a touch more technical info:

Siemens said in a statement this week that it supplied so-called aeroderivative gas turbines for a compressor station for Nord Stream 1 in 2009.

These were manufactured in Canada and needed to be regularly sent back for maintenance, Siemens Energy said, adding one of the turbines was currently being overhauled in Montreal.


https://www.reuters.com/business/energy/canada-reports-talks-with-germany-siemens-made-nord-stream-1-equipment-2022-06-16/

Seems eight Siemens SGT-A65 and SGT-A35 models were supplied at Portovaya on the Baltic, and currently only three of them are working. They seem to be owned directly by Gazprom rather than the joint venture Nord Stream AG:

https://www.upstreamonline.com/production/gazprom-reduces-gas-supplies-to-germany-and-italy/2-1-1237849

Of course, Gazprom may be bigging up the issue at a convenient time. They must have a lot of pumping stations using non-Siemens compressors. But it sounds like a real underlying problem that would become urgent at some point.

https://www.upstreamonline.com/production/gazprom-reduces-gas-supplies-to-germany-and-italy/2-1-1237849

Nick Drew said...

I haven't seen anything on whether Gazprom has claimed force majeure yet

E-K said...

Sorry but this nation of kidults thoroughly deserves it.

Anonymous said...

"at least there's a very genuine externality to blame"

You mean US foreign policy? The Wolfowitz Doctrine?

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wolfowitz_Doctrine

"Our first objective is to prevent the re-emergence of a new rival, either on the territory of the former Soviet Union or elsewhere, that poses a threat on the order of that posed formerly by the Soviet Union. This is a dominant consideration underlying the new regional defense strategy and requires that we endeavor to prevent any hostile power from dominating a region whose resources would, under consolidated control, be sufficient to generate global power."

The UK could have thrown a spanner in Ukraine NATO accession at any time, merely by saying it would veto it. Then there wouldn't be a war, I could fill up my car, and German factories would be humming.

Admittedly the US would have tried to destroy the City of London, probably in alliance with the EU. But the City no longer acts in the interests of the British people anyway.

Here's John Mearsheimer in 2016, predicting precisely where we are now.

https://twitter.com/DavidSacks/status/1538623808151511041

Still, there's hope. When the idiot Patrick Sanders read his script

'I am the first Chief of the General Staff since 1941 to take command of the Army in the shadow of a land war in Europe involving a continental power... The scale of the enduring threat from Russia shows we've entered a new era of insecurity'

And it was reported in the Mail, two months ago the commenters would have denounced bully Russia and made clever remarks about Munich. Now they're not having any. After all, we can't defend our own borders, never mind Ukraine's.

Top comment - "Heaven help us all! The Masters of War are at it again!"

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-10930527/Prepare-fight-beat-Russia-World-War-Britains-general-warns.html#comments

Just think - in 1999 NATO bombed Serbia for doing exactly what Ukraine are doing - taking military action against a self-declared secessionist republic. Why didn't NATO support Serbia then? Why did they play the part Russia is playing now - protecting the secessionists?

Nick Drew said...

like I said, anon, however you define it

But in case you hadn't noticed, Ukr never joined NATO, much as they would have liked to. Who knows who vetoed it? They were "let down" (as they might see it) on that one years ago. Putin's motivation runs a lot deeper and broader than "I've got to stop Ukr joining NATO".

Anonymous said...

NATO = risiNg inflATiOn

Anonymous said...

ND - had they joined NATO we'd be in WW3 already.

The US are really trying to widen the war. I refuse to believe that the EU had anything to do with Lithuania's latest wheeze. One thing this whole shambles has illuminated is the sham of EU independent policy.

As I've said before, the State Department are Jim Jones handing out the Kool-Aid, and the EU/UK are the People's Temple acolytes glugging it down.

Anonymous said...

PS - I disagree with you re "Putin's motivation". US missiles 500 miles from Moscow are an existential threat. It's no good getting your insights from the Economist or Edward Lucas. I remember when I thought Bill Browder was an honest businessman, too.

Anonymous said...

Putin, Solzhenitsyn said in the Der Spiegel interview, "inherited a ransacked and bewildered country, with a poor and demoralized people. And he started to do what was possible — a slow and gradual restoration."

https://ukcommentators.blogspot.com/2008/08/russian-patriot.html

Nick Drew said...

the John Mearsheimer 2016 clip you cited is impressive: a golden gobbet, for sure

his June 2022 speech at the Robert Schuman (referenced in the thread) is, by contrast, much easier to disagree with, in detail

it falls into the trap of allowing Putin to define his way into "justification". The classic of this is Macron/Kissinger who say "Putin must not be humiliated". And who defines what "humiliates" Putin? Why, little Volodya himself - simples! Mearsheimer is only a little way from that, when implicitly he allows Putin to be the sole arbiter of what constitutes an "existential threat". Remember that western-style democratic freedom itself is inevitably an existential threat to any dictatorship. (Xi often says as much.) Sorry, Putin, but yes, I suppose we are. Just by existing.

Sobers said...

"Remember that western-style democratic freedom itself is inevitably an existential threat to any dictatorship. (Xi often says as much.) Sorry, Putin, but yes, I suppose we are. Just by existing."

Its touching that you think we have any democratic freedom in the West.

Diogenes said...

How will the nation, especially pensioners, cope with the rising fuel bills?

Easy. There is a shed load of cash coming their way from Rishi starting next month.

1. £650 split into two with the first payment next month for benefit claimants
2. £300 for pensioners on top of the £200 Winter Fuel Allowance (8m voters)
3. £150 in September if you are disabled
4. £400 for everyone over the winter period

In addition, councils are offering £50 for fuel, £30 for food; and up to £300 if you need new carpets etc (though you could get more)

The government have a cash reservoir which will allow them to hose even more money in the way of [s]improvised[/s] discerning voters.

Boris will be hanging on as he won't want Rishi to get the benefit [pun] of his grand bribe.

DJK said...

The Russians/Gazprom may be acting in dumb insolence in cutting back gas supplies, but you could hardly expect them to bend over backwards to help hostile countries that are all but at war with Russia.

Frankly, I'm with E-K: "this nation of kidults thoroughly deserves it." Come the depths of winter, the so-called Conservative party will be looking back fondly to the June by-elections, when they only suffered a 40% swing to Labour/LD.

When Liz Truss, Ben Wallace and the head of the army are calling for war with Russia (saw the appropriate phrase today, we only have a "parade ground army"), Rishi is printing money like Weimar never happened, and Boris just says whatever BS comes into his head, then I'm afraid that Britain has become worse than a joke --- now, we're just an international embarrassment.

Don Cox said...

"It's touching that you think we have any democratic freedom in the West."

We don't have as much as we used to, but in Britain you can still criticize the government (both people and policies), draw rude cartoons of our leaders, and move around the country without having carry papers.

You can also publish books with all kinds of heterodox views in them.

How things are in Greece, Spain, Iceland, Japan or Israel I don't know.

Don

DJK said...

DC: You can criticise the government all you like, but fancy criticizing multiculturalism, or current, orthodox views on sexual politics? You're liable to get a knock at the front door from the hate crime police.

The ya-boo 'debates' in the HoC and its reflection in the BBC and broadsheet papers is a pretty poor substitute for actual politics, since a rigidly enforced groupthink severely narrows the terms in which any proposition can be discussed. Other countries may have less freedom of expression, but have you not notice that people in Britain have started looking over their shoulders before expressing what they really think?

Don Cox said...

I did say that we don't have as much freedom as we used to.

It seems to me to result from trying to prevent an open war between the indigenous peoples and the colonists. So far this is successful, but I don't know how long it will hold.

Don

Sobers said...

"We don't have as much as we used to, but in Britain you can still criticize the government (both people and policies), draw rude cartoons of our leaders, and move around the country without having carry papers."

Ah, great so I can draw a nasty picture of Boris, but I can't even draw any picture of Mohammed, however attractive I might make him. Or indeed show a film about his life.

We either have freedom or we don't. A prisoner may be allowed out of prison on licence, that doesn't mean he's free to do what he likes. Step over the line, back in chokey for you sunshine. We have Potemkin Village freedoms - a few inconsequential ones for people like you to point at and say 'See, what are you complaining about?' while in reality if you step across the line the State will crush you. Just ask Tommy Robinson.

DJK said...

Mr. T. Robinson (or whatever his real name is) is an interesting case. From what I've seen, he's a pretty repulsive individual. But (I think I'm right in saying) he was the lone voice calling attention to the Rotherham child abuse scandal, way before any respectable people were.

Anonymous said...

"a rigidly enforced groupthink severely narrows the terms in which any proposition can be discussed. Other countries may have less freedom of expression, but have you not notice that people in Britain have started looking over their shoulders before expressing what they really think?"

It's certainly a long time since I've heard anyone say "It's a free country" when explaining themselves.

PS - I never fail to be amazed at the insight people in the UK have into Vladimir Putin's mind and motives. I'm sure he'd like to go down in history as a great Russian patriot, which he will - if he wins. But the US have him and his nation squarely in their sights, and tossers like Boris to support them to the last Ukrainian. Still, all's not lost - Castro was on the US doorstep, and he died peacefully in his bed.

Sobers said...

"Mr. T. Robinson (or whatever his real name is) is an interesting case. From what I've seen, he's a pretty repulsive individual."

So you think that repulsive individuals (as determined by you natch) shouldn't have freedoms? Nice jackboots you've got......

DJK said...

"Nice jackboots you've got....."

Thanks. They go quite nicely with my BLM t-shirt and Lenin cap. I still don't think I want to invite Stephen Yaxley-Lennon round to dinner though.

dearieme said...

"he was the lone voice calling attention to the Rotherham child abuse scandal, way before any respectable people were."

It's one of the great lessons of life, how often the bloody fools prove right and all the grave, sensible people wrong.

E-K said...

I'm sure Stephen Yaxley-Lennon would be a lot less likely to batter your missus than one John Winston Lennon, adored by the Left.

I expect the former would be very well mannered if invited into your home for tea.

Caeser Hēméra said...

I believe I met Robinson before he was (in)famous on a random train journey chat, the face certainly matches the memory, as does the type of discussion. He wasn't unpleasant to talk to, a little strident on some subjects, but no more than any other randomer I've chatted politics with.

Of course, people do change. For me, he's a bit of a Poundland Farage, and who isn't smart enough to know where you should have boundaries.

As for freedom to draw Muhammed and Allah, you're perfectly free to do that, just as people are perfectly free to protest. Same with the film. Vue showed it without kowtowing to the nutty brigade.

I've certainly seen Christians protest, but in the UK they're a little less behead-y, so we kind of just laugh at them, but it's the same underlying Godbothering instinct to expect everyone to follow your invisible sky fairy's rules.

They all could do with being told a little more turning of the other cheek and shutting the fuck up would be nice, the Muslims probably a little more stridently than the rest. Maybe in a room with a few biographies of Henry the Eighth.

And at the same time, some of the "progressives" need to be told Stone Age fantasies are no more validated when the fantasiser has a bushy beard, writes their screed in Arabic script and needs a compass to pray in the right direction.

Sobers said...

"As for freedom to draw Muhammed and Allah, you're perfectly free to do that, just as people are perfectly free to protest. "

Tell that to the teacher from Batley who is probably still in hiding after showing his class a picture of Mo. And indeed tell it to the people who were prosecuted for making an (admittedly very tasteless) parody of the Grenfell disaster and sharing a video of it with their mates.

There is no rule of law in the UK any more, its all about whether your views coincide with those in power. If they do, then you can do what you like, block roads, make the police kneel in front of you in the middle of a pandemic, destroy statues with impunity. But if you protest about lockdowns you'll get baton charged, make any points about trans people or how Muslim worship a paedophile then you'll be arrested and convicted. Its pretty much like Putin's Russia, if you're in with the the people/person in charge you're golden, if you're not your life is in ruins.

Anonymous said...

What’s happening with Rough storage - are there any plans to commission it before winter?

Won’t the lack of lng landing terminals in Europe mean that the uk will be alright? If the gas can’t be physically landed in mainland Europe and the UK - Europe link only has so much capacity then won’t that mean lower gas prices through winter in the UK?

Al

Anonymous said...

ND - this RUSI piece seems in your territory. The basic thesis is that Russia is vastly out-producing the US in ammunition and missiles.Remember all those "Russia will run out of ammunition in 2 weeks" stories a couple of months ago?
The Kalibr motor manufacturers advertised 500 new positions in April. I haven't seen any job ads at Summerfield (Roxel) lately.

They also argue that de-industrialising is bad news if you need skilled production workers in a hurry.

"Generating new capacity is very challenging, especially as there is so little manufacturing capacity left to draw skilled workers from. "

Of course it might just be arms producers saying "give us more money!"

https://rusi.org/explore-our-research/publications/commentary/return-industrial-warfare

"The war in Ukraine demonstrates that war between peer or near-peer adversaries demands the existence of a technically advanced, mass scale, industrial-age production capability. The Russian onslaught consumes ammunition at rates that massively exceed US forecasts and ammunition production. For the US to act as the arsenal of democracy in defence of Ukraine, there must be a major look at the manner and the scale at which the US organises its industrial base. This situation is especially critical because behind the Russian invasion stands the world’s manufacturing capital – China. As the US begins to expend more and more of its stockpiles to keep Ukraine in the war, China has yet to provide any meaningful military assistance to Russia. The West must assume that China will not allow Russia to be defeated, especially due to a lack of ammunition. If competition between autocracies and democracies has really entered a military phase, then the arsenal of democracy must first radically improve its approach to the production of materiel in wartime."

Nick Drew said...

Al - Rough + gas prices: another post to follow

anon - yes, absolutely: agree 100%. BUT watch out for what happens when the USA does ramp up: see WW2. It's happening, BTW: (a function of pork-barrel politics as much as anything - "the American Way")

China will be cautious: you perhaps saw me opine at a very early stage that arrival of Chinese drones would be the critical indicator: but that we've since seen Putin humiliate himself to a degree which makes that unlikely. We've had a great BTL input that China doesn't want RussFed as a "deadbeat dad" client, NK on steroids, so to speak: an excellent observation.

But one certainly couldn't rule out supplies of basic artillery ammo, quietly shipped in large quantities

Finally, there's the fascinating question of how long Russian industry can keep functioning without western tech supplies. Many people say "not very long". The key is that it was substantially Germany that was sleeving for Russia since 2014, rather than (say) India. And German industry, to its infinite regret, has been told to stop.

Of course, the global black market is only just swinging into action: but there are limits.

Nick Drew said...

That excellent BTL China comment was from Clive, BTW - here

http://www.cityunslicker.co.uk/2022/06/what-putin-didnt-do-next.html?m=0

Anonymous said...

"there's the fascinating question of how long Russian industry can keep functioning without western tech supplies. Many people say "not very long"."

I hope those weren't the same people who said Russia would be out of ammo in 2 weeks ;-)

Necessity is the mother of invention, and Russia has some bright people. China has a billion people with average IQ 105 and, while not wanting to shove 2 fingers in American faces, are well aware that if Russia is beaten they are next in the firing line.

I was interested to see that the visual/comms end of stuff like the Orlan 10 drone is basically cobbled together from consumer items. Saw a tweet the other day from someone (DPR) saying that even £2k DJI drones are useful. Ukraine put out an urgent call last week for 5 commercial-spec DJIs, as used by surveying companies, along with infra-red camera add-ons. Where's all that stuff made? Shenzhen.

Bill Quango MP said...

Mr Drew makes the point. The USA has incredible capacity to expand its industrial and technical and military base.

Alone of the combatants of WW2, the only rationing was for fuel for private cars, and sales of new civilian cars.

Most ( some 88%) of USA families owned a car in 1942. A figure that Europe would not get anywhere near until, …. about now.
50% of uK families had a car in 1970.

The USA aircraft production, in 1941, in total, including the navy, and training and transport, fighter and bombers, all types, was 2500. Including the aircraft it was building for orders to export to the allies.

In 1945 production was some 300,000.
About the same as the UK and USSR combined.

From an almost standing start, to 300,000.

That figure can be applied to any other military equipment also. Tanks, guns, ships. Coats. Boots. Radios. Paint. Rope. Tyres. Tinned rations. Anything,

The scale of production is frightening. Especially considering, unlike Europe and Japan, this was not a total war for the USA. Their reserves, if they had needed to call on them, were there.
As they are today.

Also note that the military and the supply of the military, in the USA today, as a result of ww2, is also a sort of employment and social security, welfare type of program.

Those odd bases in odd places provide employment. Provide a core for the infrastructure and economic activity around them.
For the USA, spending on military is not all waste. The artillery shells for Ukraine sustain USA communities..

As I understand, the only shortages are occurring in tech that just isn’t made anymore. Such as the Stinger missile system.
(Whose first uk operational success was during the Falklands War, 40 years ago.)



Anonymous said...

But BQ, the USA isn't the USA of 1940, any more than the UK is even the UK of 1965. It's not the "gigantic boiler" of Churchill's phrase.

It looks as if this thread, like the war, is escalating quickly. At least no one here is in doubt that the USA are in this up to their necks. But IMHO if this turns into US and colonies vs Russia/China there's no way this will end well for any of us. Can't see a non-nuclear ending if "destroy Russian strategic independence at all costs" is the game.

US hubris is impressive.

E-K said...

The USA is woke and morally broke.

It is corpulent, entitled, meddling and corrupt. A collective of corporations (not peoples) and anti British.

Perhaps it is taking on Putin to get to China - but China is the real threat here and caused incalculable damage to the West and got away with it.

Our chump of a PM is America's stooge, as were the others after Thatcher. We are now Russia's #1 target.

Way to go Boris !

Anonymous said...

"China is the real threat here and caused incalculable damage to the West and got away with it"

But "the West" - in reality Western elites, not the citizens of Western countries - were completely happy to shut the factories, send the jobs overseas and open the borders to cheap labour. They're still at it - witness anyone who talks of "labour shortages" - which translates as "a shortage of people who'll do the job for the money we are prepared to pay". I remember when if you needed staff, you raised pay rates, not asked Boris for more visas. That's how capitalism is supposed to work.

None of this was China's fault - they just took advantage of our elite's greed. They saw the place as

a) a big market for them - "if we have only 1.5% of the market, that's X squillion dollars!"

b) cheap, compliant labour for them

I'll say one thing for the leadership of both Russia and China - with all their corruption, they seem to care about the Russians and the Chinese. Damned if our lot care about their people.

It makes me sad to see Poland, who are always under attack from the EU, lining up against Russia. Over the centuries the Polish national boundaries have been shoved to and fro (mostly by Russia), their people have been slaughtered and sent to camps - but there's still a Polish people, a Polish language, a Polish identity. Russia/Soviet Union didn't destroy that.

But if the EU have their way, Warsaw will be like Birmingham Alabama or Birmingham UK. It won't be Polish any more than London is English.

Talking of which, when America becomes the great arsenal of "democracy", will all the vehicles come from Detroit?

https://www.istockphoto.com/photos/detroit-ruins

Nick Drew said...

Some people's understanding of the USA around here is about as accurate as Japan's was in 1940

Detroit is a ruin, OK. Nobody takes any pleasure in ruin: and the dust bowl didn't look particularly scenic pre 1940, either

But like I said, the US military production-lines are starting up again

Again, some people seem to be trying to paint myself & BQ as some kind of irrational warmongers. Nope, we are historians of past wars, and critical observers of this one. You'll not find anything in this blog advocating anything against Russia or Putin (except a little scorn, and a suggestion he ought seriously to worry about the Finland precedent) prior to his invasion, and just amazement at his utterly crass conduct of military affairs since kick-off, and awful misreading of several critical geo-political factors. Ditto, you won't find any predictions of his running out of ammo. "Who's to stop him?" is what I wrote.

you will, however find me calling Biden "a senile prat" over his crass conduct in Afghanistan: "utterly senile. He seems capable of dropping any ball ... what other half-baked nonsense will the White House perpetrate?"

You will find me crediting Putin with "giving a lot of help" to the USA post 9/11; that European leaders, esp Germany, had culpably placed themselves in Putin's hands via energy dependency (and - this was September last year - would soon need to fire up their coal and lignite plants again); that nobody in Europe was taking the incipient energy crisis seriously enough; that in 2022 "Biden [will] drop a major bollock vis-a-vis China & Russia"; that he was not to be believed when he said (in Jan 22) "he'll make sure 'Europe is able to make it through the winter' as regards natural gas". You will also find CU recognising that Crimea 2014 was a very successful coup de main that the Chinese would find very difficult to emulate in Taiwan.

Etc etc. So pop away if you must, but around here your 'targets' are men of straw of your own creation

Anonymous said...

@Nick Now you've got that off your chest - Biden,Putin, Xi - what's your view of Boris and other European leaders?

Or are they just side-show Bobs?

Sparky said...

Has anyone checked Gridwatch recently. We're exporting a bucket load of power through interconnects to Europe.

Wonder who is doing the checking and paperwork forms on the receiving side to make sure it is up to scratch?

jim said...

Seems to me the Pentagon does not really want Russia beaten but does not want Ukraine lost either. The Germans and British want what the Pentagon wants. A bit of a mess.

Then the lack of industrial capacity tells us we would not last long in a serious conventional war, have to go nuclear pretty soon. Not a good look. Unless horses and WW1 field guns are Putin's thing in which case we will do well.

As for telling the populace how bad things are going to get - why bother to stir up trouble. Trouble will come all by itself. Anyway, the wheels fall off most problems before they reach you. And of course someone might climb down.

Not sure Biden made a bad call over Afghanistan. Just a dead loss of a place with no chance of being friendly. A money pit. So get out quick and don't tell the Brits.

Elby the Beserk said...

Jumping Vlad Putin - it's a gas, gas, gas


https://www.breitbart.com/europe/2022/06/25/germany-warns-of-lehman-brothers-style-financial-collapse-if-gas-crisis-continues/

Elby the Beserk said...

Anonymous said...
@Nick Now you've got that off your chest - Biden,Putin, Xi - what's your view of Boris and other European leaders?

Or are they just side-show Bobs?

7:01 am
================================================

If Johnson's a leader, I'd rather head in a different direction.

Anonymous said...

BQ, ND, CU - I have huge respect for the writers on this blog, from whom I've learned a great deal, and no intention of "having a pop" or accusing anyone of warmongering.

Not accusing you three, but there are so many unanswered questions about this (literal) shambles. No one seems to be able to articulate WHY it's so important to push NATO right to Russia's boundaries, even at the cost of war. The North Atlantic seemingly extends to the Sea of Azov and the and the foothills of the Caucasus (Georgia).

"Germany, had culpably placed themselves in Putin's hands via energy dependency..."

Why culpably? What's wrong with Russia providing energy and raw or processed materials to Europe? It's got stuff that we need and they are happy to sell it. No one seems to have an answer.

OTOH some people have an answer - that the US, following Wolfowitz Doctrine, is determined that Russia is not allowed strategic independence, a conviction reinforced by Russia's intervention in Syria against the "moderate jihadis", at the request of the Syrian government.

And what we have seen - particularly over NS2 which the US were dead set against - at least matches that theory. For such people Russia has indeed made grave mistakes - the gravest being not mounting a "special military operation" after the 2014 Nuland coup, which would have been far less bloody.

I debate these people elsewhere, some of whom are very gung-ho about US decline - and there I argue that there's a deal of ruin in a nation, that the US still disposes of a great deal of power, and that the outcome of this US vs Russia/China struggle is not by any means a foregone conclusion.

Still, I ain't got nuthin against them Russians. No Russian ever called me a racist. Whereas the RAF, which both my parents served, don't want people like me.

https://www.gbnews.uk/news/raf-apologises-for-email-seeking-preferably-not-white-male-candidate-to-represent-them-at-top-gun-event/286860

dearieme said...

"Why culpably?" Because it's cretinous - or traitorous - to put yourself in the hands of a monopoly supplier. If the idiots had kept their coal and nuke stations running their position would be less vulnerable.

andrew said...

Clive is right (imo) _today_ and that will remain the case until China can secure it's own supply lines of advanced technology equipment.
It does not yet make the machines that make the machines. That is Japan and taiwan and s. Korea and the us (possibly incomplete here).

I expect china to carry on pointing out how the west is the past etc until they have their hands on the future. say around 2030...

At that point a proxy war between the us/ukraine and china/russia would serve their purpose.

Based on that and the germans choosing to kowtow to russia (as pointed out elsewhere other paths are narrow and steep and involve great discomfort) there will be growing dividing lines in the west.

Anonymous said...

Good to see the Tories getting a good thrashing in Tiverton and Honiton, with the Red Tories losing a 20,000 majority.

And here's another thing.

Boris Johnson says RMT leader Mick Lynch is asking for too much money. The chutzpah!

Anonymous said...

"it's cretinous - or traitorous - to put yourself in the hands of a monopoly supplier"

A LOT of British defence kit's from a monopoly supplier - the US. Our nuclear deterrent is only independent as long as they send us the missiles (I know we make our own warheads). All our SIGINT/ELINT stuff is American AFAIK. No one's bothered by that except perhaps me.

Pretty much all our electronic and computing kit is from China, why's no one bothered by that?

There was no problem with having Russia as a monopoly energy supplier, as long as you have good relations with Russia. Similarly just let a magnum of Cristal fall on Boris's head, he announces we'll buy as much oil and gas as Russia can ship, and then we'll wonder why our Tridents don't work and all the screens on our Poseidon P8s, Rivet Joints, Globemasters and F-35s say "404 Not Found".

l

Bill Quango MP said...

The Uk has been an ally of the USA for the last eighty years.
Have not been enemies for over 200 years.
Great Britain was at war with Russia more recently than it has been at war with the USA.

So hardly a big gamble to buy from USA.



Anonymous said...

"The Uk has been an ally of the USA for the last eighty years."

Yea, that's why we need ( currently ) thirteen US military bases on our soil.

"Have not been enemies for over 200 years."

The man who's boot is on your neck is not your friend.

"Great Britain was at war with Russia more recently than it has been at war with the USA."

When was the UK at war with Russia?

Timbo614 said...

"When was the UK at war with Russia?"
Um, today...

PM in Ukraine pact with Macron
Leaders promise surge in military support against Russia as Johnson hails ‘le bromance’ - https://www.thetimes.co.uk/

Anonymous said...

Crimean war would be the last time, though we sent troops to support the Whites during the post-Revolution period.

We nearly fought in 1878.

"We don't want to fight but by Jingo if we do,
We've got the ships, we've got the men, we've got the money too,
We've fought the Bear before, and while we're Britons true,
The Russians shall not have Constantinople."

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h1ZFzs7hL5g

Anonymous said...

Less than 30 years after that song we were fighting the Turks and we were on Russia's side. My grandfather got quite seriously damaged by them at Gaza, and his regiment got seriously damaged earlier at Suvla Bay.

Give me a Russian over a Turk any day.

Anonymous said...

Timbo614: "Um, today..."

Declaration?

Because that's the only thing that is restraining Russia from decimating the UK.

We have two (2) divisions ( 30,000 men ) avaliable for deployment in the British army. Russia has more or less wiped out the Ukranian army (East Ukraine ) of roughly 150,000 - 200,000 men.

But we've just given our weapons to Ukraine. So British army is hardly battle ready.

The government were rationing the artiliary shells avaliable per day in Iraq, the Iraqi militia are not the Russians.

According to RUSI Russia is firing 6200 artiliary rounds a day.

In war games, "UK forces exhausted national stockpiles of critical ammunition after eight days", Russia has been sustaining in excess of 7000 rounds per day for four months.

Bill Quango MP said...

Are you seriously suggesting that the UK is a captive of the USA ? Is only in the NATO alliance as it has been occupied, against its will by the United States?
The other NATO members with missiles or bases. They are captives too? Is South Korea an occupied country? Is Iceland? Is Cuba governed by the US? Because of Guantanamo.

When the French in 1966, told the Americans, and every other NATO member, to remove all of their forces from France, they all went.
Nato headquarters was in France. It had to be moved to Belgium.

It’s not that hard for the uk to get us forces to leave forever. Just write a letter and the USA will go pack up.

Anonymous said...

"Are you seriously suggesting that the UK is a captive of the USA ?"

Yes. There is a restricted bound of acceptable behaviour. Suez was outside of it, Falklands was just, ... just inside it.

Iraq we were hand in glove with the US, in fact they had their hand up Tony Blair's arse.

"The other NATO members with missiles or bases. They are captives too?"

Yes

"When the French in 1966, told the Americans, and every other NATO member, to remove all of their forces from France, they all went."

France doesn't matter to the alliance, so long as the US had Germany and the UK.

"Just write a letter and the USA will go pack up"

Ha ha! Keep telling yourself that bud.

Timbo614 said...

>Declaration?
It's a De facto proxy war against Russia by the eu/uk/usa using the Ukrainian army to man the front lines. Our (Boris's) belligerent attitude is singling us out as aggressors.
I'm with you though that it serves US interests more than Europe's but that doesn't mean that the UK is under the US's jackboot.

Elby the Beserk said...

Anonymous said...
Good to see the Tories getting a good thrashing in Tiverton and Honiton, with the Red Tories losing a 20,000 majority.

And here's another thing.

Boris Johnson says RMT leader Mick Lynch is asking for too much money. The chutzpah!

5:03 pm
=======================================================

Above average salaries
Above average pensions
Above average working conditions
Like to strike on safety grounds to get more money, which oddly makes them safer overnight.

Where's Mrs. T when you need her?

Johnson crumpled before the Unions during lockdown, allowing teachers to inflict horrible damage to kids by forcing them to be masked all day. Johnson is a wretch who seems intent on destroying the tattered remnants of conservatism in the UK. And the UK.

https://brownstone.org/articles/how-dangerous-are-masks-for-children/

Anonymous said...

To get back to the original post - so Germany still wants gas from Russia, and are aggrieved they aren't getting as much as they'd like.

In which case, can I please have some diesel from Russia? And 2500 litres of hearing oil? I hear their oil is clean stuff that doesn't need much processing.

As I understand it, the UK is impoverishing its own citizens with these sanctions, yet Russia is making more money from oil sales than it did before sanctions were applied. So we, not Russia, are paying a price. "NATO Inflation"

Surely then the biggest hit the UK and EU can make on "Putin's War Machine⟨™⟩" is to cancel the oil sanctions?

Elby the Beserk said...

More on Ukraine from Mearsheimer - two hours but I am sure absorbing, having read his "The Great Delusion: Liberal Dreams and International Realities" which predicted the disaster that has overcome Ukraine.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qciVozNtCDM

"Professor John J. Mearsheimer will discuss the current Russian invasion on Ukraine whilst exploring the potential causes and consequences of the crisis.

In this lecture, Prof. Mearsheimer will aim to focus on both the origins of the war in Ukraine and some of its most important consequences. He will argue that the crisis is largely the result of the West’s efforts to turn Ukraine into a Western bulwark on Russia’s border. Russian leaders viewed that outcome as an existential threat that had to be thwarted. While Vladimir Putin is certainly responsible for invading Ukraine and for Russia’s conduct in the war, Prof. Mearsheimer states that he does not believe he is an expansionist bent on creating a greater Russia. Regarding the war’s consequences, the greatest danger is that the war will go on for months if not years, and that either NATO will get directly involved in the fighting or nuclear weapons will be used — or both. Furthermore, enormous damage has already been inflicted on Ukraine. A prolonged war is likely to wreak even more devastation on Ukraine.

Prof. John J. Mearsheimer is the R. Wendell Harrison Distinguished Service Professor in the Political Science Department at the University of Chicago."

DJK said...

"The Uk has been an ally of the USA for the last eighty years." Yes, but the US will not hesitate to act in their own interests. The most recent case was the US having a hissy fit and threatening to stop intelligence sharing if the British government blocked the takeover of Ultra Electronics by a US PE group. During the Falklands war, it was only the intransigence of the Argentinian government in blocking every offer of sovereignty sharing that finally forced the Reagan government to commit to Britain, and not support their client in Argentina.

And during and after WW2, the US was explicit in trying to force the breakup of the British Empire.

Since Suez, British foreign policy has always been to do whatever the Americans want, more enthusiastically than anybody else. This has been helped by having many politicians with a personal connection to the USA. It's not a bad policy, but there is no effective British lobby in the US pushing policies that would benefit Britain in return, as there is an Israeli lobby, or (with the Biden government) a Ukranian lobby.

Anonymous said...

Elby the Beserk: "Johnson crumpled before the Unions during lockdown, [ snip ] Johnson is a wretch who seems intent on destroying the tattered remnants of conservatism in the UK. And the UK."

Johnson was I think threatened. I really can't explain his volt face over the shutdowns, in any other way. Over a period of 48 hours he went from, 'we may experience a large number of deaths but we will get through this', ... to we need to lock down to save the NHS ( which they've subsequently sold off to the pharmaceutical lobby).

So, yea, Johnson is an empty suit, a nothing-burger, or worse, an instrument of the WEF.

"in fact they [the US] had their hand up Tony Blair's arse."

I was thinking about GW1, when it is accepted that Kuwait was 'greenlit' for Saddam by the State department.

It's a tribute to the relationship Thatcher had with Reagan that the Americans did an about face on that too. But generally speaking, the UK toes the US line.

Bill Quango MP: "Just write a letter and the USA will go pack up"

Interesting tho, any potential Prime minister that might be likely to 'just write a letter', never gets to be Prime Minister; Michael Foot, Jeremy Corbyn.

Anonymous said...

"there is no effective British lobby in the US pushing policies that would benefit Britain in return, as there is an Israeli lobby"

Note that America's Greatest Ally In The Middle East hasn't got any sanctions on Russia, though they would like to sell gas and electricity to the mugs who ARE sanctioning!

https://time.com/6187361/eu-israel-gas-power/

“European Union Working to Forge Gas and Power Ties With Israel”

Anonymous said...

"If someone could kill Putin all our problems are solved"

https://responsiblestatecraft.org/2022/06/06/why-russian-intellectuals-are-hardening-support-for-war-in-ukraine/

"An article by Dmitri Trenin, entitled “How Russia must reinvent itself to defeat the West’s ‘hybrid war’: Russia’s very existence is under threat,” may be one of the most consequential published in Russia in recent times — partly for what it says, and partly for who is saying it.

Dr. Trenin, director of the Carnegie Moscow Center until the Russian government closed it in April, was for many years one of the most important pragmatic Russian voices in support of cooperation with the West and the “westernization” of Russia. He was one of the few Russian figures still to retain some of Gorbachev’s hopes for a “common European home.” (I should say that I have known Dr Trenin since I was a British journalist in Moscow in the 1990s, and I was his colleague at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace between 2000 and 2004).

The significance of Trenin’s article lies in the evidence it gives of a consolidation of the Russian intellectual elites in support of the war effort in Ukraine. It is not in many cases out of a desire to conquer Ukraine (many of the figures joining this new consensus were strongly opposed to the invasion and loathe Putin), but out of an increasingly strong feeling that the United States is trying to use the war in Ukraine to cripple or even destroy the Russian state, and that it is now the duty of every patriotic Russian citizen to support the Russian government."

Anonymous said...

I tried to read Trenin's original article in translation on RT, but it looks as if UK providers are blocking it - "www.rt.com’s DNS address could not be found." Free country and all that.

Russian version here

https://globalaffairs.ru/articles/politika-i-obstoyatelstva/

Via Tor I read it

"War is always the most severe and cruel test of durability, endurance and inner strength. Today, and for the foreseeable future, Russia is a country at war. "

Funny - I'm told in all respectable media outlets that anyone in Russia using the "war" word immediately gets 5 years in jail!

Anonymous said...

If Russia are saying they are at war, then Putin won’t have to continue bribing the reserves with five years of pay for going to fight in Ukraine as ‘volunteers.’

If he declares an actual war, he can call them up and send them off to the Putingrad city street fighting, for conscript pay.

Elby the Beserk said...

Anonymous said...
"The Uk has been an ally of the USA for the last eighty years."

Yea, that's why we need ( currently ) thirteen US military bases on our soil.

"Have not been enemies for over 200 years."

The man who's boot is on your neck is not your friend.

"Great Britain was at war with Russia more recently than it has been at war with the USA."

When was the UK at war with Russia?

10:23 pm
=========================================================================

You must have missed WWII?

E-K said...

Elby

31 years a driver and never been on strike. Most of my service in the private sector. That goes for 90% of staff.

You hear about the militant TfL/RMT or Southern but the vast majority of TOCs (20 odd) have never seen industrial action.

Whenever I've wanted better pay or conditions I've simply moved my labour to a company that has offered it.

Privatisation was the best thing to have happened to staff.

BTW - engineering and signalling grades have accepted massive job cuts and modernisation drives over recent decades. Most regions now have centralised Power Signal Boxes and much engineering has been outsourced.

E-K said...

https://www.thesun.co.uk/health/mens-health-and-fitness/19023008/urologist-why-teach-boys-pee-sitting-down/

Off topic but here we go...

The battle of the (multi) sexes to stop men being men and their right to pee standing up and not having to queue (feminists resent this.) Already new council buildings here are being built with unisex (non urinal) toilets.

*The Science* has been used to lock us down, control our language (what is a woman ?) vaccinate us, hike our fuel prices, block our roads... take away femininity - now it will be used to take away the one remaining male advantage.

What was it the General said ? Putin is the greatest threat to Western democracy ???

Really ? REALLY ????

What planet is he on ? Planet Woke or something ?

Anonymous said...

Elby the Beserk: You must have missed WWII?

What !??

Anonymous said...

I think we did send some volunteers to help the Finns in early 1940, while the Phoney War was still on.

Biggles Sees It Through, published 1941, features our hero in Finland.

Anonymous said...

"I think we did send some volunteers to help the Finns in early 1940,"

In those days, a volunteer went somewhere of his own accord.

Volunteers went from the UK to fight on both sides of the Spanish, but I don't think the British government sent volunteers. In those days it was considered permissible for an individual to make stupid decisions with their own life.

Odd too, that Shamima Begum isn't allowed to go and support/fight for ISIS, and return to the UK, but the brain dead foreign secretary was actually urging British citizens to go fight against Russia in Ukraine. Ukraine, a country we have no mutual defence treaty with and no strategic interest in.

Anonymous said...

Diogenes: " How will the nation, especially pensioners, cope with the rising fuel bills?

Easy. There is a shed load of cash coming their way from Rishi starting next month.

1. £650 split into two with the first payment next month for benefit claimants
2. £300 for pensioners on top of the £200 Winter Fuel Allowance (8m voters)
3. £150 in September if you are disabled
4. £400 for everyone over the winter period.

"

Which of course means that the current inflation ( which has almost nothing to do with 'putin' and everything to do with the WEF inspired incontinence of the British (Tory) government in 2020/2021 'furlow payments' ...

Will get worse.