Navalny Incident a US Plot to Block Nord Stream 2’s Completion?

When completed and operational, Russia’s Nord Stream 2 pipeline to Germany will double the amount of natural gas Gazprom will be able to supply the country and other European ones — at around a 30% lower cost than US LNG.

That’s why the project is invaluable to beneficiary Western European countries.

Washington wants the project blocked to benefit US LNG producers, harming Russia economically at the same time.

Section 7503(d) of the US FY 2020 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) is titled “Protecting Europe’s Energy Security Act (PEESA) of 2019 (sic).”

It calls for vessels involved in Nord Stream 2 to “immediately cease construction-related activity…wind(ing) down” their operations.

The US diktat applies to “involved parties that have knowingly sold, leased, or provided vessels that are engaged in pipe laying at depths of 100 feet or more below sea level for the construction of Nord Stream 2.”

Parties not complying with the US diktat face sanctions as explained in PEESA.

At the time, the US State Department defied reality, calling Nord Stream 2 “a tool Russia is using to support its continued aggression against Ukraine (sic).”

“Russia seeks to prevent it from integrating more closely with Europe and the United States (sic).”

“Nord Stream 2 would enable Russia to bypass Ukraine for gas transit to Europe, which would deprive Ukraine of substantial transit revenues and increase its vulnerability to Russian aggression (sic).”

“Nord Stream 2 would also help maintain Europe’s significant reliance on imports of Russian natural gas, which creates economic and political vulnerabilities for our European partners and allies (sic).”

“For these reasons, the United States Government and a plurality of European countries oppose Nord Stream 2 (sic).”

On December 31, 2019, Russia’s Gazprom and Ukraine’s Naftogaz signed a five-year deal for Russian gas to transit through Ukrainian territory.

At the time, international oil economist Mamdouh Salamezh said the deal “protects the mutual interests of both countries economically and geopolitically,” adding:

It could improve bilateral relations overall and shows Gazprom to be a “reliable (EU) partner.”

The deal assured no disruption of gas through Ukraine after Nord Stream 2 becomes operational.

At the time, Germany’s Angela Merkel said the following:

“I am glad that one and a half years of talks on Russian gas transit through Ukraine could be successfully concluded.”

“Continued gas transit…is a good and important signal that our European gas supply (from Russia) will be guaranteed.”

Analyst Thierry Bros noted that that Gazprom/Naftogaz deal secured the transit of Russian gas through Ukraine, along with showing that Moscow is a reliable supplier to other European countries.

Time and again, actions by Russia show that it’s a dependable good neighbor, a valued political, economic and trade partner that prioritizes cooperative relations with other nations — polar opposite how the US operates.

Its actions and above State Department remarks reflect its hegemonic agenda at the expense of other nations and their populations.

On Monday, Pompeo said the Trump regime is “working (on) build(ing) a coalition (of European countries) that prevents” Nord Stream 2’s completion.

Was the Navalny novichok poisoning hoax a made-in-the-USA plot to try undermining the project?

Clearly, Russia had nothing to do with his illness aboard a flight to Moscow.

Russian doctors in Omsk performed heroically to save his life, stabilizing him, and finding no toxins of any kind in his blood, urine, liver, or elsewhere in his system.

He’s alive, recuperating, and ambulatory in Berlin because of treatment they provided.

Merkel said Nord Stream 2 and the Navalny incident are separate issues. She favors completion of the project.

Separately, Russia’s envoy to Germany Sergey Nechaev said “(w)e absolutely cannot agree with the ultimatum statement that the Russian government has anything to do with” the Navalny incident, adding:

“We cannot accept ultimatums and threats with sanctions. I regret the anti-Russian hysteria artificially incited in this context.”

Nord Stream 2’s completion is vital for Germany and other European countries that will benefit greatly from low-cost, readily available, Russian natural gas.

If it becomes operational in the coming months, it’ll also be another blow to Washington’s hegemonic project.

Note: On Thursday and Friday at a summit of EU leaders, Nord Stream 2 is on their agenda to discuss.

The fate of the project may be decided at that time.

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Award-winning author Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at [email protected]. He is a Research Associate of the Centre for Research on Globalization (CRG)

His new book as editor and contributor is titled “Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III.”

http://www.claritypress.com/LendmanIII.html

Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com.


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Articles by: Stephen Lendman

About the author:

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at [email protected] His new book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III." http://www.claritypress.com/LendmanIII.html Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com. Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network. It airs three times weekly: live on Sundays at 1PM Central time plus two prerecorded archived programs.

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