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Gas shortage may not be our biggest worry
November 12, 2014, 10:21 am

The current stand-off between the EU and Russia could still go anywhere – from an all-out halt of gas deliveries to the opening of pipelines as if nothing ever happened.

Most probably, something will come out that will give either side the opportunity to pretend it did not give in, some solution that saves face both ways.

My educated guess here is that the previous EU-Commission under José Manuel Barroso has prepared the grounds for his successor Jean-Claude Juncker, who took office November 1.

Juncker is a traditional power politician, having served 18 years as prime minister of his country, the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg, combining that with the position of minister of finance (not uncommon in this tiny country of 550.000 people, about half that of the city of Brussels).

He can be suspected of a lot of things (such as broad logistical support for the use of Luxembourg banks as tax havens for EU companies) but not of being a man standing on solid principled ground.

He will just as easily defend an openly hostile stand against Russia as go for a total reversal of course.

He is, then, the ideal man for whatever comes up next. Political conflicts of such magnitude are obviously not just decided by the whims of one or the other personality who happens to be in power, most certainly not in the EU Commission.

His predecessor Barroso could never credibly find a compromise. Juncker can, which is not to say that he will.

Hoodwinked?

The governments of the EU member states will never openly admit it, but behind closed doors I bet they have already come to the conclusion that the Ukraine conflict has gone way beyond what they had anticipated and that the big ally ‘overseas’ has hoodwinked them into an untenable position.

In the conference rooms of the Berlaymont Building, home of the European Commission in Brussels, the awareness has sunk in that they have supported a coup in Kiev that basically replaced a corrupt and unreliable pro-Russian oligarchy with a corrupt and unreliable pro-Western oligarchy.

Now they are stuck with ‘their’ villains.

Meanwhile, the US is perfectly happy with gas shortages in the coming winter in Brussels and other cities. Well, not so much Brussels itself, the city where I live, which will not feel much.

Belgium only takes about 40 per cent of its gas from Russia; gas is not the main supplier of heating fuel and the country has several weeks of back up reserves in case of emergencies.

However, the forecast for the Baltics and Finland (100 per cent dependence), Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Slovakia (more than 80 per cent) does not look that good.

But then again, on the other side of the ‘gas spectrum’, there are seven EU member states who do not buy gas from Russia at all.

The US has never liked what they conceive as too much EU dependence on Russian gas. What they want instead is EU energy dependence from them (and in the meantime big contracts for American shale gas).

It is too farfetched to state that this was the main or primary reason behind US support for the coup in Kiev instigated by the Maidan massacre, but for Washington it certainly is a nice side-effect of the conflict.

The smell of compromise

My expectation is that some compromise is in the making that will at least pull the Ukraine conflict through the coming winter.

Even if (a big ‘if’) the EU were planning to totally end the purchase of Russian gas in the future, that would take months and months of preparation.

The basic problem here is not this end goal but the transition period itself.

In a situation of such energy dependence, the overwhelming problems such a transition might create could be such that the whole idea will be abandoned anyway.

So, if this was only about gas, the matter could be resolved within a matter of weeks.

As history tells us time and again, it’s never is about one thing. Literally chilling as it might look to the EU citizens directly implicated, there are other issues that should worry us much more.

American dissident Noam Chomsky has already warned that NATO’s policies in the Ukraine are bringing us to the brink of nuclear war with Russia.

His brilliant analysis is well known in progressive circles and gets good coverage in the alternative media in the West (while being completely ignored by the mass media here).

Take, for example, the recent warnings made by hardline neo-con Henry Kissinger, the former US Secretary of State responsible for the most openly aggressive wars during the Cold War from Vietnam to Chile, and a man who has openly defied the Soviet Union and China on many occasions.

When a man like that calls the West’s approach to the crisis (in Ukraine) a “fatal mistake”, that “ignoring this danger any further may result in a “tragedy” … that is not just worrisome, it’s downright scary.

This could still turn into a very nasty thing, shortage of gas supplies might then be the least of our problems.

The views expressed in this article are the author's own and do not necessarily reflect the publisher's editorial policy.

11 Responses to Gas shortage may not be our biggest worry

  1. Roacheforque Reply

    November 12, 2014 at 11:53 am

    Alas, the Kissenger article is already gone.

    • Editor Reply

      November 12, 2014 at 12:40 pm

      Try the link again. It should be working now. – Ed.

    • le brebis galleux blog Reply

      December 9, 2014 at 5:06 pm

      Kissinger : un des pires juifs au monde !

  2. VeMi Reply

    November 14, 2014 at 10:24 pm

    Great article! Wish there are more westerners thinking the same way when it comes to clashes between Russia and USA ( sensible, not taking sides). Hopefully, gas shortige will remain the only problem!

  3. Kenyan Lad Reply

    November 19, 2014 at 1:02 pm

    I am sorry, but WW3 with Russia is what everybody in the West dreams of and many pray for every night.

    The West have always looked at Russia as the Enemy, and the Wests aim has been to invade Russia, break up Russia and steal Russia’s resources for themselves !

    Well sorry to disappoint those in the West, but Russia does not stand alone and when WW3 happens it will be Nato versus the SCO

    Bear in mind:

    The SCO out guns Nato
    The SCO out mans Nato
    The SCO out nukes Nato

    The constant rhetoric, the constant aggression towards China and Russia has gone Past the Point of No Return. It is now a case of the West, waiting one day, one evening when WW3 will be unleashed upon them, making everybody in the West Happy as they have want they have always wanted and craved for repeatedly for years and years!

    However, I suspect the WW3 that comes will not be like the WW3 that the West think will happen – there will be no reset button, but at least you will all be very happy

    Enjoy your last moments, days, weeks

    • Serg Derbst Reply

      November 24, 2014 at 12:01 am

      Excuse me, lad from Kenya, but not everybody in the “West” wants war or even confrontation with Russia. Especially the German people feel more like they owe Russia for their reunification and they view Russia as an honest partner on the same eye level. Of course, there is our Atlanticist “elite” (I wouldn’t even call those careerists an elite, it’s more Washington’s lapdogs with a collective ideological Stockholm syndrome) and about a third of the people who simply believe the Atlanticist ideology and its massive propaganda here and another third who simply doesn’t care about politics, either because they have to struggle with their low income or rather engage in mindless consumerism. But there is also another third who are very aware of things and are getting angrier by the day. The EU just isn’t a democracy anymore, it’s an oligarchy under total control of Washington. It’s the latter that strive for war (they’re dependent on it) and the former that neither has the personnel nor the political strength to do anything about it. But the EU is gonna collapse, countries will leave. Then the agenda of war with Russia will crumble fast. The majority of Europeans hate the EU for bureaucratic braindead zombie that it is!

      • RT in Merica Reply

        December 3, 2014 at 1:25 pm

        Pretty good analysis Serg….Merica is crumbling internally already. Her soul has been rotted out by the same elitists/oligarchy. Most governments now are controlled by the dark forces: the banks, multinational corporations, the military industrial complex, and the oligarchy.

        Here in Merica, similar numbers still believe in the American Way of Life (it’s a lie), another group is too concerned with just getting by, far too many are caught up in consuming goods and entertainment, and a growing number are getting angrier by the day and are taking to the streets again….

        The collapse of empire is close at hand….and with it the puppet nations of NATO.

  4. Enrique Ferro Reply

    December 12, 2014 at 11:19 pm

    A brilliant analysis. The US conspiracy against South Stream has been for years to weaken the Russian economy. After the Soviet collapse, the US establishment has followed Cato’s War Cry: Delenda ist… Moscow. When Russia stopped the US drive to bomb and destroy Syria in 2013, the bets were out: Russia’s assertiveness had crossed the “red line”, and as Hillary Clinton said: “Russia will pay dearly for this”. So the US strategy is to settle scores and as much as end up with Russia, the most important rival they have for their world dominance – after that China and the others, BRICS or not BRICS, should follow. It is indeed scary, because the US establishment may have calculated that even a half destroyed US may be “worth” if Russia and the other contenders are thoroughly destroyed during the process.

  5. Tim Reply

    December 14, 2014 at 10:23 pm

    Russian nuclear missiles are not aware about US exceptionalism.
    But the inhabitants of heaven in the White House do not understand this.
    Game Over.

  6. Tim Reply

    December 14, 2014 at 10:25 pm

    You know what the difference is between US military doctrine and Russia?
    US military doctrine contains the notion of “unacceptable damage”.
    Russian military doctrine contains no such thing. For Russia, any damage will be acceptable, for the sake of destroying the enemy.
    —-
    All US weapons intended for the war against the underdeveloped countries. That is, against Papuans.
    All weapons Russia has a different concept. All weapons Russia originally intended for the war against the United States.
    —-
    US and NATO soldiers are not willing to die for Ukraine.
    But the Russian soldiers ready to die for Ukraine. Because they know and understand that they protect Russian populations from genocide.
    —-
    US spent four years for preparing and arming Saakashvili’s army by NATO standards. Russians took only two weeks to defeat this “made in NATO” army Saakashvili.
    —-
    In any non-nuclear war in the Ukraine, the United States guaranteed to get the crushing defeat from the Russian army. This new US defeat in Ukraine will be much more disastrous for the US than the US defeat in Vietnam.

  7. mahsi k Reply

    December 16, 2014 at 9:08 am

    1962 had the Turkey deal revealed 30 years later. US possibly sending leathal arms aid to Ukraine, Russian response says they have the right to deploy nukes in Crimea. Lots of talk over the last 2-3 years of putting QUOTE ” Missile defense systems to counter Iranian missiles ” on Russian borders. Russia said if so ” We need co-monitering rights ” US said no. Russia says ” If these missiles go on our borders we will have to strike them ” The author of the lead article above has it right about compromise, but it may take the course of the US public not being informed of anything contrary to an unfortunate psycholigical need to “kick those commie’s asses. We will probably not be told the truth here “DUUH ! So, has the US gone and put nukes someplace else this time 1st again ? Perhaps a classified “Poland Deal”

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