Below is our translation from rueconomics.ru of an article showing how US heavy-handed policies are driving Germany away from the US sphere of influence.
In this article, I showed how the policy of bullying countries into economic submission to the US is like a guard dog that, instead of defending against the wolf, attacks other shepherds and their sheep. In the long run, this policy ends up weakening and impoverishing that dog’s master.
Quote from the translated article:
“Aggressive attempts by the United States to promote the interests of its liquefied gas producers in Germany will have the opposite effect, experts say. The threat of US sanctions against German companies involved in the implementation of Nord Stream-2 leads to the gradual formation of a unified consensus of big business and political forces of the Federal Republic of Germany, which in turn brings together the positions of Berlin and Moscow.”
When the first US sanctions were imposed on Russia due to supposed “Russian aggression”, ie, the accession of Crimea to the RF as a result of a legally held referendum (nothing aggressive about it), Russia immediately slapped tariffs on products imported from the West and within a short time, Russia was food-independent. And after that, Russia became one of the biggest grain exporters in the world. Russians thanked the US for the sanctions that led them to do what they should have done before.
The sanctions on companies participating in the construction of Russian gas pipeline Nord Stream 2 had a similar effect, but in that case, they were rejected even more vigorously, particularly by German politicians and investors. The reason for this rejection was that Europeans with half a brain knew that the main reason for the sanctions was not so much to punish Russia but to sell extravagantly priced American LNG to Europe. The European politicians rebuked the US for this ham handed attempt to force them to buy a white elephant, and the US was forced to back down, although they are still harassing, using ambassador to Germany Richard Grenell as their bag man.
US provocations against Nord Stream 2 drive Germany and Russia closer together
January 14, 2019, Berlin, Germany
Aggressive attempts by the United States to promote the interests of its liquefied gas producers in Germany will have the opposite effect, experts say. The threat of US sanctions against German companies involved in the implementation of Nord Stream-2 leads to the gradual formation of a unified consensus of big business and political forces of the Federal Republic of Germany, which in turn brings together the positions of Berlin and Moscow.
US provocations against German companies
The United States continues to attempt to influence the construction of the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline. The threats of imposing sanctions against German companies for participating in the project the day before were made by the US ambassador to Germany Richard Grenell. According to German media, BASF and Uniper even turned to the Foreign Ministry to find out how to better respond to such threats from the US ambassador.
According to the press, the diplomatic department was advised not to respond to the messages, and called the actions of the American ambassador in the German Foreign Ministry a provocation. Grenell was sharply criticized by all political forces in the country. For example, the deputy head of the Left Party faction in the Bundestag, Fabio De Mazi, called the American ambassador "the viceroy of the emperor from Washington in Germany", and said the sanctions against companies from the Federal Republic of Germany are "contradictory to international law."
“Grenell is compared to Trump in the manner of conducting diplomacy, which is extremely aggressive, and unreceptive to any alternative opinion that differs from the American one. The current sanctions pressure is based on the logic of the US actions to aggressively promote its LNG producers on the European market. According to the general line, Nord Stream 2 should be stopped so that the United States can increase the export of liquefied gas to Europe.
Plus, the actions of Americans should be considered in the framework of a single multi-vectorial strategy aimed at isolating Russia. The “Gas war” is only one of the links in this chain, which also manifests in other projects in the economy, politics and cultural sphere. The gradual formation of a unified consensus of German big business and political forces can seriously disrupt these plans of the United States,” said Alexander Kamkin, a leading researcher at the Centre for German Studies at the Institute of Europe, RAS.
Declarative nature of threats
As the interlocutor of FBA Ekonomika Segodnya adds, a couple of years ago certain contradictions were observed here. When the German business was knocking at the offices of political parties and parliament in order to convey their views on economic cooperation with Russia, it heard appeals to separate politics and economics, but now we are seeing a convergence of positions. According to the expert, the blackmail of the Americans on the "Nord Stream 2" today is so annoying to the German political class that it is given a tacit instruction not to take seriously the statement of the American ambassador.
It is worth noting that the implementation of the Nord Stream-2 gas pipeline project has reached the final stage, so any serious impact of US sanctions on the construction process seems unlikely. Moreover, world practice does not know precedents when such projects were frozen at the final stage.
All threats from the US ambassador to Germany are absolutely declarative in nature, since so far there are no bans on working with Nord Stream 2 in the US legislation, said Igor Yushkov, a lecturer at the Financial University under the Russian government. According to the expert, the project is beneficial to Germany and the entire European Union, because it strengthens the reliability of gas supplies to the European energy market, and this is a strategically important point for the entire continent.
“We cannot rule out the possibility that German politicians now want to score political points on the confrontation with the United States in this matter. They have elections for the European Parliament on their nose, and the main political forces in Germany approach them with poor results.
Their sharp criticism of Washington can be viewed, in part as a kind of attempt to win the favour of voters. As a result, a kind of layer cake is formed from opportunistic considerations of political parties, real business interests, political contradictions between the EU and the US, and features of the energy policy,” summarizes Alexander Kamkin.