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FAZ: Natural gas as Putin’s weapon

In the case of Angela Merkel, silence is not gold according to the German press. Will it admit mistakes in its Russian policy? FAZ: Natural gas as Putin’s weapon.

At a time when all officials are talking about Russia, either admitting mistakes, even personally, in their policies, such as German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier, or declaring unequivocally that they will not apologize, like former Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder, The former chancellor, who ruled Germany for 16 consecutive years and promoted Nord Stream 2 more than anyone else, is silent. Her commentator Süddeutsche Zeitung recalls some important milestones in its relations with the Russian president.

“Will he admit mistakes?”

“Her contact with Putin has been intense, always open and often controversial. As head of government, along with French President Nicolas Sarkozy, he has prevented Ukraine from joining NATO early. Along with François Hollande and later Emmanuel Macron, Messola has been campaigning for the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline since 2014, but has refused to supply arms to Ukraine.When will Merkel speak? Will she admit mistakes? Will she defend her decisions – or both;”. The paper points out that what Merkel should explain is her support for Nord Stream 2.

“In the chancellery, the pipeline has been controversial since 2014, even among Merkel’s most important advisers. The chancellor has finally decided not to stop the project, with the always highly controversial argument that it was a private business. One of the most vocal critics is Analena Berbock, who recently called the Merkel administration’s obsession with Nord Stream “fatal” a few days ago. “exactly where Merkel was for many years.”

“The gas war”

Her commentator Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung Recalls that Russia, even in the Cold War, complied with the gas contracts. In fact, warnings that Putin is not Gorbachev but much more unpredictable than Brezhnev have been described as hysterical, despite the fact that the Kremlin has already shown Ukraine that gas is not only a currency but also a means of blackmail. And now;

“Ever since Moscow shut down the gas taps in Bulgaria and Poland, there has been no argument as to who rated Putin best,” the columnist noted. “Either in euros or in rubles, energy in his hands is becoming a weapon again. Gas supplies ran out the night after the Rammstein conference. There, many countries, including Germany, said they would support Ukraine’s fight against Moscow rightly fears that equipping the Ukrainian army with large-scale weapons could reverse the course of the war, and now Putin is using Its use should show countries like Germany that the Kremlin is determined to do everything it can to triumph over Ukraine, even if it has to give up billions The West must prepare for the escalation of the gas war, but it must not be impressed by Putin’s threats. . “The best immediate response is European solidarity and more tanks in Ukraine.”

European dilemmas and Russian goals

The left newspaper TAZ describes the dilemma in which the EU finds itself. and Germany, can not cut off gas supplies “points out her columnist. “Of course they are paving the way there, but at the moment they are dependent on Gazprom. And that leads to disagreements.” The columnist recalls that Putin’s close friend, Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban, said he was willing to pay in rubles, but several energy suppliers also deviated from the official European line. However, the European Commission also seems to be making a change of attitude. We read:

“Last week the commission said that payments in rubles did not necessarily constitute a breach of EU sanctions against Russia. It even published a guide, but in the middle of the week Ursula von der Leyen changed her mind. “At the last minute he said that anyone who deviates from the European line and pays in rubles is violating sanctions decisions (against Russia) and should consider taking a big risk.”

Finally the Süddeutsche Zeitung in a commentary describes Putin’s intentions. “Even the thought of next winter (without gas) makes Bulgaria feel uncomfortable, and that is exactly the Kremlin’s goal, to show how one feels without gas from Siberia, and what that means for the unity of Europeans.” notes her commentator. “Putin is using his raw material as a cluster bomb, which seems to explode at various points in order to upset the Europeans and crack the common front. Ultimately, what Putin wants is to test how long the EU stays united. “.

Irini Anastassopoulou

SOURCE: Deutsche Welle

Source: Capital

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