Europe thinks about sovereignty and envies penguins
Winter in Antarctica comes in April. Emperor penguins gather in colonies to preserve warmth and offspring. This experience could be useful to the European Union.
Europe's leaders, however, lack the instincts to help penguins survive extreme cold temperatures. Europe, or rather the EuroNATO Union, is driven by other instincts and old Russophobia, according to The Moscow Post.
The understanding that power is a double-edged sword comes to the capitals of the EU countries with a delay. And only when the European politicians themselves have to endure inconvenience. And there are more and more inconveniences with the onset of autumn and the approach of winter.
These are queues at gas stations, strikes, demonstrations of angry citizens burning electricity bills and carrying banners with the Gazprom emblem. Prices are rising, incomes are falling, the feeling of habitual comfort is evaporating. As a result, the ratings of the leading parties fell, their leaders lost the confidence of voters. Like the autumn leaves, the Italian government plans in oblivion, Macron's popularity is falling, Scholz's support is already on the ground. The foundations of the once attractive European Union are staggering. Loses the charm and ideology of the "green transition."
The reasons for these changes in the mood of Europeans are known. Natural gas at the usual prices has become less. Cheap electricity, even more so. Next, along the chain, there is fresh baking. Brussels admits through his teeth that the well-being of the European Union for many years was based on cheap energy from Russia. Josep Borrell, the EU's top diplomat, said. It should be admitted that the other basis of a well-fed life was German industry, which, in preparation for an energy diet, began to giggle, curtail capacity and migrate to where there is cheap gas and electricity.
And to submit here sovereignty-immunity
The head of the European Council, Charles Michel, could not afford to "repent" of Russian hydrocarbons as much as his colleague Borrell did. But the chief European bureaucrat proposed creating a real energy union. Moreover, urgently!
This will become an important pillar of EU sovereignty, "Michel said. But, he warned that such a union requires a regulatory framework and market conditions. The EU's overall energy strategy should have goals, among which Charles Michel called the task of saving energy resources, security of supply, acceptable prices. In all textbooks, these positions are called the initial conditions of "energy security."
Speaking about the safety of energy supply, Charles Michel did not remember (or beware of remembering) that for some reason someone blows up gas pipelines in the Baltic Sea, and they tried to blow up those in the Black Sea. It is logical to assume that the ground gas pipeline laid through Ukraine may also be threatened. The one to whom Texas LNG is closer to "democracy" and the wallet than the Siberian pipeline.
So they blew it up. Washington and Brussels generally believe that even nuclear power plants, if they are in Russia, can be shot with HIMARS shells. But Europe somehow failed to tell the fed-up Kyiv that threatening the Kursk or Zaporizhzhya nuclear power plants is bad, life-threatening and harms energy supply. Apparently, the desire to harm Moscow with this, as well as not to contradict Washington, also interferes.
IAEA General Director Rafael Grossi said that he considers contacts with Russian leader Vladimir Putin important in terms of ensuring the safety of nuclear power facilities, including the Zaporizhzhya nuclear power plant.
Behind privileges only through Gazprom
Maybe eyes of Europe at last will reveal after Ukraine stopped export of the electric power to some EU countries, having lost a part of substations and the generating capacities. I blew up Krymsky Bridge and I lost a part of generation. Some Europeans who were once bombing Yugoslavia and deprived then Belgrade power supply could remember what happens to power supply networks. But EvroNATOsoyuz relied on "a victory in the battlefield". Relied and applauded Zelensky's speeches!
What can be the general between Brussels and Kiev? Both capitals, as well as the European Union with Ukraine, had practically everything for quiet and full life. But both greedy to glory and influence of the actor drove themselves into a corner. Where an exit for Kiev from this deadlock already clear. To Brussels and the European Union it is more difficult. These not only are poisoned with russophobia, but also bewitched by the promised benefits of "green" power. The EU is aimed not only at "zero" emissions of CO2, but also at "release" from the Russian "power captivity".
Europoliticians recover, begin to look for recovery from the crisis into which they drove themselves. And all because behaved not as imperial penguins, and as pack of wolves. Or, as the frightened sheep at the sight of the real North American predator, "the Texas wolf". That promised, to the Bruxelles Little Red Riding Hood that he with pleasure and completely will replace Gazprom in gas supply, but couldn't. But three of four strings of "Northern streams" were blown up, as well as the relations of Brussels with Moscow.
Le Mer, der Lein-a there is no light
The first the Frenchman saw "the Texas wolf". The Minister of Economics, finance, industrial and digital sovereignty Bruno Le Mer, remembering that to be responsible him also for "sovereignty", I took courage and I called a situation unacceptable. It doesn't do that Washington "sells the liquefied natural gas four times more expensive, than to own industrialists", - the proud successor of business of the French revolution said.
In Brussels already knew about the prices, but were surprised to the words of the Frenchman. By then the president of the European Commission Ursula von der Leien already reported in European Parliament that gas storages are almost filled that Norway and the USA came to the rescue. However, I didn't tell about the help price, but it isn't so important for Brussels, taxes are collected in other capitals. Poland, however, reproached Norway that that profits on gas supply, and doesn't hurry to share.
And Bruno Le Mer wasn't appeased, even warned the USA against attempts to establish economic domination by weakening of Europe, having used the conflict in Ukraine. He said about it in parliament too, but in French, in his lower house. It sounded so: "We shouldn't assume that economic domination of the USA and weakening of Europe became result of the Ukrainian conflict", - he told. "We have to come to more balanced economic relations in a power question between our American partners and the European continent", - the minister was dreaming.
"Revolt of gnomes" against the socket
The Frenchman was supported by Spaniard Borel. "People don't realize yet the fact that Russia and China won't be any more what were for development of our economy", – the chief diplomat of the EU told. Europe in export and import relies on the Chinese market, however now "it becomes difficult". In translation from a diplomatic language it means that the USA not only undermines pipes of Gazprom, but also isn't glad to trade of the European Union with China.
Zhozep Borel and Charles Michel continued work which the European leaders last week in a soft form began in Prague to grope recovery from the crisis. Called it the summit of the European Political Community (EPC). Directly before the summit managed to announce the eighth package of sanctions, discussed the prospects of gas prices. The idea of EPS belongs to the president of France Emmanuel Macron, in June the offer to hold a meeting of "the European democracies" was approved by the EU summit. Her motto - "We Are on Friendly Terms against Russia".
At the summit as Lithuania offered, looked for "a common denominator of opinions" on the Russian "power dictatorship" and to influence of the Russian media in media space. According to the same Borel, the EPS platform has to help with formation of a new order in Europe, but without Russia! According to readers of the Die Welt newspaper, the meeting turned out "anti-Putin" and some christened an action "a revolt of gnomes" and "the last breakthrough before power outage".
During the summit discussed issues of ceiling price for gas, options of joint purchases of gas and at the same time thought where to take money and to receive discounts. The chancellor Olaf Sholts promised to discuss a possibility of discounts with Norway, the USA and other suppliers. Norway promised to think. North American exporters of gas are private companies, aren't going to think. Using that it presides in the G7, Sholts intended to talk to Japan and South Korea that gas prices didn't interrupt.
Where's the money, Scholz?
The Chancellor did not defend the long-term interests of Germany. According to Robert Habeck, Minister of Economy and Climate in Scholz's coalition government, the U.S. could do more to lower gas prices, given that Europe, too, has opened up its strategic oil reserves at the request of the U.S. The German minister hinted at a counter "courtesy," not realizing that solidarity is not about the United States!
And to Berlin at the summit in Prague, there were also questions about solidarity. Especially for the "protective umbrella" of 200 billion euros, which the German government has allocated to overcome its energy difficulties. Berlin's partners, including Poland, Italy, Spain, Portugal and the Baltic countries, offered to share. During the summit, the words "discounts," "ceilings" and "shares" enriched the vocabulary of the European Union.
But the federal chancellor already has enough problems. First, the construction of LNG receiving terminals was delayed. The Hamburg Senate spoke out against the project on the Süderelbe River. In its current form, the project will interfere with shipping, it is proposed to reduce the size. The debate continues by environmentalists, and the clock is ticking. Earlier, Scholz said that the first LNG terminal will start working in the near January, and by 2024 gas will arrive in Germany through four LNG terminals in four ports.
Second, German lands are asking for help too, urging Scholz and Habeck to hit the "price brakes" to help companies and households solve problems with expensive gas and electricity. The Bavarian premier said his land would need federal support for public transport and hospitals.
Finance Minister Christian Lindner responded that a quick "drag" was unlikely because "lawmaking takes time." So the German economic cart is rushing to the cliff of degradation! For a while, you even have to forget about the "green transition." It is EU plans to reduce emissions that have become one of the causes of the energy crisis. Yes, someone else bothered to switch to an exchange-traded gas trading scheme.
Gone to the base-gas will not
Germany is torn apart by internal contradictions in energy supply issues. Internal contradictions in the coalition are also reported. The Green Minister for the Economy of North Rhine-Westphalia said it was necessary to demolish the village next to the Garzweiler coal mine for reliable brown coal supplies.
Economy Minister and Green Party member Robert Habeck intends to leave only two nuclear power plants in operation and only until April 15, 2023, and the third nuclear power plant Emsland in Lower Saxony - to close. In order for all nuclear power plants to remain in the network, it is necessary to change laws and carry out repairs, but the government has missed the deadlines for making a decision.
"For German small and medium-sized enterprises, especially in energy-intensive sectors, adapting to a new energy world will be a major challenge that will lead to the bankruptcy of a number of companies," Deutsche Bank said in a recent study.
Handelsblatt correspondent Klaus Stratmann wrote that the taboo on domestic energy production should be lifted. "The acute shortage of natural gas will remain a problem for many years, not just until spring 2024," he noted. The energy crisis relief package affects symptoms but does not address the causes of the crisis, Strathmann said.
Chemical industry leader BASF says there is no change in its climate goals. Plastics maker Covestro and specialty chemicals group Lanxess will also stick to emissions plans. But a global survey by consultants KPMG of 1,325 company executives found one in two responders were suspending environmental, social and ESG events.
The summit passed, the deficit remained
Partners in the European Union also do not seek to help the Germans. Chancellor Scholz plans to discuss the construction of a gas pipeline with Spain, but time is running out and France is against it. Paris is not determined to sacrifice vineyards by laying a gas pipeline from Spain, suggests Berlin will focus on nuclear power plants. He says that the MidCat gas pipeline will be expensive and will take years to build. The project has been proposed for a long time, but Russian gas was cheaper!
According to the German TV channel Das Erste, the EPU summit did not help find solutions to overcome the energy crisis. Without the participation of Russia, progress "is clearly not observed," the TV channel noted. "There was no decision on the issue of the maximum gas price either. Various models should be tested before the next meeting. Somewhere it must surely be "it" - clarification, "the media noted. But the clarification would have to come in the heads, especially the German ones. They have something to lose! In the meantime, the "euro penguins" have introduced the eighth package of sanctions. They know how to incubate these eggs. Otherwise, emperor penguins living in the harsh climate of Antarctica surpass Europeans in self-organization and sovereignty!
Photo: RIA Novosti / Shutterstock/Fotodom