Category: Germany
China Target in US Nord Stream ‘Deal’
worker | July 23, 2021 | 7:44 pm | Analysis, Germany, Joe Biden, Russia | No comments

https://sputniknews.com/columnists/202107221083438918-china-target-in-us-nord-stream-deal/

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There is so much misdirection over the big news this week that the US finally reached a “deal” with Germany to allow the Nord Stream 2 gas project to go ahead.

This is the mega pipeline under the Baltic Sea supplying Germany and the rest of Europe with natural gas from Russia. The project had been stalled by American sanctions, but now the Biden administration has announced that it will no longer stand in the way of its completion.

President Joe Biden knew well that there was no way of stopping Nord Stream 2 whose 1,230-kilometer construction route from Russia to Germany is over 95 percent complete. Berlin has repeatedly told Washington that it would not cancel the project which will double the flow of clean, economical Russian gas to fuel Germany’s industries and households.

So Biden had enough cop-on to know that the United States would only look pathetically weak when its imperious demands on Berlin were eventually snubbed.

 

Hence the spin this week that Washington had come up with a “deal” with Germany to let Nord Stream 2 proceed. In that supposed compromise, Berlin is obliged to provide financial aid to Ukraine and assure Kiev that Russia will not be allowed to use energy trade as a weapon against Ukraine by reducing an existing overland transit route for gas. This is more misdirection. 

Russia has condemned the politicization of the Nord Stream 2 project as anything other than a commercial transaction that benefits Europe. Moscow rejects the slur that it is weaponizing energy trade to allegedly threaten Ukraine. Such hysteria is just Washington’s propaganda to justify its own egregious interference and bullying in European-Russian affairs.

In any case, the real story behind the Nord Stream 2 “deal” this week is not Russia or Ukraine. It is China.

In announcing Washington’s “concession”, the State Department said the rationale was that the United States did not want to “alienate” Germany.

However, the Americans did not specify what the risk of alienation was about exactly. We can fill in the gap. It is about Washington keeping Germany and the rest of Europe in line for its bigger geopolitical objective of confronting and undermining China.

Russia and China are both fingered as “great power rivals” by numerous American politicians and pundits.

But the Biden administration has signaled that it considers China as the “top long-term threat” to US national security. The “threat” has less to do with military power and more to do with China’s global economic power. Beijing’s increasing global economic integration through its Belt and Road Initiative is perceived by the Washington establishment as the death knell for American dominance. US global power relies on unilateral hegemony. China’s advocacy of multipolar relations, mutual partnerships between nations and people-centered development is the nemesis of American imperial power.

Unlike the boorish Trump, the Biden presidency is more in tune with American imperial planners and the need to work with European allies to form a stronger front for pursuing US imperial objectives. Biden and his aides have been at pains to repair the transatlantic alliance that Trump damaged with his abrupt “America First” vulgarism.

In taking down China as a global rival, Washington knows it has to smooth out relations with Germany and the rest of Europe.

That is why the Biden administration appears to be making a concession over the Nord Stream 2 project. It knows that the gas trade with Russia is inviolable for Germany’s vital interests. So it offers a “concession”. But the real move is to recruit Germany and Europe into taking a tougher stance towards China.

It is no coincidence that this week also saw the US establishment ramping up hostility towards China by labeling the government in Beijing as complicit in global cyber hacking and espionage. The State Department called on “our partners and allies to promote responsible state behavior in cyberspace, counter cybercrime, and oppose digital authoritarianism.” In other words, to join US efforts to demonize China.

Nevertheless, here’s the rub. China has become Germany’s largest trade partner, surpassing the United States. China is far more important than the US for sustaining Germany’s export-led economy. Arguably, maintaining relations with Beijing is as vital to Berlin as the gas from Russia is for Germany’s long-term development.

Washington may think it is able to corral and hoodwink Berlin into an anti-China front. But the arrogant Americans will get hit with reality. Their days of bullying others are over.

The views and opinions expressed in the article do not necessarily reflect those of Sputnik.

‘Heir of Nazis’: Belarus’ Lukashenko blasts German foreign minister over call for sanctions on eve of Hitler invasion anniversary
worker | June 23, 2021 | 8:37 pm | Belarus, Fascist terrorism, Germany | Comments closed

https://www.rt.com/russia/527343-belarus-germany-sanctions-nazi/

‘Heir of Nazis’: Belarus’ Lukashenko blasts German foreign minister over call for sanctions on eve of Hitler invasion anniversary

‘Heir of Nazis’: Belarus’ Lukashenko blasts German foreign minister over call for sanctions on eve of Hitler invasion anniversary
Amid a growing row with the EU over the grounding of a passenger jet carrying an opposition activist last month, Belarus’ bombastic leader has launched a new attack on Germany, comparing its sanctions policy to its role in WWII.

Speaking at an event being held to mark the 80th anniversary of the Third Reich’s invasion of the Soviet Union, veteran leader Alexander Lukashenko raged about the West’s response to the incident. Between a quarter and a third of Belarusians are estimated to have died during WWII, the worst proportionate death toll of any country.

Lukashenko, who has faced long-running protests after declaring victory in last year’s disputed presidential election, claimed that sanctions imposed since were part of the West’s “hybrid war” against the nation.

“We did not expect Germany’s participation in this collective conspiracy,” he said. “From those whose ancestors destroyed not only every third Belarusian, but also millions of unborn children in the Great Patriotic War.” He argued that Germany’s foreign policy should be dictated by remorse for WWII, rather than seeking confrontation.

ALSO ON RT.COM‘Bomb scare’ forces Ryanair jet to make emergency landing in Belarus, authorities detain wanted editor of banned Telegram channelFocusing his ire on Berlin’s foreign minister, Heiko Maas, who this week called for additional economic sanctions to be imposed, Lukashenko asked “Who are you? A repentant German … or the heir of the Nazis?”

Belarus was rocked by demonstrations in the wake of last August’s election, which the opposition and many international observers say was rigged. Tens of thousands took to the streets to demand a fresh vote, but they were met with a police crackdown, tear gas, and mass arrests.

Last month, a Ryanair plane flying between Athens and Vilnius was instructed to land in the Belarusian capital, Minsk. Once on the ground, authorities arrested the editor of an opposition Telegram channel banned in the country, Roman Protasevich, and his Russian-citizen girlfriend, activist Sophia Sapega.

Western governments have blasted the move as “state-sponsored piracy,” and the EU has since begun barring Belarus’ national carrier, Belavia, from its airspace. A number of Western carriers now also use routes that circumnavigate the Eastern European country, while Brussels is reportedly mulling further sanctions.

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German Ambassador Says US Sanctions Against Nord Stream 2 Contradict International Law
worker | June 7, 2021 | 8:14 pm | Germany, Imperialism, Russia | Comments closed

https://sputniknews.com/world/202106051083078721-german-ambassador-says-us-sanctions-against-nord-stream-2-contradict-international-law/

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The first leg of the pipeline was completed on Friday, Russian President Putin said, as the project was able to overcome pressure from Washington.

German Ambassador to Russia Geza Andreas von Geyr on Saturday stated that Berlin won’t change its stance on Nord Stream 2, also stressing that sanctions against the pipeline, introduced by Washington, contradict international law.

“At the moment, important negotiations between the American and German governments are ongoing, which include the topic of Nord Stream 2, but our stance on the matter is clear, and it will not change: we are convinced that the energy security of Europe, as well as European energy policy should be determined by Europeans only, and not by foreigners”, the ambassador said on the sidelines of the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum (SPIEF).

In this handout photo released by the press-service of Eugal, a view shows the Eugal pipeline, in Germany. The Eugal pipeline, which will receive gas from Nord Stream 2 in the future, has reached full pumping capacity, and the second line of the pipeline has been introduced. European gas pipeline link (EUGAL) is a 480km-long natural gas transport network being developed in order to strengthen the supply of natural gas to Germany and Europe.
© SPUTNIK / ПРЕСС-СЛУЖБА EUGAL
In this handout photo released by the press-service of Eugal, a view shows the Eugal pipeline, in Germany. The Eugal pipeline, which will receive gas from Nord Stream 2 in the future, has reached full pumping capacity, and the second line of the pipeline has been introduced. European gas pipeline link (EUGAL) is a 480km-long natural gas transport network being developed in order to strengthen the supply of natural gas to Germany and Europe.

When asked about US-backed sanctions targeting the pipeline, the diplomat noted that those restrictions were against international rules.

“As for the sanctions, our position is that such an instrument – extraterritorial sanctions – is not applicable, as it goes against international law”, he explained.

The United States has been opposed to the project from the very beginning, claiming the pipeline poses a danger to European security, and subsequently imposing sanctions against the companies involved in its construction, despite repeated protests from Russia, Germany, and other European countries.

The Russian pipe layer vessel Akademik Cherskiy is pictured in the waters of Kaliningrad, Russia. Pipe-laying vessel Akademik Chersky is able to complete the construction of the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline
© SPUTNIK / MIKHAIL GOLENKOV
The Russian pipe layer vessel “Akademik Cherskiy” is pictured in the waters of Kaliningrad, Russia. Pipe-laying vessel Akademik Chersky is able to complete the construction of the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline

In May, Washington blacklisted 13 Russian vessels and three Russian firms involved in the implementation of Nord Stream 2 – after previous sanctions prompted Swiss pipelaying company Allseas to withdraw from the endeavour, causing a delay in pipelaying work.

The 745-mile-long Nord Stream 2 twin pipeline will carry up to 1.9 trillion cubic feet of gas per year from Russia directly to Germany under the Baltic Sea, passing through Danish, Finish, and Swedish waters. At the moment, the project is nearing its final stage, with over 95 percent of it already having been completed.

Biden says Nord Stream 2 sanctions waived because pipeline nearly done & fighting it now would be ‘counterproductive’ with allies
worker | May 26, 2021 | 8:52 pm | Germany, Joe Biden, Russia | Comments closed

https://www.rt.com/russia/524809-biden-nord-stream-waivers-allies/

Biden says Nord Stream 2 sanctions waived because pipeline nearly done & fighting it now would be ‘counterproductive’ with allies

Biden says Nord Stream 2 sanctions waived because pipeline nearly done & fighting it now would be ‘counterproductive’ with allies
US President Joe Biden has claimed that he took office too late to stop the Nord Stream 2 pipeline linking Russia and Germany, saying it would be “counterproductive” to sanction his allies over the project as it nears completion.

“I had been opposed to Nord Stream 2 from the beginning, but it was almost completed by the time I took office,” Joe Biden told reporters in Washington, on Tuesday. “To go ahead and impose sanctions now, I think is counterproductive in terms of our European relations.”

The first statement echoed the explanation given to reporters by White House press secretary Jen Psaki last week, while the second was the exact reasoning described by the State Department for waiving sanctions against the company building the pipeline and its CEO.

Biden’s statement came on the same day that the White House and the Kremlin confirmed that he and Russian President Vladimir Putin will hold a bilateral summit on June 16 in Geneva. A White House statement said the Biden administration will seek to “restore predictability and stability to the US-Russia relationship.”

ALSO ON RT.COMMuch anticipated first presidential summit between Putin & Biden will take place in neutral Swiss city of Geneva, on June 16The Nord Stream 2 project was just one of several fronts on which the two nations have been clashing. The main US objection to the undersea pipeline is that it will further lessen Kiev’s leverage over Moscow by providing another gas conduit to Germany that doesn’t run through Ukraine. With only about 100 kilometers of pipeline left to lay as of earlier this month, the project may be completed before Germany’s September 26 election.

The Biden administration apparently will no longer try to be an impediment to that timeline, after waiving sanctions against Nord Stream 2 AG and its chief executive, Matthias Warnig, last week. The US State Department said that although the company and Warnig were involved in sanctionable activity under US law, it was waiving penalties for national security reasons. However, the Treasury Department has sanctioned 13 Russian ships and three entities – including a maritime rescue service – for their part in building the pipeline.

ALSO ON RT.COMMore sanctions as US slaps penalties on 13 Russian ships & a RESCUE service over roles in preparing Nord Stream 2 gas pipelineThe US has sought to ensure that Ukraine’s profits from transit fees for Russian gas are maintained, while pressuring Europeans to buy the far more expensive US-produced liquefied natural gas. Russia already supplies around 40% of European Union gas imports, and it has reduced the share of those shipments that transit through Ukraine.

Biden hinted at working with European allies on protecting Western interests to the extent possible. “I hope we can work on how they handle it from this point on,” he told reporters on Tuesday.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel applauded Washington’s decision to drop some Nord Stream 2 sanctions and said she’ll discuss the project with Biden at the G-7 summit next month in the UK.

ALSO ON RT.COMPsaki raises white flag, admits US had no way of stopping Nord Stream 2 that was ‘95% complete’ alreadyThink your friends would be interested? Share this story!

Soviet victims of Nazis were long ‘forgotten group,’ German president Steinmeier says ahead of Buchenwald liberation anniversary
worker | April 11, 2021 | 7:49 pm | Germany | Comments closed

https://www.rt.com/news/520732-soviet-victims-nazi-buchenwald/

Soviet victims of Nazis were long ‘forgotten group,’ German president Steinmeier says ahead of Buchenwald liberation anniversary

Soviet victims of Nazis were long ‘forgotten group,’ German president Steinmeier says ahead of Buchenwald liberation anniversary
Germany should pay more attention to Soviet POWs and forced laborers victimized by the Nazis, President Frank-Walter Steinmeier said in a speech commemorating those slain and persecuted at the Buchenwald concentration camp.

Buchenwald was one of the longest-operating and largest facilities, where people deemed undesirable by the Nazi government were worked to death or simply killed. The largest group at the concentration camp were Soviet prisoners of war and civilians kidnapped as slaves in Nazi-occupied parts of the Soviet Union, Steinmeier reminded the nation on Saturday. An estimated 8,000 Soviet POWs and civilians were executed at the camp.

“The Soviet prisoners of war had long been a forgotten group of victims. It is therefore right that we are now paying more attention to them, especially this year,” which marks the 80th anniversary of the Nazi invasion of the USSR, the German president said.

ALSO ON RT.COMAuthorities at former Nazi German concentration camp Buchenwald warn revelers against sledding over MASS GRAVESSlavic peoples such as the Russians, the Ukrainians, and the Belarusians were deemed unfit to live in the racially pure world the Nazis were trying to bring into existence. “They were not considered part of humanity, no more than the Jews or the Roma. They were meant to be destroyed, through work, starvation, or both,” the president said.

The concentration camp was ultimately captured by the Allied forces on April 12, 1945. An estimated 280,000 prisoners passed through it or its sub-camps scattered across Germany, and were forced to contribute their labor to the Nazi war effort and civilian economy.

ALSO ON RT.COMHistorical inaccuracy and ‘human chess’ – Auschwitz Memorial slams Amazon’s Nazi-hunting seriesMore than 50,000 of them died from various causes, mostly malnutrition and disease, but thousands of inmates were executed as part of the Nazis’ extermination policies. Buchenwald had a former stable kitted out as a medical room, for instance, where victims were instructed to stand next to a device at a wall, they presumed to measure their height. However, an executioner would then shoot them in the back of the neck through a hidden opening in the wall.

In his speech, Steinmeier called on Germans to remember how such atrocities could happen right next to the city of Weimar, a German cultural hub, with the local population oblivious or willingly turning a blind eye. Forgetting that such things did happen means forgetting that they can happen again, he warned.

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Season’s Greetings!
worker | December 14, 2018 | 8:54 pm | Culture and Art, Germany | 2 Comments

Berlin: Communists commemorated Rosa Luxemburg and Karl Liebknecht, 99 years since their assassination
worker | January 16, 2018 | 3:24 pm | Communist Party Greece (KKE), German Communist Party (DKP), Germany, Karl Liebknecht, Rosa Luxemburg | Comments closed

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Berlin: Communists commemorated Rosa Luxemburg and Karl Liebknecht, 99 years since their assassination

https://communismgr.blogspot.com/2018/01/berlin-communists-commemorated-rosa.html
A rally in commemoration of the assassinated communist leaders Rosa Luxemburg and Karl Liebknecht took place in Berlin on Sunday. Members and friends of the Communist Party of Greece (KKE) joined demonstrators from the German Communist Party (DKP), the Communist Party of Turkey (TKP) and other communist and workers’ parties and organizations, marching in the eastern part of Berlin. 
 
The march ended in a memorial which is dedicated to numerous personalities of the German and international communist movement, to the murdered revolutionaries of November 1918. 
 
It was on January 15th 1919, when paramilitaries burst into an apartment in western Berlin and seized the communist revolutionaries Rosa Luxemburg and Karl Liebknecht. Although neither had an arrest warrant against them, they were both taken prisoner.
Luxemburg was tortured and killed and her body was dumped in the Landwehr Canal in Kreuzberg. Her corpse was only found months later. Liebknecht was taken to the Tiergarten park in the west of the city, where he was executed with a bullet in the head. Within a matter of hours the two figureheads of revolutionary socialism in Germany had been extra-judicially murdered.
 
Photos from 902.gr and soL Portal.