Russia And Germany Allegedly Working On Secret "Gas For Land" Deal

Tyler Durden's picture




 

While many were amused by this photo of Putin and Merkel during the world cup final showing Europe's two most important leaders siding side by side, some were more curious by just what the two were scheming:

 

Thanks to the Independent, we may know the answer, and it is a doozy, because according to some it is nothing shy of a sequel to the Molotov-Ribbentrop pact: allegedly Germany and Russia have been working on a secret plan to broker a peaceful solution to end international tensions over the Ukraine, one which would negotiate to trade Crimea's sovereignty for guarantees on energy security and trade. The Independent reveals that the peace plan, being worked on by both Angela Merkel and Vladimir Putin, "hinges on two main ambitions: stabilising the borders of Ukraine and providing the financially troubled country with a strong economic boost, particularly a new energy agreement ensuring security of gas supplies."

Amusingly, this comes on the day when the WSJ leads with "On Hold: Merkel Gives Putin a Blunt Message. Germany's Backing of Russia Sanctions Marks Breach in Pivotal European Relationship" in which we read that " Angela Merkel spoke to Russian President Vladimir Putin for at least the 30th time since the Ukraine crisis erupted. She had a blunt message, according to people briefed on the phone conversation: Call me if you have progress to report in defusing the conflict. That was July 20. The two leaders haven't spoken since."

They may or may not have spoken since, but it is not because Putin has "no progress to report" - it's because the two leaders have come to a secret agreement which will hardly make Ukraine, or most of Europe, not to mention the UN, happy as it requires that Crimea be permanently handed over to Russia in exchange for Russian gas, which has been cut off for a month now due to non-payment by Kiev.

Here is how the deal came to happen:

Sources close to the secret negotiations claim that the first part of the stabilisation plan requires Russia to withdraw its financial and military support for the various pro-separatist groups operating in eastern Ukraine. As part of any such agreement, the region would be allowed some devolved powers.

 

At the same time, the Ukrainian President would agree not to apply to join Nato. In return, President Putin would not seek to block or interfere with the Ukraine’s new trade relations with the European Union under a pact signed a few weeks ago.

 

Second, the Ukraine would be offered a new long-term agreement with Russia’s Gazprom, the giant gas supplier, for future gas supplies and pricing. At present, there is no gas deal in place; Ukraine’s gas supplies are running low and are likely to run out before this winter, which would spell economic and social ruin for the country.

 

As part of the deal, Russia would compensate Ukraine with a billion-dollar financial package for the loss of the rent it used to pay for stationing its fleets in the Crimea and at the port of Sevastopol on the Black Sea until Crimea voted for independence in March.

To be sure, in the aftermath of the MH-17 shooting, which in light of this revelation would clearly not benefit Russia, negotiations have stalled they are expected to restart once the investigation has taken place. “It is in everyone’s interests to do a deal. Hopefully, talks will be revived if a satisfactory outcome can be reached to investigations now taking place as to the causes of the MH17 catastrophe."

But while Germany can't wait to put the Ukraine conflict behind it and restore normal Russian relations (see Adidas' record plunge earlier today, blamed on the Ukraine conflict) others are far more eager to stir the pot some more: "A spokesman for the Foreign and Commonwealth Office said they had no knowledge of such negotiations taking place. However, the spokesman said he thought it highly unlikely that either the US or UK would agree to recognising Russian control over Crimea. There was no one available at the German embassy’s press office yesterday."

Which, of course, goes back to the fundamental question behind the Eurozone experiment: just who calls the shots. And despite what the UK (and certainly France) believe, that one person was and continues to be Merkel.  And at the end of the day, pragmatic Germany knows that for all the posturing and rhetoric, the biggest loser from a western embargo of Russia (which is now actively shifting its attention to China and now India) would be Germany itself.

[S]trong trade ties between the two countries have also served to strengthen Ms Merkel’s hand and the Russian speaker has emerged as the leading advocate of closer relations between the EU and Russia. “This is Merkel’s deal. She has been dealing direct with President Putin on this. She needs to solve the dispute because it’s in no one’s interest to have tension in the Ukraine or to have Russia out in the cold. No one wants another Cold War,” said one insider close to the negotiations.

 

Some of Germany’s biggest companies have big operations in Russia, which is now one of Europe’s biggest car markets, while many of its small to medium companies are also expanding into the country. Although Russia now provides EU countries with a third of their gas supplies through pipelines crossing the Ukraine, Germany has its own bilateral gas pipeline direct to Russia making it less vulnerable than other European countries.

 

However, Russia is still the EU’s third-biggest trading partner with cross-border trade of $460bn (£272bn) last year, and the latest sanctions being introduced by the EU towards Russian individuals and banks will hurt European countries more than any other – particularly Germany, but also the City of London.

Curiously, if there is one entity that could scuttle the deal it is, no surprise there, the US.

Central to the negotiations over any new gas deal with Gazprom is understood to be one of Ukraine’s wealthiest businessmen, the gas broker, Dmitry Firtash. Mr Firtash – who negotiated the first big gas deal between the Ukraine and Russia between 2006 and 2009 – is now living in Vienna fighting extradition charges from the Americans. But he has close relations with the Russian and Ukrainian leaders – he supported Mr Poroschenko – and has been acting as a go-between behind the scenes at the highest levels.

Incidentally, the same Americans which over the past 2 years has been desperate to start a regional war in any one part of the globe in order to break some more windows and boost GDP courtesy of the tried and true "Military Industrial Complex" GDP boost. Which is why if indeed the Ukraine peace process is in the arms of the US, then perhaps Putin's advisor was spot on when he said that "There is a war coming in Europe." Compliments of the United States?

Finally, for those wondering how much of the Independent's story is a fabrication, here is Germany denying it all:

  • GERMANY: REPORT OF SECRET DEAL ON UKRAINE `TOTALLY UNFOUNDED'

Which, if Jean-Claude Juncker is any indication, seals it.

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Thu, 07/31/2014 - 13:53 | 5028141 gatorengineer
gatorengineer's picture

Shocking just shocking.... LOL  It will cost them more than just Crimea by the way.  In return Ukraine gets more IMF (read US) funding.

Thu, 07/31/2014 - 13:56 | 5028164 JohninMK
JohninMK's picture

Can't see the US going along with this. Peace in Ukraine!!!!!!!!

Thu, 07/31/2014 - 14:00 | 5028182 Manthong
Manthong's picture

Hmm.. well, did they agree to split Poland again?

Thu, 07/31/2014 - 14:07 | 5028239 smlbizman
smlbizman's picture

yeah,..." it was a secret".......fixed it for you...this is the third place ive seen this so far this morn.....

Thu, 07/31/2014 - 14:11 | 5028250 BoNeSxxx
BoNeSxxx's picture

Ummm... OT but why are the markets flashing red?

 

/s

Thu, 07/31/2014 - 14:16 | 5028272 hedgeless_horseman
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Molotov-Ribbentrop 2.0? Russia And Germany Allegedly Working On Secret "Gas For Land" Deal


 

Thu, 07/31/2014 - 14:17 | 5028287 bigdumbnugly
bigdumbnugly's picture

my money's on the guy with the 'stasch.

Thu, 07/31/2014 - 14:21 | 5028296 hedgeless_horseman
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A Nazi-Soviet Pact

On 23 August, 1939, the world was shocked when, suddenly, Russia and Germany signed a 'Non-aggression Pact'.

People would have been even more shocked if they had known at the time that, in addition, the two countries had made a number of a 'secret protocol' agreeing 'spheres of influence' in Finland, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Romania and Poland.   It amounted to an agreement to invade and divide the countries of eastern Europe between them ... with Poland first on the list.

http://www.johndclare.net/RoadtoWWII8.htm

Thu, 07/31/2014 - 14:31 | 5028352 Save_America1st
Save_America1st's picture

it's not that they didn't speak for so long because of any disagreements.  It's because they had to go back to using typewriters, invisible ink, and cloned carrier pigeons for communicating with each other now that they know the NSA and CIA are up everyone's asses over there with spy bugs. 

That shit takes time but it's safer these days. 

Thu, 07/31/2014 - 15:37 | 5028831 strannick
strannick's picture

When it gets serious, you lie.

-J.C.Junker

Thu, 07/31/2014 - 19:14 | 5029989 old naughty
old naughty's picture

"A Nazi-Soviet Pact."

After 3Q of a century, in linear time, you'd think this was in the past..,

But they say we have this thinge called vertical time,

thingies are stacked, as in the deck is stacked, no?

.

 

Thu, 07/31/2014 - 21:57 | 5030849 Sashko89
Sashko89's picture

 

My dear western friends I don't want to ruin all your excitement, but lets think for just a second. This article is completely irrelevant... Crimea is russias to stay, do you really think putin will hand it back over to Nazi Ukraine to turn into donbass 2.0???!!! Hell no, he would lose all his respect at him and there would be a hell of a lot of bloodshed when right sector and nazgvardia will go there to set up their rule... Never gonna happen and Germany needs gas either way... So this article is nonsense, Russia needs no approval, and crimea will never want to go back, it would be a humanitarian catastrophe worse then do bass.. Crimea would march on Kiev and the war would be even worse. Plus the Russian fleet is there... Germany does not have that much sway, and Russia does not need its aproval. Think logically my western friends.

Fri, 08/01/2014 - 03:52 | 5031571 SoDamnMad
SoDamnMad's picture

Bingo  Right on the button  All Germany wants is gas and full access to Russian markets. Screw Europe. They hide behind WWII disarmament in providing military personnel to any world stabilization conflict (but they will gladly sell you lots of systems, weapons and ammunition).  Yes, Crimea is gone (you forgot to mention all the off-shore gas potential Russia snapped up).  I still believe the EU will have to pay the gas bill and without NATO, Russia can come back in a year destabilizing Ukraine (and other countries in the same manner). And lastly, MH17, SORRY

Fri, 08/01/2014 - 05:38 | 5031660 Optimusprime
Optimusprime's picture

Absolutely.  I was going to write this, but you beat me to it.  Crimea is Russia's (as is meet) and is going to stay that way, short of invasion  by a power able to take it away.  The point of this silly article is to make it sound as though Russia must "cough up" some concessions to ratify what has already been ratified.  The article assumes the West's right--and ability--to make or break any deal based on its own "approval."  The West arguably has lost the ability, and fewer and fewer fair observers grant the alleged "right".

Fri, 08/01/2014 - 10:30 | 5032425 Utah_Get_Me_2
Utah_Get_Me_2's picture

 'happy as it requires that Crimea be permanently handed over to Russia in exchange for Russian gas, which has been cut off for a month now due to non-payment by Kiev.'

WTF are you talking about. Read the article.

Thu, 07/31/2014 - 21:59 | 5030854 Unknown User
Unknown User's picture

Russia and Germany have to kill Strelkov first. Else, US will have a recovery after another devastating war in Europe...

Thu, 07/31/2014 - 14:32 | 5028358 Latina Lover
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Makes sense. Germany and Russia cutting a deal to solve an European problem, while excluding the USSA. Germany gets access to Asia,Russia has peace on it's borders, the USSA, which has nothing to offer other than violence, hatred and Gaza like conditions for Europe, gets cut out of the deal.  Good solution.

Thu, 07/31/2014 - 14:38 | 5028390 Save_America1st
Save_America1st's picture

just wait until Germany announces that it's leaving the Euro to use it's own currency again and will join the trade agreements with Russia and China and maybe even the BRICS alliance. 

Tapping one more of the last few nails to go into the USSA's coffin full of dying, worthless, fiat paper.

Thu, 07/31/2014 - 14:42 | 5028408 Save_America1st
Save_America1st's picture

ooooh....and then there's this new one from Jim Willie:

The Gold Crime Out of the Gate Forces Development of the Eastern Gold Trade Standard

http://www.silverdoctors.com/jim-willie-the-gold-crime-out-of-the-gate-forces-development-of-the-eastern-gold-trade-standard/

 

excerpt:

Refusal to Repatriate German gold was a crime out of the gate. The motive was to conceal the appropriation (re-hypothecation) of German official gold accounts.   The Germans are on notice of gold thefts by their own allies. Germany will work with the Eastern superpowers to develop a USDollar alternative and a Gold Trade Standard.
The United States has given the world two choices: war to defend the USDollar, versus work with Eastern Alliance toward the Gold Standard.
The motive for actions taken are clearly in defense of the King Dollar Regime.   The responses taken are clearly to reinstate the Gold Trade Standard and no longer deal with a toxic USDollar for trade and banking. The unintended consequences are uniform if not universal.
The outcome will be to develop the Eastern Gold Trade Standard while the entire Western system crumbles, deteriorates, sinks, and implodes.

Thu, 07/31/2014 - 14:50 | 5028462 Ying-Yang
Ying-Yang's picture

It is interesting that Putin is fluent in German, (speaking closely to Merkel in the picture)

While Obomber has an elementary understanding of Bahasa Indonesia, attributed to his time in Indonesia as a child. He has demonstrated this in both interviews and speeches - notably the 2011 address he gave to the University of Indonesia.

I guess Obama can close a deal with His excellency Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, President of Indonesia, as long as it is a short deal while Putin and Merkel bang out something more substantial.

Thu, 07/31/2014 - 14:58 | 5028540 SWRichmond
SWRichmond's picture

Merkel is fluent in Russian as well.

Thu, 07/31/2014 - 15:21 | 5028692 Save_America1st
Save_America1st's picture

Putin is fluent in German because he lived and trained with the KGB in East Berlin back in the day...so they get along just fine with each other apparently. 

Gee, and what are those foreign languages that obama speaks? 

Oh yeah...Arabic and Teleprompter with a side of ebonics for some street cred with the bruhthuhs

Thu, 07/31/2014 - 15:25 | 5028723 pods
pods's picture

Jive?

Thu, 07/31/2014 - 17:32 | 5029550 Manthong
Manthong's picture

what it is, Jack (jive)  what it be, Jack (ebonics)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fXSLcYQHqFQ&feature=player_detailpage

Thu, 07/31/2014 - 15:42 | 5028866 JuliaS
JuliaS's picture

In Russia second language courses are mandatory in secondary school starting in grade 3-5 and running through grade 12. They only become optional at university level. Most schools offer 2 options: English and German. Closer to WW2 it was popular to study German. Nowdays English gets the preference because of the internet and due to wider career prospects.

Pre-war, French was predominant, but nowdays most public schools don't even offer it.

Economic ties dictate which languages Russian kids acquire. The way things are going, soon they'll probably be learning Chinese.

As for Putin - him being fluent in German is nothing special. Half the Russian population speaks the language.

Thu, 07/31/2014 - 17:01 | 5029404 alski
alski's picture

We have a saying in Russia:

An optimist learns English, a pessimist learns Chinese, and a realist learns how to use Kalashnikov -))))) 

Thu, 07/31/2014 - 18:06 | 5029684 JuliaS
JuliaS's picture

My favorite clip in "Thank You For Smoking".

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fvkAGrrHdIo&feature=youtu.be&t=2m21s

Thu, 07/31/2014 - 22:04 | 5030881 Sandmann
Sandmann's picture

He was in Dresden not East Berlin

Thu, 07/31/2014 - 15:23 | 5028695 COSMOS
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I still don't like Merkel.  She has got to go.  Chick/Dude has done nothing so far for German interests.  She should of asked the USA to leave its bases in Germany a looong time ago - the USA has been eavesdropping and stealing German technology for decades.  The Russians left but the Americans never did.  She also needs to ditch the dollar.

Thu, 07/31/2014 - 17:02 | 5029408 alski
alski's picture

Merkel does not have guts. She is just a puppet. 

Thu, 07/31/2014 - 18:31 | 5029804 Freddie
Freddie's picture

Dr. Jim Willie said the other night in an interview that he has heard through his sources that Merkle may step down.   He said it sounds bizarre but she just won her elections or held enough seats.

German businesses rule the roost and they are tired of the USA BS with the Ukraine.   My guess is Adidas bad earnings have not helped.

Fri, 08/01/2014 - 02:13 | 5031475 giovanni_f
giovanni_f's picture

Willie is a nice guy - but please forget about his "sources".

Thu, 07/31/2014 - 19:12 | 5029981 Dublinmick
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Merkel doesn't make decisions. the Guelph family on behalf of the Jesuits passes the intructions down to the Rothschilds in the city of London and they pass the orders on to  Brussels at the UN and then to Germany. Germany is only allowed moderate control of Europe or their own destiny. Bear in mind that are many publications and links which designate Merkel as Hitler's daughter through the Clausberg frozen sperm experiments, (which I do not write off).

Thu, 07/31/2014 - 21:52 | 5030816 gallistic
gallistic's picture

I have a grudging respect for Merkel, but logic and reason compel me to agree with the general consensus here.

The NSA has penetrated the German government completely. They have been monitoring Merkel's every call and text (and likely internet use, messages, and e-mail) for almost a decade. She can be blackmailed politically, and has ceased to be able to act independently for German interests.

Unfortunately, she is completely compromised and is useless to the German people.

Bottom line, she is damaged goods.

Thu, 07/31/2014 - 17:50 | 5029615 Monty Burns
Monty Burns's picture

While Obama thinks Austrian is a language. And of course that His Empire is made up of 57 states.

Thu, 07/31/2014 - 23:40 | 5031170 Gavrikon
Gavrikon's picture

I wasn't aware of that.  Most "Ossies" I know who were forced to study Russian in school seem to have little memory of the langauge.

Thu, 07/31/2014 - 17:41 | 5029576 123dobryden
123dobryden's picture

wake up son, now that they conquered europe, are they going to just leave?

Thu, 07/31/2014 - 15:08 | 5028595 Sandmann
Sandmann's picture

Whilst Ribbetrop was in Moscow talking to Molotov the British and French were also there under Admiral the Hon. Sir Reginald Aylmer Ranfurly Plunkett-Ernle-Erle-Drax, KCB, DSO, JP, DL - but they could not cut a deal so Molotov walked from one room to the other and signed up with Ribbentrop.

I doubt the protocols were secret as they were effected a few months later and validated by Spencer-Churchill and FDR at Yalta

Thu, 07/31/2014 - 17:45 | 5029588 Monty Burns
Monty Burns's picture

Then (after Germany and the USSR invaded) Britain and France declared war on Germany and after that became allies of the USSR.  Strange....

Thu, 07/31/2014 - 22:21 | 5030943 NoPension
NoPension's picture

That little Hitler stash. In high school, I would take my trusty black plastic comb, and make em laugh like hell.
He went and ruined that option for everybody. I've seen every conceivable fucking stupid tattoo,horns,bolts through eyelids, tackle box faced, chicken hair in multicolor, you name it weird shit a human can do to their body.

But I have yet to see one son of a bitch wearing a Hitler mustache.

Even Charlie Manson, with a swashtiker on forehead hasn't tried,ha!

Thu, 07/31/2014 - 14:18 | 5028291 Serfs Up
Serfs Up's picture

Old news is old.

WSJ gleefully reports today that, courtesy of the MH17 disaster, all such talks are on ice:

On Hold: Merkel Gives Putin a Blunt Message

http://online.wsj.com/articles/ukraine-crisis-spurs-reversal-in-german-r...

Three days after the crash of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17, German Chancellor Angela Merkel spoke to Russian President Vladimir Putin for at least the 30th time since the Ukraine crisis erupted.

She had a blunt message, according to people briefed on the phone conversation: Call me if you have progress to report in defusing the conflict.

That was July 20. The two leaders haven't spoken since.

Thu, 07/31/2014 - 14:33 | 5028369 Latina Lover
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If it's coming from the WSJ, a zionist rag, assume the opposite. They are very worried.

Thu, 07/31/2014 - 16:01 | 5029006 Lore
Lore's picture

I don't know about the 'Zionist' part, but agree that WSJ is safe to ignore.

Thu, 07/31/2014 - 21:57 | 5030841 gallistic
gallistic's picture

I find it very hard to even guess at why you would think the Wall Street Journal is not a zionist rag.

Fri, 08/01/2014 - 00:53 | 5031328 Lore
Lore's picture

I hold WSJ in low regard based on content.  'Zionism' is meaningless to me except to the extent that it's one of many flavors of self-aggrandizing gobbledygook used to manipulate large numbers of the mind-enslaved.

Thu, 07/31/2014 - 16:15 | 5029125 blazinrabbit
blazinrabbit's picture

Next day, German Chancellor Merkel received a package from President Putin. Inside the package there was a group of time-lined photos and a tape recording of the flight deck crew from the Black Box on ML 017. In the taped recording one could hear

Pilot: What the hell – the right engine has just blown

First Officer: I think we can make it that air strip we saw 20 miles behind us

Pilot: ML017 to Ukraine flight control – we’ve just lost our starboard engine, making 180 degree turning decent and we’ll make an emergency landing 20 miles in front of us. No decompression at this time.

Ukraine flight control: I wouldn’t do that if I were you

Pilot: what did you say Ukraine control, it sounded like you <hissssssss>

Ukraine flight control: Tally Ho

 

 

There was a note penned to the group of photos. It stated "From Russia with Love, Vlad".

Thu, 07/31/2014 - 17:03 | 5029418 alski
alski's picture

Residents of Donbass saw Ukrainian military aircraft near MH-17, but Western mainstream media totally ignored that fact.

Fri, 08/01/2014 - 05:53 | 5031678 Optimusprime
Optimusprime's picture

Right.  And there is the precedent (the Israeli's used it to bomb Iraq's nuclear project over twenty years ago) of military jets "hiding" behind a large commercial airliner to avoid radar detection.  Not to mention the possibility that the military jets were hoping to draw a missile attack in such a way that the missile's own guidance system would "lock onto" the larger and far less maneuverable airliner.

Then there is the photo of the wrckage, which seems to clearly show multiple projectile holes in the fore areas of the fuselage--round holes, not made by shrapnel from a nearby explosion.  Maybe made by 30 mm cannon.  If so, the airliner may have been SHOT DOWN by military aircraft, and not by a missile (whether surface-to-air or air-to-air) at all.  Fact is, we don't know, and the only thing we know for sure is that we are being lied to by the authorities.

Thu, 07/31/2014 - 14:22 | 5028322 DoChenRollingBearing
DoChenRollingBearing's picture

hedgeless_horseman

A very nice warning from history, let's hope that any deal between Merkel an Putin would be more benign...

Actually, if I am reading this "deal" correctly, it may be a nice move on Merkel's part, stabilizing things there in Ukraine (and in Europe as a whole).  Maybe Angela is a clever leader who may keep Europe from jumping off the rails.

It almost has to be Germany to broker a deal, the USA has lost its credibility with Putin, and France & the UK don't matter...

Thu, 07/31/2014 - 14:34 | 5028376 gmrpeabody
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Only view that makes sense to me.

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