Trump Doubles Down: Threatens Sanctions On European Investors In Russian Pipeline

With less than a week to go before President Trump is scheduled to meet with President Putin in Helsinki, the State Department has decided to renew its pressure campaign on Western businesses invested in Russia's Nord Stream 2 pipeline to Germany.

Nord

According to Reuters, the State Department has doubled down on previous warnings to Europe, most recently in May when Trump gave Merkel an ultimatum to drop the Russian gas pipeline, and has been "making it clear" to firms involved with "the Russian energy export pipeline sector" that they're at risk of being sanctioned.

"We have been clear that firms working in the Russian energy export pipeline sector are engaging in a line of business that carries sanctions risk," a spokesman for the U.S. State Department told Reuters.

"We believe it (the pipeline) would undermine Europe’s overall energy security and stability by providing Russia another tool for the political coercion of European countries, especially Ukraine. Russia understands that this project is dividing Europe, and is using that to its advantage."

The warning comes after President Trump accused Germany of being a "captive of Russia" because of its dependence on the pipeline for LNG, unleashing a diplomatic scandal ahead of his official NATO visit.

Russia

Five prominent Western firms have invested in the pipeline - Wintershall and Uniper, in Germany, OMV in Austria, Anglo-Dutch Shell (a British-Dutch multinational) and Engie of France.

Should the State Department follow through with its threat, the EU has threatened swift retaliation (given that Germany isn't the only European country that's energy-dependent on Russia). That's also why the EU has warned against moves in the US Congress to escalate sanctions with Russia (though the US media would have you believe that Trump is the true source of resistance). The point that Trump made earlier about the pipeline undermining NATO is actually the official position of the State Department. It also happens to be correct. Germany and much of Europe are effectively held hostage by Russian energy exports. While the US media reports that Trump himself is undermining NATO by meeting with Putin, there are probably more than a few EU energy ministers who were relieved at the prospect of their meeting.

Comments

Killdo Brazen Heist II Thu, 07/12/2018 - 13:49 Permalink

from Moon of alabama

Trump claims that Germany "will be getting from 60 to 70 percent of their energy from Russia and a new pipeline". Of the primary energy Germany uses only some 20% comes from natural gas. Less than 40% of the natural gas Germany uses comes from Russia. Thus Russia delivers 7-8% of the primary energy Germany uses. If need be Germany can do without this. It is not a strategic issue.

 

http://www.moonofalabama.org/2018/07/trumps-false-arguments-will-not-se…

In reply to by Brazen Heist II

Posa The central planners Wed, 07/11/2018 - 19:46 Permalink

Naked coercion I'd say. But Kind of funny watching the EU Poodles getting bitch slapped and strong-armed to buy US LNG by the US President... just like any other banana republic.

"It also happens to be correct. Germany and much of Europe are effectively held hostage by Russian energy exports."

The Russians are far more reliable sources for energy. It's the US who would use dependency to bludgeon the EU to support reckless policies or cut off supply.

 

In reply to by The central planners

Matteo S. deepfriedbrain Thu, 07/12/2018 - 01:29 Permalink

LOL : the US needs Europe more than the reverse.

 

The US elite/deep State is terrified of the US being isolated from the huge Eurasian mass. That’s why it is encroaching in Eurasia and even Africa and provoking tensions everywhere : to avoid being forced back into its bottle.

 

The figures tell the whole story. Americas account for only 14% of the world population. The US is only 4.5% of the world population.

And Americas are isolated by 2 oceans from the mainland of the world.

But it’s funny Americans, except their Deep State, don’t realize it.

Europeans don’t realize it either. Their deep States do but their deep States are vassals and they are terrified being left alone by their weakening hegemon. 

In reply to by deepfriedbrain

Baron von Bud Wed, 07/11/2018 - 19:15 Permalink

Trump is making a huge mistake. Russia has cheap and good quality oil and gas. Can't force people to act against their best financial interest - has never worked. This is that fool John Bolton telling Trump what to do. The man is a lunatic. Even the Pentagon generals thought he was mad.

Matteo S. worbsid Thu, 07/12/2018 - 01:39 Permalink

Europe is not at war with Russia. The anglo-saxon empire and its Polish, Baltic and Ukrainian vassals are at war with Russia (Balts and Ukrainians having switched allegiances from Nazi Germany to the anglo-saxon empire).

 

And the anglo-saxon empire has been at war with Russia since 1815. The expression « the great game » was created to name this conflict.

In reply to by worbsid

Omen IV Baron von Bud Wed, 07/11/2018 - 19:27 Permalink

The Plan is to get out of NATO /ME / SK - the cost differentials versus LNG whether US or elsewhere means EU has no choice but to take RELIABLE Russia Gas - Pipeline goes thru - NATO over!

NATO ends -  means Ukraine Brennan / Obama fiasco ends and Ukraine is split into three parts - Ukraine over!

Russia guarantees Israel border for Iran - Syria over!

Russia & China guarantee NK behavior - Japan folds along with SK - NK over!

In reply to by Baron von Bud

Volkodav BarkingCat Wed, 07/11/2018 - 21:19 Permalink

Three is possible

Polish,Galicia, other alien back to Poland

Ukraine, East Bank and much SW (Malorossiya and more)

SE remain separate, grow much SW Zaporizha to Odessa, 

including those regions strongest peoples reside, dislike Kiev rule

Two part divide seem more eventual, Lviv and Kiev largest of each

 

In reply to by BarkingCat