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Russian pipeline and US defenders

Together with other countries and private companies, Germany has decided, planned, implemented and almost completed the Nord Stream 2 energy project. Because this Pipeline violates US economic and geopolitical interests, the US has threatened the companies involved with illegal sanctions if they continue to participate in the construction.

Also in order to protect the companies from these illegal US attacks, the state government of Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania has now founded the “Stiftung Klima-und Umweltschutz MV”. The aim of this foundation is to officially support environmental projects in the country – unofficially, however, it is probably above all a construct in order to be able to buy components and machines that are indispensable for the completion of the very last piece of the gas pipeline untroubled by US sanctions.

USA are aggressors: defense of sanctions justified

Against this foundation and its goal of defending and completing the important Pipeline against US sanctions, an intensive campaign has been mounted these days: it is supported above all by the Greens, by environmental associations and by transatlantic lobbyists. Details on the campaign, the foundation and the US sanctions follow below.

The foundation, its name and its form of organization may together give the impression of a windy construction – but this “wink” of the state government, if one wants to put it so negatively, is well founded and it deserves support: after all, it serves to ward off illegal economic sanctions. In this conflict, the US is clearly the Aggressor that wants to dictate important decisions to other countries (once again). Now defaming the defensive measures against this Aggression is at least misleading. The funds (Foundation) are always justified by the purpose (defusing sanctions).

Nord Stream: Peoples ' Union and a symbol of sovereignty

In my opinion, Nord Stream 2 is an important project in several respects: it is a building block for a secure gas supply in times of energy policy upheaval. Natural gas is not the last resort of climate policy – but it can be described as more ecological and cheaper than the alternative Fracking Gas from the USA. The Pipeline is also a materialized international connection between Germany and Russia, which is to be welcomed in view of the past of the two countries and the current tensions: such a very concrete connection may contribute more to a lasting peace than many fine-sounding phrases. By working on joint economic or energy projects, of course, the entire policy of the respective country is not accepted or endorsed.

In addition, the Pipeline is now his Symbol, a touchstone for the sovereignty of the German state: a nod in the last meters to the US interests, which are also massively formulated by German “representatives”, would not be a good Signal for the German-American relationship of the future.

With “human rights” against the Pipeline

But instead of assisting Prime Minister Manuela Schwesig in her fight against US sanctions, numerous actors are now turning their backs on her. Central " arguments “of Pipeline opponents and US lobbyists:” Environmental Protection “and"Human Rights”.

The aspect of the human rights allegedly “seriously violated by Putin’s Russia” must be described as geopolitical hypocrisy. If the violation of human rights is the criterion for economic cooperation between two countries, would it still be possible to do business with companies associated with the US state, and thus with US war crimes? What about Saudi Arabia and other problematic “partners” of the West? So if Putin’s" dark character " morally forbids Germany’s gas supply through this Pipeline, then one could quite concretely compare which politician is more vulnerable in terms of human rights: Vladimir Putin or Joe Biden, now given misleading moral praise? With this question, however, it is not generally demanded to stop German economic projects with the USA in principle because of the numerous US war crimes.

“On July 31, 2019, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee approved a bill with the presumptuous title “Protecting Europe’s Energy Security Act of 2019”. The draft by US Senator Ted Cruz provides for companies and individuals involved in the construction of the Nord Stream 2 Baltic Sea pipeline to be placed on the US sanctions list. ( … ) In the future, the sanctions of the “Protecting Europe’s Energy Security Act of 2019” will also affect persons and companies who insure or “support"ships working on the Baltic Sea pipeline in any Form whatsoever. ( … ) According to internal German government notes, the sanctions even affect German and European authorities. This is something you have to let slip on your tongue: the German and Danish officials who play a role in the certification of the Pipeline and grant the Russian laying ships a permit run the risk that they will no longer be allowed to enter the USA and that they may even be frozen their assets by certain banks.”

With “environmental protection” against the Pipeline

Regarding the background of the foundation, dpa reports that the public interest-oriented Foundation should promote projects in environmental, natural and climate protection, but can also become commercially active. For example, it is planned to buy components and machines through the foundation in order to avoid threatened sanctions by the USA against companies involved in the construction of the line. According to the reports, the country wants to equip the foundation with 200,000 euros. According to Prime Minister Manuela Schwesig (SPD), Nord Stream 2 had initially guaranteed grants of 20 million euros. According to the draft of the foundation’s articles of association, the managing director for the foundation’s business operations is proposed by Nord Stream 2 AG. However, this provision does not relate to the foundation’s public-interest tasks. There should be another managing director.

The campaign against Nord Stream 2 over the past few days has been supported by politicians, editors – and environmental associations: Deutsche Umwelthilfe (DUH) wants to sue the new foundation and describes Manuela Schwesig and Vladimir Putin as “the new dream couple of the Gas Lobby”. The foundation is a pure “camouflage event”, further justifications of the DUH can be found here. According to dpa, climate activists from “Fridays for Future” and “Ende Gelände” protested on Tuesday in front of the SPD headquarters in Berlin against the continuation of Nord Stream 2. The “Naturschutzbund” also wants to sue against the Pipeline (not the foundation). In itself, many of the statements of the environmentalists certainly have an ecological resonance – but is the lawsuits not indirectly contributing to the US lobbyists? Are the promised environmental benefits of stopping Nord Stream 2 real?

The hour of US lobbyists

The FDP parliamentary group vice president Alexander Graf Lambsdorff told Deutschlandfunk that the planned Foundation was “in fact a Gazprom Foundation”. In the current Situation, continued construction is the wrong way. Lambsdorff referred to “Russia’s conduct in the Ukraine conflict”. Like environmental aid, he describes the foundation as a “camouflage organisation”.

Politicians of the Greens also and above all excel in the campaign. In a commentary in the FAZ, Reinhard Bütikofer and Annalena Baerbock came to the conclusion regarding the “Putin regime” already in autumn:

“If the Federal Network Agency makes this decision objectively and without lobbying behind the scenes, there can only be one answer in the light of the latest assassination attempt by the Putin regime on Alexei Navalnyj.”

Green Party leader Baerbock has recently followed suit and called for the stop of the new foundation in Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania. The establishment of a foundation for the completion of the Baltic Sea Pipeline underscores that it is by no means a purely entrepreneurial project, Baerbock told the “Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung” on Wednesday” :

“The fact that Russian money is used to finance a foundation under the guise of climate protection, which serves solely to complete the Pipeline, is simply outrageous. Not only climate policy, but above all geostrategic.”

“The hidden consequence of green populism”

The SPD then accused Baerbock of acting unrealistically and irresponsibly. Dpa vice-president Sören Bartol said: “with green illusionism, she is trying to sell the people in the country for stupid.“It is irresponsible to get out of coal and nuclear at the same time and at the same time reject all bridge technologies. Gas will be necessary as a transition until the mid-2030s in order to prevent deindustrialization in Germany, said Bartol to dpa. And more:

“By rejecting (Baerbock) Nord Stream 2, it makes it possible to import dirty Fracking Gas. ( … ) This is then the hidden consequence of green populism.”

Numerous media articles support the anti-Pipeline sentiment. Thus the “Focus” judges: “controlled by Putin: the unmasking Passage in Schwesig’s fraud Foundation”. The " Tagesspiegel “says:“Schwesig’s fake Climate Foundation is a brazen PR campaign”. And the” Welt “comments:“Putin should give Schwesig the Golden Pinocchio”.

“Poll”: citizens want Nord Stream 2

Numerous campaigns against the Pipeline have already preceded the current opinion-making. At least until the autumn, however, they were apparently unsuccessful in terms of a broad impact in the population. So reports the “Spiegel” of a survey on the topic. This survey is quoted here, with the urgent indication that opinion polls are in principle under the highest suspicion of manipulation. The” Spiegel “concludes from the survey:” despite the poison attack on the Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny " most Germans would want the Nord Stream 2 Baltic Sea pipeline to continue to be built.