Zelenski y Olav Scholz conferencia de seguridad de Munich_19_02_2022_cabecera

Ukraine Crisis.- Germany takes first meassures against Russia: Nord Stream will not be approved, Olav Scholz says

Latest update on 22-02-2022 at 21:00 pm

“There has been a dramatic change in the situation, and we must now reassess; this will include Nord Stream 2. I have asked our Economic Affairs Ministry to conduct a new analysis of the security of the energy supply. Under the present circumstances, certification is not possible,” so it says the tweet published at @bundeskanzler Olav Scholz this evening at 13:58 pm.

The German Chancellor added to this decission the following coinsideration on Russia’s recognition of the independence of the self-proclaimed Democratic Republics of Donersk and Luganks: “Yesterday’s decision on Ukraine by the Russian President is a severe breach of international law.
The territorial integrity and sovereignty of every country must be respected. Our international reaction will be well coordinated, targeted, and based on close consultations.”

This evening, Ursula von der Leyen (President of the EU Commission) specifically supported Scholz in the issue of not approving Nord Stream 2. “On Nord Stream 2, I think the German Government is absolutely right. Nord Stream 2 has to be assessed in light of the security of energy supply for the whole of Europe. Because this crisis shows that Europe is still too dependent on Russian gas. We have to diversify our suppliers and massively invest in renewables. This is a strategic investment in our energy independence. Our action today is a response to Russia´s aggressive behaviour. If Russia continues to escalate this crisis that it has created, we are ready to take further action in response. The EU is united and acting fast”.

Perhaps the agreement to bing the Trans Saharan gasoduct back on track signed by Niger, Algeria and Nigeria last 16th February could help Europe in the future to enhance its energy security levels and reduce deppendence from Russian gas now that Nord Stream 2 is not going to receive the need approval by the german Government (find more information on the resumption of the Trans Saharan gasoduct project in the link I provide at the end of this post).

Another opportunity to enhance gas supply security in Europe would be the Nigeria-Morocco Gas Pipeline, aproject aimed to extend the existing West African Gas Pipleline (which runs from Lagos, Nigeria, connecting to Cotonou, Benin; Lomé, Togo; and Tema and Takoradi, Ghana) additionally connecting to Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire; Monrovia, Liberia; Freetown, Sierra Leone; Conakry, Guinea; Bissau, Guinea-Bissau; Banjul, Gambia; Dakar, Senegal; Nouakchott, Mauritania; Tangiers, Morocco; and Cádiz, Spain.

But this latest pipeline is in a pre-construction phase, so it seems to be still considered as proposed not approved, despite some reports said that the construction has begun. Anyway, taking into account the 25-year estimated term for construction given in 2017, the pipeline connecting Africa with Cádis (Spain) wouldn’t be completed till 2046.

The President of the United States, Joe Biden, announced tday as well the economic sanctions the USA will impose in response to Russia’s recognition of the self-declared Popular republics of Donetsk and Lugansk and in response of the military escalation of the Russian around and inside the territory of Ukraine. Regarding to the stop of Nord Stream 2 Pipeline Project, biden said: “…because of Russia’s actions, we’ve worked with Germany to ensure Nord Stream 2 will not, as I promised, will not move forward…”

“Further Russian assault into Ukraine remains a severe threat in the days ahead. And if Russia proceeds, it is Russia, and Russia alone, that bears the responsibility.
As we respond, my administration is using every tool at our disposal to protect American businesses and consumers from rising prices at the pump. As I said last week, defending freedom will have costs for us as well, here at home. We need to be honest about that.
But as we will d, but as we do this, I’m going to take robust action and make sure the pain of our sanctions is targeted at the Russian economy, not ours.
We are closely monitoring energy supplies for any disruption. We’re executing a plan in coordination with major oil-producing consumers and producers toward a collective investment to secure stability and global energy supplies.
This will blunt gas prices. I want to limit the pain the American people are feeling at the gas pump. This is critical to me.”

An spokes person on behalf of The White House underscored on this Nord Stream 2 related sanction: “These are severe costs that we’re imposing.  Nord Stream 2, for example, is Putin’s prized pipeline.  He poured $11Bn into building the pipeline.  It would have provided billions of dollars each year in revenues.  That is now shut down after very close consultations overnight with Germany.”

This senior official “I know there’s been some talk about whether energy prices are moving higher because of the Nord Stream 2 decision, and I would just emphasize: They are not moving higher because Nord Stream 2 is halted.  They’re moving higher because they’re worried that Putin will weaponize energy supply and hold the world hostage…”…”So, the right response is to reduce Europe’s addiction to Russian gas, and that’s what today’s action does. And in the meantime, we’ll continue to work with Europe to surge natural gas supplies from all over the world. 
And as I mentioned at the outset of this call, with respect to oil, we have an ongoing effort right now to execute on a plan that’s in coordination with oil producers and oil consumers to make sure the world knows we’re going to have stable energy supplies.  And I think — I expect you’ll be hearing more from other countries very soon about that coordination effort.,”

Putin answers with speech directed to the Gas Exporting Countries Forum and signing the Doha Declaration

” Energy modernisation requires well-thought-out approaches and meticulous consideration for national specifics. Efforts to ensure universal access to inexpensive, sustainable and modern energy sources are our key task. We are convinced that it is in the interests of the global community to make sure that the energy transition does not become a means of promoting the political and economic interests of certain players. Moreover, it should not be accompanied by sanctions or any other restrictions” Vladimir Putin (President of the Russian Federation) underscored this afternoon at 12:00 pm in his speech directed to the countries taking part at the 6th gas Exporting Countries Forum held in Doha (Qatar) from 21st to22nd February.

6th-Gas Exporting Countries Forum-family photo-
6th Gas Exporting Countries Forum, family photo.© Gas Exporting Countries Forum. To enlarge the photo, click on the image

On their side, the gasproducing countries taking part at the 6th gas Exporting Countries Forum signed the Doha Declaration, which among other estatements include the following: “V) Expressing:…c)Our deep concern and disagreement in regards to unilateral economic restrictions undertaken without the approval of the United Nations Security Council and extraterritorial application of national laws and regulations against GECF Member Countries that negatively affect the development and trade of natural gas”

The members of the Gas Exporting Countries Forum includes: Norway, Russia, Algeria, Bolivia, Egypt, Equatorial Guinea, Iran, Libya, Nigeria, Qatar, Trinidadand Tobago, Venezuela, Angola, Azerbaijan, Iraq, Malaysia, Peru and UAE.

Putin deepens economical and cooperation ties with Asian countries

Weeks before recognising the soverignity of the self-declares Popular Republics of Donetsk and Lugansk, Vladimir Putin had secured China’s political support with agreement on 10Bn cubic metres gas supply on the sidelines of the Beijing Winter Olympics 2022.

Another movement to paliate the economical dammages derived fromeventual economic sanctions adopted by the EU, USA, UK and other countries was the strengthening of the cooperation between Russia and AESAN countries. In fact, the ASEAN-Russia year of science and tecnical cooperation was launched on 14th February.

Russia China Talks_Xi-Putin_04_02_2022
Vladimir Putin (President of the Russian Federation) and Xi Jinping meet in Beijing on the sidelines of the Beijing Winter Olympic Games 2022 on 4th February 2022.© Cabinet of the President of The Russian Federation.

India remains neutral for the moment to the actions carried out by Russia in Eastern Ukraine.

Intensifying the trade and economic relations has been identified as a priority area by both countries and targets of increasing bilateral investment was revised to $50 Bn and bilateral trade to $30 Bn by 2025.

As per figures of Department of Commerce of India, bilateral trade during FY 2020 amounted $8.1 Bn. Indian exports amounted $2.6 Bn while imports from Russia amounted $5.48 Bn. Disruptions in supply chain and other constraints due to the covid pandemic in 2020 led to a 19.5% decline in the bilateral trade from 2019 (Jan-Dec). During April – August 2021 (as per Department of Commerce), India’s trade with Russia saw a strong revival, increasing by 54% compared with the same period last year.

Trade in services: Bilateral trade in services has remained stable during the last 5 years with trade balance in Russia’s favor. The figure stands at $973.645 million for the year 2020. Trade in services (Jan-Dec 2020) reduced to about 1 Bn as compared to 1.35 Bn (Jan- Dec 2019).

Bilateral investments between the two countries remain strong and surpassed the previous target of $30 billion in 2018, leading to revised target of $50 Bn by 2025. The major bilateral investments by Russia in India are in the oil and gas, petrochemicals, banking, railways and steel sectors. Indian investments in Russia are mainly in oil and gas, diamond and pharmaceuticals sectors.

All these strategical movemente will not be enough for Russia to fully paliate the dammages that will cause the pool of sanctions USA, the European Union, UK and other partners including Germany are imposing: “

As to whether China can replace U.S. and European investors: I mean, I think the numbers speak for themselves in terms of the percentage of the total that Dollars and Euro represent as a — as a source of borrowing.  Also, just as currencies that are used to make payments, to receive payments, and also to store wealth, store value. 

China’s share on all those metrics I just mentioned are in the low single digits.  So it is nowhere close to a substitute for the Western financial system,” a USA Senior Administration Official  excplained to the press on behalf of The White House.

Image over the headline.- Olav Scholz (President of Germany) and Volodimir Zelenski (President of Ukraine) during hteir meeting on the sidelines of the Security Confernence in Munich held last weekend. Photo, Presidency of Ukraine.

Related external links:

@bundeskanzler Olav Scholz tuit 1

@bundeskanzler Olav Scholz tuit 2

Related Eastwind links (English edition):

Biden sanctions the company in charge of building Nord Stream 2, while Russia is ready to meet request for military support by the leaders of Donetsk and Lugansk

Zelenski asks the European Union taking concrete steps towards Ukraine’ full membership

Zelenski, to declare the emergency state in Ukraine

Ukraine crisis.- A coordinated pool of economic sanctions, relocation of troops and no further diplomatic meetings till Russia withdarws their war effectives, the answer of US President, Joe Biden

Ukraine crisis.- The European Union unveils the first batch of economic sanctions but still does not discard the diplomatic path to avoid a major conflict

Ukraine crisis.- UK Government announces first economic sanctions against banks and Russian individuals

Putin secures China’s political support with agreement on 10Bn cubic metres gas supply on the sidelines of the Beijing Winter Olympics 2022

Germany’s deppendence of Russian gas will no way undermine US-Europe agreed sanctions battery in case Putin finally invades Ukraine

Trans-Saharan gas pipeline, back on track

Russian occupation forces shell civilian objectives in the Donbass region after Putin’s recognition of the self-declared Popular Republics of Donetsk and Lugansk, the Ukrainian Ministry of Defence informs

Doha Declaration of the 6th Gas Exporting Countries Forum

The Ukrainian crisis.- Calling Russia to dialogue while showing the economic and troops’ fangs

EU and Ukraine deepen their Association Agreement, facing Russia

Related Eastwind links (Spanish edition):

Putin reconoce la soberanía de las Repúblicas de Donetsk y Lugansk y envía tropas para pacificar la zona

Albares llama a la unidad de todos los partidos políticos en la resolución de un conflicto que puede costar caro y no sólo a Ucrania

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