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Ukraine’s partial gas cut to Europe could force activation of Nord Stream 2

Kiev attempts to blackmail Europe by partially halting gas flow from Russia

By Paul Antonopoulos | Aletho News | May 12, 2022

Ukraine’s decision to partially disable the flow of gas earmarked for Europe will be short-lived as it will not only cause major problems for the European economy, but it will also leave Kiev without billions of dollars in transit tax revenue – something it desperately needs as the economy is in ruin.

The Ukrainian gas transmission system operator (GTSOU) said it decided to suspend operations at a major transit point because of “interference by the occupying forces.” The decision to stop flows from Sokhranivka halts about a third of the Russian gas that arrives in Europe via Ukraine as the measuring station handles as much as 32.6 million cubic meters per day, according to GTSOU.

“As a result of the Russian Federation’s military aggression against Ukraine, several GTS facilities are located in territory temporarily controlled by Russian troops and the occupation administration,” the company said.

Kiev’s idea of transferring gas supplies from Sohranovka to the Suja gas station, which is in Ukrainian-controlled territory, has been dismissed by the Russian state gas company Gazprom as “technically impossible.” In addition, Gazprom said that it fulfills all its obligations to European consumers and delivers gas for transit in accordance with all contracts.

The disrupted transit of one-third of the gas that Europe needs would cause major damage to the continent’s economy. Europe already has less gas than it currently needs and the problem is not just that the price of gas will go up, but there will not be enough needed for industrial production.

If Russian gas does not arrive via Ukraine in the agreed quantity, Europe would have to consider extracting from reserves in underground storage facilities. The price of such gas will certainly be higher than in the case of gas arriving via Ukraine. Therefore, Kiev’s attempts to coax Europe into further involvement in the war with Russia will receive little accolade as it threatens Europe’s economy at a time when it is already suffering.

Kiev’s decision to reduce gas flows to European markets also means that it will suffer as it will lose transit fees that it desperately needs as its economy has stagnated. Another outcome that Ukraine did not consider is that it could force Europe to challenge the US’ opposition to the Nord Stream 2 pipeline. If Russian gas does not arrive via Ukraine, it could be the very catalyst needed to activate Nord Stream 2.

If Ukraine were to remain committed to reducing Russian gas flows to Europe, even at the expense of billions of dollars in transit fees, the question begs whether the EU would be willing to potentially run out of gas and/or see prices rise even further, or activate Nord Stream 2. Activating Nord Stream 2 would effectively mean the US’ failure after so much effort was made to prevent the pipeline from functioning.

For this reason, Ukraine’s decision to halt a third of Russian gas flows to Europe is likely a bluff as it needs all the money it can receive at the moment. At the same time, the Europeans hope to slowly wean themselves off Russian energy, understanding that an immediate cut is not sustainable and would collapse their economies.

Kiev’s incessant demand that Brussels put an embargo on Russian energy imports to the EU will be challenged so long as there are leaders, like Hungary’s Viktor Orban, who prioritize their state’s economy and people’s welfare, or entire major industries are threatened, such as Germany’s manufacturing and Greece’s shipping.

It is quite possible that this disunity and lack of consensus on the embargo in a situation where energy cannot be undermined, could force a rethink of Europe’s policies towards Moscow.

“We will have a peace to build tomorrow, let us never forget that,” Macron said in Strasbourg on May 9, adding: “We will have to do this with Ukraine and Russia around the table. The end of the discussion and the negotiation will be set by Ukraine and Russia. But it will not be done in denial, nor in exclusion of each other, nor even in humiliation.”

On the same day, he said in a tweet: “We are not at war with Russia. We work as Europeans for the preservation of the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine. For the return of peace to our continent. We will be there to rebuild Ukraine, as Europeans, always.”

However, despite the rhetoric of pan-Europeanism, Macron has already proven in deed that Europe’s elite are still very much under the orbit of Washington. If Ukraine are to partially halt the flow of Russian gas to Europe, the next test of Europe’s so-called “strategic autonomy” would be whether it activates Nord Stream 2 to protect their economic interests or continue following Washington’s demands on keeping the pipeline closed.

Paul Antonopoulos is an independent geopolitical analyst.

May 12, 2022 - Posted by | Economics, Malthusian Ideology, Phony Scarcity | , ,

3 Comments »

  1. I appreaciate your analysis but I think that with the puppets in Europe there simply won’t be no Nord stream 2 running in near future. The only countries getting the gas from Russia will be Hungary and Serbia

    Liked by 1 person

    Comment by antimason313 | May 12, 2022 | Reply

  2. A grim, sobering, excellent report. The (local; regional; global) ramifications all ’round regarding the US-led refusal to respect and negotiate Russia’s very reasonable core national-security imperatives are already immense, and they will continue, and they will worsen….

    First: rid the world of NATO! Second: Sane people: Start the world on a path of DISARMAMENT — not mere REDUCTION in budgets for military armaments and accoutrements here, there, everywhere. DISARMAMENT!

    Like

    Comment by roberthstiver | May 12, 2022 | Reply

  3. It is important to remember that Nord Stream 2 was initiated by the German business community. For years, Ukraine had been stealing gas and/or interrupting the flow to gain higher transit fees. In short, Ukraine has always been corrupt and unreliable. The opposition to Nord Stream 2 is from the US, because it improves Europe’s economy, and is an incentive to move away from the puppet psychopaths in DC who want to control the world. The BRICS are a major stumbling block to that. The 2014 coup in Ukraine was just another step, along with the coups in Argentina, Brazil, and Bolivia, and several attempts in Venezuela.

    Like

    Comment by curmudgeon49 | May 13, 2022 | Reply


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