The media discovered something that should cause more shock in Washington than the discovery of life on Mars or blooming gardens on Jupiter. Bloomberg Business Information Agency claims that the German political elite has shown national dignity because this is the only way to interpret reports that within the German government a document is ripening containing sanctions against the United States, which should be adopted if Washington decides to introduce “hellish” sanctions “against participants in the construction of the Nord Stream – 2″.
The agency claims: “Germany is preparing to retaliate against the United States if President Donald Trump fulfills his threat to kill the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline with additional sanctions. According to two German officials familiar with the discussions, the Merkel government is considering the pressure to take coordinated action at EU level According to German Ministry of Economy documents reviewed by Bloomberg News, new US sanctions could hit a much larger (than before. – Ed.) number of German and European companies and even state-owned agencies. ”
Germany will have to choose between the “Russian threat” and independence
There are a few clarifications to the material of American journalists. Firstly, that version of the bill on new sanctions against Nord Stream 2, which is currently being considered in the American parliament, does not contain sanctions against government agencies of the European Union, against buyers of Russian gas or project lenders. Critics of the German stance could point to this aspect as evidence that Bloomberg journalists spoke to anti-American German politicians, or to conclude that paranoid people who think very badly about the United States and do not read the relevant sanctions bills are in the Merkel government. Such arguments should not be considered adequate to today’s political reality, if only because our American partners have shown many times their ability to introduce the most insane measures in just five minutes and, therefore, it is worthwhile to prepare for such steps in advance. As for “paranoia,” one can put forward a slight conspiracy, but also quite a realistic version that German Bloomberg sources could specifically “merge” their contacts with information about German countermeasures – just so that senators and congressmen would not have the idea to tighten sanctions directly before the vote.
It is also worth noting that the Germans have already voiced two different positions regarding the response to the United States. On the one hand, a spokeswoman for the Ministry of Economics told Bloomberg that she did not know anything about the development of such measures, and on the other hand, a closed meeting of the relevant committee was held in the Bundestag on June 17, during which the issue of sanctions against the Nord Stream was discussed – 2 “, and, as the American media noted, after this meeting the head of the committee said that the German government was called upon to give a well-tuned collective response to US actions, which the committee recognized as violating international law.
It is noteworthy that both the position of deputies and the assessments of high-ranking (but not named) officials referenced by Bloomberg has one unusual aspect: probable anti-American measures are supposed to be taken not only and not so much at the German level as at the level of the European Union as a whole, which will be a rather complicated, but exciting process, with far-reaching consequences if it can be brought to an end.
The fact is that from June 16 Germany will have the transitional status of the “president” of the European Council, and this status traditionally gives a serious advantage to a country that wants to promote a new element in the pan-European political agenda. Moreover, Angela Merkel herself is now in a situation in which any manifestation of weakness in relation to official Washington will be perceived in a rather painful way from the point of view of domestic policy: Donald Trump in the most public form outlined the demand to pay him a trillion dollars against the alleged German debt for the protection that Germany receives from the United States. If you add to this open blackmail (and the EU against the backdrop of coronavirus and the accompanying crisis, only the American president with his threats was missing), Trump’s tariff blackmail and the fact that the White House is actively resisting the EU’s attempts to force American Internet companies such as Amazon and Google, nevertheless, to pay taxes for income received in the European Union, it turns out that the conditions for a large, large-scale and principled conflict between Washington and Brussels have already been created and can “explode” at any time.
German politicians have not yet learned to speak with the United States with the same rigidity with which French President Macron, who is the author and advocate of the concept of military independence of Europe from the United States and the transformation of the European Union into an independent pole of world geopolitics in an era of a multipolar world, formulates its position. But at the same time, official Berlin has already learned to find interesting pretexts for expanding its independence and countering American pressure. For example, the arguments related to the need to build a green economy are used as a justification for the need to import Russian gas, and the higher environmental friendliness of natural gas compared to coal is a scientific fact that cannot be denied. And to substantiate political and even economic independence from the United States, an interesting argument also appeared. The British The Guardian reports, citing a recent interview with the German Chancellor: “Angela Merkel warned that the rest of the world can no longer take for granted that the US is still striving to become a world leader and must adjust its priorities accordingly.”
It turns out very beautifully and ironically in its own way: disobedience to American hoteliers is explained not by the desire for freedom, but by the fact that the States were once a good hegemon, and now they supposedly do not even want to fulfill this role, which means that someone else should bear that burden. It will be interesting to see the response of official American propaganda.
But, in the end, it’s not pretexts and excuses that matter, but real actions and real cubic meters of gas, which have all the chances to nevertheless go via Germany to Nord Stream-2.