Kazimir Malevich Sportsmen 1931
Record debt + record drawdown = strong dollar.
“If a negotiated peace is not available Moscow can still opt for an imposed one, in which it would complete the occupation of Donetsk Oblast and call a unilateral halt to offensive operations.”
Notwithstanding the Nordstream attacks it is possible to see, inside the announcements and moves that have emerged this week, the skeleton of a Russian strategy towards a negotiated peace with Kyiv. An uncomfortable one, to be sure, but peace nevertheless. If a negotiated peace is not available Moscow can still opt for an imposed one, in which it would complete the occupation of Donetsk Oblast and call a unilateral halt to offensive operations. Presented with that fait accompli Kyiv is likely to continue its present policy of shelling civilians in Russian-occupied territory wherever its guns can reach – a policy in blatant breach of the Law of Armed Conflict but one which has been consistently and thoroughly ignored by the major media channels in both Europe and the USA, and even by Turkish and Iraq media.
An enforced peace would therefore require Russia to create and police an effective artillery “no fire” zone for some 20 kms west of its new imposed border with Ukraine, and a “no-rocket” zone for another 50 kms on top. Russia’s present artillery and rocket forces cannot do that, since Ukrainian artillery can evade counterbattery fire by the tactic of “shoot and scoot”. Russian air forces are also unable to enforce a no-fire zone because at high altitude they are vulnerable to a SAM shoot-down, and at low altitude to the widespread presence of Man-portable air defence systems (MANPADS). To create an effective no-fire zone Russia needs a force of unmanned drones capable of delivering 20-40 kgs of high explosive within 2 metres of their targets, both stationary and evading counterfire in “scoot” mode.
These drones would have to be sufficiently numerous to give saturation coverage day and night, working in pairs (so that one of the pair can engage MANPADS and SAM launchers which target the other member of the pair), and cheap enough to be disposable. At the start of the war Russia did not have a drone with those specifications, but now it does. The 1,000 or so Shahed 136 drones ordered this month are beginning to arrive (the first examples of 136 wreckage with their distinctive wingtips have now appeared in Ukraine). Russia has renamed the model the Geranium.
The 136 is an ideal candidate for enforcing a deep no-fire zone. Its 36 kg warhead can completely destroy a heavy artillery piece, a mortar or a Multiple Launch Rocket launch truck. The 136 can loiter for some 20 hours at heights well above the reach of MANPADs, before being dived onto the target by its operator. It can also carry out a chase of a moving target (it was a 136 which hit the bridge of the merchant ship Mercer Street while under way off Oman last year), and can break away and re-attack repeatedly if the target evades successfully.
“..when you depend on that someone else for vital gas, oil, fertiliser, wheat, paper, titanium etc, maybe you really should after all make an effort to understand their viewpoint.”
1. Another Ukraine There will always be an East Slav-speaking country between south-eastern Poland and south-western Russia, whatever it will be called. However, in the future it will be a country within its natural borders, occupied only by those who voluntarily identify with the government and culture in their capital of Kiev. Moreover, deNazified, it will present no military, biological or nuclear threat to its neighbours and will be independent of geopoliticians in Washington and Brussels.
2. Another Russia As a result of the War against NATO, Russia will be freed of the froth of Westernised sycophants formed in the 1990s, the liberal chattering classes, called in Russian ‘the creative class’. The 5% who are enserfed to the West and its overpriced consumer baubles are only repeating the treason of the Westernised ruling class and traitors from before 1917 who also wasted their fortunes on overpriced Western consumer baubles. Those who will continue to behave like chimpanzees with regard to their Western lords and masters should go and live in the West, if they have not already fled Russian justice for Finland, Georgia or elsewhere. Russia at war against NATO (= the US) is a land that needs patriots, not traitors.
3. Another Europe At the present time Central and Western Europe risk ‘Donbassisation’ as a result of US demands for absolute obedience to their anti-Russian tyranny, known as ‘sanctions’. This means that NATO-ised Central and Western Europe will become deindustrialised, impoverished, cold, hungry and also left defenceless, as their arms will have been destroyed in the Ukraine. However, it is only at that low point that they will begin to understand that their future is not across the Atlantic, but next door, with Eastern Europe and Eurasia, the gateway to Asian growth and prosperity.
4. Another World Seven billion of the eight billion people of the world, 87.5% of the planet, await the day of freedom from Western imperialism, exploitation and nuclear threats, aspiring to humanity, truth, justice and prosperity. Their only hope is the coming Russian victory over the US. Once that is here, much will fall back into its natural place. Asia with China and India, Africa, Latin America and all the Western peoples (basically, Western and Central Europe, North America and Oceania), so long oppressed by the gloomy darkness of the feudal Western elite, will be able to follow in Russian footsteps and walk, at first dazzled, into the bright daylight of freedom.
In 1939, quite infamously, Winston Churchill expressed his extraordinary ethnocentric ignorance by calling Russia ‘a riddle, wrapped in a mystery, inside an enigma’. Like many ignorant people, he was of course talking about himself. When you cannot be bothered to understand someone else’s viewpoint, just call it ‘a riddle, wrapped in a mystery, inside an enigma’. You will then have successfully defined yourself as a blinkered and selfish narcissist. The only thing is, when you depend on that someone else for vital gas, oil, fertiliser, wheat, paper, titanium etc, maybe you really should after all make an effort to understand their viewpoint. Otherwise, they will definitely consider your death-wish, the totally suicidal behaviour of your American Roulette as, ‘a riddle, wrapped in a mystery, inside an enigma’.
Sweden’s coast guard discovered a fourth gas leak on the damaged Nord Stream pipelines earlier this week, a spokesperson told the Svenska Dagbladet newspaper. The European Union suspects sabotage was behind the gas leaks on the subsea Russian pipelines to Europe and has promised a “robust” response to any intentional disruption of its energy infrastructure. “Two of these four are in Sweden’s exclusive economic zone,” coast guard spokesperson Jenny Larsson told the paper late on Wednesday. The other two breaches are in the Danish exclusive economic zone.
The coast guard did not immediately respond to a Reuters request for comment on Thursday. While neither pipeline was in use at the time of the suspected blasts, they were filled with gas that has been spewing out in the Baltic Sea since Monday’s ruptures. The fourth leak was on the Nord Stream 2 pipeline, in close proximity to a larger hole found on the nearby Nord Stream 1, the Swedish coast guard said.
This looks overdone. Maybe go look first?! They will have to take out damaged pipes anyway. Once that is done, the salt will be removed with pressurized gas. An issue only if it takes years to repair.
What is being touted as potential sabotage on the Russian Nord Stream gas pipelines might have dealt them irreparable damage, Germany’s Tagesspiegel reported on Wednesday, citing “government circles.” The two pipelines were seriously damaged earlier this week. If the damage is not repaired quickly enough, too much salty sea water could run into the pipes lying at the bottom of the Baltic Sea and irreversibly corrode them, German officials have warned, according to the news media outlet. Denmark said on Wednesday that its authorities would be able to launch a probe into the issue no sooner than in a week or two due to “safety concerns,” Tagesspiegel added. The media outlet does not mention any plans for repair work by either Russia or Germany.
A group of senior German MPs were quick to point the finger at Russia and blame Moscow for the incident. “An attack on the energy supply infrastructure is intended to spread fear and terror,” Roderich Kiesewetter, a German MP and spokesman for crisis prevention for the Conservative Union parliamentary group, told the RND media group. “Therefore, it is likely that Russia is trying … to stir up uncertainty among the European population” and supposedly demonstrate its ability to attack critical infrastructure, he added, accusing Moscow of employing a “state terrorism” approach. The head of the German parliament’s Defense Committee, Marie-Agnes Strack-Zimmermann, told journalists that “it cannot be ruled out that [such attacks] will be directed by Russia in order to shake our markets.”
She also used the occasion to call on Germany and the EU to “free” themselves from the “dependence on Russian raw materials as quickly as possible.” Danish authorities confirmed leaks on the pipelines on Monday after their operator reported a loss of pressure on both Nord Stream 1 and Nord Stream 2 pipelines earlier that day. Danish and Swedish authorities then spoke of a series of undersea explosions in the area. Russian, American, and Swedish authorities said the leaks might have been the result of a deliberate attack. The EU vowed “the strongest possible response” to any attacks on its active energy infrastructure but stopped short of naming any suspects in the Nord Stream incident. Russia branded the incident a “terrorist attack” and said it would summon a UN Security Council meeting over it.
Maybe not so irreparable.
“German gas pipeline grid company Gasunie Deutschland said the damage could be repaired. “There are good teams in place to handle pipeline accidents, there are emergency pipe inventories and experts for onshore and offshore..”
More than half of all of the gas contained in the Nord Stream 1 and Nord Stream 2 pipelines has spilled out, the head of the Danish Energy Agency, Kristoffer Boettzauw, told journalists on Wednesday. The pipelines suffered a leak on Monday following what many officials suspect to have been a deliberate attack. Gas will keep leaving the pipes until at least the end of the week, Boettzauw said, speaking about a future investigation into the incident. Only after the pipes run out of gas can the Danish authorities “try to get out and investigate what the cause is, and approach the pipes,” he added. The ongoing emissions are not poisonous, the nation’s specialists said, according to the media.
Denmark’s energy agency also said that the leaks could discharge an equivalent of one third of Denmark’s total annual greenhouse emissions. The pipelines’ operators told the Danish authorities that the damaged pipes contained a total of 778 million standard cubic meters of natural gas. Earlier, the German media warned that the pipes could be rendered permanently inoperable if the damage was not repaired before sea water got into the pipes and corroded them. German gas pipeline grid company Gasunie Deutschland said the damage could be repaired. “There are good teams in place to handle pipeline accidents, there are emergency pipe inventories and experts for onshore and offshore,” its managing director, Jens Schumann, told Reuters, adding that he was “relatively optimistic” about the prospect of repair work.
Russia is bringing troops to the regions, some newly conscripted, AND some from the northern Ukraine border.
The leader of the Lugansk People’s Republic (LPR) and his counterpart in Kherson Region have officially asked President Vladimir Putin to be accepted into the Russian Federation. The move follows referendums on joining Russia, where the overwhelming majority voted in favor. In a video address published on Wednesday, LPR leader Leonid Pasechnik said the republic’s residents have not received support from any country other than Russia, and have been continuously bombarded by Kiev’s forces for the past eight years. Vladimir Saldo, leader of Ukraine’s Kherson Region, which is now mostly controlled by Russian forces, penned a similar address to Putin on Wednesday. In his letter, he also asked for his territory to be accepted into Russia, stating that the people of Kherson have expressed their desire to “reunite” with the country, which has “always lived in their hearts.”
The Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics (LPR and DPR), along with Kherson Region and part of Zaporozhye Region in southern Ukraine, voted to join Russia in referendums that were held between September 23 and 27. While the process of officially integrating these new provinces into the Russian Federation may take some time, as it requires approval from parliament and the president, Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov has expressed optimism that it will be done “fast enough.” Meanwhile, the EU and the US have called the referendums a “sham” and have vowed to “never recognize” the regions as part of the Russian Federation.
“The crucial vector is that we may be facing the case of a EU/NATO member involved in an act of sabotage against the number one EU/NATO economy. That’s a casus belli.”
It gets curiouser and curiouser when we know that simultaneously to the sabotage the Baltic Pipe from Norway to Poland was partially opened, a “new gas supply corridor” servicing “the Danish and Polish markets”: actually a minor affair, considering months ago their sponsors were in trouble finding gas, and now it will be even harder, with much higher costs. NS2 had already been attacked – in the open – all along its construction. Back in February, Polish ships actively tried to prevent the Fortuna pipe-laying vessel from finishing NS2. The pipes were being laid south of – you guessed it – Bornholm. NATO for its part has been very active on the underwater drones department.
The Americans have access to long distance Norwegian underwater drones which can be modified with other designs. Alternatively, professional navy clearance divers could have been employed in the sabotage – even as tidal currents around Bornholm are a serious matter. The Big Picture reveals the collective West in absolute panic, with Atlanticist “elites” willing to resort to anything – outrageous lies, assassinations, terrorism, sabotage, all out financial war, support to neo-Nazis – to prevent their descent into a geopolitical and geoeconomic abyss. Disabling NS and NS2 represents the definitive closure of any possibility of a German-Russia deal on gas supplies, with the added benefit of relegating Germany to the lowly status of absolute US vassal.
So that brings us to the key question of which Western intel apparatus designed the sabotage. Prime candidates are of course CIA and MI6 – with Poland set up as the fall guy and Denmark playing a very dodgy part: it’s impossible that Copenhagen was not at least “briefed” on the intel. Prescient as ever, as early as in April 2021 Russians were asking questions about the military security of Nord Stream. The crucial vector is that we may be facing the case of a EU/NATO member involved in an act of sabotage against the number one EU/NATO economy. That’s a casus belli. Outside of the appalling mediocrity and cowardice of the current administration in Berlin, it’s clear that the BND – German intel – as well as the German Navy and informed industrialists sooner or later will do the math.
This was far from an isolated attack. On September 22 there was an attempt against Turkish Stream by Kiev saboteurs. The day before, naval drones with English language IDs were found in Crimea, suspected of being part of the plot. Add to it US helicopters overflying the future sabotage nodes weeks ago; a UK “research” vessel loitering in Danish waters since mid-September; and NATO tweeting about the testing of “new unmanned systems at sea” on the same day of the sabotage. [..] Gazprom is threatening to sue the Ukrainian energy company Naftofgaz for unpaid bills. That would lead to the end of Russian gas transiting Ukraine towards the EU.
As if all of that was not serious enough, Germany is contractually obligated to purchase at least 40 billion cubic meters of Russian gas a year until 2030. Just say no? They can’t: Gazprom is legally entitled to get paid even without shipping gas. That’s the spirit of a long-term contract. And it’s already happening: because of sanctions, Berlin does not get all the gas it needs but still needs to pay.
“..the Russian military doctrine, which states that nuclear weapons may only be employed if such arms or other weapons of mass destruction are being targeted at the country or its being faced with an existential threat from conventional arms.”
NATO’s response to any use of tactical nuclear weapons by Russia in Ukraine must be “devastating” but only employ conventional arms, as Moscow’s threat is not directed at the bloc, Polish Foreign Minister Zbigniew Rau has said. “To the best of our knowledge, Putin is threatening to use tactical nuclear weapons on Ukrainian soil, not to attack NATO, which means that NATO should respond in a conventional way,” Rau claimed during his Wednesday’s appearance on NBC News program Meet the Press. “But the response should be devastating. And I suppose this is the clear message that the NATO alliance is sending to Russia right now,” the minister pointed out.
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said on Sunday that “the consequences would be horrific” for Russian if it uses nuclear weapons in Ukraine, adding that this message has already been communicated to the Russian leadership publicly and privately. The warning followed an address by Vladimir Putin a week ago, in which he announced partial mobilization in Russia and slammed “some senior officials in NATO states” for suggesting that deploying nuclear weapons against Russia was justified. The President made it clear that such a move won’t be left unanswered by Russia, reminding that it has its own arsenal of destructive weapons, some of which surpass their Western-counterparts. “If the territorial integrity of our nation is threatened, we will certainly use all the means that we have to defend Russia and our people. It’s not a bluff,” Putin stated.
Over the past week, the US and allies have increased intelligence gathering and surveillance over concerns that signs that Russia decides to deploy nukes could “come too late,” Politico reported on Tuesday. According to US officials, who talked to the outlet, air, space and cyberspace monitoring of Russian units in Ukraine that could potentially receive the nuclear order from the Kremlin has been stepped up, with special attention also being paid to Russia’s western exclave of Kaliningrad. Russia’s deputy foreign minister Sergey Ryabkov reiterated last week that “we are not threatening anyone with nuclear weapons.” He referred the journalists to the Russian military doctrine, which states that nuclear weapons may only be employed if such arms or other weapons of mass destruction are being targeted at the country or its being faced with an existential threat from conventional arms.
John Helmer is sure it was Poland. He approaches the issue in a different way than I did yesterday. I simply asked: Cui bono?
“This time the attack is targeting the Germans, especially the business and union lobby and the East German voters, with a scheme to blame Moscow for the troubles they already have — and their troubles to come with winter.”
The military operation on Monday night which fired munitions to blow holes in the Nord Stream I and Nord Stream II pipelines on the Baltic Sea floor, near Bornholm Island, was executed by the Polish Navy and special forces. It was aided by the Danish and Swedish military; planned and coordinated with US intelligence and technical support; and approved by the Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki. The operation is a repeat of the Bornholm Bash operation of April 2021, which attempted to sabotage Russian vessels laying the gas pipes, but ended in ignominious retreat by the Polish forces. That was a direct attack on Russia. This time the attack is targeting the Germans, especially the business and union lobby and the East German voters, with a scheme to blame Moscow for the troubles they already have — and their troubles to come with winter.
Morawiecki is bluffing. “It is a very strange coincidence,” he has announced, “that on the same day that the Baltic Gas Pipeline opens, someone is most likely committing an act of sabotage. This shows what means the Russians can resort to in order to destabilize Europe. They are to blame for the very high gas prices”. The truth bubbling up from the seabed at Bornholm is the opposite of what Morawiecki says. But the political value to Morawiecki, already running for the Polish election in eleven months’ time, is his government’s claim to have solved all of Poland’s needs for gas and electricity through the winter — when he knows that won’t come true.
Inaugurating the 21-year old Baltic Pipe project from the Norwegian and Danish gas networks, Morawiecki announced: “This gas pipeline is the end of the era of dependence on Russian gas. It is also a gas pipeline of security, sovereignty and freedom not only for Polish, but in the future, also for others…[Opposition Civic Platform leader Donald] Tusk’s government preferred Russian gas. They wanted to conclude a deal with the Russians even by 2045…thanks to the Baltic Pipe, extraction from Polish deposits, LNG supply from the USA and Qatar, as well as interconnection with its neighbours, Poland is now secured in terms of gas supplies.”
While Andrew Korybko, American living in Moscow, feels sure it is NOT Poland.
The unprecedented damage done to the Nord Stream pipelines Monday night was certainly an act of sabotage exactly as Denmark, Germany, Poland, and Russia suspect, though nobody can agree on who carried out this ecological terrorist attack in the Baltic Sea. Kiev, however, predictably blamed Russia for destroying its own pipeline in a remix of its earlier conspiracy theory alleging that Russia regularly bombs the Zaporozhye Nuclear Power Plant that’s also under its control. That ridiculous scenario can therefore reasonably be ruled out, especially since Moscow could just keep the tap turned off for technical reasons without risking getting caught sabotaging its own pipelines in NATO-controlled waters.
Continental European countries like Poland also shouldn’t be suspected either even though that aspiring regional leader’s newly inaugurated Baltic Pipe from Norway makes it a major energy player nowadays. There’s just too much risk of serious ecological blowback to that country’s direct interests to justify carrying out such an act of terrorism just to forever cripple its only potential pipeline competitor, the two Nord Streams. That said, the attack nevertheless does indeed serve Poland’s larger interests for exactly that reason even if it most likely wasn’t behind what happened or had any advance knowledge about it, which is why suspicion should fall on its allies in the Anglo-American Axis (AAA).
Both have an interest in dividing and ruling the EU by facilitating Poland’s rise as a continental Great Power capable of eventually competing with the bloc’s de facto German leader (at least in Central & Eastern Europe [CEE]), which was explained in my mid-September analysis about how “Poland’s Hyping Up The German Threat To Central Europe To Consolidate Its Regional Influence”. In order to knock Germany out of the geopolitical and geo-economic game for good, the AAA must not only successfully trick it into committing economic suicide through its compliance with the anti-Russian sanctions, but also destroy any chance of a strategically meaningful rapprochement with Russia in the future.
Sabotaging the Nord Stream pipelines accomplishes precisely that by completely disincentivizing Germany from potentially clinging to whatever energy-driven plans it might have for eventually repairing relations with Russia. With that scenario confidently discounted after Monday night’s ecological terrorist attack in the Baltic Sea, which also served the purpose of making Poland among the continent’s most pivotal energy hubs, Germany might also figure that it doesn’t have anything more to lose vis a vis Russia by possibly being the first country to send cutting-edge battle tanks to Kiev. This artificially manufactured strategic inertia would thus doom Russian-German relations for decades. Considering these outcomes, both immediate and emerging, there’s no doubt that the AAA benefits the most from the ecological terrorist attack that was just carried out in the Baltic Sea against the two Nord Stream pipelines. They’re insulated from the consequences of the ecological disaster that they created and are thus able to advance their grand strategic goals without any cost to themselves.
“American LNG suppliers, on the other hand, have been making incredible profits after having multiplied their deliveries to the European continent, Peskov pointed out, adding that these companies are “very interested in maintaining these super-duper profits in the future.”
Moscow has denounced as “stupid and absurd” any allegations of its being behind the suspected explosions of the Nord Stream natural gas pipelines earlier this week, stating that the incident actually creates many issues for Russia. Speaking to journalists on Wednesday, Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov explained that the damage to the pipelines posed a “big problem” for Russia as it had essentially lost its gas supply routes to Europe. Both lines of the Nord Stream 2 pipeline were pumped full of gas and were prepared to deliver it to Europe at the time of the alleged explosion, said Peskov, adding that “this gas is very expensive and now it is all going up in the air.”
Peskov also noted that neither Russia nor Europe had anything to gain from the destruction of the pipelines, especially Germany, for which this incident poses a threat to the future development of its industry, as well as its profitability and competitiveness. American LNG suppliers, on the other hand, have been making incredible profits after having multiplied their deliveries to the European continent, Peskov pointed out, adding that these companies are “very interested in maintaining these super-duper profits in the future.” While no suspects behind the incident have officially been named, the Kremlin spokesperson advised against making any official announcements before a proper investigation into the incident is carried out.
Peskov did, however, draw attention to US President Joe Biden’s statements from early February, when the American leader threatened to “bring an end” to Nord Stream 2. “What the US president meant by that, we don’t know,” admitted the Kremlin official, but highlighted the “borderline insane hysterical-euphoric reaction” of Polish officials who have already thanked Washington for sabotaging the pipeline. The Kremlin’s response comes after some European and Kiev officials, including President Vladimir Zelensky’s adviser Mikhail Podolyak, suggested that the attack on the pipeline was a “false flag” operation carried out by Russia in order to make Ukraine look bad and to further drive energy prices up in the EU.
However, after the former Polish FM publicly thanked the US for the apparent sabotage on Twitter, Russian Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Maria Zakharova urged the EU to treat the US as the possible culprit behind the attacks on the Nord Stream pipelines. She said Moscow would call for a UN Security Council session over the incident. A number of Western nations have repeatedly opposed Russia’s undersea pipelines delivering gas to Europe, both before and after Moscow launched its military operation in Ukraine. The recently built Nord Stream 2 network, which never went into operation due to Germany’s refusal to certify it, has drawn particular opposition from countries like the US and Poland, which has called for the pipeline to be “totally scrapped.”
As multiple countries want to kick Russia off the council.
Moscow wishes to call an emergency UN Security Council session over the “provocations” at the Nord Stream 1 and 2 pipelines, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said on Wednesday in a Telegram post. Both pipelines were severely damaged earlier this week in what many suspect was a deliberate attack. Danish authorities confirmed gas leaks from the pipelines not far from the island of Bornholm in the Baltic Sea on Monday after the operator reported a loss of pressure in both Nord Stream 1 and 2. Swedish and Danish authorities later confirmed a series of undersea explosions had been detected before the leaks were confirmed.
Russian, American, and Swedish officials all said that the damage might have been the result of a targeted attack on pipeline infrastructure. No suspects behind the incident have officially been named, although in a tweet former Polish foreign minister Radoslaw Sikorski “thanked” Washington for destroying the pipeline. Moscow, which called the incident a “terrorist attack,”also named the US as a potential suspect. Several high-ranking German MPs have pointed the finger at Russia, accusing it of attempts to “stir up uncertainty among the European population.”
There has been no shortage of threats from sfome Western nations against Russian undersea pipelines, particularly Nord Stream 2 both before and after late February, when Moscow sent troops into Ukraine. It had been ready to pump gas since September last year, but was not put into operation due to Germany’s refusal to certify it. Polish President Andrzej Duda demanded last month that the pipeline be “totally scrapped.” US President Joe Biden warned in early February, before Russia began its military operation in Ukraine, that if Moscow acts against Kiev, “there will no longer be a Nord Stream 2. We will bring an end to it.” A journalist asked him to clarify what exactly he meant, to which Biden responded: “I promise you, we will be able to do that.”
He resorts to democracy (!), with national consultations. Can’t have that. If the people decide, we’ll have …. anarchy!
The EU has forced anti-Russia sanctions upon the people of the bloc’s member states, Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban said on Wednesday, as he announced the launch at home of national consultations on the matter. Brussels did not ask Europeans about their opinion on the sanctions policy but made them pay the price as restrictions it imposed on Russia backfired, Orban said, in a series of posts on Facebook. The EU sanctions introduced over Russia’s military operation in Ukraine “will cause huge damage to Europe,” he warned, adding that the restrictions had already made “Europeans poorer”because of skyrocketing energy prices. “It is time to get honest about it with our American friends. Until it is too late,” the prime minister said, pointing to the role the US played in the global sanctions campaign against Russia.
The sanctions have failed to end the conflict in Ukraine, Orban argued, adding that they also appear to hurt Europe more than Russia. Hungary is heavily dependent on Russian energy supply. It has also been one of the staunchest opponents of Brussels’ energy sanctions against Moscow and in particular opposed banning imports of Russian oil until it was granted a waiver by Brussels. Budapest still declared a state of emergency over tightening energy supplies this summer. On Wednesday, Orban confirmed the plans to hold the national consultations on the EU sanctions imposed against Russia, saying that he’d asked “everyone to have their say, because we can only put an end to rising energy prices by acting together.” Hungary is the first EU nation to do so.
The developments come amid an ongoing energy crunch in the EU. Since the start of Russia’s military offensive against Ukraine in late February, gas prices have climbed to record highs in Europe. In late July, EU member states agreed on a plan to reduce their gas consumption by 15% over the coming months, to increase the bloc’s energy security at a time when it seeks to rid itself of its dependence on Russian energy. Russia also reduced its gas exports to Europe, citing technical issues related to sanctions the West imposed over Russia’s military action. Massive gas leaks on the Russian Nord Stream pipelines, which have allegedly been a result of a targeted attack, has sent gas prices in Europe further up.
The prices have been climbing up for quite some time, leaving some EU nations, including Germany –the EU’s economic powerhouse– in a bind. In early September, Germany’s largest gas importer, Uniper, requested additional financial aid from the government as it was struggling to replace missing Russian gas supplies despite already receiving billions of euro to cover gas purchases. The operators of the Large Hadron Collider – the European nuclear research center (CERN) – also admitted in September that the ongoing energy crisis threatens the operation of the world’s largest particle accelerator. It could be shut down to decrease the energy consumption burden at peak demand periods, CERN said at that time.
As EU companies can’t produce because of energy prices.
Seeking to deprive Moscow of trade revenue over the conflict in Ukraine, the EU has proposed banning the import of Russian-made hygiene products, from soap and shaving needs to toilet paper and deodorant. The eighth wave of anti-Russian sanctions, unveiled in Brussels on Wednesday, would also ban the import of several steel products and attempt to impose a price cap on Russian oil. “We do not accept the sham referenda and any kind of annexation in Ukraine, and we are determined to make the Kremlin pay for this further escalation,” European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen announced in Brussels. According to her, the proposed sanctions package is expected to deprive Russia of “an additional 7 billion euros ($6.7 billion) in revenues.”
The scheme requires EU residents to make do without Russian-made “beauty or make-up” products, shaving supplies, “personal deodorants,” dental floss, soap, and toilet paper, according to Politico. Von der Leyen’s announcement comes just days after one of Germany’s pioneer toilet paper manufacturers, Hakle, filed for bankruptcy citing the skyrocketing prices of energy and source materials. Hakle and other German companies had asked the federal government to cap the energy price as a way of staying solvent – but that was before a series of explosions on Monday damaged the two Nord Stream pipelines and cut off Germany from Russian natural gas, perhaps permanently. Meanwhile, government officials have been instructing Germans to shower less and use washcloths, to save on hot water.
Commenting on the proposed sanctions, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said that between the sanitation products and water savings, “one involuntarily recalls the famous letter from 200 years ago,” in which the French Emperor Napoleon allegedly told his wife Josephine, “Do not wash.” The EU also intends to sanction philosopher Aleksandr Dugin, whose daughter Darya was assassinated last month in a Moscow car bombing. Russia has identified two suspects in the terrorist attack, both Ukrainian nationals.
“Ursula “My Grand Dad was a Nazi” von der Leyen, the sadomaso dominatrix in charge of the European Commission. The prime catfight cage match to watch in fact is Giorgia versus dominatrix Ursula.”
No one ever lost money betting on the EU oligarchy always behaving like a bunch of self-entitled, stubborn, unelected pricks. They never learn anything. And they always blame everyone except themselves. Giorgia, following her instincts, has a decent shot at burying them even deeper. She is more calculating and less impulsive than Salvini. She won’t go for a euro exit and much less an Italexit. She won’t interfere with her Finance Minister – who will have to deal with the ECB. But she remains a “semi-fascist”, so Brussels will want her scalp – in the form of cutting off Italy’s budget appropriations. These Eurocrats would never dare doing it against Germany or France. And that brings to the political set up of the – supremely undemocratic – European Council.
Giorgia’s party is a member of the European Conservatives and Reformists bloc, along with only two other members, the PMs of Poland and Czech Republic. The Socialists & Democrats bloc has seven members. And so does Renew Europe (the former “liberals”): that includes the president of the European Council, the supremely mediocre Charles Michel. The center-right European People’s Party has six members. That includes Ursula “My Grand Dad was a Nazi” von der Leyen, the sadomaso dominatrix in charge of the European Commission. The prime catfight cage match to watch in fact is Giorgia versus dominatrix Ursula. Once again, Mediterranean swagger against the Teutonic techno-barbarians. The more Brussels harassment of Giorgia, the more she will counter-attack, with full support of her post-truth Roman legions: Italian voters. Grab the Negronis and the Aperol Spritz; it’s show time.
PM Jacinda Ardern calls internet freedom a “weapon of war” in most recent UN speech. Calls for a new type of internet with “rules and transparency”.
“How do you tackle climate change if people don’t believe it exists”.
Source: https://t.co/ZaBdZq6N0U pic.twitter.com/c0V66jEvfG
— Wittgenstein (@backtolife_2023) September 28, 2022
Saying goodbye to a species, the very last male Northern White Rhino. 2018
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