An update on the Trump plan to get the Europe to buy US LNG and block Nord Stream 2
US Secretary of Energy Rick Perry is now tweeting about his meetings with European energy companies to promote US LNG exports.
Had a productive lunch today with energy industry representatives from across Europe on the increased benefit of American LNG exports, energy technology, and how the U.S. can further collaborate with E.U. companies to provide energy security to Europe. #EnergyCouncil pic.twitter.com/ocuZ7J8qpk
— Rick Perry (@SecretaryPerry) July 12, 2018
US dead against Nord Stream 2
This confirms what I was writing Wednesday about Trump’s aggressive commentary toward Germany regarding Russia.
….On top of it all, Germany just started paying Russia, the country they want protection from, Billions of Dollars for their Energy needs coming out of a new pipeline from Russia. Not acceptable! All NATO Nations must meet their 2% commitment, and that must ultimately go to 4%!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 12, 2018
I called it a secret plan on Wednesday. Well, it’s not so secret anymore. Trump wants Nord Stream 2 dead – as did Obama. And he is aggressively courting European energy companies to switch away from Russian natural gas to US liquified natural gas.
Russian poropaganda on Nord Stream 2
This policy is very much in line with what NATO says. For example, last month, look at what NATO Secretary General Stoltenberg said.
Question [Swedish Radio]: Mr Secretary General, yesterday the Swedish government give the green light for Nord Stream 2. What do you think about the pipeline within the Baltic Sea? And a second question, if I may, what do you say about political tensions right now within NATO, between Allies like West Germany and France, according to this meeting here today, and even within the G7 group today? Thank you.
Jens Stoltenberg [NATO Secretary General]: There are disagreements between NATO Allies, but in NATO we stand together. And what we have seen is that there are disagreements related to, for instance, trade, environment, the Iran Nuclear Deal, but that has not weakened NATO’s ability to unite around our core task, to defend and protect each other. Actually, we have seen the opposite. We have seen that in… or during the last years, where we have seen some disagreements, some different views, we have seen that NATO has been able to build up and to strengthen our deterrence and our defence and our unity. We see United States and Canada increasing their military presence in Europe and we see European Allies investing more in defence. So yes, there are different views, there are differences, but at the same time NATO has proven able to stand united and to continue to deliver credible deterrence and defence, and actually we see that the transatlantic bond within NATO has been strengthened over the last years.
Translation: Germany shouldn’t be doing the Nord Stream pipeline. And many countries have said so. But I won’t make a public statement to that effect.
Notice that the Russian English-language press talking points on this are pure propaganda:
Mr. Stoltenberg countered that although NATO allies have “different views” sometimes, NATO has always been able to “unite around our core task to protect and defend each other.”
His remarks came in response to another stinging Donald Trump attack on the Nord Stream 2 pipeline project. The president called Germany a “captive of Russia”, claiming that an “inappropriate” gas deal with Russia that has left Berlin “totally controlled” by the Kremlin.
Translation: we have only highlighted the points that fit with Russia’s policy interests. You will have to work to find a more complete and nuanced view.
I think we need to follow this issue. It is a perfect intersection of energy security, foreign policy and financial issues that are very important for Europe and the US.