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Good, Old, Kind US

Posted: Sun Jul 26, 2020 2:29 am
by Sertorio
'Very serious threats': US reportedly ramps up pressure on Nord Stream 2 contractors

The US government has made further attempts to force European firms to ditch the Russian-led Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline project, Welt am Sonntag reported, citing people familiar with talks on the issue.

According to the newspaper, officials from US Department of State, the Treasury Department, as well as the Department of Energy approached European contractors to make sure they fully understand the consequences of staying in the project. Up to a dozen officials reportedly held at least two online conferences with representatives of the firms in recent days.

Speaking in a “friendly” manner, the US side stressed that it wanted to prevent completion of Nord Stream 2, observers of the online talks said. “I believe the threat is very, very serious,” one of them revealed to the German outlet.

Those threats are consistent with comments by US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo last week, in which he warned that companies involved in the project had better “get out now” or risk facing penalties under Section 232 of the notorious Countering America's Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA).

Apart from Russia's energy major Gazprom, which is developing the project, five European companies have joined. Those are France's Engie, Austria's OMV, the UK-Dutch company Royal Dutch Shell, as well as Wintershall and Germany's Uniper.

Speaking to Welt am Sonntag, the latter called US attempts to undermine the “important infrastructure project” a clear intervention into European sovereignty.

Earlier this week, the US House of Representatives approved an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act, meant to expand US sanctions on companies involved in installing Russia's Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline. According to one of the sponsors of the bill, the measures can target companies facilitating or providing vessels, insurance, port facilities, or tethering services for those vessels, as well as to those providing certification for Nord Stream 2.

Both European businesses and government officials have repeatedly decried US attempts to meddle in European energy policy by sanctioning Nord Stream 2, with some even calling on Brussels to work on countermeasures.

Moscow has also lambasted Washington's move, calling it unfair competition. Earlier this week, presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov said that Russia will develop a new strategy for completion of the project if Washington proceeds with new punitive measures.

https://www.rt.com/business/495881-nord ... -pressure/
With an "ally" like this, who needs enemies?...

Re: Canada, Australia as US allies - a contrast.

Posted: Sun Jul 26, 2020 4:03 am
by neverfail
Milo wrote:
Sat Jul 25, 2020 11:10 pm
neverfail wrote:
Sat Jul 25, 2020 12:51 am

National pride? Shared values? All " feel good" stuff Milo but that is not the reason why nations enter into and sustain alliances.
But on the other hand Neverfail, there was also SEATO and CENTO. They are long gone. Why? I think because they were only alliances on paper and their members didn't share values.

The only NATO member who doesn't is Turkey and it's Islamist and authoritarian turn is fairly recent. Prior to Erdogan, Turkey was secular and lawful, if not so democratic.

No other multilateral alliance in history can approach the success of NATO. And it continues to attract new members.
Wow Milo, that reply has stunned me - and it normally takes a lot to do that.

Our aliance with the United States is only a few years younger than NATO which still means one of the worlds more long lived. This matter of shared values has undoubtably helped it to flow smoothly. Probably more so than NATO. It is, after all, an alliance between two English speaking countries - three if the day arrives when New Zealand has its membership suspension lifted.

Now, this leaves me with a discomforting feeling: how would an alliance that has the likes of the US, Japan Australia and India work? Other possible members include Vietnam, The Philippines, Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore (well, I hope that we can persuade Singapore that being the member state of a pact does not mean buming a free ride on the others :lol: ;) :) ). It might not last long as about the only thing these have in common would be a joint opposition to PRC regional and global ambition.

NATO? There is still the matter of utility. I pay tribute to Vladimir Putin for having revived Russia's fortunes from the utter dereliction left behind by the collapse of the USSR. His predecessor in office Boris Yeltzin did absolutely nothing to help. Unfortunately, Putin, a former KGB spy (and before that a juvenile slum bully and street scrapper) incorporates too many Great Russian imperial power dreams into his ambitions (along with anti-West resentment) for any sane European to feel entirely comfortable about having Russia on its periphery.

This raises the question: can NATO with its present membership hold the line for the next 30 or 40 years until the Russian Federation collapses - from the burden of a rapidly shrinking and ageing population ?

Re: Good, Old, Kind US

Posted: Sun Jul 26, 2020 4:11 am
by neverfail
Sertorio wrote:
Sun Jul 26, 2020 2:29 am
'Very serious threats': US reportedly ramps up pressure on Nord Stream 2 contractors

The US government has made further attempts to force European firms to ditch the Russian-led Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline project, Welt am Sonntag reported, citing people familiar with talks on the issue.

According to the newspaper, officials from US Department of State, the Treasury Department, as well as the Department of Energy approached European contractors to make sure they fully understand the consequences of staying in the project. Up to a dozen officials reportedly held at least two online conferences with representatives of the firms in recent days.

Speaking in a “friendly” manner, the US side stressed that it wanted to prevent completion of Nord Stream 2, observers of the online talks said. “I believe the threat is very, very serious,” one of them revealed to the German outlet.

Those threats are consistent with comments by US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo last week, in which he warned that companies involved in the project had better “get out now” or risk facing penalties under Section 232 of the notorious Countering America's Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA).

Apart from Russia's energy major Gazprom, which is developing the project, five European companies have joined. Those are France's Engie, Austria's OMV, the UK-Dutch company Royal Dutch Shell, as well as Wintershall and Germany's Uniper.

Speaking to Welt am Sonntag, the latter called US attempts to undermine the “important infrastructure project” a clear intervention into European sovereignty.

Earlier this week, the US House of Representatives approved an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act, meant to expand US sanctions on companies involved in installing Russia's Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline. According to one of the sponsors of the bill, the measures can target companies facilitating or providing vessels, insurance, port facilities, or tethering services for those vessels, as well as to those providing certification for Nord Stream 2.

Both European businesses and government officials have repeatedly decried US attempts to meddle in European energy policy by sanctioning Nord Stream 2, with some even calling on Brussels to work on countermeasures.

Moscow has also lambasted Washington's move, calling it unfair competition. Earlier this week, presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov said that Russia will develop a new strategy for completion of the project if Washington proceeds with new punitive measures.

https://www.rt.com/business/495881-nord ... -pressure/
With an "ally" like this, who needs enemies?...
That has more to do with the non-leadership of President Donald Trump than "America" per se.

The German government, like those of all of America's other allies abroad, is no doubt hoping and even praying that come the US presidental election later this year Trump will be replaced by someone much better tuned in to America's allies abroad.

Re: Canada, Australia as US allies - a contrast.

Posted: Sun Jul 26, 2020 7:45 am
by Sertorio
neverfail wrote:
Sun Jul 26, 2020 4:03 am

NATO? There is still the matter of utility. I pay tribute to Vladimir Putin for having revived Russia's fortunes from the utter dereliction left behind by the collapse of the USSR. His predecessor in office Boris Yeltzin did absolutely nothing to help. Unfortunately, Putin, a former KGB spy (and before that a juvenile slum bully and street scrapper) incorporates too many Great Russian imperial power dreams into his ambitions (along with anti-West resentment) for any sane European to feel entirely comfortable about having Russia on its periphery.

This raises the question: can NATO with its present membership hold the line for the next 30 or 40 years until the Russian Federation collapses - from the burden of a rapidly shrinking and ageing population ?
You hold the most incredible misconceptions about Putin and Russia, which leads you to defend outrageous policies and to support one of the worst imperial powers ever - the US.

There will not be any "Russian Federation collapse", and there is absolutely no reason to feel uncomfortable about Russia. I'm glad you are Australian and not European, and thus have no say on what happens over here. Unfortunately there are a few Europeans who are as misguided as you are...

Re: Canada, Australia as US allies - a contrast.

Posted: Sun Jul 26, 2020 4:31 pm
by neverfail
Sertorio wrote:
Sun Jul 26, 2020 7:45 am
neverfail wrote:
Sun Jul 26, 2020 4:03 am

NATO? There is still the matter of utility. I pay tribute to Vladimir Putin for having revived Russia's fortunes from the utter dereliction left behind by the collapse of the USSR. His predecessor in office Boris Yeltzin did absolutely nothing to help. Unfortunately, Putin, a former KGB spy (and before that a juvenile slum bully and street scrapper) incorporates too many Great Russian imperial power dreams into his ambitions (along with anti-West resentment) for any sane European to feel entirely comfortable about having Russia on its periphery.

This raises the question: can NATO with its present membership hold the line for the next 30 or 40 years until the Russian Federation collapses - from the burden of a rapidly shrinking and ageing population ?
You hold the most incredible misconceptions about Putin and Russia, which leads you to defend outrageous policies and to support one of the worst imperial powers ever - the US.
I don't see the US as the "worst" imperial power ever. Only one that fails to hold its governments sufficiently accountable for foreign policy bungling.

(Hell, as Izzrdgrrl pointed out in a recent post: government in the US has become non-accountable even for domestic policy failings. The US has become a country where politics is apparently a game played by active participants for its own sake instead of for the good of posterity - as it should be.)

By the way: I am glad to be Australian because it means that the Russian Federation is safely distant.