From their video published yesterday (July 27), a little over 26 minutes. Some highlights:
Nord Stream 1: Pretty much the same day the Siemans turbine and necessary documentation had been received by Russia and it was expected that gas flows that had been reduced to 40% would be brought back up to normal, problems have been reported with another turbine that will need to be taken offline for maintenance lasting at least 10 days, and gas flows will instead be reduced to 20%.
Energy analysts say this will be catastrophic for Germany, that they will not have sufficient stores to get through the winter. Ursula von der Leyen, President of the EU Commission, has said that Nigeria will provide the needed replacement LNG, but it's unlikely they will be able to fill the gap (they're also trying to join BRICS).
Russia is probably playing cat and mouse with Europe. Had they simply cut off gas flows to Europe, this would have created a crisis which could have been a galvanizing event, leading to better and more innovative planning. This cat and mouse instead keeps EU leaders divided and panicky.
EU gas rationing plan At the time of this video, this was still under discussion by EU member states but they did ultimately agree to it as Alex reported later in the day (more on this below).
Ursula's plan for EU member states to cut energy use by 15% so that this could be diverted to Germany met with a lot of pushback. Spain and Portugal say they only get 10% of their gas from Russia, the rest they get from Algeria so why should they give up 15% of their gas. Greece was saying that they don't approve of this energy-sharing plan because prices will skyrocket, the people will get extremely upset and the Greek government will face collapse.
This crisis feeds into the longstanding resentments against Germany, which forced austerity programs on southern Europe a decade ago. As many in these countries see it, Habeck has messed up totally and now the Germans expect all the other EU countries to come to their rescue.
The EU member states have the power to demand new leadership in Germany and in the EU Commission but probably lack the courage to do so. It would be a smart thing to do in terms of saving their own political lives domestically - blame the whole crisis on having been misled about alternative energy sources that have not materialized - Habeck's claim that Qatar would fill the gap and Qatar's denial that it had agreed to this because of limitations on its own capacity; promises of LNG from the US that have been derailed by its own domestic needs and the June explosion of an LNG processing plant in Texas (as reported in Alex's later video, Reuters piece is here); and now Ursula's questionable claim that Nigeria will come to the rescue.
The timing for such a move would be now, with Germany weak and the US in disarray and the UK undergoing a power transition. Alexander doesn't think it's fear of Ursula that holds them back, but fear of Habek, the power behind him in Berlin and beyond that, the people in Berlin, Washington and London who are backing them (i.e., the WEF crowd).
[Edit to add this helpful suggestion from The Duran on the incompetents who should be ousted]: Ursula von der Leyen, EU Commission President;
Josep Borrell, EU Commission Vice President; Charles Michel, President of the European Council; Christine Lagard, President, European Central Bank; Olaf Scholz, German Chancellor; Robert Habeck, German Minister for Economic Affairs (Greens); and Annalena Baerbock, German Minister for Foreign Affairs (Greens). Habek, in particular, seems to have been on a single-minded mission to de-industrialize Germany.
EU rationing plan agreement: Alex reported in his later update that agreement had been reached. But as Péter Szijjártó, Hungary's Minister of Foreign Affiars and Trade, said the agreement is no more than political communication and in technical, practical terms it will be impossible to implement. Compliance is voluntary with member states agreeing to "make their best effort" to abide by the 15% rationing beginning in August.
(It has also been reported that Szijjártó was being sent to Moscow to try and get more gas by President Orban, who has said that there need to be peace negotiations fast).
Alex gave Greece as an example. Supposing they cut domestic gas use and divert the excess to Germany, how do they even manage this? Send LNG tankers? There are no pipelines running from Greece to Germany.
How much gas? Initially the plan was supposed to be mandatory but that part is out the window. And it was supposed to provide the EU with 30 bcm (billion cubic meters), which they said would be enough to get the EU through a mild winter with no surprises.
Experts now saying that given the structure of the agreement (not mandatory and with carve outs), the EU will be lucky to get 20 bcm. They are further saying that a minimum of 45 bcm is needed to get them through a normal-to-severe winter, and closer to 60-70 bcm to be safe. Statements made by some unnamed EU diplomats suggest there really isn't the intention to abide by the agreement, that it's just optics for the sake of giving the appearance of solidarity.
The EU Commission is setting up a Union Alert: in the event things get really bad in the winter, i.e., the German economy collapses which all indicators show it will, the voluntary cuts will become mandatory. Germany is headed for a huge energy crisis - not only are gas prices near record highes but "electricity prices in particular are signaling stress".
In Latvia the price of electricity in June increased by 186% compared to last year. The cost of gas in Europe exceeded $2300 per 100 cubic meters for the first time since the beginning of March.
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