The struggle for gas

Some have decided that it is just a typical attack of Sigmar Gabriel (Sigmar Gabriel): a sudden, headstrong and a bit tricky. However, his recent statement, when he a couple of with the Federal Chancellor of Austria by Christian Kern (Christian Kern) strongly condemned the decision of the U.S. Senate to adopt new sanctions against Russia, sounded less than 24 hours after the reaction of the Federal government. Chancellor Angela Merkel (CDU) shared their position.

“To put it mildly, the unauthorized decision of the Senate”, — said Friday the official representative of the government Steffen Seibert (Steffen Seibert). According to him, “it is strange that because of the sanctions against Russian foreign policy, the target became the European economy”. “Economic interests and questions about the sanctions don’t mix,” is a phrase that Seibert literally borrowed from Gabriel and Core.

However, government spokesman also said that the statement made by Gabriel, and Core on Thursday, was not agreed with Merkel that the Chancellor is not fully appropriated the text of the speech: Seibert likes to talk about unanimity. Apparently, he wants to tell us that Merkel and Gabriel on this issue agree with each other.

The extension of US sanctions threaten energy interests in Germany and Europe, as they participate in the project on construction of the pipeline “Nord stream — 2” — this was said by the Chancellor and the Minister of foreign Affairs. Now all hope for trump.

What exactly is it? Answer the most important questions.

Why the U.S. Senate has decided to impose new sanctions?

The decision to expand sanctions against Russia, adopted by the Senate on Wednesday, is part of the sanctions package, which also includes tough measures against Iran. Sanctions voted 98 out of 100 senators. In the new sanctions list against Russia are not only the people, not previously mentioned, but also measures against the country’s economy, particularly in the energy sector. This includes the government project “Nord stream — 2” — the main project for the construction of a pipeline for natural gas through the Baltic sea.

This decision of the US senators want to increase pressure on Moscow, primarily because of alleged interference in the presidential elections. However, such a vote directed against trump, who supports the easing of sanctions. If the package is approved by the house of representatives and the White house will not veto, the President can’t arbitrarily cancel it.

Why did Gabriel vs?

Thanks to the German Embassy in Washington, the Federal government was aware of the actions of the senators to impose new sanctions from the beginning. After the decision of the Committee on Wednesday, German diplomats, fearing possible consequences, had sent “an alarm signal” to the German foreign office. In this regard, the representative of the German foreign Ministry Martin schäfer (Martin Schäfer) have established direct contact between officials of the Ministry and the office of the Chancellor.

Theoretically, the position of Germany could explain and Merkel, but it is the responsibility of the Minister of foreign Affairs. In addition, the Chancellor could make the fact that Gabriel spoke first, so it supported its image as a prudent policy, but the criticism was able. Gabriel last week again strongly condemned the policy of the United States, which he, however, defended in an interview he gave Der Spiegel informed.

Why split the CDU?

Despite the fact that the Chancellor supports Gabriel, he criticized the Chairman of the Bundestag Committee on foreign relations Norbert Röttgen (Norbert Röttgen). “Gabriel was fond of one-sided representation of interests of the Russian company “Gazprom”, which does not reflect the interests of Germany,” — the politician explains Der Spiegel magazine.

Member of the CDU and coordinator of the German government on transatlantic cooperation, jürgen Hardt (Jürgen Hardt), on the contrary, supports the stance of Merkel: “We have always clearly opposed the extraterritorial sanctions of the United States that go far beyond the stated purpose, — he said in an interview with Der Spiegel, we now have to use your channels to contact the chamber of representatives and to remove the contentious issues from the bill.” However, at the same time, the politician denies that the tone that took Gabrielle: “I Doubt that this microphone diplomacy, foreign Minister, will help.”

What is the role of former Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder (Gerhard Schröder)?

According to the statement, Gabriel and Kern took the actions of the US directed against the “Nord stream — 2”, to your account. This is the main project which will provide gas supply to Europe through a pipeline under the Baltic sea. The pipeline “Nord stream”, which supplies gas from Russia to Germany in 2011, by 2019, will be attached to two branches. The sole shareholder of “Nord stream — 2” is the Russian company Gazprom, and Chairman of the Board of Directors of the ex-Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder.

At the recent St. Petersburg international economic forum, Schroeder again promoted the construction of “Nord stream — 2”, and later met with Vladimir Putin and Minister of foreign Affairs of Germany. Gabriel held a separate meeting at your hotel with Austrian Federal Chancellor Kern, who is interested in the project because of the participation of the Austrian company OMV.

Who supports the project?

In April, five companies of four European countries signed an agreement on the financing of the pipeline “Nord stream — 2”: this is the German company Wintershall and Uniper, Engie from France, the British Royal Dutch Shell and Austria’s OMV — which is why the Austrian Chancellor supports Gabriel. Since the beginning, and regardless of the composition of the government to criticize the project of the Baltic countries and Poland. They feel left out, especially, Germany, as project “passed by them.”

Why the German government hopes to trump?

The approval of the house of representatives has not been received. Gabriel and Kern support the efforts of the Ministry of foreign Affairs of the United States to change the bill, especially as stated by the Ministry of foreign Affairs of Germany, the government believes the proposed sanctions package “violates international law”. And besides, trump may impose his veto: tougher sanctions voted for by the Senate, not in his best interest. But still, what position would choose trump, still not clear.