Essential Reading to Understand The Headlines

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Warning the EU - Beware of the Nord Stream Pipeline

Russia's Nord Stream Pipeline will provide the EU with much needed gas and will be fully operation by 2012.

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"The two 1,224-kilometre offshore pipelines are the most direct connection between the vast gas reserves in Russia and energy markets in the European Union. When fully operational in the last quarter of 2012, the twin pipelines will have the capacity to transport a combined total of 55 billion cubic metres (bcm) of gas a year to businesses and households in the EU for at least 50 years."

Source: The Nord Stream Website


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In 1982 US President Ronald Reagan warned about this Europe's dependence on Russian gas for their economic well being.

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"We tried to persuade our allies not to go forward with the pipeline for two reasons. One, we think there is a risk that if they become industrially dependent on the Soviet Union for energy—and all the valves are on the Soviet side of the border—that the Soviet Union can engage in a kind of blackmail when that happens."

"The second thing is, the Soviet Union is very hard pressed financially and economically today. They have put their people literally on a starvation diet with regard to consumer items while they poured all their resources into the most massive military buildup the world has ever seen. And that buildup is obviously aimed at the nations in the alliance. And they, the Soviet Union, now hard-pressed for cash because of its own actions, can perceive anywhere from 10 to 12 billion dollars a year in hard cash payments in return for the energy when the pipeline is completed—which I assume, if they continue the present policies, would be used to arm further against the rest of us and against our allies and thus force more cost for armaments for the rest of the world. And for these two reasons, we tried to persuade our allies not to go forward."

Source: American Presidency Project: Ronald Reagan: The President's News Conference 
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The warning and the logic is simple. Now the EU is again aiming to strenghten a Russian premier who longs for the return of the Soviet Union. When will we ever learn?