I do not approve of any wars anywhere, including in Korea, Vietnam, NATO bombing Serbia, Afghanistan, the Middle East, Libya and Ukraine.
This article, “Shades of Gray in the Russia-Ukraine War”, provides an excellent summary of historic developments. It should be read for background. Zelensky was elected on a “Peace-with-Russia” platform. Despite the terms of the Minsk agreements, the powers surrounding Zelensky have been unwilling to talk to and negotiate about home-rule with the leaders in the Donbas region in East Ukraine, for eight years.
US-led Color Revolution/Coup d’Etat of Ukraine: I wrote this article, because Russia-hating, extremists in the US State Department and US Congress have been using NATO to pressure first the USSR, then Russia.
They have been deluding impoverished, corrupt Ukraine with promises of future membership in the EU and NATO, since 1990
They have been weaponizing Ukraine against Russia ever since the US/EU-instigated color revolution/coup d’etat in 2014
Separatists in East Ukraine: In 2014, millions of Russian-speaking Ukrainians, mostly in East Ukraine, decided not to support the US-installed, puppet Kiev government.
1) A 2014-transcript of the conversations between Assistant Secretary of State Nuland and Ambassador Pyatt, including, by Nuland: OK. He's now gotten both Serry and [UN Secretary General] Ban Ki-moon to agree that Serry could come in Monday or Tuesday. So that would be great, I think, to help glue this thing and to have the UN help glue it and, you know, Fuck the EU.
2) A U-tube video with viewer’s comments
There has been no real “government” in Kiev since 2014; the US ambassador is in charge, because he dispenses $billions to impoverished, aid-dependent Ukraine.
An anti-Russia doctrine has been hatched in Washington to foment war in Europe. As part of the doctrine, the US pressured Ukraine not to implement the signed Minsk 2 agreements for 8 years, to keep the anti-Russian pot boiling.
The neo-Nazi-inspired, NATO-trained Ukraine army, on the line of separation, has been committing genocide of Dombas people, who fired back. Net result 15,000 dead, plus many more wounded over 8 years
The US/UK-supplied defensive and offensive weapons, plus military training personnel to Ukraine, so it could “defend itself”
At the urging of the US, Ukraine “floated” the idea of Ukraine having an “Iron Dome” similar to Israel, and reacquiring nuclear weapons.
This article presents an excellent history of US policy versus Russia since 1945
EU countries reluctantly agree to sanction Russia, as otherwise they would lose access to US markets, even though it means forfeiting their profitable trade with Russia.
EU countries insisted on continued imports of Russian natural gas and oil, as otherwise their economies would be in depression.
Predicted Russian Reactions: Russia made certain demands regarding:
1) NATO encroachments beyond East Germany starting in 1999, which took place after the US/UK/German promise to Gorbachev in 1990 not to expand beyond East Germany.
2) The indivisibility of Russian and European security; i.e., not increase your own security at the expense of someone else’s.
The US/UK-led NATO rejected the demands, and offered, likely as a diversionary tactic, to talk about side issues, that had originally been raised by Russia, but ignored.
Russia demanded the demilitarization and denazification of Ukraine, and invaded Ukraine to make it happen.
Promises of the West to Russia: US Secretary of State Baker, and German Chancellor Genschler, and USSR President Gorbachev agreed East Germany would be reunited with West Germany and all of Germany would be in NATO (so it would not ever be a threat to Russia), and NATO would not expand (“not one inch”, per Baker) beyond East Germany.
NATO did expand to Russian borders, starting in 1999 to the present, for “defensive purposes”.
Some people say: 1) the Heads of State and Secretaries of State making the promises were not "authorized", or 2) nothing was officially written down in agreement documents, which, de facto, implies:
1) The verbal promises of US/UK/EU/NATO-combo mean nothing
2) “The West” would determine the security of the East Europe, etc., regardless of Russia’s security; might makes right!
Here is an excellent history of NATO expansion by a Canadian, who thinks NATO is a problem, not a solution
Here is an excellent interview regarding the post-Cold-War order being replaced by a multi-Polar order, by former Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, the son of a Russian Ambassador stationed in Ireland.
Here is an excellent summary of contemporary documents indicating Western promises to Russia in 1991
The EU Conundrum: The EU is partially at fault, as it did not assert itself regarding the Kiev coup d’etat in 2014
The EU decided to become an aider and abettor of US policy goals regarding Ukraine in 2014, and onwards
The EU present predicament is significantly at variance with its vital interests.
How Ukraine Fits into The Global Jigsaw
This article explains in great detail the ongoing control of the Euro/Asian land mass. It should be read before this article
European countries have had trade relations with Russia for more than 1000 years
France, Germany, and Russia are trying to find common ground and avoid the outbreak of hostilities.
France and Germany are aiming to deescalate the crisis atmosphere the US/UK is creating and hyping
France and Germany understand ignoring Moscow’s security interests and concerns is not realistic, if order, stability and peace is to be maintained in Europe
France and Germany are dependent on Russian energy supplies. They do not want to enforce the harsh restrictions the US/UK-combo demands.
Germany is unwilling to sacrifice its energy and industrial needs, and ENERGIEWENDE to facilitate Washington’s hostile anti-Russia policies.
France, by not acceding to the US/UK demands for extreme sanctions, aims to weaken US/UK unwanted hold over European affairs.
France and Germany are ignoring the incessant complaints from Poland and the Baltic states, and now also Ukraine; all of them are acting as US/UK lapdogs to: 1) facilitate NATO expansions and 2) receive weapon systems at deep discounts
The EU vows to respond to any Russian invasion of Ukraine to show “unity” with the US
In 1918, a US/UK expeditionary army of about 20,000 was fighting with the Tsarist White Army against the Communist Red Army.
That fight “against Communism” is still going by the extremists in the US State Department and by some Members in the US Congress
In 2022, the US/UK are continuing to pursue their uncompromising, warmongering, hate-Russia agenda; if any war, there would be no bloodshed and damage within their own territories.
The US/UK-combo goals are to pressure, contain, threaten, intimidate, and diminish the viability of Russia
The US energy sector has a further aim to make Europe dependent on US LNG, instead of 25 to 30 percent less-costly Russian pipeline gas, as part of wiping out a competitor. Much to its frustration, Russia has allied with China and India, who are eager buyers of low-cost Russian oil, gas and coal.
NATO, a US/UK Handmaiden to Pressure, Contain, Diminish Russia
The US/UK combo has used NATO to advance US/UK policy goals to pressure, contain, diminish, demonize, first the USSR, then Russia, which is unlike the USSR, but has been demonized just the same.
The US/UK policies do not serve the policy interests of the EU, which aim to gain power/influence by means of profitable international trade, instead of military muscle-flexing.
As a result, only a few NATO members fulfill their promise to spend at least 2% of GDP on their military defense.
The US/UK has almost no trade relations with Russia
France, Germany, Italy, etc., have major trade relations with Russia that are very profitable
Sanctions on Russia, eagerly imposed by the US/UK, and reluctantly imposed by the EU, have had little adverse impact on the US/UK, but major adverse impacts on the EU.
Russia’s response to sanctions has been countersanctions, and adaptations to minimize adverse effects of sanctions, including closer military and commercial alliances with China and India.
The adaptations have improved the diversity, independence and efficiency of the Russian economy.
NATO’s military infrastructure expansions into east Europe and the Caucasus since 1999 may have increased European security, but certainly diminished Russian security, in violation of the principle of indivisibility of security, per the Helsinki Agreements and the Russia-NATO Founding Act
NATO has a convenient policy, which states each sovereign country has a right to make its own security arrangements.
Russia is surrounded by sovereign countries, such as Belarus, Kazakhstan, etc.
Does that mean all these countries are fair game for US/UK-color-revolution-style regime change, so US/UK-led NATO can move its infrastructures even closer to Russian borders?
Failed Color Revolutions in Belarus and Kazakhstan
In 2021, Belarus had a color revolution, supported by Western-financed/influenced NGOs, fanning the flames of dissatisfaction, etc.
In 2022, Kazakhstan suddenly had a color revolution, after the government raised energy prices.
Those price increases may have been on purpose, to rouse the population, so organized groups could take over Kazakhstan’s government.
Some government leaders were arrested on spying and treason charges, after the failed coup d’etat.
Russia had been monitoring Kazakhstan’s dealing with the West for years.
Here is Joe and Hunter Biden wheeling and dealing in Kazakhstan
Russia had prepared what was needed to send up to 3,000 troops into Kazakhstan within about 2 to 3 days.
The Kazakhstan President invited Russia to help end the color revolution.
Blinken, et al., said he was surprised by Russia’s quick response, but “we will not give up on Kazakhstan.”
It is on China's trade route
There is a DOD bio laboratory in Almaty. Such DOD laboratories exist in other countries, including Ukraine
Russia Recognized Luhansk and Donetsk as Independent Republics (not just the areas held by separatists)
Putin addressed the security guarantees that he demanded of the US and NATO in December, arguing if Ukraine is allowed to join NATO, “then the threats to our country will increase many times.”
He raised the issue again in his speech Monday, Feb 21, 2022, arguing to his fellow Russians that “if Ukraine was to join NATO, it would serve as a direct threat to the security of Russia.”
“In NATO documents, our country is officially and directly declared the main threat to North Atlantic security,” Putin added. “And Ukraine will serve as a forward springboard for the strike. If our ancestors had heard about it, they probably would simply not have believed it. And today we don’t want to believe it, but it’s true.
NATO Expansion Planning Beyond East Germany Started Before 1994
NATO and the Kremlin: Pope Bergoglio, during an interview, mentioned he tries to consider the roots of Putin’s behavior, the reasons that are pushing him to engage in such a brutal conflict. Maybe it was «NATO barking at Russia’s gate» that compelled Putin to unleash the invasion of Ukraine. «I have no way of telling whether his rage has been provoked»” Bergoglio wonders, «but I suspect it was maybe facilitated by the West’s attitude»
The “unprovoked, unjustified” descriptor of the Ukraine War obscures a long history of provocative actions by the US against Russia, using Ukraine as a NATO-armed proxy for militarily diminishing/weakening Russia.
This history is important to understand: 1) how we got here, and 2) what responsibility the US bears for the current attack on Ukraine.
- The US/UK used NATO to expand military personnel and infrastructures beyond East Germany to Russian borders, after the US/German 1990-promise to Gorbachev not to expand beyond East Germany.
- NATO claims innocence, because each country has a right to make its own security arrangements, which is OK, except it should not be dome at the expense of the security of other countries.
- NATO has no right to claim innocence, because it promised not to expand beyond East Germany in 1990
- NATO would have 100% US-owned and 100% US-staffed AEGIS systems, with hypersonic missiles, in Poland, Ukraine and Romania, that would have the potential, if equipped with nuclear bombs, to destroy all of Moscow and Saint Petersburg, and all of west Russia, within minutes.
- Russia could have comparable missile systems, but Russia would have to place them on Cuba and in Mexico and Canada, which would arouse major panic in the US.
This article also summarizes statements by prominent people in the UK, US, and Europe opposing NATO expansions.
In 1997, dozens of foreign policy veterans (including former Defense Secretary Robert McNamara and former CIA Director Stansfield Turner) sent a joint letter to then-President Bill Clinton calling “the current US-led effort to expand NATO…a policy error of historic proportions.”
“I think it is the beginning of a new cold war. I think the Russians will gradually react quite adversely, and it will affect their policies. I think it is a tragic mistake. There was no reason for this whatsoever. No one was threatening anybody else.
Of course, there is going to be a bad reaction from Russia, and then [the NATO expanders] will say that we always told you that is how the Russians are—but this is just wrong.”
Despite these warnings, Poland, Hungary and the Czech Republic were added to NATO in 1999, with Bulgaria, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Romania, Slovakia and Slovenia following in 2004.
In 2008, US planners were warned by US Ambassador to Moscow William Burns (now director of the CIA under Joe Biden). WikiLeaks leaked a cable from Burns titled “Nyet Means Nyet: Russia’s NATO Enlargement Redlines” that included another prophetic warning worth quoting in full (emphasis added):
Ukraine and Georgia’s NATO aspirations not only touch a raw nerve in Russia, they engender serious concerns about the consequences for stability in the region. Not only does Russia perceive encirclement, and efforts to undermine Russia’s influence in the region, but it also fears unpredictable and uncontrolled consequences which would seriously affect Russian security interests.
Experts tell us that Russia is particularly worried that the strong divisions in Ukraine over NATO membership, with much of the ethnic Russian community against membership, could lead to a major split, involving violence or at worst, civil war. In that eventuality, Russia would have to decide whether to intervene; a decision Russia does not want to have to face.
Even without officially being in NATO, Ukraine has become a de facto NATO ally—and Russia has paid close attention to these developments.
In December 2021, Putin expressed his concerns:
Over the past few years, military contingents of NATO countries have been almost constantly present on Ukrainian territory under the pretext of exercises. The Ukrainian troop control system has already been integrated into NATO. This means that NATO headquarters can issue direct commands to the Ukrainian armed forces, even to their separate units and squads….
Kiev has long proclaimed a strategic course on joining NATO. Indeed, each country is entitled to pick its own security system and enter into military alliances. There would be no problem with that, if it were not for one “but.”
International documents expressly stipulate the principle of equal and indivisible security, which includes obligations not to strengthen one’s own security at the expense of the security of other states….
In other words, the choice of pathways towards ensuring security should not pose a threat to other states, whereas Ukraine joining NATO is a direct threat to Russia’s security.
In 2014, Ukraine experienced a color revolution, called the Maiden Coup, largely instigated by the US. The US involvement was part of a campaign aimed at exploiting divisions in Ukrainian society, to push the country into the US sphere of influence, pulling it out of the Russian sphere (FAIR.org, 1/28/22). In the aftermath of the illegal overthrow, Russia illegally annexed Crimea from Ukraine, in part to secure a major naval base from the new Ukrainian government.
Broken Promises and Geo-Strategic Objectives: All this would have been avoided, if the US/UK/EU/NATO had kept their promises, made in 1990, not to expand beyond East Germany
George Kennan, former US ambassador to the Soviet Union, suggested to the US government in 1990s, expanding NATO up to Russia’s borders would be the most fateful error of American policy. Regrettably, the US government turned a deaf ear to this.
Thomas Friedman, a famous US expert on international relations, wrote in a recent article that ill-considered decision by the US to expand NATO has undermined the relations with Russia and the US government in early years deserves much of the blame.
Tulsi Gabbard, former member of the US House of Representatives, said the crisis could have been ended, and the war easily avoided, if President Biden had simply promised not to accept Ukraine’s becoming a member of NATO. But they chose not to do so.
Leading experts warned NATO expansion would lead to conflict. Why did no one listen?
From Kennan to Kissinger, Western foreign-policy thinkers saw NATO’s eastward march was a dangerous game
US Department of Defense 5-y Plan: Secretary of Defense Wolfowitz issued a US DoD plan for 1994 to 1999, that included the expansion of NATO, i.e., expand US geo-strategic objectives at the expense of Russia.
The US Congress approved the expansion of NATO in 1998.
Poland, Hungary and the Czech Republic were admitted to NATO in March 1999
NATO hopped-skipped-and jumped towards Russian borders, claiming: 1) any sovereign nations can apply, and 2) only NATO members decide regarding membership, i.e., somewhat similar to becoming a member of a golf, or a yacht club.
That whole approach regarding the indivisibility of security in the nuclear age is totally bonkers. It ultimately led to the Ukraine situation.
If Russia’s attack on Ukraine has nothing to do with decades NATO expansions, how come so many western experts have spent decades warning NATO expansions would lead to an attack on Ukraine?
Spinmeister and former Ambassador to Russia, Michael McFaul, falsely claims: “This thing (i.e., NATO expansions), we were warned about for decades, was never anything anyone ever mentioned, until the end of last year” (i.e., 2021).
That statement is false, because numerous prominent people had warned against expanding NATO, because no one was threatening anybody, at that time.
Government/Media-Complex: The government/media-complex has busied itself with various issues, such as: 1) the 2020 Election, 2) the anyone-is-welcome, just-walk-in open border, 3) COVID, and now waxes hysterical about Ukraine.
It is purposely not mentioning broken promises to Gorbachev in 1990, but instead is repeating, ad nauseam: All this has nothing to do with NATO expansion, but everything to do with evil Putin, who:
1) Aims to deny Ukraine’s right to exist;
2) Aims to reestablish the greatness of Russia,
3) Hates freedom and democracy
New Evidence of Pledges Not to Expand NATO
Germany's Der Spiegel Asks: "Is Vladimir Putin Right Regarding NATO Expansion?
The West promised not to expand NATO, beyond East Germany (the Oder River), according to a recently made-public document from the UK National Archives.
A newly discovered document from March 1991 shows US, UK, French, and German officials discussing a pledge made to Moscow that NATO would not expand to Poland and beyond. Its publication by the German magazine Der Spiegel on Friday comes as expansion of the US-led bloc has led to a military standoff in Eastern Europe.
The minutes of a March 6, 1991 meeting in Bonn between political directors of the foreign ministries of the US, UK, France, and Germany contain multiple references to “2+4” talks on German unification in which the Western officials made it “clear” to the Soviet Union that NATO would not push into territory east of Germany.
“We made it clear to the Soviet Union – in the 2+4 talks, as well as in other negotiations – that we do not intend to benefit from the withdrawal of Soviet troops from Eastern Europe”,the document quotes US Assistant Secretary of State for Europe and Canada Raymond Seitz.
“NATO should not expand to the east, either officially or unofficially,” Seitz added.
A British representative also mentions the existence of a “general agreement” that membership of NATO for eastern European countries is “unacceptable.”
“We had made it clear during the 2+4 negotiations that we would not extend NATO beyond the Elbe [sic],” said West German diplomat Juergen Hrobog. “We could not therefore offer Poland and others membership in NATO.”
NOTE: The UK has shut down RT, because its reporting was interfering with the Western gospel
During a 1990 meeting, US Secretary of State James Baker assured Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev of the following:
Baker said, "If the United States keeps its presence in Germany within the framework of NATO, not an inch of NATO’s present military jurisdiction will spread in an eastern direction."
Several years later, NATO and President Clinton began considering just such a spreading—but not without controversy.
1) American diplomat George Kennan, a towering figure in Cold War strategy, who authored the policy of Soviet “containment,” was unequivocal in his opposition.
In a 1997 essay published by The New York Times, Kennan said, "Expanding NATO would be the most fateful error of American policy in the entire post-cold-war era…Such a decision may be expected…to restore the atmosphere of the cold war to East-West relations, and to impel Russian foreign policy in directions decidedly not to our liking."
2) A bipartisan group of 50 foreign policy luminaries—including Cold War hawks like Paul Nitze and Robert McNamara—signed an open letter to President Clinton opposing NATO expansion.
"Russia does not now pose a threat to its western neighbors and the nations of Central and Eastern Europe are not in danger…we believe that NATO expansion is neither necessary, nor desirable, and that this ill-conceived policy can, and should be put on hold," the group declared.
NATO did promise Moscow it wouldn't expand, former German defense official tells RT
Here is more evidence, the 1990-promise not to expand NATO beyond the Oder (border of East Germany and Poland), was deliberately broken by the US, using NATO as its battering ram since 1994
Poland, Hungary and the Czech Republic were admitted to NATO in March 1999
The present US/EU/NATO call for unison, is basically a call for “same-message-thinking”
It is a sign to the Media airing “at variance” thoughts are not welcome, even if such suppression would instigate a real war., which would give the US/EU the excuse to severely sanction Russia
They likely knew “stirring the bear” eventually would lead to trouble.
The US has instigated lots of wars/military actions/color-revolution since 1945
Eisenhower warned against the power of the military-industrial complex in 1960
The image shows, NATO expansions
Russian Demands and NATO Answers
NATO ignored Moscow’s fundamental demands:
1) Stop additional military infrastructure and member expansion by NATO
2) Non-deployment of strike weapons systems near Russian borders; hypersonic missile could travel from Ukraine, Poland and Romania to Moscow in a few minutes.
3) Returning the military infrastructure of NATO in Europe to the positions existing in 1997, when the Russia-NATO Founding Act was signed.
NATO Expansions After 1997
Poland, Hungary, the Czech Republic, etc., all became NATO members in violation of the Helsinki Accords and Russia-NATO Founding Act, which reveals a cavalier/arrogant approach towards Russian security.
President Macron: “There can be no European security, without Russian security”.
In 2017, Montenegro
In 2020, North Macedonia
NATO refers to the right of the states to freely choose ways to ensure their security.
But this is not just about giving somebody the right to freely choose how to ensure their security
That is only one part of the well-known principle of the indivisibility of security
The second part says, no state is allowed to strengthen its security at the expense of the security of other states
NATO stated it will continue to offer membership to any European country that applies and is deemed qualified, as determined only by NATO
Russia is gathering armaments in west Russia and Belarus
NATO is gathering armaments in east Europe and Mediterranean
Blinken stated NATO is waiting for a move by Putin; “the ball is in their court”.
NOTE: The US threatened to disconnect Russia from the SWIFT system, and prevent Russia’s major banks from engaging in international dollar transactions, in case of a Russian invasion of Ukraine.
Russia threatened to stop the supply of gas, oil, and metals to the US and EU
NOTE: Russia has endured:
1) Decades of “defensive” encroachments towards it borders by NATO
2) US/UK-instigated/encouraged color revolutions, etc.; the latest ones in Belarus and Kazakhstan were unsuccessful.
NOTE: The commanding officer of the German Navy had to resign, because he spoke his mind regarding Ukraine.
Millions of other Germans likely have similar mind sets
In 2014, Russian President Vladimir Putin said “I would like to remind you that what was called Novorossiya [New Russia] back in the tsarist days – Kharkov, Lugansk, Donetsk, Kherson, Nikolayev and Odessa – were not part of Ukraine back then. These territories were given to Ukraine in the 1920s by the Soviet government. Why? God knows… Russia lost these territories for various reasons, but the people remained”.
Here is an excellent article by Stockman regarding the history of Ukraine, from founding to the present. It should be read for background data and maps, before proceeding with this article
Ukraine is a patchwork of pieces, similar to the former Yugoslavia.
Ukraine belonged, until recently, to 1) different empires, such as the Austro-Hungarian Empire and Russian Empire, and 2) several nations, such as Russia, Poland and Romania.
Ukraine’s major religions are Catholicism, and Greek and Russian Orthodoxy.
Ukraine has millions of ethnic Russians and Russian speakers with hundreds of years of historical, cultural and economic links with Russia.
Ukraine is a poor/unstable/divided country, with a corrupt, dysfunctional, kleptocracy economy
Ukraine is one of the poorest countries in Europe.
Ukraine ranks 117 out of 180 countries on the world-corruption scale in 2020
Ukraine has experienced an annual average population decrease of 300,000 since 1990.
The US spent $5 billion for the color revolution, from 1990 to 2014, per Nuland, US Under Secretary of State.
Nuland paid neo-Nazi groups, such as Right Sector, and Svoboda, to help overthrow a Democratically-elected Ukraine government in 2014, by, among other things, sniper-shooting both sides during protests, to agitate the fervor.
AZOV Regiment: The neo-Nazi Azov Regiment, was funded as a mercenary private army of Kolomoisky, a multi-billionaire in a poor country. It is based in Mariupol.
It has been fighting Separatists in the Donetsk and Luhansk region for eight years, resulting in 13,000 to 14,000 deaths, plus many more wounded.
Kolomoisky is a major investor in Burisma, the same company with Hunter Biden on its Board, because his father is Vice President.
Kolomoisky is a major backer of Zelensky, to get him elected President of Ukraine.
Zelensky, a charismatic puppet, dances to the dictates of oligarchs and the US Embassy.
Ukraine is used as a puppet by the US/UK-led NATO to aggravate, contain, diminish, dismantle Russia
Ukraine acts as an eager bad boy to: 1) advance US interests, 2) “deserve” NATO and EU membership
Ukraine helps implement the foreign policy of the extremist, hate-Russia factions in the US government
Ukraine hinders implementing the Minsk Agreements at the behest of the US.
Ukraine gets free advanced, lethal weapons, and training, from NATO countries to “defend itself and deter Russia", however, the US is concerned these weapons are not being distributed to Ukraine armed forces, but are disappearing on the Ukraine black market to be sold for top dollar to various unsavory countries!!!
Ukraine’s actions are harming EU/Russian trade relations; the EU has nothing to gain from Ukraine.
The EU and Russia want to have normal relations
The image shows Russian language presence in brown colors
US/Russia trade, imports from Russia $30 billion, exports to Russia $6 billion, in 2021
The US has nothing to lose by imposing embargoes on, for example, iPhones
Europe/Russia trade is about $250 billion/y; it varies with the prices of energy
EU nations, such as Germany, France, Italy, etc., have a lot to lose
They have had lucrative trade relations with Russia for hundreds of years
They want normal trade relations to continue
They do not want to jeopardize those trade relations for Ukraine, one of the most corrupt countries in the world
A “united response” to Russia likely would not be feasible, because of the divergent interests of important EU nations.
World LNG Market
LNG is made by cooling natural gas to minus 260F, which reduces its volume by a factor of about 600
Natural gas is piped to a port, processed, liquified, and loaded onto LNG carriers for shipment by sea.
To receive LNG, a receiving port must have a gasification plant to convert the LNG to gas, to send it by pipeline to end users.
Liquefaction and gasification plants cost billions of dollars and take multiple years to build.
Europe has 29 gasification plants
About two-thirds of all LNG is sold under firm-price, long-term contracts, with fixed destinations.
Some major contract holders, such as South Korea, Japan and China, could redirect some cargoes to Europe, if a cutback in Russian exports creates a worsening supply crisis.
Dubai LNG Supply to EU: The reason behind the Western incursion into Syria and Qatar-funded attempts at revolution, had nothing to do with installing a democratic government, but with removing Assad's pro-Russia government, so that Qatar could safely pass a pipeline through Syrian territory, which would then proceed to the EU. Putin’s support of Assad successfully quashed the pipeline.
Which means any Qatar gas sent to the EU would be LNG, carried by LNG carriers, which are in short supply.
Qatar is getting cold feet about the LNG-to-EU strategy.
Qatar energy minister Saad al Kaabi said most of our LNG exports are tied to long-term contracts.
Russia Pipeline Gas Supply to Europe
Fossil fuel provides about 70% of Europe’s primary energy
Natural gas provides about 20%; of that about 20% for electric power generation, the rest for heating and industrial processes.
Russia provided Europe and Turkey with 200.8 and 198.97 billion cubic meters of gas (bcm), in 2018 and 2019, respectively;
Russia provided 174.9 bcm in 2020, because COVID reduced economic activity.
Russia provides about 40% of annual EU gas requirements. See Note
Other gas suppliers are: Norway 22%, Algeria 18%, Azerbaijan 9%
Germany, Italy and Turkey received 45.84, 20.80, 16.40 bcm, respectively, in 2020. See URL
LNG from Elsewhere Replacing Russian Gas
In case of no gas flow from Russia, 200 bcm/y, Europe would have a 40% shortfall, of which about 10% to 15%, or 20 bcm/y to 30 bcm/y, could be offset by diverting LNG from other sources; gas and other spot prices would be at new highs.
NOTE: In 2020, Russia provided the following percentage of gas to Europe, by country:
* Members of the EU.
Bosnia + Herzegovina 100%, N. Macedonia 100%, Moldova 100%, *Finland 94%, *Latvia 93%, Serbia 89%, *Estonia 79%, *Bulgaria 77%, *Slovakia 70%, Croatia 68%, *Czechia (Czech Republic) 66%, *Austria 64%, *Greece 51%, *Germany 49%, *Italy 46%, *Lithuania 41%, *Poland 40%, *Slovenia 40%, *France 24%, *Netherlands 11%, *Romania 10%, Georgia 6%.
US Futile Search for 200 bcm/y of Natural Gas Elsewhere
If Russian pipeline gas supply to the EU were interrupted, adequate quantities of gas would need to be found elsewhere.
The US stated, it is putting together a "global strategy" to increase gas production among allies, in case of a Russian invasion of Ukraine.
"The State Department, led by Senior Adviser for Energy Security Amos Hochstein, has in the last six to eight weeks been putting together a global strategy exploring contingency options to redirect and increase gas supplies from different parts of the world, a senior US official said," CNN reports Sunday. “This has included talks with firms in Europe, the Middle East, North Africa and Asia”.
The next section shows how unlikely would be this “global strategy”
Up to 40% Additional LNG Carrier Loads, if Russian Pipeline Gas Supply to Europe were Stopped
Brussels career bureaucrats make the same myopic mistakes as Washington career bureaucrats
Washington Career Bureaucrats: The only beneficiaries of their “Electrify-Everything” actions are:
1) Subsidized, multi-billion companies that supply the wind and solar systems, and
2) Utilities, that sell much more high-priced electricity, due to implementing the tens of millions of heat pumps that do not work on colder days, and electric vehicle that have marginal usefulness and are very expensive, compared to efficient gasoline vehicles
Everyone else gets screwed with higher taxes, fees and surcharges, and higher household electric rates, as happened in Denmark and Germany.
People are told to grin-and-bear-it, and to sacrifice, because they are “fighting” climate change, a la Don-Quixote tilting at wind mills, while the wind/solar-subsidy-collecting elites cruise around in private jets and yachts.
Brussels Career Bureaucrats: They likely have little hands-on experience in the energy sector. They urged EU countries not to sign long-term gas supply contracts with Russia, because that would send the wrong “virtue signal” REGARDING THE EU LOOKING GREEN. Just google, if you find this incredible.
Their myopic decisions did not foresee EU spot prices for natural gas would become “volatile”, i.e., about 5 to 10 times the prices of Russian gas, under long-term contracts.
It get worse. Wind and solar had under performed for months, much less than in prior years, and underground gas storage had been drawn down, at just about the time storage should have been building for the coming winter. Spot prices of gas for future delivery went to extremely high levels. See below tables
Naïve career bureaucrats likely thought Russia would supply enough gas to lower spot prices, but Russia did not.
Various folks, including Brussels bureaucrats did not take any blame for their stupidity.
Instead, they tried besmirching Russia, but the gas system operating data did not co-operate.
Russia made sure to reliably provide pipeline gas, to clients with signed long-term contracts, as confirmed by Brussels, Germany, Turkey, etc. i.e., Russia was not to blame for high spot prices.
Russia has no contractual obligation to supply gas to the EU spot market to reduce spot prices.
Russia has no contractual obligation to fill the EU above- and belowground gas storage reservoirs
This was known by Brussels career bureaucrats, prior to their myopic decisions.
The net result was Europe’s energy costs increased by at least $200 BILLION per year, which offsets any benefits from Europe’s international trade.
NOTE: There is some consolation in all this. After all, there is the important “benefit” of strengthening the US/UK/EU long-term policy of squeezing/diminishing Russia.
Inflation in US and EU Predates Ukraine Events
Inflation in the US is primarily due to printing $5.9 trillion for COVID and other deficit spending, in less than two years. The US money supply growth by 38%, an “unprecedented output of the printing presses”, was happening while goods and services production decreased, i.e., too many dollars chasing too few goods.
Inflation in Europe is due to Brussels’ short-sighted energy policies, to politically promote the “green agenda”, because of climate concerns. The EU rejected Russian proposals for long-term natural gas contracts, which drove up prices on the spot market before Ukraine events. The increased gas prices, caused increased fertilizer and other prices.
LNG Consumption in Europe: Historically, the EU has imported very minor quantities of LNG, because LNG prices are about 25% to 30% higher than pipeline gas bought from Russia, under long-term contracts. That will always be the case, due to cost differences of applicable technologies.
The recent, cleverly-designed sanctions imposed on Russia did not include any restrictions on energy and materials flow from Russia to avoid additional price increases on world markets
Russia will make money, which will partially offset the cost of fighting in Ukraine, and of the long-lasting sanctions
The US/UK-led NATO will send more weapons and disguised trainers/mercenaries to Ukraine to increase the cost of fighting Ukraine
The end result will be more death and destruction lasting more than a few months.
Calculation of Additional LNG Carrier Loads
Assume an average LNG carrier capacity at 170,000 m3, equivalent to 76,500 metric ton of LNG
In 2020, world LNG demand was 360 million metric ton, equivalent to 4,706 LNG carrier loads/y. See URL
The 200 bcm/y of pipeline gas supply from Russia is equivalent to 1903 LNG carrier loads/y
There would need to be an enormous, worldwide increase in LNG carrier loads of about (4706 + 1903)/4706 = 40.4%, if Russian gas to the EU were stopped. See table
There would be a gigantic, additional strain on the world’s LNG system, which would send spot prices to unprecedented levels for many years.
At present, Europe lacks the capacity to receive and gasify that many carrier loads.
At present, there is a significant shortage of large-capacity LNG carriers
Russian gas supply
Carrier load, LNG
gal/m3, conversion factor
Carrier load, LNG
170000 x 264.172
gal LNG/million Btu
449092240 x (10^6/12.1)
cf/m3, conversion factor
3711507 x 10^6/35315
German Energy Sector, ENERGIEWENDE, and Global Competitiveness
Germany is currently buying pipeline gas from Russia, under long-term contracts, at about $280 per 1000 cubic meter, or $7.93/million Btu. For comparison, US long-term pipeline gas prices for new contracts are about $5/million Btu
Germany would be buying LNG gas, for many years, at spot prices of up to $1500 per 1000 cubic meter, or $42.47/million Btu
There is no way Germany could shut down coal and nuclear plants, and have more wind and solar, as part of its multi-decade ENERGIEWENDE, without having much more low-cost pipeline gas from Russia
The additional gas is planned to arrive, via the completed Nordstream 2 pipeline under the Baltic Sea, from Russia to Germany.
Germany would have to buy very large quantities of LNG, at very high spot prices, from whatever unstable countries.
That cost adder would totally ruin Germany's world competitiveness, and very large annual trade surpluses.
The ENERGIEWENDE, and fighting climate change, would have to be on the back burner for up to 10 years.
A New Way to Make Solar and Wind More Attractive
Just create a massive shortage of oil, gas and coal, such as by means of a war, and their spot prices will go up, and wind and solar, supported by expensive batteries, etc., will FINALLY become attractive, even without HUGE subsidies.
Germany is using the Ukraine war as an excuse to keep nuclear plants in service for at least 10 years, because it will take that long to partially replace Russian pipeline gas with LNG
The LNG will sell at astronomical spot prices of $40 to $50/million Btu, vs US Spot prices at $5/million Btu.
Natural Gas Price in Europe Smashes All-time High
European natural gas futures spiked above $2,200 per 1,000 cubic meters on Wednesday for the first time in market history. The escalating crisis between Russia and Ukraine has raised fears of supply shortages.
Because 1000 m3 contains 1000 x 35.315 ft3/m3 x 1000 Btu/ft3 = 35,315,000 Btu, the futures price becomes $2,200/35.315 million Btu = $62.30/million Btu, versus the US spot price at $4.5/million Btu
The April gas futures at the TTF hub in the Netherlands soared from around $1,500 to $2,226 per 1,000 cubic meters, or $213 per megawatt-hour (i.e., $213/3,412,000 Btu) in household terms, by 09:30 GMT, hitting an all-time high, data from the London ICE exchange shows.
The spike in prices follows sanctions placed on Russia by a number of Western states due to Moscow’s military operation in Ukraine.
A huge increase in applications (i.e., demand for gas futures) is raising the price by the minute, Kaushal Ramesh, senior analyst at Rystad Energy, told Vesti.
He said it had also been affected by fears of supply outages due to: 1) possible damage to infrastructure in Ukraine, through which the majority of Russian gas is delivered to Europe, and 2) the possibility of supply restrictions on Russian oil and gas.
It looks like anything made in Europe will become very expensive, far more expensive than if that same product were made in the US.
The US/UK-led NATO, baiting Putin to start a war in Ukraine, is one way for the US to become more competitive in international markets, at the expense of Russia, and the EU, and everyone else.
The gas shortage condition would be in place for up to 10 years, because it would take that long to build up additional:
- Gas production capacity, elsewhere in the world, to replace Russia’s 200 bcm/y of pipeline gas.
- LNG production plants and sending ports
- LNG carriers; average capacity 170,000 cubic meter of LNG
- LNG receiving ports and gasification plants
- Connections to existing onshore pipe systems, all while:
1) EU inflation would be off-the-charts
2) EU exports would dwindle.
NOTE: The above production and infrastructure build-ups would be in addition to what is required for the projected world-market growth of LNG
Blinken on TV Talk Shows and Media Hype
At the same time, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken explained during various Sunday news-talk-show appearances, that at this point it's "too early" to impose sanctions on Russia, despite the current atmosphere of building war rhetoric.
He still threatened "massive consequences" for any Russian offensive, yet stressed that US is leaving the door open for diplomacy.
An eventual diplomatic resolution to the crisis is looking more and more likely given the lack of a unified EU willingness to escalate to the level of armed conflict, particularly given Germany's breaking with other allies of the last few days, including its refusal to send German arms to Kiev
Thus, it seems the hype-like rhetoric of "all options are on the table”, is just rhetoric.
Blinken told CNN's State of the Union program that "The purpose of those sanctions is to deter Russian aggression, and so if they're triggered now, you lose the deterrent effect.
In a separate CBS interview, he was asked about UK government accusations that the Kremlin is plotting a coup in Ukraine, aimed at installing a new pro-Moscow leader
Despite Russia's denials slamming the charge as "dangerous" and "disinformation", Blinken agreed with the narrative being put out by the UK, and called the allegations "part of the Russian playbook"
As usual, the mainstream media’s hyping “a looming war”, appears premature in terms of the reality of where things really stand.
On this point, Blinken said to CBS: "There is a path of diplomacy and dialogue, which is clearly the preferable one, the most responsible thing to do. There's also the path of Russian aggression and massive consequences for Russia, if it engages in that aggression."
He added, regarding the up-coming days of dialogue with Russia: "And so I tried to make clear both paths in my meeting with Foreign Minister Lavrov in Geneva this week, and we'll see if we can advance the diplomacy."
Some Russia-hating hawks in the Senate are still calling for the "very strongest sanctions" possible against Russia, including the type of sweeping, embargo-style export controls currently in place on Iran's economy.
Such US action would undoubtedly result in the complete breakdown of all communications between Moscow and Washington.
“United Front” Unraveling
The US/UK-led encroachment-push against Russia appears to run into major headwinds, because it had become strident, arrogant, myopic and irrational. Several EU countries, including Ukraine, have diverged from the over-hyped “United Front”.
- Germany announced it will not allow made-in-Germany armaments transferred to Ukraine
- Germany refused to bow to US demands to close down Nord-Stream2, if war starts in Ukraine
- Germany announced it will not send its forces to Ukraine, if war starts in Ukraine
- NATO row erupts as Latvia blasts Germany's "immoral & hypocritical" Russia, China ties
- Sweden announced it will not allow made-in-Sweden armaments transferred to Ukraine
- Croatia announced it will withdraw its forces from NATO, if war starts in Ukraine
- The Czech Republic announced it will not send its forces to Ukraine, if war starts in Ukraine
- Bulgaria announced it will not send its forces to Ukraine, if war starts in Ukraine
- Hungary turned down a US request to station US armed forces and store US armaments in Hungary
- Germany and France are conducting their own diplomatic activities with Russia, such as reviving the Minsk Agreements
- Serbia, Hungary and Turkey recently signed long-term contracts with Russia at about $300/1000 m3. Those countries were vilified by EU bureaucrats, and the handmaiden EU Media.
An Unraveling United Front Leading to Negotiations and Compromises
It is increasingly apparent; NATO and the EU are struggling to put together a unified front in response to Russian security demands.
It looks like there is no choice, but to start negotiations with the Kremlin, which implies taking the Russian position much more seriously...
Without a doubt, the situation is highly dangerous, and could unravel, due to a single provocation, or mishap, along the Russia-Ukraine border.
In the mean-time, Ukraine, a poor/unstable/divided country, with a corrupt, dysfunctional, kleptocracy economy, has all these NATO weapons and NATO advisors on how to use them; a very undesirable/explosive situation for the EU, as well as Russia.
The longer dialogue and negotiations are stalled, the more the door is open for both sides to stumble into a shooting war.
Such a war would not be confined to Ukraine, because US/UK/EU fighter planes would fire missiles from outside Ukraine at Russian forces inside Ukraine, in the same manner Israeli fighter planes fire missiles into Syria.
Russian forces have the means to defend themselves and would.
Remember, a lot of this is due to myopic Brussels RE bureaucrats advising EU nations not to sign long-term gas supply contracts with Russia, for "virtue-signaling reasons”.
The resulting chaos enabled:
1) Owners of LNG cargoes to sell US LNG to EU markets, at very high spot prices
2) The US/UK-led NATO to increase the pace of placing lethal, offensive armaments and personnel, on a near-permanent basis, closer to Russia’s borders, while waving the “all-sovereign-nations-are-welcome to NATO” flag.
Gas Supply and Prices in the EU
Europe is seeing major increases in the SPOT prices of gas/1000 m3, coal/metric ton, and oil/barrel.
This will have an adverse effect on prices of all goods and services, including at the gasoline pump, building space heating, etc.
The EU SPOT price surge was entirely the fault of EU bureaucrats in Brussels, which have urged EU countries NOT to sign long-term gas supply contracts with Russia, because it would send a “the wrong signal regarding the seriousness of EU fighting climate change”. Just google, if you find this incredible.
Serbia, Hungary and Turkey recently signed long-term contracts with Russia at about $300/1000 m3
Those countries were vilified by EU bureaucrats, and the handmaiden EU Media.
Subsequently, SPOT prices of gas started to increase, and the three countries are smiling.
EU SPOT prices are about $800 to $1500/1000 m3
US SPOT prices are about $100/1000 m3, due to an abundance of fracked, domestic gas. See table.
Gazprom expects to export between 175 and 183 bcm of gas to Europe, in 2021, at prices of about $280/1000 m3; long-term contracts.
A below-ground gas storage reservoir has to a total gas volume and a working gas volume, WGV; as gas is withdrawn, the gas pressure decreases.
European gas storage was at 95.65% of WGV, on October 1, 2020, and at 74.14% on October 1, 2021, i.e., significantly below normal in 2021.
If Europe were to have a long and cold winter, economies would stagnate, prices would increase, and people would be suffering.
EU solar electricity would be minimal in winter.
EU wind electricity would not be something to rely on.
ENERGY COSTS INCREASES
Remember, ALL the brouhaha in Ukraine is due to the US/UK using NATO to not keeping the US/German promise, made in 1990 to Gorbachev, not to expand beyond East Germany.
Subsequently, NATO moved its infrastructures closer to the Russian borders, under the banner of "each nation has the right to make its own arrangements regarding its security".
Recent energy cost increases are entirely due to the unwise "acquisition" of Ukraine by the US/UK-led NATO and a compliant EU.
It looks like the EU, and especially Germany, would be thoroughly screwed by the US, if Russian gas and oil would be under sanctions.
Before Ukraine, there was sanity, after Ukraine came insanity.
EU natural gas prices are often stated as Euro/1000 m3
1 Euro = $1.16
1000 m3 contains 1000 x 35.315 ft3/m3 x 1000 Btu/ft3 = 35,315,000 Btu
1 MWh = 3,412,000 Btu
EU spot price of natural gas was $335 Euro/MWh on Mar. 7 = (335 x 1.16/3,412,000)/1,000,000 = $113.9/million Btu. See table
US long-term contract
US spot price
EU spot price
EU spot price
EU spot price
EU spot price, Apr. 27. 2022
REASONS FOR SPOT PRICE INCREASES
1) EU bureaucrats had urged EU countries not to sign long-term gas supply contracts with Russia, because electricity from wind, solar, etc., would increase, and signing long-term contracts would “send the wrong signal”, plus it would give “evil” Russia more clout in EU energy markets.
2) However, EU bureaucrats did not take into account the vagaries of wind and solar. In that regard, they are far from unique.
From April, 2020, to the present, there has been significantly less wind than in prior years.
Even though more onshore and offshore wind turbine capacity, MW, was installed in the UK, Ireland, Belgium, The Netherlands, Germany and Denmark, that did not result in as much of an increase in wind electricity as predicted, due to less than average winds.
3) As a result, the shortfall of wind electricity had to be made up by burning more gas and coal, which rapidly increased SPOT prices of gas to $40/million Btu, and also increased the SPOT prices of coal.
4) Then, people became aware, the EU winter storage of gas was very low, compared to prior years, which meant energy markets began to bid up the SPOT prices of gas for future, i.e., winter, delivery.
5) At first, EU bureaucrats tried to hide their lack of planning ability, and blame the shortfalls on market manipulation by Russia.
However, Russia proved, with gas system operating data, it had been transmitting gas to the EU, IN EXCESS of long-term contract requirements; in case of Ukraine, the excess transmission was 10%. Various EU countries, that receive a steady supply of low-cost gas from Russia, chimed in to support Russia. See Note.
Ukraine: At present, Ukraine does not buy gas directly from Russia. Instead, the gas flows through a transmission line, and Ukraine takes some of that gas for its own use. Ukraine calls that gas “a reverse-flow supply”, as if it came from EU countries, i.e., a charade.
Ukraine pays these EU countries about 20 to 30 percent more, than if Ukraine had bought the gas directly from Russia.
Russia requires Ukraine to pay for a year of gas supply, up front, in cash, because impoverished, corrupt Ukraine:
1) Stole gas from transmission lines (the gas had been bought by EU countries from Russia), and
2) Did not make timely and adequate payments for contracted Russian gas, during prior years
In case Ukraine would have a gas supply contract with Russia, and the flow had been any quantity less than per contract, Ukraine would have cried “Russia is using gas as a weapon” to its EU, US, and NATO protectors.
Ukraine could not be such a bad commercial actor with regard to the EU, as otherwise, it would never be admitted to NATO and the EU.
Germany: Several decades ago, when Germany started its ENERGIEWENDE towards wind, and solar, and tree burning, and closing nuclear plants, I thought they were of-the-charts nuts. The chickens are finally coming home to roost, aided and abetted by RE-idiot bureaucrats in Brussels, who know not their belly buttons from a hole in the ground; I am trying to stay polite.
Removing Nuclear Arsenal from Ukraine
President Clinton on Monday announced agreement with Ukraine and Russia to dismantle Ukraine’s entire nuclear arsenal, hailing the long-sought accord as “a hopeful and historic breakthrough that enhances the security of all three participants.”
The agreement, disclosed at the NATO summit here, and scheduled to be signed in Moscow on Friday, must survive potentially serious attacks by Ukraine’s neo-NAZI-style, nationalist factions that oppose the elimination of the weapons. They control the Ukraine Parliament.
If the accord survives the attacks, it will represent a substantial step forward for the US policy of curbing nuclear proliferation.
Ukraine, politically and economically unstable, ever since it became an independent state after the dissolution of the Soviet Union, has 176 intercontinental missiles armed with some 1,240 nuclear warheads–all aimed at the United States. It also has 592 nuclear warheads aboard bombers, which would be covered by the agreement.
The chaos in Ukraine, while possibly threatening the ability of Ukrainian President Leonid Kravchuk to carry out the agreement, also underscores the pact’s potential importance. It would: 1) allay Russia’s fear of a hostile nuclear neighbor, and 2) answer concerns that Ukraine’s nuclear weapons could end up in the hands of other countries.
Under the agreement, the United States, Russia and Britain will provide security assurances for Ukraine, when it gives up these weapons, and becomes an adherent of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.
That agreement will keep nuclear weapons from descendants of NAZI-collaborators, who assisted the Germans with its Holocaust in Ukraine
Those neo-NAZI-style descendants are influential in the current Ukraine government.
They annually celebrate Balderas and his battalions as national heroes.
They assisted the Germans with implementing its Holocaust in Ukraine.
They are supported by the US/UK-led NATO and EU.