Feb. 23, 2022: CarrZee:
Everyone is thinking …what does Vladimir Putin really want?
The world is probably overthinking it.
The BBC is right to pull out this “dressing down” by Mr Putin of one of his key officials:
What this exchange tells me is that Mr Putin does not want to expand Russia geographically (he might be misleading us, true. But, what if he’s not?)
What if he really wants to give some Ukraine regions — just their ability to be independent.
What he probably also wants as his legacy … is for natural gas to command a highish price in the global climate transition, while it is needed.
Germany’s declaration that it won’t certify the massive 10 billion euro gas pipeline (see map here) from Russia — Nord Stream 2 — will sting Mr Putin, and the failure to allow use of the completed line is the source of much of his aggression.
Mr Putin will be very frustrated about his gas. Gas is clearly needed by the world for decades to come.
That is, when the wind isn’t blowing and the sun isn’t shining for renewable energy, Mr Putin is seeking market rules where gas gets a decent price as the flexible and cleanish power generation fuel of last resort.
As battery technology evolves and that technology replaces gas (as will green hydrogen), demand for the climate-damaging fuel will fall. (Russia can be a big supplier of green hydrogen, btw, and provider of carbon capture services.)
It is understandable that gas-supply investors want some assurances they will get a fair price for their product, even as demand falls
Weirdly, Mr Putin’s on the same page as other natgas/LNG producers, including the developed-nation / emerging suppliers USA, Australia, Qatar, Canada. The hypocrisy is stark (for instance see these two tweets).
Some in the mainstream media seem to want to downplay climate policy because of Mr Putin’s aggression. But the two issues could not be more interlinked.
When dealing with Russia’s leader, let’s talk about the main potential gain for all of earth’s people — getting a G20 agreement on climate action that also spells climate justice. Russia can and should be part of that.
The world should not give into bullies. Full stop. Yet giving Putin a little certainty about gas distribution into Germany, could mean granting the world a whole lot.
(Smooths language, adds context, Nord Stream 2, tweets)
See this previous CarrZee note:
‘Sudden’ Sanctions on Russia Could Have Big Energy-Supply Impact: US Plus China Plus Minsk 2 Deal (2)
–Could Also Mean Sudden Natgas Price Jump: CarrZee
–USA confident on energy supply mitigation
–10% drop in European gas price on Feb. 1
BY MATHEW CARR
Feb. 2, 2022: See here for link: State Dept. official spokesman Ned Price — Feb. 1
A “sudden” reaction to any invasion by Russia of Ukraine could be felt around the world, including on energy supply, according to a State Dept. official answering questions Feb. 1.
Yet, there’s confident mitigation of any impact.
Here is an interesting bit of the press conference linked above:
QUESTION: Ned, were you able to achieve an agreement with Qatar regarding providing Europe with gas in case of (inaudible)?
MR PRICE: This is something, when we talk about the contingency planning that we do – not necessarily in the vein of defense and deterrence, but in the vein of prudent planning – that we have discussed with a number of energy-producing countries around the world.
We know that the strength, we know that the severity, we know that the suddenness of the measures that we are prepared to put in place on the Russian Federation could have impacts well beyond Russia, including in terms of energy supplies.
And so that’s why we have had regular, frequent, substantive conversations with countries around the world on how we might mitigate some of those impacts, and we believe – we certainly believe we’ll be in a position to do so.
China on Ukraine: Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Zhao Lijian’s Regular Press Conference on January 28, 2022:
TASS: Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs Victoria Nuland said that the United States on Thursday called on China to use its influence with Russia to urge a diplomatic solution to the Ukraine crisis. Do you have any comments on this?
Zhao Lijian: China’s position on Ukraine is consistent and clear and stays unchanged. To solve the Ukrainian issue, it is necessary to return to the starting point of the Minsk-2 agreement, which is endorsed by the UN Security Council. As a fundamental political document recognized by all sides, the agreement should be earnestly implemented. China will support all efforts in keeping with the direction and spirit of this agreement. In the meantime, we call on all sides to stay cool-headed and avoid doing things that will escalate the tensions and hype up the crisis.
Hubei Media Group: US President Biden said on January 25 that if Russia were to move in with all those forces it had deployed on the Russia-Ukraine border, “it’d be the largest invasion since World War II. It would change the world.” The US government stated that it would provide additional USD 200 million defensive military assistance to Ukraine. Recently, some Western media and politicians have been propagating the theory that the Russian “invasion” of Ukraine is imminent. What is China’s comment?
Zhao Lijian: We have noted relevant reports. Creating tensions does no good to easing the Ukraine crisis, but only adds more uncertainties to the region and the whole world. China is firmly opposed to this.
It has always been the common appeal of the international community that we should choose dialogue over confrontation, solidarity over division, and peace over war. Under the current circumstances, we call on all relevant parties to ease the tension as much as possible, avoid escalation of the situation, stop stirring up trouble and inciting opposition and confrontation.
China always advocates that relevant countries’ security concerns and security initiatives should be treated in a balanced and fair manner. We hope all parties can work together and properly resolve differences through dialogue and consultation to promote global strategic balance and stability….(see link)
And also see this:
The U.S., EU Must Accept Some Blame for Energy Crisis for Demonizing Russia, Reneging on Nord Stream Expansion (1)
—Natgas Prices to fall if Nord Stream 2 is commissioned. ‘But get ready for another bumpy year ahead‘: WoodMac
Jan. 12-13, 2022. By Mathew Carr
The United States and the EU love to demonize Russia. The lack of collaboration is partly to blame for the global energy crisis.
Europe, led by Germany, has effectively reneged on its deal to allow completion of the expansion on the Nord Stream natural gas line direct from Russia, which would limit the use of Ukraine’s pipelines.
The dispute really lies with Germany and the US’s failures on climate protection — which are truly shocking (same for my home country Australia, another natural gas supplier alongside Russia and the U.S.)
Obviously criticism of Russia’s human rights record and 20th-century military tactics has some foundation, but, still …
Imagine for a Second how North Americans Would Feel if in Some Parallel Universe the US had Slashed its Per-Person Emissions by One Third in the 1990s, Only to Have Russia Fuck Up its Climate Anyway. That’s What the USA folk have Done to Russians (Sort Of).
See this chart:
The markets are getting the blame for the energy crisis but it’s the politicians on all sides who are screwing up. War mongering, surely, has got to stop…