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Table of content for this series can be found here.
Match 7: The Hill They Have Chosen
Back in February, when the west started sanctioning Russia, one of the product that was on the target list was natural gas. But then, Europe found out that it cannot find replacement easily, so they come up with plan to phase out Russian gas by end of 2022. The whole development was so surreal. It was like you tell your spouse that you want a divorce, but you need to live in his/her house until the end of the year or else you find yourself on the street. It is like, should you be planning your exit before making your announcement? And somehow your plan is he/she doesn't kick you out on the spot?
Among all the countries in Europe, Germany has industries that are energy intensive. There are four major pipe lines linking Russia to Germany. It was the Nordstream 1 and 2, the Yamal, and the Soyuz. As the war progressed, Ukraine shut down the Soyuz pipeline, as it claimed that it financed Russian operation. Yamal was under some reverse flow operation, because Poland refused to pay Rubble for Russian gas for their invasion of Ukraine (but the Poles are totally ok with using Russian gas). Germans refused to certify NordStream 2.
Of course, I totally believe all those tribune dramas around NordStream 1 are cat and mouse game the Russians are playing. But if you look at the big picture, NordStream 1 is only one out of 4 pipelines that can send gas to Germany. Somehow the Germans went into those gas rationing BS when they actually more room to play with. They can call up Ukraine to open the Soyuz. They can tell the Poles that they cannot do this reverse flow on Yamal anymore. They can certify NordStream 2. Yet, they do none of above. Instead they created this chock point out of NordStream 1, and give way for the Russians to toy with them easily.
It is almost like watching a international political S&M show. I don't know, maybe this is part of the fetishism I don't really get.
Sure, the Russians can still play game even if all four pipelines were opened, but it is not as simple because the need to maintain some level of reputation with their clients in the East. Instead of giving themselves a chance to fill your gas storage, the Germans came up with lawsuits, ran all sort of smear campaign against the Russians, and stole Gazprom's storage facilities.
I never quite get the Germans.
I have my share of trouble with the them back in my days in Shiva server. When I transferred to Cerberus, even with the charismatic Aelia actually comes with a strange bag of personality traits. I don't get it. For a group of people so devoid of sense of humour, they are so good at making a total fool out of themselves. It is so inconceivable that they don't do it intentionally for some sort of act.
Well, when you laugh at them, they get angry with you.
Anyway, all these "stand with Ukraine" stuff are in fact turning Germany more like Ukraine: poorer and more corrupted. I suppose it is all intentional? For many decades, generations of Germans laboured and tolled to bring their country from WW2 to an economic and manufacturing power house. This accomplishment is not a small fleet and people around the world can only see it with amusement and envy.
Yet, it is this very generation of Germans decided to squander it all away.
This is the hill that the Germans have chosen to collectively slit their throats upon. It won't take long for their industries to collapse due to uncompetitiveness caused by raising the production cost with energy shortage. Their economy will go down next, followed by their generous social program that provide safety net for people.