appeasement, Baltic Pipe, Biden, Biden Administration, Blinken, CAATSA, climate change, duplicity, eastern Europe, environment, Europe, european energy security, Gazprom, German Credibility, German dependency Russia gas, Germany, Germany companies, Heiko Maas, Jamal pipeline, Lavrov, LNG, Merkel, Nord Stream, Nord Stream 2, Olaf Schultz, PEESA, Russia, Russian sanctions waivers, Samuel Pisar, sanctions, Sanctions waiver, Schroeder, Trade policy, Trump Administration, Ukraine, US Secretary of State Binken, US Secretary of State Pompeo, US Secretary of State Tillerson, USSR
Germany tried to bribe-bully the Trump Administration into undermining US Congressional sanctions against Russia’s Nord Stream 2 and failed, according to a letter from Germany’s Olaf Schultz, which appears authentic. The letter to former US Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin was accompanied by a “Non-Paper”, which included the idea of waiving US Congressional sanctions, later done by the Biden Administration-Blinken. The letter was leaked by an environmental group which was outraged by Germany’s duplicity regarding climate change.
However, the letter raises many other questions regarding democracy and backroom pressures and deals. US Secretary of State Blinken needs to be investigated-impeached-removed over waiving US Congressional sanctions against Nord Stream 2 (among other things). Obviously, there needs to be an investigation in Germany, as well.
From US Secretary of State Pompeo (Trump administration): “The Department of State is committed to fully implementing sanctions authorities in the Protecting Europe’s Energy Security Act of 2019 (“PEESA” or “the Act,” Title LXXV, National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2020, Pub. L. No. 116-92). We continue to call on Russia to cease using its energy resources for coercive purposes. Russia uses its energy export pipelines to create national and regional dependencies on Russian energy supplies, leveraging these dependencies to expand its political, economic, and military influence, weaken European security, and undermine U.S. national security and foreign policy interests. These pipelines also reduce European energy diversification, and hence weaken European energy security. PEESA provides the United States with the authority to advance U.S. national security and foreign policy objectives, in particular, to address Russian pipeline projects that create risks to U.S. national security, threaten Europe’s energy security, and consequently, endanger Europe’s political and economic welfare…” https://2017-2021.state.gov/wp-content/uploads/2020/10/PEESA-Public-Guidance.pdf
“On August 2, 2017, the President signed into law the “Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act” (Public Law 115-44) (CAATSA), which among other things, imposes new sanctions on Iran, Russia, and North Korea…. For program specific documents, guidance, and Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) related to Titles I, II, or III, click the links under the relevant titles below….” https://home.treasury.gov/policy-issues/financial-sanctions/sanctions-programs-and-country-information/countering-americas-adversaries-through-sanctions-act-related-sanctions
“Protecting Europe’s Energy Security Act (PEESA), as Amended” April 9, 2021 https://www.state.gov/protecting-europes-energy-security-act-peesa/
Reporters/members of the US Congress need to do a Freedom of Information (FOIA) request to get the original of this letter, as well as communications mentioned in late 2017, which could implicate Rex Tillerson. Information should be requested regarding Biden Sec. of State Blinken’s decision to waive US Congressional sanctions, as well. Blinken should be investigated-impeached-removed from office.
The sanction waivers were announced while Biden Sec. of State Blinken and Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov were meeting. This raises the question of who wrote the German “Non-Paper” document. Was it Germany? Or was it Russia? The head of NordStream, Matthias Warnig, is a former East German Stasi agent and friend of Putin, who apparently acted as a KGB-Stasi interface in East Germany.
“US waives sanctions against Nord Stream company and CEO as Blinken & Lavrov meet in Iceland” 19 May, 2021 https://web.archive.org/web/20210519232421/https://www.rt.com/russia/524279-nordstream-sanction-waiver-lavrov-blinken/
Blinken is a cowardly lapdog!
Former Exxon CEO Tillerson was Sec. of State from 2017-2018. Exxon has remained partnered with the Russian government at Sakhalin: https://history.state.gov/departmenthistory/people/principalofficers/secretary Tillerson said that he opposed Nord Stream 2, but current Sec. of State Blinken appears to say one thing and do another: https://www.reuters.com/article/europe-nordstream-usa-idUKL8N1PM069
This letter was from Germany to the US government and, so, has entered the US public record (public domain-emphasis our own). Hopefully Olaf Scholz, Merkel, and Schroeder will freeze their rear ends off this winter. They should be investigated for Russian collusion by Germany, alongside Tony Blinken in the United States (and possibly Germany).
“Federal Ministry of Finance
POSTAL ADDRESS Federal Ministry of Finance, 11016 Berlin
OFFICE ADDRESS Wilhelmstrasse 97, 10117 Berlin
Mr. Steven T. Mnuchin
Secretary of the Treasury
Department of the Treasury
7 August 2020
SUBJECT Our call of 05 August 2020
(Please quote file no, and document no. in your reply.)
Dear Mr. Secretary,
Thank you for our fruitful conversation.
Please find enclosed the non-paper I mentioned during our call. It includes the three pillars we talked about with respect to LNG and Nord Stream 2.
I look forward to following up hereon together with our foreign affairs and energy colleagues
in order to discuss possible ways forward.
Non Paper Germany
Nord Stream 2 / U.S. LNG
Germany and its European partners have invested much effort to speed up the construction of LG import infrastructure and to safeguard the long-term gas transit through Ukraine, all measures aiming at strengthening European energy security. Germany has always been strongly committed to a well-functioning and diversified European energy and gas market.
The German government is very concerned about the latest sanctions measures announced by the State Department and the legislative developments in Congress with respect to Nord Stream 2. These will endanger the completion of the construction and operation of Nord Stream 2 and deeply infringe European energy sovereignty. Many companies from Germany, Europe and beyond face grave insecurity with regard to their activities on Nord Stream 2 and are threatened with ruin in some cases. The German government as well as our European partners firmly reject extraterritorial U.S sanctions as well as direct pressure from the U.S. administration.
As a way forward, Germany suggests closer coordination and continued engagement
with a coordinated approach”:
[Blog Comment: Below is the “bribery” part.]
“Increasing German Government support for LNG import infrastructure:
Germany and Europe have considerably increased their imports of U.S. LNG in the recent past. The German natural gas grid is connected to existing EU LNG terminals, i.e. Germany’s natural gas market is already open to U.S. LNG imports.
Investments in LG terminals in Germany are facilitated by the German government via the “Ordinance to improve the regulatory framework for the construction of LNG infrastructure in Germany”
In addition to these measures, the German government is willing to massively increase its public support for the construction of LNG terminals along the German coastline in order to secure the construction of LNG terminals in Brunsbüttel and Wilhelmshaven by providing up to 1 on. €.
Securing a long term gas transit through Ukraine:
The U.S, and Germany share the goal of securing long-term gas transit through Ukraine. Germany and the EU have a strong interest in stable energy relations in Europe. We have therefore put tremendous diplomatic effort into the conclusion of a new contract for the further transit of Russian gas through Ukraine. This has indeed ensured an uninterrupted continuation of the gas transit through Ukraine.
Supporting European energy security and Polish efforts to diversify:
Germany has always understood Poland in its striving for full Polish energy sovereignty. Germany supported Poland in its effort to have the Baltic Pipe classified as a Project of Common Interest by the EU. The EU has promised generous funding for this pipeline, and has already given unstinting financial support for the existing LNG import terminal in Swinoujscie as well as its expansion, financed through EU Member States’ contributions, including Germany’s.
In addition, Germany is advocating the continued capacity booking and transport by Gazprom of the Jamal-Pipeline after the long term contract has recently expired.
The Polish government has expressed great satisfaction with the new capacity
booking system which is very favorable for Poland
Nord Stream 2:
The German government is very concerned about the latest uncoordinated sanctions measures announced by the State Department with respect to Nord Stream 2. The new guidance for Section 232 of CAATSA, PEESA and the latest initiatives in Congress to make PEESA even stricter (PEESCA) intentionally endanger the completion of the construction and the operation of Nord Stream 2.”
[Blog Comment: The consultation process was supposed to be with the American people. The law was passed by the US Congress and the executive branch isn’t supposed to override US law. To his credit, Mnuchin did not do what Germany asked. Blinken did override US law as per Germany’s “request”.]
“The former guidance for Section 232 of CAATSA was one of the concrete results of an intensive process of consultation and coordination between the U.S. Administration and the German government in late 2017. It is therefore not acceptable to repeal this mutual understanding unilaterally.
In conclusion, Germany would like to suggest the following elements as a basis for
(1) The German government is willing to considerably increase its financial support for LNG infrastructure and import capacities by up to 1 bn. € aiming to secure the completion of LNG terminals in Wilhelmshaven and Brunsbüttel.
(2) Germany continues its efforts to support European energy diversification and strengthen energy security with respect to the Ukrainian gas transit agreement and Polish efforts in regard to Baltic Pipe and Jamal gas transit.
(3) Germany is going to further support, through the EU and private funding, necessary investments in energy infrastructure, in line with EU objectives.
(4) In return, the U.S, will allow for the unhindered construction and operation of Nord Stream 2. The already existing legal authorizations for sanctions will not be used. Future legislation, which could be the basis for sanctioning Nord Stream 2, will either not be used or, in the case of compulsory sanctions provisions, blocked by waivers or other adequate and effective tools.“
Letter entered the public record and public domain under US law: https://archive.ph/yl5T2
Former Exxon CEO Tillerson was still Sec. of State:
“CAATSA/CRIEEA Section 225 Public Guidance
BUREAU OF ENERGY RESOURCES
OCTOBER 31, 2017
The Department of State is committed to fully implementing sanctions authorities in the Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA). We continue to call on Russia to honor its commitments that were made under the Minsk agreements and to cease its malicious cyber intrusions.
Sanctions under Section 4(b) of the Ukraine Freedom Support Act (PL 113-272) (UFSA), as amended by CAATSA, shall be imposed absent a determination that the sanctions are not in the national interest of the United States.
Sanctions under this provision will apply if the Secretary of State, in consultation with the Secretary of Treasury, determines that a foreign person knowingly makes a significant investment in a special Russian crude oil project on or after September 1, 2017.
The UFSA provides the definition for a “special Russian crude oil project.” Under that Act, a “special Russian crude oil project” is a project intended to extract crude oil from:
A. The exclusive economic zone of the Russian Federation in waters more than 500 feet deep; B. Russian Artic offshore locations; or C. Shale formations located in the Russian Federation.
“Knowingly” is defined in the UFSA. For these purposes, the term “knowingly,” with respect to conduct, a circumstance, or a result, means that a person has actual knowledge, or should have known, of the conduct, the circumstance, or the result.
The term “foreign person” includes any individual or entity that is not a United States citizen, a permanent resident alien, or an entity organized under the laws of the United States or any jurisdiction within the United States.
In determining whether an investment is “significant” for the purposes of the UFSA, the Department of State will consider the totality of the facts and circumstances surrounding the investment and weigh various factors on a case-by-case basis. The factors considered in the determination may include, but are not limited to, the significance of the transactions to U.S. national security and foreign policy interests, in particular where the transaction has a significant adverse impact on such interest; the nature and magnitude of the investment, including the size of the investment relative to the project’s overall capitalization; and the relation and significance of the investment to the Russian energy sector.
For the purposes of Section 225, an investment is not significant if U.S. persons would not require specific licenses from the U.S. Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control to make or participate in it.
Frequently Asked Question
If goods or services are provided in exchange for equity in an enterprise or rights to profits or revenue thereof, then could that be considered an “investment”? Yes. “Investment” could include arrangements where goods or services are provided in exchange for equity in an enterprise or rights to a share of the revenue or profits of an enterprise.” https://www.state.gov/key-topics-bureau-of-energy-resources/caatsa-crieea-section-225-public-guidance/
Foreign Minister Maas is also an SOB, as seen in his answer to the press, and should be investigated by media and hopefully by the German government:
“Secretary Antony J. Blinken and German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas at a Joint Press Availability
REMARKS TO THE PRESS
ANTONY J. BLINKEN, SECRETARY OF STATE
MINISTRY OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS
JUNE 23, 2021
QUESTION: (Via interpreter) Minister Maas, if I may, I would like to come back to Nord Stream 2. With respect to the talks you mentioned, is there a timeframe for these talks? Do both sides have the wish to solve this problem before the federal chancellor, Ms. Merkel, will visit Washington? And more specifically, the Ukraine has asked Germany to provide guarantees. Would Germany, for example, be willing to make good or compensate for the loss of transit fees?
(In English) And Secretary Blinken, from what you said, can we understand that you have given up on the goal to not have Nord Stream Zwei completed or at least go operational? And in case it is completed, is it your wish to have tools to stop gas transit via Nord Stream Zwei if need be?
FOREIGN MINISTER MAAS: (Via intrerpreter) Probably we are able to save the world at large, but people would still ask us about Nord Stream 2. Well, we’ll have to accept it and live with it.
We are engaging in these talks. We are aware of the expectations from Washington, and it is of the utmost importance to us to reach results here that can also be supported by Washington. As I said, we are engaging in these talks with our colleagues from the American administration in Washington, but we are also engaging with the Ukraine. The Ukrainian foreign minister came to Berlin the week before last, and of course, we talked about this issue.
But as I said, we are engaging in these negotiations also with an eye to Eastern Europe and the – with an eye to the energy situation in more general terms. There is a whole host of ways and means and approaches which we are discussing right now, but we are not discussing them in public. And of course, I would wish us to make headway and achieve a result as quickly as possible.
As I said – as was said, the visit of the federal chancellor in Washington would be a suitable timeline, but of course, we cannot make it contingent only on this particular matter. In August, legislative decisions are coming in Washington, so we have the ambition to have made headway on these issues and to have reached results that are acceptable to all parties involved. https://www.state.gov/secretary-antony-j-blinken-and-german-foreign-minister-heiko-maas-at-a-joint-press-availability/.