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Felix Eick, Welt Reporter, on Why Dismantling Nord Stream Means Cutting Putin's "Arteries of Power"
Back in August, before the Nord Stream attacks, it was possible even for dim Green journalists to see that destroying the pipelines would be to Russia's disadvantage.
Meet Felix Eick:
Felix is a 31 year-old reporter for Welt with Green tendencies and very little intelligence or knowledge. He’s responsible for a string of ridiculous articles about how the German “gas panic” is exaggerated and why he should be allowed to donate money to arm Ukraine. Back in August, this ridiculous man wrote a long editorial about why Germany should “Dismantle the pipelines” because “That would be the ultimate sign of strength against Putin.” Reading this today, after the very pipelines Eick deplores have been destroyed, is instructive indeed:
The energy crisis hurts … But we must not lose sight of the big picture. Shifting away from Russian fossil fuels remains the most important thing. … The West should … turn the tables … with an ultimate sign of strength – and start pipeline demolition wherever it can. Every kilometre less pipeline means more freedom. …
Basically, with greater or lesser reduction in prosperity, we will succeed in destroying the greater part of [Putin’s] business model, and in freeing ourselves from the grip of his blackmail. Putin he has fallen into a trap of his own making: Russian soil is full of oil and gas, but the leader of the self-declared energy superpower will be able to do less and less with it. Already, gas pipeline exports to Europe are at a 40-year low.
Above all, however, the gas emperor Putin must no longer be able to use gas as a political weapon. That is why we must take the decisive step. Too often, the sweet smell of the Kremlin has lured Germans in particular back again and again, despite all their political and ideological reservations. We should decide today to protect ourselves more strongly from Russia, also at an economic level. It is not enough to conclude treaties with other states and replace Russian oil and gas. Nor is it enough to rely more on renewable energies, even if energy sovereignty is still the best means against despots and madmen.
Germany and Europe should send a tougher signal to the Kremlin – one that hits Putin’s system at the root. We should decide today to dismantle the pipelines as far as possible, and we should start as soon as possible. Even if it’s only the few kilometres of pipeline on German soil. …
The two Nord Stream pipelines run through areas that cannot be assigned to any territory, but but rather belong to the so-called “exclusive economic zones” of Finland, Sweden and Denmark. These countries would presumably be in favour of dismantling at least Nord Stream 2, if only because the ailing Nord Stream 2 AG is unlikely to be able to pay enough for maintenance. …
The exit from the pipeline system would be worthwhile, because without pipelines, Putin’s system is nothing. In 2021, 45 per cent of Russia’s state budget was financed by revenues from oil and gas, and about 80 per cent of their exports flow through pipelines. About three quarters of natural gas exports go to the EU, as well as about half of oil exports, according to the US Energy Information Administration (EIA). Gazprom has also failed to invest in LNG technology and instead has always relied only on pipelines. Without these arteries of power, the system faces extinction. Even a declaration of intent would make Putin shudder, much as his threat of a nuclear strike made us shudder. …
“Away with the pipelines” does not mean “Never again Russia.” Russia, however, would have to accommodate the West as a consumer of its primary economic product. Reduced pipeline capacity simply means more independence. Gazprom would have to invest in liquid natural gas and build appropriate terminals. Sourcing gas and oil from Russia would become one possibility among many – without anyone being able to turn off the tap overnight.
Two months ago, even arrant fools like Felix Eick could see that destroying Nord Stream would hurt Russia. Now that somebody has actually destroyed Nord Stream (or the better part of it), we have to read harebrained theory upon harebrained theory about why Russia is actually responsible and how the end of these pipelines confers an overwrought twelve-dimensional chess advantage to Putin or helps Gazprom escape hypothetical lawsuits or permits Russia to escape sanctions. I wonder what Felix Eick thinks about all these theories. Perhaps he’d like to thank Putin for bringing about the reforms he has long demanded?
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