Ukraine and Nord Stream 2

The EU protests against Russia’s seizure of Crimea. The EU says it does not want Russia taking any more of Ukraine. At the same time Germany encourages Russia to put in Nord Stream 2, a second direct pipeline from Russia to Germany to increase German and EU dependence on Russian gas. It also provides a way of diverting gas that might otherwise have flowed through a pipe across Ukraine, with revenues accruing to Ukraine, to a different route and no Ukrainian revenues. For Russia Nord Stream 2 is a double win, weakening  the EU and Ukraine at the same time.

Both Germany and the EU are delaying signature on the regulatory arrangements and the contracts to supply gas via the pipeline. They are trying to place more of it under EU law. That will not of course make much difference should Russia at some date in the future decide to use the leverage it could exert from being a major gas supplier to the EU to demand concessions or changes of policy to its liking. For the legal route to work the other side both has to accept the jurisdiction of the EU court and to willingly submit to the views of the other party in the dispute. Russia would  not necessarily do that in practice whatever the initial documents might say.

The SPD led new German coalition government includes the Greens and is meant to be taking the faster pursuit of net zero seriously. Greens do not usually welcome new sources of fossil fuel delivery. I guess in this case they will be so hard pressed to find ways of implementing their new pledge to try to phase coal out of their electricity generation by 2030  that they will not think they can do without this extra gas as well.

Today President Biden will have a video conference with President Putin. Ukraine will doubtless  be high up the agenda. The USA has told the world of a build up of Russian troops near Ukraine’s eastern border. One of the many things Presidents Biden and Trump agree about is the undesirability of Nord Stream 2. As it gets close to going ahead President Biden will need to find ways to warn Russia off using Ukraine’s greater weakness to his advantage.

112 Comments

  1. Julian Flood
    December 7, 2021

    Sir John, had British politicians of all colours not prevented development of the Bowland shale we would now be in a wonderful strategic position. A big shale play in the US went from nothing to producing half the UK’s gas consumption in five years. Had the opportunity been seized when it first became apparent, the UK and Norway would by now be major suppliers to the EU.

    Time for the Nudge Unit to start chanting ‘two legs better’. Time for someone to wonder from where the anti-frackers got their support.

    JF

    1. Sakara Gold
      December 7, 2021

      @Julian Flood
      What a stupid comment. Fracking in a densely populated country such as ours is completely impracticable and would require tremendous taxpayer subsidy. Experience in the USA shows that fracking leaks huge amounts of methane into the atmosphere, severely contaminates drinking water aquifers, causes earthquakes and adds to global warming.

      Eventually Nordstream2 will be commissioned and the price of gas for the British consumer will fall by at least 50%. Ukraine is thousands of miles away, who cares?

      1. Peter2
        December 8, 2021

        What a stupid comment from you SG.
        To claim that the imported gas from hundreds of miles away miraculously green whilst UK produced gas is not is ridiculous.

      2. dixie
        December 8, 2021

        The sources of most critical materials, gas and oil, and quite a bit of food we depend on are thousands of miles away, you had better care or give up your western lifestyle completely.
        The don’t care attitude is why our commerce and industries have been leeched away to other countries benefiting their people and economies, not ours.

      3. Mark
        December 8, 2021

        What a stupid comment. There is no subsidy required, and modern directional drilling techniques allow shale to be exploited with the minimum of disruption. The test well at Little Plumpton was 2 miles from the area that was fracked. Evidence in the USA does not show that aquifers are contaminated by it – it only identifies already contaminated aquifers due to natural processes, nor that fracking causes serious earthquakes. Large scale wastewater injection, which is banned in the UK where water treatment is mandatory, is not fracking. Nor is there proper evidence of large scale methane release.
        There is a lot of evidence that these claims are fake news, starting with the famous ignition of supposed tap water in Gore’s film of inconvenient lies.

    2. glen cullen
      December 7, 2021

      Excellent post

    3. Enough Already
      December 8, 2021

      JF +1

  2. Mark B
    December 7, 2021

    Good morning.

    What the EU and others do is their business. What we do is ours. Shame we cannot utilize the massive reserves of coal, oil and gas we have to do what President Trump did. And the current government does not have the excuse the German SDP have of having the Greens to deal with. Currently the Green Party just has one MP to the CONservative Parties 80 seat majority but you wouldn’t know that by the way they are behaving.

    1. glen cullen
      December 7, 2021

      We sit on an island of coal with large pockets of natural gas surrounded by a sea of oil…..and our politicians tell us we need wind-farms and to pour salt in an open wound we import electricity from France
      I don’t see incompetence I see treason

    2. Timaction
      December 7, 2021

      The Greens have one MP? Boris?

      1. glen cullen
        December 8, 2021

        But the Green Party also have:-
        361 Green Tories, 199 Green Labour, 45 Green SNP, 12, Green LibDem, 8 Green DUP, 7 Green SF, 6 Green IND, 2 Green SDLP, 1 Green ALL and the Green Speaker

    3. Peter from Leeds
      December 7, 2021

      Indeed, and remind me how many voted for Green compared to Reform in a recent by-election.

  3. DOM
    December 7, 2021

    It’s Putin’s hands on the gas spigot. There’s nothing else to say.

    1. Everhopeful
      December 7, 2021

      +1
      He’s after some nice, long term contracts linked to oil prices?

    2. glen cullen
      December 7, 2021

      ‘’Trade Not Aid’’, sorry wrong slogan – ‘’Make Trade Not War’’
      Putin hasn’t just got his hand on the tap he’s got both barrels pointed at Ukraine and the EU

      1. Micky Taking
        December 8, 2021

        Putin is aiming further afield than his neighbours EU. By selling the gas he knows the stupid UK will become indebted to the EU, and therefore our economy threatened by him.

  4. SM
    December 7, 2021

    Ah well, there is an obvious solution to this whole issue of Russian imperialism/Net Zero/bad nationalism v good nationalism and general greenery:

    since it is all caused by Tory-voting, Brexit-supporting UK pensioners, it would therefore be completely solved by immediate cessation of all pensions paid to them, whether the Universal State pension or that earned by having worked in Public Services, plus the denial of all ‘free’ health services.

    Next question?

    1. alan jutson
      December 7, 2021

      SM
      What on earth has Russia’s control of THEIR own gas, and who THEY sell it to, got to do with Brexit.

      Do you honestly believe that if we were still in EU we would change EU policy of dependance on Russian Gas ?
      Me thinks it you who are deluded.

    2. Nota#
      December 7, 2021

      @SM You are saying that those that payed for a minimum of 35 years into a fund (which most UK Governments squandered) for their pension should be denied any pay out. I guess you are enjoying the fruits of other peoples toils, endeavors and as with the ‘millennials’ feel entitled without fully contributing.
      Glad to see you wish to bow down and obey the laws and rules of Ursula von der Leyen someone you and everyone in the EU has never voted for and cannot be held account for her actions. Even her own Parliament is not permitted the right to amend or repeal her offerings(the must obey and rubber stamp) – do as I say obey, rule. Just because the UK is not a Democracy and follows in the EU image doesn’t mean we should not try to create one.

    3. Mike Wilson
      December 7, 2021

      Next question>

      Have you seen a doctor about your delusions?

    4. Donna
      December 7, 2021

      Morning Andy….. is that you, or do you have a doppleganger?

      The record needs changing; the needle got stuck a long time ago.

    5. glen cullen
      December 7, 2021

      In summary, Russia’s invasion of the Ukraine & the Crimean is a direct result of our democratic referendum and your solution is to reverse the referendum result…interesting, sounds a lot like appeasement

      1. SM
        December 8, 2021

        I was being sarcastic.

    6. No Longer Anonymous
      December 7, 2021

      The Tories aren’t going to be a problem after the next general election, don’t worry about that.

      Bring on the Christmas lockdown. Pile on the inflation misery.

      Let’s have a catastrophic ending rather than this never ending catastrophe that has been the Tory party since Major – they’ve been the problem all along. Proven by their 80 seat majority whilst out of the EU.

  5. Ian Wragg
    December 7, 2021

    Germany will do what Germany wants.
    They may pay lip service to net zero but in no way will they jeopardise their industry.
    Unlike the stupid arts graduates running Britain.

    1. lifelogic
      December 7, 2021

      Exactly – gas and electricity can cost about three times more in the UK than the US why would anyone locate an energy intensive industry in the UK with such idiotic energy policies and such fools in charge of energy policy.

    2. alan jutson
      December 7, 2021

      +1

    3. Timaction
      December 7, 2021

      Exactly. Not a real scientist amongst them. Climate religion. Let us pray.

    4. glen cullen
      December 7, 2021

      Oh they have stupid just like us – they’re phasing out nuclear power stations by 2022

  6. Peter
    December 7, 2021

    A Biden video conference will be a non event. If he can keep to the script and make sense that is the best his team can hope for. He is clearly unfit for office now.

    1. Nottingham Lad Himself
      December 7, 2021

      He won’t lose his way completely and start rambling about Peppa Pig, I don’t for one moment expect.

      1. dixie
        December 8, 2021

        Boris was talking about the commercial success of the Peppa Pig business – It’s a unicorn actually.
        Why can’t you look beyond media dog whistle headlines to actual facts?

        1. Nottingham Lad Himself
          December 8, 2021

          Forgive me……
          Forgive me……
          Forgive me………….

          Blast.

      2. Micky Taking
        December 8, 2021

        I’m not as confident as you!

  7. Sea_Warrior
    December 7, 2021

    It’s only been a few months since this government’s beyond-stupid Defence Review, which savaged conventional Air and Land capabilities. These cuts need to be reversed.

    1. Peter Wood
      December 7, 2021

      Undoubtedly correct; how many F35’s and Astute Class boats could be added to the inventory for the same cost as foreign aid giveaways.
      Our national management is in the hands of incompetent, naive fools. War is coming, strong men with an irresistable desire to have their names in history are running powerful nations.

      1. No Longer Anonymous
        December 7, 2021

        +1

        And those strong men see weakness in our Covid response.

  8. javelin
    December 7, 2021

    The Goal of Green Movement isn’t to destroy the Western Economy, but thanks to Western Politicians insecurities and need to appear virtuous, the Green Movement is actually destroying the Western Economy.

    1. lifelogic
      December 7, 2021

      +1

    2. Nota#
      December 7, 2021

      @javelin +1

    3. Timaction
      December 7, 2021

      Indeed it is. In plain sight.

    4. glen cullen
      December 7, 2021

      Agree – The ‘west’ was always an easy target for the greens, we don’t shoot back or imprison you without trial…the non-west are laughing their head off, they’re winning the war without sending any troops

    5. No Longer Anonymous
      December 7, 2021

      Well. Ask the Marxist if he is green and he will say yes.

      It is a way of destroying capitalism whilst telling us it is for our own good.

    6. dixie
      December 8, 2021

      If you think that you haven’t heard any of Monbiot’s rants, in a nutshell he wants to destroy capitalism and the West.

  9. Oldwulf
    December 7, 2021

    In view of the shenanigans going on elsewhere, I would hope that our Government is ensuring that our supply of energy is secure and preferably independent.

    1. Donna
      December 7, 2021

      Dream on; they’re doing the precise opposite.

    2. Timaction
      December 7, 2021

      No. 20% of our electrical generation needs in the hands of foreign suppliers who can and do blackmail us. Consocialists dont do National security.

      1. Nottingham Lad Himself
        December 9, 2021

        It wasn’t the Left who sold it to them, was it?

    3. glen cullen
      December 7, 2021

      In Wales you get your own sapling and childs windmill…in any colour so long as its green

    4. Beecee
      December 7, 2021

      Best laugh I have had in months!

  10. Oldtimer
    December 7, 2021

    Two of the many consequences of the net zero agenda are greater dependence on gas from Russia, because western Europe is unwilling to extract its own oil and gas, and higher energy costs delivered with less reliability. This is unlikely to be a winning formula. It is also worth noting the EU and US responsibilities for the political mess in the Ukraine because of their past activities in that country. Western political leadership is failing.

  11. Nottingham Lad Himself
    December 7, 2021

    The position between Russia and Ukraine is correctly understood by the European Union not to be a simple binary Ukraine Good Russia Bad one. For instance there is evidence of Ukraine diverting gas for its own use which was intended for other customers.

    However, one thing is crystal clear, and that is that Angela Merkel’s and François Hollande’s discussions with Putin did a great deal to prevent matters between the two getting completely out of control. Putin, naturally, was not in the least interested in anything that anyone in government here had to say on the other hand.

    1. Micky Taking
      December 7, 2021

      Putin is very interested in what UK has to say, we have a history of having balls unlike the French for example. He simply avoids discussion because he will always look like the transgressor.
      Germany and France are wedded to rolling over and taking the hit.

      1. Nottingham Lad Himself
        December 8, 2021

        Balls? Compared to the Slavs, eh?

        Don’t make me laugh.

        1. Micky Taking
          December 8, 2021

          I compared to the Germans and French – changing the subject again, Martin!

    2. No Longer Anonymous
      December 7, 2021

      NLH – Does that mean we can give up on any notion of unilateral Greenism in order to lead by example ?

      Do you think Putin and Jinping will follow us ???

      1. No Longer Anonymous
        December 7, 2021

        Had we fracked and continued with our coal and nuclear base we might have been more respected.

        Alas it isn’t are cessation of membership with the EU that has diminished us but years of bad policy whilst in it !

  12. Andy
    December 7, 2021

    The world is a complicated place and sometimes government have to wrestle with conflicting issues. Germany is committed to net zero. It is also angry with Russia. But for now it also needs Russian gas. None of this is neat. It is a conflicting mess.

    But then the Brexitists know about conflicting messes. They claim to be free traders but have erected the biggest trade barriers we have seen with our neighbours for decades. They claim to hate bureaucracy but have imposed masses of red tape. They claim to love freedom but have removed more of our freedoms than any government.

    1. Mike Wilson
      December 7, 2021

      The world is a complicated place

      Indeed. Much too complicated for your ‘Tory Brexit pensioner’ obsessed brain to understand.

    2. Timaction
      December 7, 2021

      Why are you still here Haw Haw?

    3. Original Richard
      December 7, 2021

      Andy :

      To understand Germany it is necessary to remember that Angela Merkel moved from West to East Germany by her parents when she was an infant. She speaks fluent Russian and was a senior member of the Russian propaganda organisation known as Agitprop.

      She has weakened Germany and Europe with her unilateral decision to accept 1m immigrants and made Germany and Europe more dependent upon Russian gas by the early closing of all its nuclear power plants.

      Although she has built 13GW of coal fired power stations (using the dirtiest of coals, lignite) since 2000 she suffers no criticism from the UK’s (communist) Greens.

      Our conflicting Brexit mess with the EU was entirely caused by our undemocratic Remainer Parliament electing a Remainer PM who tried to negotiate a treaty as similar to EU membership as possible whilst conspiring with the EU to make the UK position as weak as possible.

      You’ve reminded me to buy a copy of Mark Francois’ book “Spartan Victory : The Inside Story of the Battle for Brexit”

      1. Mitchel
        December 8, 2021

        To understand Germany you need to take an appreciation of the long,extremely complicated history of Teuton-Slav relations going back to the Middle Ages .

      2. Nottingham Lad Himself
        December 9, 2021

        The PM was chosen by the Tory Party, not by Parliament.

    4. Micky Taking
      December 7, 2021

      Andy – your voice in the wilderness is a bit repetitive. We voted Brexit but got a weak form, let us now move on. You are a very grumpy old man, decades before your time.

      1. Nottingham Lad Himself
        December 9, 2021

        Yes, the North Korea model that you wanted was judged unworkable by, well, just about everyone, really.

  13. Donna
    December 7, 2021

    I very much doubt if Biden can remember where Ukraine is, let alone find a way to warn Putin off using Ukraine’s greater weakness to his advantage.

    Meanwhile in Johnson’s Eco Lunatic Blighty, some residents living in Northumberland have been without electricity for around 12 days now, following storm Arwen.

    Just as well some of them have access to gas or oil heaters; wood burners; gas cookers and petrol/diesel cars or by now they could be in a very bad way.

    The lunacy of relying entirely on electricity is made clear for all to see.

    1. SM
      December 7, 2021

      +1

    2. Nota#
      December 7, 2021

      @Donna +1. The government threatens to get the Army out every time it fails to provide then is faced with the prospect the UK has no Army. The Government in all their reviews says they are not needed the future is Cyber

    3. Mike Wilson
      December 7, 2021

      It’s not a shortage of electricity. It’s the lunacy of allowing infrastructure that delivers electro people’s homes to be in the hands of private companies. They are, by definition, bound to cost cut and skimp on maintenance.

      1. Mike Wilson
        December 7, 2021

        (Annoying phone!) … infrastructure that delivers electricity to people’s homes …

      2. Nottingham Lad Himself
        December 7, 2021

        I agree completely.

        It is in principle possible to entrust these things to the private sector.

        However, that would require strict, professionally-informed regulation, along with continual professional oversight and inspection, and enforcement with real teeth.

        Those latter cannot – of course – be entrusted back to the industry, and so would be a very substantial cost to the public purse, probably more than any “efficiency” savings from privatisation.

      3. Mark
        December 7, 2021

        I think you should look at the role of OFGEM in this. They regulate the companies, micro-managing what they are supposed to do via Grid Codes and approving their budgets.

        1. Nottingham Lad Himself
          December 8, 2021

          If you are not satisfied with such resilience as there might be then clearly they have failed.

    4. Dave Andrews
      December 7, 2021

      Re the residents of Northumberland still cut off –
      Perhaps the electricity distribution industry is like the haulage industry, and they use contractors so they don’t have to train their own staff. The skills base has reduced because many of them retired during Covid, and snowflake generation doesn’t want to get a technical education and go out in all weathers to do that kind of work.
      Or perhaps the supplies they need to make repairs are stuck in a warehouse the other side of the world, waiting for a shipping container to become available.
      Either way, the companies wouldn’t tell you those were the problems.

    5. Mark
      December 7, 2021

      I gather that OFGEM and BEIS are planning to investigate what went wrong. The problem is that Distribution Network Operators like Northen Powergrid are regulated by OFGEM, who approve their investment programmes and regulate their returns and operations. So OFGEM gets to mark its own homework, which inspires no confidence at all. We know it has its priorities wrong. Here is the introduction to the latest plan from Northern Powergrid.

      Our stakeholders have made it clear to us that supporting the transition to net zero emissions is the biggest and most important challenge. Our plan positions us to take a leading role in enabling decarbonisation in our region and support future uptake in low carbon technologies such as electric vehicles and heat pumps. Our network will be instrumental in efficiently facilitating this transition, sitting at the heart of a decentralised, low carbon energy system that enables customers to be increasingly flexible with their energy use.

      Nothing about maintaining the ageing existing network at all.

    6. Micky Taking
      December 7, 2021

      an interesting exercise to monitor how things progress and lack of complaint, abuse, riot as a result.
      Few seem bothered – so we now know that the hoi polloi, either meaning (new or old) don’t raise a fuss.

  14. Sir Joe Soap
    December 7, 2021

    It will be interesting to see whether the Nord Stream Protocol fares any better than the Nord Ireland Protocol. In the long run, both they and the EU will be no more.
    The EU will advise, sovereign nations will decide.

    1. Nottingham Lad Himself
      December 7, 2021

      Yes, and Putin was far more interested in what sovereign Germany and France had to say than anything that anyone here or in the US for that matter might.

      “The euro will be dead and buried by Christmas 2012”, I seem to recall Farage saying in a radio interview, incidentally.

      1. Micky Taking
        December 7, 2021

        I remember that fellow Martin used to bang on about it, you obviously recall his words too!

  15. Richard1
    December 7, 2021

    The German – EU decision to proceed with Nordstream2 is dangerous and damaging humbug. Our govt should be louder in its criticism of this foolish and hypocritical policy. It sums up why eurosceptics have historically been right to argue against an EU army supplanting NATO and against the creep of the EUs competence into areas such as foreign policy.

    1. Ed M
      December 7, 2021

      The European nations should still cooperate militarily so that if ever there were a big war, it would be easier to join forces (like USA / UK in WW2). Without having to have single market / joint army. Also, cooperating together now sends loud message to intimidating rogue states.
      There is too much binary thinking.

      1. Job
        December 7, 2021

        We should keep out of any disputes involving other European countries if there are no UK interests. Nuclear weapons send a loud message.

    2. Nottingham Lad Himself
      December 7, 2021

      It can be as loud as it likes – as a non-member of the European Union it will have zero effect, whereas previously it may well have been altogether different.

      1. Micky Taking
        December 7, 2021

        It doesn’t seem the 25 other members have any say in what Germany wants to do, ie. accept the Trojan Horse happily provided by Putin ( err was Russia).

      2. IanT
        December 7, 2021

        Even after our latest foolish cuts to the British military, there are only two serious armed forces in Western Europe – the UK and France. Let’s hope that no one makes a very foolish miscalcuation in all this Ukraine posturing, otherwise Europe might find itself in much more need of our help than it currently thinks.

        And franky if anything does kick off, the EU will find itself standing on the sidelines watching …

      3. No Longer Anonymous
        December 7, 2021

        NHL

        For that reason leading the world by example on woke and greenism is out.

      4. Mark
        December 8, 2021

        Do you think that US attitudes have had no effect, as a non member of the EU?

  16. Everhopeful
    December 7, 2021

    Suppose this provocation from all directions is actually leading towards war.
    100,000 Russian troops (where’s the air defence?) may not be enough for an extremely costly invasion of Ukraine.
    And it seems an extremely bad time for so many nations to be unnecessarily battling against their own people.
    Maybe it is all part of the wider scare ‘em rigid campaign?

    1. Mitchel
      December 8, 2021

      Where’s the air defence?S400s in Crimea and other anti-aircraft/missile systems near the Black Sea coast plus the ship mounted systems on the Black Sea fleet.

  17. Everhopeful
    December 7, 2021

    But…but 🐥
    WHY are we bothered about Mr Putin’s gas?
    I thought we were going GWEEN!
    We’ve got our windmills??

  18. alan jutson
    December 7, 2021

    Yep, fact of life in so far as much of the worlds needed and rare resources are in unstable Countries/areas. Where they are not, the home Countries in question, sometimes choose not to use them for politically so called green reasons, the irony is that some of the necessary basic green raw materials/resources are also in many different, but also unstable Countries.
    The raw material power centres of the World may well change in the future.
    China realised this decades ago, hence its policy of infrastructure supply in exchange for raw materials.

  19. Nota#
    December 7, 2021

    Its would be hard to see Putin or even his new friend Xi Jinping paying any attention to the EU or Biden they have their own agendas and strength to keep pushing.

    As for the COP in all its disguises the greater majority of the World has yet to show any inclination in meeting their commitments going back decades. The majority of the World is to immersed in their own economies and creating wealth and resilience for their own citizens. Even Germany and their version of the ‘Greens’ will not put their economy before any asperations of net zero.

    The only Nation that is showing intent, possibly contempt and spite, is the UK’s Socialist lead Government. Better to punish than build resilience and nurture a thriving Country.

  20. Mike Wilson
    December 7, 2021

    Could Biden have a word with Johnson. As the leader of the free world, he must be very worried by Johnson’s stream of legislation removing our traditional freedoms.

  21. Atlas
    December 7, 2021

    A very recent book by Jeremy Nieboer called ‘Climate’ makes for interesting reading as it puts the need for any Net Zero agenda in question. Should this be so, then our dependence on these unreliable (political was well as no-wind related) energy sources can be dramatically scaled back, so saving us a fortune in money and upheaval.

  22. Bryan Harris
    December 7, 2021

    Why does the EU continue to provoke Russia – they are asking for trouble, as Russia holds the better cards.

    It’s impossible to know exactly what is going on in Ukraine due to us having a press that works to an agenda, but hasn’t Russia always been clear on one thing regarding it’s borders – They have to be secure and buffeted, not directly against a NATO country.

    Germany is looking after its own interests, meaning as a whole the EU is sending mixed message.

    If the EU tries to punish Russia with sanctions, it will be so easy for Russia to turn off the energy supply – I that really what the EU wants?

    1. Mitchel
      December 8, 2021

      Like most of the west’s institutions the EU suffers from postmodern delusions.

      You cannot have a strong Russia and a strong Europe simultaneously.Ultimately one will crush and absorb the other politically.

      I know which my money is on- literally!

  23. ukretired123
    December 7, 2021

    Basic common sense advice for Boris and his “Apprentices” seeking the holy grail of all things electric coming very soon…

    Don’t put all your eggs in one basket – farmer’s advice.
    The strength of a chain is at its weakest link – engineer.
    Only change one thing at a time – trouble-shooter.
    Dual-brakes reduce brake failures – engineer.
    Always make things fail safely, fail-safe – engineer.
    Do a pilot test to prove a new shiny thing works first.
    Don’t bet the whole farm on something unproven – financial advice.
    Throw a small pebble in the lake before you jump in with your friends and find you are up to your neck and in deep trouble below decks and out of your depth.
    Lastly keep to things you know well and don’t dabble in things you don’t. Remember Ken Dodd bless him was a comedian and never an accountant nor an engineer!

    1. Nottingham Lad Himself
      December 8, 2021

      Ah, the ruffled hair – I see the link.

    2. Bryan Harris
      December 8, 2021

      +99

  24. majorfrustration
    December 7, 2021

    All very interesting but its not as though the UK does not have its own problems to tackle – or rather not tackle.

  25. Iago
    December 7, 2021

    Why the government’s immense rush to get everyone injected? Do they know something that they are not telling us?
    In about three months, nine months will have elapsed since women of child-bearing age were first injected in significant numbers.

  26. formula57
    December 7, 2021

    Isn’t the Evil Empire’s original raison d’ etre to promote trade (as Nordstream 2) to then better discourage the propensity for conflict between nations, as with putative Russian manoeuvres against Ukraine?

    As for Mr. Putin’s motives at present, is he not concerned about eastward expansion by NATO, particularly so with regard to Ukraine? Given NATO can be seen to have morphed itself from a defensive mutual assistance pact into a combative instrument of U.S. imperialism some might say he would seem to have a point.

    As for Mr. Biden, clearly he is not likely to risk war with Russia over Ukraine although he cannot be seen to have failed to stand-up to Russian aggression. Given his (alleged) strong family interests in Ukraine and his likely awareness of what is troubling Mr. Putin, we can hope for a deal rather than war and meanwhile the Evil Empire will take its irrelevant place on the sidelines.

    Which leaves us to worry only about Ben Wallace. He tells us “The United Kingdom stands shoulder to shoulder with the people of Ukraine and will continue its long-standing determination to support them.” per https://www.gov.uk/government/news/joint-statement-by-defence-secretary-ben-wallace-and-ukraine-defence-minister-oleksii-yuriyovych-reznikov . Just where does he get his silly notions from?

  27. forthurst
    December 7, 2021

    I can only assume the EU is trying to wrestle transit charges away from Russia so they can earn income and effectively apply a tax on the gas without it being overt. It would be better for Germany and Russia for a mutually reliable supply of gas under their control to exist without the EU or a hostile and unstable failed state having the ability to control or tax the gas supply.

    The relationship between Russia and Ukraine is none of our business; the EU and neocon initiation of a coup d’etat in Ukraine has cost the lives of 14,000 Ukrainians, so far, and has not benefited anyone; however, benefiting anyone is certainly not the objective of NATO or EU foreign policy.

    The dimwitted Arts graduates running our government need to stop trying to turn the Ukraine into an ally and spending money on its defence which they wont get back. They should focus on controlling the foreign invasion of our own South Coast which is not being initiated by Mr Putin, but by their own insane policies.
    When it comes to energy, they need to understand if it is humanly possible for such morons that we should exploit our own resources of gas, oil and coal and reverse the lunacy of Net Zero immediately.

  28. Everhopeful
    December 7, 2021

    Mr Putin from the Kremlin last week.

    “The threat on our western borders is … rising, as we have said multiple times. … In our dialogue with the United States and its allies, we will insist on developing concrete agreements prohibiting any further eastward expansion of NATO and the placement there of weapons systems in the immediate vicinity of Russian territory.”

    1. Nottingham Lad Himself
      December 7, 2021

      I can’t see how anyone can find anything other than completely understandable good sense in that either.

      I wonder what the US would say if Russia tried to fill Mexico with bases and materiel?

      1. Dennis
        December 8, 2021

        forthurst+Everhopeful+ NLH all pertinent good posts.

  29. Mark
    December 7, 2021

    The strategic game with Russia is a bit more complex than just tieing up Europe (there is also South Stream). Russia has been developing new markets in the Far East, and particularly China. There should be a clear interest in not letting the Russians become dependent on the Chinese market, and to that extent competition from Europe is good.

    But the real key is ensuring competition from suppliers around the world, which means promoting investment in fossil fuel projects wherever they are. We have been buying LNG from Peru, Qatar, the USA and Russia in recent weeks. We should be encouraging development in our own back yard from Jackdaw and shale and Norway, but also not leaving it to the Chinese to take over in places like Mozambique, securing the supply for themselves. Qatar has just signed a new LNG supply deal with China.

    Policy needs a global context. Once, the IEA would have provided some leadership and fed sensible recommendations to the OECD which occupies the same Paris building. No longer.

    1. Mitchel
      December 8, 2021

      The Russians are not dependent on China.There are huge investments going into the Russian Far East and they are coming from a variety of Asian nations- India,Korea,Japan,Singapore,Malaysia,Cambodia,etc-and not just in energy.

      There are,for instance, big leisure-related developments under way-for example,a huge leisure zone just outside Vladivostok with 12 architecturally distinct casino-hotel complexes,spas,shopping and a Korean designed golf course and an upmarket US-designed ski resort further north at Kamchatka-“The Three Volcanoes Park”where you will be able to ski against a stunning backdrop of gently smoking volcanoes and,amongst other apres-ski activities, take a dip in the natural hot springs.The Asian middle classes are getting a taste for skiing and this resort is also likely to attract Americans from across the Pacific.

      Inward tourism is going to be big in Russia in coming decades-it has so many stunning(and alluringly strange) locations.

  30. X-Tory
    December 7, 2021

    The EU’s foreign policy is hypocritical … quelle surprise! But then again, so what? Why should we care? I don’t want us to have anything to do with the EU, and so I don’t care what they do. I only care about UK foreign policy, and here I am appalled at how stupid and pathetic Boris is. Take Ukraine: Boris has pledged the UK will use “all the economic and diplomatic tools at its disposal” to prevent any invasion of Ukraine by Russia. This is so stupid. Firstly, it makes no difference to us if Russia invades Ukraine, but what it does do is offer a great market opportunity to sell lots of weapons to Ukraine and earn lots of money. So instead of talking of “economic and diplomatic tools” we should be talking of MILITARY SALES. Any economic or diplomatic assistance given to Ukraine should be conditional on, and proportionate to, the amount of military equipment they buy from us. We need a government that starts putting the UK’s interests FIRST.

    Given that the EU is our enemy (as their behaviour towards us proves) I am also appalled at the stupidity of our 2010 Lancaster House Treaty on bilateral military cooperation with France. In mitigation to Cameron (who signed this) it wasn’t then quite so apparent that France was our enemy, but it is now, so Boris should withdraw from this alliance, scrap the UK-France Combined Joint Expeditionary Force, and stop offering France military help in Mali. Why are we helping and cooperating with a country that is trying to destroy our economy?

    And talking of our relationship with France, just when I thought my disgust and contempt for Boris Johnson could not get any worse, I see from the Telegraph that he has now surrendered to their threats and blackmail and is going to allow all the new French fishing boats to fish in our waters. Instead of having a policy to reduce French fishing in UK waters, Boris has completely capitulated and will allow the rape of our fishing waters to continue. No wonder I call him Boris the Traitor. How can Tory MPs tolerate this coward and traitor as prime minister of Britain? It has been said that he sees himself as a latter-day Churchill, but I hadn’t realised he meant the little nodding Churchill dog. Has Boris betrayed Britain once again? ‘Oh yes …’

  31. XY
    December 8, 2021

    Yes, the EU have been complete fools over these geopolitical issues, Merkel one of the worst agents. Almost as if she were still in East Germany.

    But will Putin invade Ukraine? Not if it means even tighter sanctions. The only way he invades is if he believes the EU won’t apply sanctions because of gas pressures. And if he also believes that he can survive with only the EU on his side while the rest of the world tightens the screw.

    We don’t know what he knows – this is the calculation he may be making. BUt there’s also the possibility that the woke types in the EU will cancel the gas pipeline project if he invades. It may be against their interests but there’s no Merkel there any more to try to smooth it over, they will probably subsidise more expensive imports from elsewhere (and drive up the price of gas in the process).

    All Western governments have been geopolitically dense in this (why no nuclear tech investment all these years?) but the EU are by far the worst – if it were not for them, none of this would be happening, at least not yet.

    1. Mitchel
      December 8, 2021

      Russia has most of Asia on it’s side,it doesn’t much care about the moribund EU,apart from who controls Germany.

  32. Peter2
    December 8, 2021

    That’s over 20 posts by NHL
    On one topic.

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