Re: Hexenjagd für Kleingeister
I'm not really clear what you're arguing, or what you think we should do differently. There seems to be an awful lot of complaining about secondary effects of Russia's invasion of Ukraine. And then complaints about some supposed witch-hunt in Germany.
Manuela Schwesig for example has admitted that she fucked up, and that her Nordstream 2 policy was wrong. She did take/use money from a foreign government in order to pursue that government's preferred foreign policy. Now admittedly it was also Germany's foreign policy, so I'm not accusing her of being a traitor, or anything. Just terrible judgement - which many Germany politicians also shared in. However I might say Gerhard Schroeder pretty much is. He's a paid agent of the Russian government trying to influence German government policy - at the same time Russia is pursuing a war of aggression in Europe and threatening nuclear attacks on NATO.
Lars Klingbeil (co-chair of the SPD), has just admitted that their whole Russia energy policy was a catastrophic mistake link to Politico
The German government have announced a Zeitenwende - a complete turn-around of their foreign policy. Admitting that their previous foreign policy hadn't worked and therefore wouldn't you expect a bit of a witch-hunt? Someone has to blamed for past mistakes. This is politics...
All your complaints about the poor Russians not finding it easy to circumvent sanctions seem totally ridiculous. What did they expect? They just launched a massive, unprovoked, invasion of Ukraine. The Russian government didn't even seriously pretend to negotiate, back in January / February. Because Putin's objectives for the war were clearly maximalist. He was out to conquer large chunks of Ukraine, not to get some sort of security guarantees from NATO or have it acknowledged that Ukraine was a Russian sphere of interest or anything like that.
How a business opportunity translates into backstabbing "allies" is beyond me
This I think is your problem. You see Nordstream 2 as a business opportunity. You are wrong. Many German politicians also saw it as a business opportunity. But Vladimir Putin doesn't. And never did. Some German politicians believed that they could tame Russia by making themselves economically inter-dependent. It's the theory behind the EU after all. If German and French heavy industry were linked, they couldn't fight (European Coal & Steel Community). If their politics were linked, they wouldn't want to (EEC / EU).
But Vladmir Putin is a Cold War spy. Burning with resentment for losing the Cold War. And what he sees as humiliation by the West. Becoming, I suspect, more bitter and twisted as he's got older. He doesn't believe in mutual benefit, through economic and poliitcal cooperation. He believes in power. The brutal reality of the ability to force others to do your bidding. He also doesn't care about the ordinary people of Russia having a nice life. So if Russia gets vastly poorer, but more powerful - then to him that's a great trade-off. Back to the Soviet good old days.
This is what Germany's Eastern European allies were saying for twenty years. This is why they wanted to join NATO. I've read recently, but only from one source so I don't know whether to believe it, that Poland actually threatened to build a nuclear deterrent unless it was allowed into NATO back in the 90s.
Admittedly the Western Europeans agreed with Germany, Chirac famously said at an EU meeting on Russia that this would be a good time for Eastern European governments to shut up. The US and UK weren't onboard with Eastern Europe about the threat from Putin until maybe ten years ago. Late in the Obama administration.
But since then almost all of Germany's allies (even France) and also the European Commission have been warning Germany about Nordstream 2. That it was a Russian power move and that we need to be less dependend on Russia, so they didn't think they had the leverage over our economies, so we wouldn't dare stop them doing something like invading Ukraine or the Baltic States.
Incidentally, talking about backstabbing, Toomas Hendrik Ilves (former Estonian President) says that France and Germany vetoed NATO plans to defend the Baltic States back in about 2005. So while they were officially committed to go to war with Russia to defend them, they also made that defence impossible, a cynic might suggest so they could wash their hands and say, "Oh no! A fait accompli! There's nothing we can do, we'll have to negotiate with Russia and keep trading with them."
It was only after Russia's invasion of Crimea that Germany and France were willing to allow the rest of NATO to plan to defend the Baltic States! After watching the various Russia crises, the Euro-crisis and other recent international crises, I genuinely don't think German politicians understand the meaning of the word "ally" in the same way I do.
This post has got too long. And I've been interrupted writing it, so I'm too lazy to go back through and edit to sort it out. But my final point needs to be made. NS2 was not a business deal. It wasn't even about economics. It was about political leverage. Gazprom were found guilty of breaching EU competition law back in 2015. They promised not to do it again, and weren't penalised. Because the Commission knew the Russian government might threaten to cut off the gas. There's been no similar fear about fining Microsft and Google or starting a low key trade war with the UK. Because the EU don't fear the US or UK will try to destroy them over normal business or politics. Russia has used gas sales as leverage against Ukraine, repeatedly. That quote from you about Ukraine stealing Russian gas is at least partly a lie. Russia claims Ukraine are stealing gas when Ukraine use gas they are contractually allowed to take - as part of their transmission fees. Or as part of Russia's payment for the basing rights it was given in Crimea. Basing rights it got extended back ten years ago when it cut gas supplies to Ukraine in January, and then only restored after the government signed up to a new lease. A base Russia then used to invade Ukraine in 2014. I'm sure people in Ukraine were also guilty of stealing gas too though.
Russia has also repeatedly used gas diplomacy in the case of Transnistria. Where it has "peacekeeping" forces in order to keep the frozen conflict going to "protect" the Russian speakers put there in Soviet times. A legacy of Stalin's invasion of Besserabia in 1940 - as agreed in the secret part of the 1939 Nazi-Soviet pact.
Russia was always going to cut gas to Germany at some point. Or at least have the option, to threaten it, to compel German foreign policy.
Collectively if the West had armed Ukraine after 2014, we could have avoided this war. Equally if we'd not been so dependent on Russian gas, Putin might not have thought he could get away with it. These are lessons we need to seriously look at for China/Taiwan policy too. Or we can just decide to ignore things like the invasion of Ukraine, and hope for the best. That would be a pretty stupid policy.