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Germany Calls for European Firewall Against U.S. Sanctions (wsj.com)
49 points by jtangelder 25 days ago | hide | past | web | favorite | 52 comments



This is all about German politicians who've been bought out by Russian interests trying to protect their pet project(s). Speaking as a German, the fact that Germany would rather deal with and be reliant on a country like Russia is, frankly, insane and incredibly shameful. It's as if Ukraine didn't happen, nor Russian interference of elections across the Western world. For all the bad that the US does, at least they don't invade and annex European countries, and try to undermine European politics.


> For all the bad that the US does, at least they don't invade and annex European countries, and try to undermine European politics.

Did you really just post that under an article about how the US is undermining European politics?


> Did you really just post that under an article about how the US is undermining European politics?

Keyword: Undermined. I feel like you're arguing in bad faith here. I don't see the US undermining anything here except a project that would've made Russia richer and further increased Germany's gas dependence, and by extension political dependence, on Russia. I'd say the project itself was undermining the EU solidarity and unity, and that halting this project is ensuring that Russia doesn't continue to gain more influence over European politics.


> and further increased Germany's gas dependence

It doesn't, though. If Russia starts playing games (or just raises prices), Germany can immediately import American LPG, practically within weeks. There is no dependence on either Russia or America, and that's what makes America work against it. They want Germany to become dependent. On them.


It works the other way too. Germany can't afford to be hard on Russia and it's no accident that Germany (and by extension the EU) has been utterly ineffectual in the Ukraine situation. And going by how much has Germany gets from Russia, I highly doubt it could be quickly made up for by imports from the US. But even then, that'd just increase our dependence on the US, which at this point has also proven itself to be totally unreliable as a partner. It would also weaken our geopolitical position vs the US as it increasingly abuses its position on the world stage. Germany should be striving for energy independence from both of these awful countries.


> Keyword: Undermined

The independence of European politics from US influence is really impressive: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Evo_Morales_grounding_incident


[1] https://www.nobelprize.org/prizes/literature/2005/pinter/256...

(Dieser Link wurde Ihnen vom Privatinsitut für höhere Hirnhygiene zur Verfügung gestellt. Schönen Tach noch, juten Rutsch, usw. etc. pp.)


Ahem! May i point to this little gem?

[1] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CL_GShyGv3o (Victoria Nuland saying what she thinks of the EU)

Furthermore... in all of the cold war the Soviets never failed to deliver, why exactly should Russia do so now?


Isn’t Germany already reliant on Russia for energy and this is simply about bypassing Ukraine transit in order to develop energy rationing leverage over the region? That has been my understanding thus far could be wrong.


Unfortunately, yes. The Nordstrom project further solidifies that relationship when we should be moving away from it.


The Energiewende will make natural gas prohibitive over time.

That pipeline will be profitable, but I don't see it as a strategic factor (except for Ukraine who can't exert pressure on Russia by withholding deliveries to Western Europe).

On the other hand, building such a "firewall" will also be useful if the US chooses to exert more pressure like that, for example over the EU defense fund not planning to prop up the US military-industrial complex.

The USA became a much less gentle bully on the world stage in the last couple years (predating Trump, so it's not just about him, although his policy making probably accelerates it as well as the international response)


> The Energiewende will make natural gas prohibitive over time.

The Energiewende is laughable in its ambitions though, especially on top of wanting to implement a project like this. Germany has an issue in not being serious about tackling climate change - this is just another example of it.

I'm all for the EU unifying against the US's bullying, but this is something that should've been tackled when the US was undermining the Iran deal over nothing. But suddenly this project has motivated German politicians to push for unity? Really?


> But suddenly this project has motivated German politicians to push for unity? Really?

The article was copied to reddit (see link somewhere else in this discussion): The ideas that were floated on twitter (of all places! this is far from official) extend on the Iran anti-embargo trade vehicle, which so far wasn't successful.

The issue with the trade vehicle is that it works better the larger its scope, so propping this up over _yet_ another example of US sanctions (this time hitting the EU more directly) also helps the Iran case.


> Speaking as a German, the fact that Germany would rather deal with and be reliant on a country like Russia is, frankly, insane and incredibly shameful.

This is about Nordstream 2 I guess. Given how natural gas comes from Russia right now (via Ukraine and Poland), how does this increaase reliance on Russia?

It certainly decreases the reliance on Poland (not much of a concern in Germany) and Ukraine (lots of trouble every few years because Russia and Ukraine can't agree on delivery and transit terms).


Decreasing reliance on Poland (and on Ukraine to a degree) is a concern in Poland though. This combined with our (Polish) politicians being idiotically pro-US makes Poland likely to oppose Merkel on this issue.

Which is sad, but you don't get to call for unity against US while simultaneously unilaterally breaking EU unity against Russia.


> you don't get to call for unity against US while simultaneously unilaterally breaking EU unity against Russia

I see a difference between these two situations: Setting up embargoes is a hostile act ("do what we want or else") while setting up tools to avoid embargoes is fundamentally defensive (they don't function without an embargo being in force).

So unless Poland is in favor of the US meddling in European politics (but in that case remember: what goes around comes around; I hope the German administration will be more compassionate when - not if - Poland is on the receiving end of American ire) it should still be slightly positive on anti-embargo measures, even if they disagree on the issue in question.


Nordstream enables Russian embargoes against Ukraine and Poland. This is why Poland perceives its creation as hostile.

In theory, yes, Poland could take the long term view and support anti-meddling measures. But our current government is at idiotic levels of both anti-EU and pro-US sentiment, which is a problem that's totally separate from the Nordstream issue.


Well, if LPG from the U.S. is such a good thing, why don't they buy it then, and be done with all that russian pipeline dependance? It's a FREE MARKET in a free world, isn't it?


Not just any politician but its former chancellor:

https://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-41447603

Edit: we’ve now reached a point where bbc articles merit downvotes. Absurd!


I'm well aware of the popular notion that many US politicians are controlled by Russia, but have never heard that a similar theory exists with respect to Germany. Is this really a thing now, or are you referring to a far more limited scenario?


It actually existed before the US scandal. Gerhard Schroeder promotes the nordstream deal as chancellor, signed an agreement between nordstream and Germany, then upon leaving office signed onto Nordstream’s board of governors. If that isn’t the revolving door I don’t know what is.



This cannot be overstated. Russia is a Mafia State: Where the Russian Mafia == Russian Government. This is not a country you cozy up with. It will not end well.


Can someone explain to me why this being downvoted? Is the assertion of Russia being a Mafia State in question?


> For all the bad that the US does, at least they don't invade and annex European countries, and try to undermine European politics.

Another German here. I find Putin and Russia absolutely revolting, but that last part is utter propaganda. The US has meddled in European politics for decades - just take Trump's stupid whining against BMW or Bush/Obama's complaints about NATO budget or us Germans not joining the fun in Iraq.


Another German here, and I agree. It's beyond naive to assume that there's no serious US interference in European politics (Trump or not).


>>just take Trump's stupid whining against BMW

I can not find anything current but if you are talking about his statements on the MX plant, he does that to every Manufacturer that sell items in the US but does not manufacturer them here (at least in part).

Trump is a nationalist and loves protectionism, he believes that Products sold in the US should be made in the US. Thus BMW building a plant in Mexico to sell cars to the US goes against what he wants which is a US Factory employing US Workers. He has done the same to other Auto companies including both Ford and GM

>> Bush/Obama's complaints about NATO budget

Umm a large number of Presidents have complained about the other nations not paying their fair share into NATO as part of the agreements all nations signed, Germany does not spend enough of thier GDP on NATO, instead the US has to disproportionately fund world defense...

Then we get to be lectured by the EU about why we do not have Universal Healthcare which in part because we need to spend soo much on world defense because the other nations refuse to


> he believes that Products sold in the US should be made in the US.

Let's ensure that software and media sold in Europe are made in Europe. (not that Trump minds: both hit California for the most part and he doesn't care about CA)

> Germany does not spend enough of their GDP on NATO, instead the US has to disproportionately fund world defense

And now that the EU is planning a defense fund (which will help on that particular front, and also improve EU's capabilities so that there's less real-or-perceived reliance on the US) the US complains again because they don't get to sell their crap overseas.

Hypocrites.


The US has meddled in European politics ever since the World Wars, and if they had not, you'd probably be a Russian.

The US has asked Germany to increase their own defense spending and provide symbolic support for a stupid war. But were there really any consequences when Germany said no? Those are not good examples of the US undermining European politics.


I think we have a different definition for undermine. I can't say anything about how they've meddled in European politics. I'd hazard a guess that you really don't either, you just like being anti-American, which is the vastly popular opinion in Germany now, and partly the reason why nobody cares about Russia around here.

But the EU has benefited greatly from US hegemony across the globe, such that I can't in any way see how they might have undermined European politics in any way. Trump is irrelevant to the argument, and I don't see any direct or manipulative meddling in German politics in their attempt to get Germany (or Europe) to join the Iraq war. Hell, we didn't go to Iraq, no matter what the US said or did. And I just don't see anything that is in any way comparable to what Russia has been doing in recent years and continues to do now.

Hell, for most of the post-WW2 period, we were an important pillar in their "war" against Soviet Russia and we've been valued allies (yes, seriously) for much of that time, largely based on common cultural values. As such, they had a clear interest in a strong Europe, as opposed to Russia which benefits from the splintering of the EU and NATO. I know it's hard to remember any of that now with their monkey of a president and all the vile shit that they do, but we were close allies for a long time.


Not allies, but expendable vasalls. Or how else do you see several installed belts of short range nukes, which would have made your life even more uncomfortable if Germany had been invaded by the Soviets? In fact at least doubly so.


One would think that with it's communist history Germany would be on the side of the Western Values. In addition Globalism hollowed out the western know-how,via cut and paste to China. Germany stands to lose from it the most with precision manufacturing being transferred to China. Markel is picking the wrong friends.


I assume you're referring to the KPD and maybe the DDR (GDR), but overall, Germany has been anything but communist.


It is beyond me for the German state to call for "EU unity" because of a project that is essentially a huge "fuck you" to Eastern Europe. If anything the EU should back the US sanctions to protect unity, as weird as it sounds.


This particular case is pretty bad for getting EU to unite.

Nordstream is contentious within EU too - it's basically a way for Russia to threaten Poland with the gas cutoff without endangering their business with Germany.



Openly calling for cooperation with Russia and China, of all places, should be political suicide. But it seems like the message of 'let's protect ourselves from /insert boogeyman/' still works well enough to muddy public opinion.

The sanctions are there for a reason and saying that you need protection against them is like saying 'well, they did a bad thing and got a slap on the wrist, the obvious conclusion is to keep doing bad things but fend off the slaps'.


Since US is starting to be a supplier of gas to Central European counties such as Poland via the gas carrying vessels and some countries trying to gain energy independence from Russia it becomes an interest of US not to lose the newly acquired buyers of their gas. Then it is problematic for countries like Germany that they can't boost the import because of US interference


The disrespect that Germany is showing the US is mind boggling. The US being part of NATO is the greatest deal the other countries have ever signed/received. The US spends nearly $700 Billion per year compared to Germany’s nearly $56 Billion per year on its military.

The US needs to start sending ultimatums - you are either part of NATO and therefore don’t enrich Russia by buying their resources and pay your fair share (2%) at the very least or we’re going to pull out of NATO and have a treaty with just Estonia, Greece, Poland, Latvia, Lithuania and Britain who all meet the treaty conditions of 2% and don’t whine.

If NATO ended and Germany had to build up and army capable of defending itself against Russia it would cost way more than 2% per year.

All Europeans need to understand the financial burden US tax payers meet to keep us safe. I think the Brits realise how important it is and the Poles and the Baltic’s do because they know what it’s like to live under Russian military fear.


> The US spends nearly $700 Billion per year compared to Germany’s nearly $56 Billion per year on its military.

The US spends that much by choice, not necessity.

> All Europeans need to understand the financial burden US tax payers meet to keep us safe.

Safe from what? The US military hasn't fought to protect anybody since WWII and there's frankly no realistic threat that Europe needs to be protected from. The EU already spends three times as much on its military as Russia and two (soon to be one) EU members are nuclear states.


And the US's recent meddling in the Middle East arguably made things “worse” in Europe, if the large number of refugees is to be considered a problem.


The politics on this issue seem quite confusing. It might point to a lot of internal infighting within the politics of both Europe and the US.


While Nord Stream 2 is obviously beneficial to Germany (cheaper gas than from the US), there are two totally different interests working against the project:

* The Eastern European states (and especially Ukraine) want Germany to rely on pipelines going through their countries, so that Germany – as a big player – can be relied on to be working with those states when there is a conflict with Russia. (I find that interest well-founded and a debatable reason to refrain from building the pipeline)

* The United States want Germany to buy more (liquefied) gas from them. Quite a few gas terminals have been built in recent years, and America is keen on selling its oil to Europe, because with all that fracking they aim to be a primary supplier of gas in the world. (I do not consider that a valid reason, and if it were the only one, Nord Stream 2 would be a no-brainer, in my opinion).

It's all been complicated even further by Germany rushing this along without consulting (or at least not diplomatically working with) other EU member states, including France, which likes to put its foot down, since Germany is the big rival (and now that the UK is gone, the only real rival on the European stage).


It turns out that Germany has been adversarial toward the US throughout its history. This"German call for European unity against the US" is almost identical to their opposition in the Spanish-American War.


When tariffs are used as a mechanism to create unfair advantages for US entities over foreign states’ instead of even pretending it’s under the veil of US freedom policy not even your old pals will put up with it.


sorry, I'm new in this social


I wanna know more about


Sometimes I wonder if the US and the EU are really friendly to each other.


Probably path dependence as much as anything else.


Germany's influence over the EU is one of the reasons Brexit Happened, and will likely lead to more nations leaving the EU


We need the US to step in for Eastern Europe. We need a reliable partner that is at least very direct and honest about its interests unlike Germany that is all about german interests while preaching european unity and values. Seriously Germany has been destroying my part of Europe for way too long! No more!

I would rather deal with the american way of life than being forced to live the german way.

Giorgi 25 days ago [flagged]

Germany sounds like corrupted shithole digging deep into Russians ass




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