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[–]DetectiveFinch 17 points18 points19 points  (2 children)

While I agree with you statement, it's also important to note that a lot of people don't a a choice when it comes to their heating system.
This can be the case when people rent an apartment or when they simply don't have enough money to switch to a climate friendly alternative.

I would love to get a heat exchanger, efficient floor heating and solar power, but the cost of installation would be too high.

But I'm absolutely willing to pay more for gas if that means we can get independent from Russia.

[–]Doc-Gl0ck 59 points60 points61 points  (7 children)

It was. All those together lack around 40 bcm per year and even more short-term capacity in winter.

Russia wanted to cut transit through Ukraine in January 2020. Their propaganda assets claimed it's almost done and it is going to be a great success in harming Ukraine. What they didnt say is that ceased transit would enable possibility for massive invasion.

Delay in opening NS2 forced them into pump-or-pay deal.

In 2021 technical readiness of NS2 coincided with beginning of Russian military buildup against Ukraine which culminates now.

[–]DavidlikesPeace 62 points63 points64 points  (10 children)

it’s a pretty big sacrifice

As another American, it's also important to compare how unwilling we Americans seem to be at making our own sacrifices. This is not a judgment call on anybody specific here. We care about foreign policy and would probably be fine with some domestic economic pain if it led to a better world.

But when the average American cares more about the price of a gasoline gallon than they do about COVID-19, climate change or Russia, it makes me all the more appreciative that Germany is willing to act, however imperfectly. This will hurt Germany's fuel prices; it will also deter Putin's militarism and help Germany escape dependency on a tyrant.

Sacrifices are hard but I'm unaware of a single important welfare policy or political reform in human history that arose without some.

[–]Toykio 118 points119 points120 points  (19 children)

The only embarrassment about the 5000 helmets were that the government did not tack on a proper press release.

It was clear from the beginning that Germany would not send weapons and the letter the government received stated that Ukraine was in need of helmets and vests.
Mustering up 5000 helmets in about 2 days as a first response is pretty fast given the state of the Bundeswehr and non existant stockpiles.

As u/BrainOnLoan pointed out the helmets have not been delivered yet. This seems to be partly due to Ukraine not having provided a signal or location yet and partly due to the new government working like slugs on a treadmill.

I would also further like to add that the ukrainian ambassador to Berlin, Andrij Melnyk, requested 100.000 helmets and vest aswell as warships and AA systems in an interview, but the letter the german government received did not mention any numbers.

(For reference: the Bundeswehr has about 183.758 soldiers and has been fighting equipment and material problems for years.)

[–]FjorgVanDerPlorg 387 points388 points389 points  (29 children)

Nope, because the end customer was Germany and for now they aren't interested in Russian gas.

This is a noticeable chunk of Russia's income and I'm amazed that Germany pulled the trigger on this at all, let alone so fast.

If anything has a chance of forcing Putin back into diplomacy right now, it's this. Russia could have worn brutal sanctions or Nordstream2, but not both. Both is a scenario where they go down the isolationist path and that never works out well.

[–]enakcm 71 points72 points73 points  (3 children)

and for now they aren't interested in Russian gas.

That's not quite correct.

Germany has stopped Nord Stream 2, but there still is Nord Stream 1, which is oprtational and JAMAL and other pipelines. Germany gets ~30% of its gas from Russia, they cannot afford to stop buying it, at least on short notice.

[–]neosituation_unknown 138 points139 points140 points  (14 children)

If Germany does not receive gas from Russia, it will need to be shipped in by tanker from other countries, doubling the price.

Germany is rich enough that it could subsidize costs for the poor if it doesn't already, and may spur more development of renewable energy. It might also reduce the influence of the batshit anti-nuclear people.

At the end of the day, lack of petro-dollars hurts Putin more, but, if the German people are stuck with the bill there will be a difficult conversation about this.

It would be like in the U.S., if we sanctioned China and their products, would the people support higher prices on goods to stand up for principles?

Some would and some wouldn't

[–]variaati0 46 points47 points48 points  (7 children)

if the German people are stuck with the bill there will be a difficult conversation about this.

Nobody ever said holding to principles was supposed to be a free lunch. There is always costs. It is just something one has to accept and in this case something German leadership must communicate and make very clear to population. This will costs us and be painful, but this is being done for good reason.

I also personally don't exactly overly love the Finnish conscription system and being conscript, but it is a price I'm willing to pay for the freedoms and benefits this country provides.

Valuable things rarely come for free.

It is now up to the German political leaderships skill to "sell" this to the population as price worth paying, because the cause is good enough. Not to mention showing how in long term this also serves German interests and isn't only about helping Ukraine.

If one gives into such demands and goes along with giving in, well thugs rarely conclude Lets not ask more. They conclude Hey it worked once, let's try asking for more.

Thus in long term it serves German interests to show there is a line and that line has been crossed. We are cutting you off, even though it also costs us.

[–]joeydee93 4 points5 points6 points  (0 children)

The US announced a couple of weeks ago that Qatar has major non-NATO ally. The same designation of Israel and Japan and something that Saudi Arabia isn't.

At that announcement Qatar's ambassador said their they will increase thier Natural Gas production to sell to the EU.

It seems pretty clear that the US gave Qatar want it wanted with the non-NATO ally designation for cheaper Natural Gas in the EU.

[–]JoeCoolsCoffeeShop 86 points87 points88 points  (4 children)

We also get a lot of our oil from Mexico.

Turns out, it’s a lot easier to ship oil from countries on your Northern and Southern borders than it is to get it from halfway around the world.

Of course, the real issue is that OPEC sets the global price for oil for the market, so it’s less about the supply and more about the cost.

[–]trevize1138 16 points17 points18 points  (3 children)

Of course, the real issue is that OPEC sets the global price for oil for the market, so it’s less about the supply and more about the cost.

Bingo. Canadian tar sands are only viable when the global price of oil is super high like it is now. The Saudis don't have to directly supply any oil to the US to hurt that and in 2020 they proved it by cranking up supply to drive prices down. Their intent was to get back at Russia but it hurt Alberta plenty, too.

If you're overly dependent on oil you're overly dependent on the Saudis even if you never buy oil from them.

[–]Vahlir 11 points12 points13 points  (0 children)

You're completely wrong about the US/Saudi relationship based on oil.

It has to do with geopolitics. The U.S. being close to the country that is LITERALLY MECCA for the Islamic world is huge. It's also about the power situation in the ME.

You have a ton of people who hate the US from Palestine and Syria to Yemen and Iran and groups like Hezbollah and Hamas and Isis and Al Queda.

The US would have a far harder time in the region if it didn't have a strong regional power to rely on.

You're echoing facebook facts and need to get your shit straight, please don't spread misinformation.

[–]Moarten 71 points72 points73 points  (17 children)

The ironic thing is that natural gas is/was actually meant to replace things like coal for the short term on the way to go completely renewable. So right now we (Europe) needs natural gas more than ever.

Going full renewable is very important, as it always has been, but it's really expensive and it's just really hard to convince people and businesses to pay a lot now to save it later. My 10 solar panels generate more electricity per year than I use, but in the winter months it's not even 10% of what I use. If I use electricity for heating it's gonna be way worse as I need most of the energy in the winter months and my energy consumption will at least triple (so they generate maybe 1-2% of what I need). When I'm looking out of the window I can see tens if not hundreds of wind turbines, yet it's not a stable source of energy and we don't have enough land to generate enough with them. Nuclear would be great but it takes a looong time to build a nuclear power station and the upfront costs are gigantic.

We need to accept the fact that this is going to be very very expensive and everyone is going to feel it. I'm afraid if the conflict continues and supply of russian gas stays uncertain we see coal being used again as a replacement.

[–]cliffski 30 points31 points32 points  (8 children)

I'm currently building a 1.2mwp solar farm. Its profitable at £60/MWH. The current spot price is about £200/MWH, and last night peaked at £600/MWH in the UK.

Renewables are not expensive at all. They are super, super cheap. Especially compared to nuclear fission.

Offshore wind is crazy cheap. They make my solar panels seem a bad deal. Germany is unlucky in its meager coastline, but the UK, Spain, Italy, Greece should all be going offshore wind crazy.

[–]Elenano98 8 points9 points10 points  (1 child)

I have new sources:

Statista (Volume of US imports of trade goods from Russia from 1992 to 2021) provides a nice graph. In 2021 the imports to the US were at 29.7 billion USD, that's roughly the same as in 2012 (29.36 billion) and more than in 2013 (27.09 billion) and 2014 (23.66 billion). In 2019 the value of imports was 22.28 billion.

Statista (Value of total merchandise imports from Russia to Germany from 2010 to 2019): imports from Russia to Germany dropped from 55.1 billion USD in 2013 to 25.4 billion in 2019.

Imports to the US from Russia between 2013 and 2019 decreased by ~18% (~27.1 billion to 22.3). Imports to Germany from Russia in this period decreased by ~54% (~55.1 billion to 25.4 billion). This loss is three times bigger than the US decrease.

In 2021 according to destatis (Order of rank of Germany's trading partners [need to open a PDF]) Germany imported a total of 33.1 billion Euro from Russia ~ 37.4 billion USD.

This means between 2013 and 2021 the US imports from Russia increased by 9.6% (27.1 billion USD to 29.7 billion). In this period the imports from Russia to Germany decreased by 32% (55.1 billion USD to 37.1 billion).

I hope I didn't fuck this up.

The decrease between 2013 to 2019 differs by the factor 3 and between 2013 and 2021 the US even increased the imports from Russia while the German Russian trade fell significantly.

[–]Armadillo19 18 points19 points20 points  (8 children)

I work in the energy industry, and my background is in international affairs. Some of what I do revolves around the geopolitical aspect of various energy issues. Most are pretty benign, some are not.

For years, I have thought that Germany's blasé attitude towards NordStream2 was insane. Clearly, there was a strong possibility that Russia would weaponize the pipeline, which they immediately did. They threatened Belarusian sovereignty years ago and Belarus dutifully capitulated, serving as a Russian puppet state, even more than they typically would.

Then Russia used it against Ukraine, but also the rest of the European continent. There are not sufficient LNG ports to make up this capacity, and it seems shockingly cavalier that Germany missed so many signs that those of us on the energy side of things have been screaming about. The Guardian had a pretty interesting article on this idea of collective German romanticization (and guilt) towards Russia, coupled with this desire to match two seemingly perfect partners in terms of Russian supply and German demand that I thought was pretty interesting on a deeper psychological level.

Allowing an actor to Russia to control a huge amount of Germany's energy supply seems unconscionable and an obviously risky strategic move, yet here we are.

[–]crake 4 points5 points6 points  (0 children)

I have to wonder if Putin was expecting this. Chancellor Merkel was much more accommodating when Putin seized Crimea and started moving into eastern Ukraine.

Now, there is a change in German leadership and suddenly he is getting slapped down with something immediate?

In the short term, it seems Putin wagered that German/EU reliance on gas exports would mean that he could negotiate the sanctions to a minimum, and gas would not be touched. That is crucial revenue for the Russian economy, because it doesn't manufacture much and relies heavily on NG exports.

If Germany/EU is forced by his actions to move away from NG or find it in other places, Putin is in big trouble. Maybe not right away, but he needs EU to be buying Russian gas or it's a major problem for the wider Russian economy. Maybe he can sell that gas to China, but I suspect not or he would be doing that too. The money Russia sank into NS2 would be a big loss, but all future revenue? That's huge if it plays out that way.

Much depends on how the unfolding conflict in Ukraine goes for Russia. If Putin conquers the country quickly, the pressure will be back on the EU to negotiate over the gas. But if the Russian offensive gets bogged down, inflicts heavy casualties, or is shown committing war atrocities, that could affect German public opinion and cause people to dig in on the Russian gas question at the same time that spring is approaching.

[–]autotldrBOT 12 points13 points14 points  (0 children)

This is the best tl;dr I could make, original reduced by 70%. (I'm a bot)

NATO has led the military and political organization whereas the EU, the world's largest economic union, has proposed a package of sanctions that would do serious damage to the Russian economy, Putin's associates and undermine Moscow's grip on the Russian sphere of influence.

"They're looking at a package of sanctions that is still under the remit of the 2014 sanctions package,' after Russia annexed Crimea, the diplomat explained.They said that all of this was being done in full coordination with the US and UK, but that"keeping a lot of sticks in our back pocket makes sense.

The UK is also expected to put forward a sanctions package today and has publicly taken a very firm line against Putin.

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