What Are They Smoking? EU Begins Talking About Looming "Russian Menace" Again
This summer's main event, the Russia-US summit, is scheduled for July 16th in Helsinki, as reported by a Kremlin aide today. Vladimir Putin and Donald Trump plan to meet in the afternoon and talk for a few hours face-to-face at first, then in a power-lunch format, followed by a press conference. The key issues are bilateral relations, the situations in Syria and Ukraine, disarmament, and international terrorism.
Both the Kremlin and the White House emphasize that, regardless of the summit results, direct contact between Russian and American leaders during the most critical time since the Cold War is crucial for international security, but the Western media is already panicking. «I fear his eagerness to get along with Putin might produce concessions,» the New York Times quotes McFaul, a former American ambassador to Russia. Bloomberg L.P. responds with the British Conservatives' concerns. «A warm embrace from the US president will set back efforts to contain the Russian leader.» The ones who fear the summit the most went to Washington, scaring people with Russian gas.
Aleksandr Khristenko reports on the details.
Ever since the US got the opportunity to supply their expensive LNG to Europe, the Senate has been especially willing to talk and listen about Russian aggression. In this sense, their guests, Parliament speakers from Georgia, Moldova, Ukraine, Poland, and Lithuania have come through. The focus of all their speeches was the threat that scary Russian natural gas poses.
The Ukrainian government has the most fear, but they have nothing against Russian gas flowing through their pipelines. However, its flow in others' pipelines is a threat to Europe, they say. Ukraine makes up to 3 billion dollars per year in gas transit fees. The Nord Stream-2 gas pipeline project implies a direct gas supply from Russia to Germany.
Andriy Parubiy, the Chairman of the Verkhovna Rada: «This project is a part of Russia's use of energy as a weapon against the free world, used to apply political pressure on the EU, distribute corruption schemes, and to weaken the countries in our region».
The threats kept multiplying before our eyes. The ones who have nothing to do with Nord Stream talked about it the most.
— Large EU countries support the Nord Stream-2 gas pipeline project. Are you trying to disrupt the EU, using the US who are interested in selling their own LNG?
Andrian Candu, the Speaker of the Parliament of the Republic of Moldova: «Russia uses gas as a weapon to hold countries hostage».
These phrases almost precisely quote what they say in the State Department every year. Parubiy, the Chairman of the Verkhovna Rada went there to meet with the Under Secretary of State, also going to Congress and the Pentagon during his visit. Once he saw our microphone, the cat suddenly got the Rada Speaker's Ukrainian tongue. Although, he rather eagerly talked about Russian aggression and joining NATO earlier, proudly mentioning US-made Javelin anti-tank missiles, and promoting the values of freedom and democracy. However, one of the guests decided to remind the hosts of the conference in the Senate what ideas the Ukrainian Rada Speaker really promotes.
— Do you think it was a good idea to invite the founder of two nationalist organizations, the Social-National Svoboda (Freedom) and The Patriot of Ukraine? I'm talking about Mr. Parubiy.
Herman Pirchner, the Chairman of the American Foreign Policy Council: «This question for the US Foreign Policy Council would be serious if it were based on facts. He also idolizes Stepan Bandera who worked with the Nazis».
Parubiy said nothing, and the host quickly moved on to the next question, which, luckily, was more convenient for the guests as it was about Russia.
Aleksandr Khristenko, Nikolay Koskin. Vesti, Washington, USA.