A message to German Chancellor Olaf Scholz: Stop funding Russia’s war in Ukraine!!
At present, Germany imports some 40% of its natural gas needs from Vladimir Putin’s Russia. The cost is about 220 million US dollars each day. Over the past decade or so, Germany has probably contributed sufficient Russia’s war-chest to pay for its invasion of Ukraine.
And it continues to do so. There is a longstanding, and deeply cynical collaboration between Germany and Putin’s Russia on natural gas. Historically, gas imports from Russia to European countries came by way of several land-based pipelines. The pipelines to Germany arrived through Ukraine, which earned transit fees for the use of their pipelines.
The Gazprom deal
Under Chancellor Merkel, Germany came to a cosy deal with Putin’s Russia in 2011 to ‘cut out the middle man’. The state owned company Gazprom built the Nordstream gas pipeline. This detours around Ukraine by running underneath the Baltic Sea. Nordstream gas hereby avoids paying Ukraine transit fees. This makes the gas cheaper for Germany.
Gazprom also constructed a twin pipeline, Nordstream 2. The plan was to open it this spring. It just needed final approval. Which the Biden Administration prevailed upon Germany to withhold at the last minute, when the attack on Ukraine was imminently foreseen.
German industry relies on Russian energy
Scholz’s Germany refuses to curtail (let alone freeze) natural gas imports from Russia, despite the invasion of Ukraine. Up to now, German Chancellor Scholz has claimed that the pain on individual households would be too severe; that Germans would be left to freeze in their homes.
However, with the arrival of spring, demand for home heating drops by at least 60%. Maybe, just maybe, he says, he’ll be able to reduce gas imports by 2030. Eight years from now!
But why will Scholz not say, “auf Wiedersehen” to Vladimir Putin? The answer is that he needs the gas to support German industry. Cars and chemicals are huge export earners for Germany. And these industries are very energy intensive. They contribute greatly to the “economic miracle” that has made Germany the economic top dog among the 27 members of the European Union.
World opinion is against Germany on this matter
Unfortunately for Chancellor Scholz, the rest of Europe and the rest of the world don’t consider Nordstream to be merely a trade agreement between two countries. Instead, most nations have shown outrage at the Russian invasion of a neighbour that posed no threat to them, and the refusal of Germany to discontinue its trade in energy with Russia.
And this opinion has hardened, because of daily reports of the wanton destruction and the atrocities. Missiles aimed at civilian apartments, hospitals, schools and train stations. Women raped and left naked in the street. Men shot in the head with hands tied behind them. The people of Mariupol left for weeks without electricity, food, and even water. This is utter barbarity on the part of the invaders.
Love your neighbours?
Jesus famously told his disciples, “Love your neighbours”. He would certainly not consider an unprovoked attack on your neighbour to be an act of love. He stands with the oppressed. And therefore, I suggest that Jesus would not think it loving to watch your neighbours being brutally and mercilessly attacked with weaponry that your money paid for.
But also remember this, Herr Chancellor. Until your subsidy of Putin’s war ends, every VW, every Mercedes, every Audi, and every BMW will come tainted with Ukrainian blood. And, every purchaser of every vehicle made by those companies and their suppliers will find Ukrainian blood on the steering wheel. And every time those owners go for a drive, there will be Ukrainian blood on their own hands.
So I repeat: Chancellor Scholz, stop funding Putin’s war.