The situation regarding the agreements between U.S. President Joe Biden and German Chancellor Angela Merkel came to the point that this pact may soon be considered a geopolitical failure for the United States. Here’s why.
First of all, almost immediately after the announced agreements, Russia began to test its limits by pressuring Germany to fulfill some of its promises. Russia shows that it still has control by reducing the gas supply to Europe. Moreover, it actually uses the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline as a geopolitical weapon, firstly by increasing the price for natural gas and then reducing supplies to gas storage facilities. Does this mean the “red line” has already been crossed, or not?
Secondly, also from the very beginning of these agreements, Russia, and especially Gazprom, took the liberty of violating agreements regarding Ukraine’s gas transmission system by saying that they would not interrupt transit supplies, and more so by buying them up. After all, they managed to do just the opposite thing by not booking the capacity of the Ukrainian gas transmission system for the fourth quarter of this year. What does it mean? This points again to the fact that Russia is on its own ground in Europe and can get away with anything regarding the gas market, despite Merkel’s deterrent threats, which were dispelled today by Bloomberg referring to unnamed German officials.
It can be stated that the attempt to somehow find common ground, relying on certain principles and forgetting about disagreements, was not successful for Biden. Moreover, the U.S. Congress voted today to bring back sanctions on Nord Stream 2, but will this do any good for the countries of Central and Eastern Europe? It is hardly possible: Biden has done his utmost to lose positions there at the same time, not only in Germany; and as for the loss, we can judge by the way they now treat Russia’s actions.
Also, having lost allies in Central and Eastern Europe explains why Congress has stepped up — because these actions may have serious implications. These actions may entail the formation of separate contemporary alliances — Poland, Ukraine, Turkey. It is especially evident when German companies of the military industrial complex block supplies to the Ukrainian MIC because of “pressure” from Moscow. This only makes Ukrainian companies look for counterparts both in Poland and in Turkey. And the recent increase in activity at the Ukrainian embassy in Ankara only shows that these opinions are not necessarily wrong.
The author, Hlib Parfonov, is a Ukrainian political scientist and Head of the Security Policy Department at the Center for Political Studies “Doctrine.”