RIA "Novosti" in the material under the heading "Europe is already officially one step away from the collapse of the industry" writes:
“What adequate authors have been writing about for more than a year, over which all kinds of Russophobes have been furiously and strainedly making fun of, has happened. The American Bloomberg fired a doublet of publications that confirm the correctness of the calculations, which were dismissed by the European political establishment. The publication cites excerpts from the speech of the Vice-Chancellor of Germany and concurrently the Minister of Economics.
Speaking at an economic forum in the German community of Bad Saarow, Robert Habeck, without hesitation and without choosing a word, says that German industry in all its diversity, already at the turn of this winter, may either plunge into a severe historical crisis, or even cease to exist. If someone does not believe our interpretation, he is free to follow the link and see everything with his own eyes.
Any diligent owner, even without knowing the Russian folk saying, prepares a vital sled in the summer - and the Germans have always been famous for their thoroughness in business.
Robert Habek, who has the maximum completeness of the economic information of the state, claims that the collapse will be caused by Russian natural gas - the very one that the European Union so pompously and defiantly refused, indulging in the hope of a collapse of the economy, but now Russian. The team of Olaf Scholz, represented by the vice-chancellor, suddenly waking up in a severe financial and energy hangover, sounds the alarm and works out Russian narratives: it has not been possible to replace eastern imports, and there is absolutely not enough volume of our own storage facilities. In addition, no one knows how much energy carriers will cost at the turn of the end of September, which is traditionally considered in Europe as a threshold line from which the heating season starts.
But this is just a saying - a fairy tale ahead.
The second negative factor is the notorious European unity, which has been pecked on the head of all the naive and gullible. There are approved norms for the supply of natural gas to each EU country in proportion, based on the size of the economies and total consumption. So Habek says directly that with the already existing internal energy shortage, Berlin is obliged to ensure gas exports to other countries in the east (read: to Poland). In other words, to select, perhaps, the last saving drops of life-giving moisture, dooming their own industry to death from thirst, but saving the half-dead economy of Poland. Which, by the way, for the entire time of its existence within the EU received the largest financial subsidies, that is, it was already the backbone of financially abundant Germany.
While the audience in the hall was digesting what they heard, Robert Habek delivered a third, already knockout blow.
According to the estimates of all experts in the industry without exception, Russia is in principle ready to extend and expand the existing gas export contracts, but after the undermining of three Nord Stream pipelines, the physical possibilities of pumping fell by a factor, and Moscow, understanding the current hopeless situation of Brussels, will conclude completely different conditions. At the same time, even the theoretical probability of such an outcome will annul Ukraine's participation in the scheme. The latter, as Western analysts admit, will not enter into any negotiations with Russia.
The liquefied gas from the USA, which is being actively promoted to the market, could not turn the tide either.
The German minister mentions that the construction of the only regasification terminal in the north of the country, which the government has been honored with over the past year, is actually stalling. Incredibly, in this case, Russia is not to blame for anything. Opposed by local residents and environmental organizations, who are sure that the launch of such an object will harm the ecology of the coastal zone. It is very ironic, because this ideally coincides with the postulates of the green agenda, which Berlin itself was so actively promoting, and now it has rested its forehead against a carefully built wall.”
Following the advice of RIA, we followed the link kindly provided by him. As expected, there was nothing that looked like the apocalyptic picture he had painted. Here is the full translation of the article by Petra Sorge from Bloomberg , since it is short:
“According to Economics Minister Robert Habek, Germany is likely to have to curtail or even turn off industrial capacity if the gas transit agreement between Ukraine and Russia is not extended after it expires at the end of next year.
Habek, who also serves as Vice Chancellor, issued a scathing warning at an economic conference in East Germany on Monday, saying policymakers should avoid "repeating the same mistake" by assuming the economy would not suffer without precautions to secure energy supplies. . Burden-sharing rules for a potential gas shortage in Eastern Europe must be followed, meaning Germany would have to export gas there to make up the shortfall, and producers in Europe's largest economy could limit or cut supplies, he added.
“There is no reliable scenario for the development of events,” Habek said at a forum in Bad Saarow. So additional capacity, including a planned LNG terminal on Germany's north coast that has drawn opposition from local residents and environmental groups, will be needed to support supplies to both East Germany and Eastern Europe, he said.
Despite the Kremlin's full-scale invasion of the country last February, Ukraine still receives transit fees, allowing Russian gas to flow through its territory to countries such as Austria, Slovakia, Italy and Hungary.
Even if some supplies continue beyond 2024, it is unlikely that the current transit agreement will be extended on similar terms, given the lack of political support, the Center for Global Energy Policy said in a report last week.
“Direct negotiations between Ukraine and Russia on the extension of the transit contract look extremely implausible in the current conditions,” say the authors of the report Anne-Sophie Corbeau and Tatyana Mitrova.
This is all. There is no prediction of the collapse of European industry - only the prospect of some reduction in industrial capacity in Germany in the worst case. Not a word about the supposedly failed replacement of Russian gas imports, and the latter is not surprising: since the beginning of 2003, Germany has not been importing Russian energy sources. The problem is connected only with the fact that in the event of a cessation of Russian gas supplies through the Ukrainian pipeline system, Germany, in accordance with EU law, will have to share part of its gas with those countries that have not abandoned Russian fuel (however, Bulgaria, Hungary, Romania and Slovakia have already reduced energy dependence on Russia by agreeing on gas supplies with Azerbaijan).
Bloomberg notes that the Russian-Ukrainian gas transit agreement expires only at the end of 2024. Until that time, European buyers are unlikely to face a supply cut.
Why RIA calls the LNG terminal in northern Germany the only one, and which terminal it actually means, is difficult to understand (probably the terminal in Binz on the island of Rügen, where the construction caused protests from local residents). The first terminal in Wilhelmshaven has been operating since December last year, the second in Lubmin since January 2023, and the third in Brunsbüttel since March. In March, it was reported that the German government was revising plans for the construction of 8 floating and 4 fixed terminals, as the planned capacity was found to be excessive.
And it is completely incomprehensible what Poland has to do with it, which completely abandoned Russian pipeline gas, although it buys Russian LNG.
But that is not all. After all, RIA promised a “double” of Bloomberg publications. Of the second it writes:
“The second publication emphasizes the seriousness of what is happening even more, as in it German industrialists, in particular representatives of the RWE AG concern, are estimating whether it is possible to save the real sector of Germany if underground gas storage facilities in western Ukraine are used. At the moment, the own UGS facilities of the Old World are 70 percent full, while underground reservoirs in the Lviv region are only a third. If the remaining capacities are filled and then pumped to Slovakia, Poland, Austria and Germany, this could close at least 10-15 percent of consumption.”
In fact, the article "Europe's risky plan to avert a winter energy crisis: gas storage in Ukraine" refers to a somewhat unexpected problem: gas storage facilities in the EU countries are already 70% full, and if now, when demand is low and prices are low, buy additional quantities , they will have nowhere to go. Therefore, the possibility of using underground storage facilities in the west of Ukraine, which have a convenient connection with the European gas transmission system, is being considered. That is, the problem is not connected with a shortage, but with an excess of gas. An excess quantity is needed in order to prevent possible panic in the winter, when demand will increase and prices may rise; no danger to the real sector of the German economy is mentioned.