(ο χάρτης μεγαλώνει,λίγο, με κλικ)
Ένας ανώνυμος, προχτές, μου έγραψε: "Βάζουμε αιολικά και καταλήγουμε να καίμε φυσικό αέριο. Βάζουμε ΦΒ και καταλήγουμε να καίμε φυσικό αέριο. Ακριβαίνουμε το πετρέλαιο θέρμανσης και καταλήγουμε να καίμε φυσικό αέριο για να ζεσταθούμε (εκεί που υπάρχει). Θέλουμε να βάλουμε φυσικό αέριο και στα αυτοκίνητα. Το φυσικό αέριο στην Ελλάδα είναι 30% ακριβότερο απ' την υπόλοιπη Ευρώπη. Ο ΑΗΣ Πτολεμαΐδας χρειάζεται λιγνίτη με τέφρα έως 30% και καίει με 39%, με συνέπεια να μη μπορεί να ανεβάσει φορτία. Αν δεν υπάρχει λιγνιτική παραγωγή, θα κάψουμε φυσικό αέριο. Τι δεν καταλαβαίνεις;" Καταλαβαίνω ότι είμαστε κλειδωμένοι στην ταύτιση απόψεων ή/και κεντρικό σχεδιασμό (κατά τυχαία σειρά): 1) ντόπιων αεριάδων (Κ, Μ, Π, και ίσως Β και Λ, και δεν ξέρω τίνος άλλου), 2) Γερμανών και λοιπών εξαγωγέων απούλητης σαβούρας για ηλίθιους, 3) του πανίσχυρου λόμπυ μεταστροφής σε αέριο, γενικά, 4) Ρώσων εξαγωγέων αερίου και 5) γεωπολιτικών που δεν θέλουν Ρώσικο αέριο από ή προς εδώ.
Θα με ρωτήσετε, τι σχέση έχει αυτό το σχόλιο και η παρατήρησή μου με τον χάρτη του Stratfor (που εμφανίστηκε περίπου ταυτόχρονα). Νομίζω τα πάντα. Τα δύο άρθρα του Stratfor (που θα παραθέσω στο τέλος) επισημαίνουν την "ισορροπία" που υποτίθεται κρατάει η Γερμανία στην ανάγκη για δήθεν Ευρωπαϊκή συνοχή, και τις ανάγκες της για ενέργεια (που, με συγχωρείτε, δεν διαφέρει πολύ από τον "ζωτικό χώρο" και την έννοια του "τα δικά μου δικά μου, και τα δικά σου δικά μου"). Ο παραπάνω χάρτης δείχνει ότι άσχετα με γεωπολιτικά άγχη, βασικά της Πολωνίας, και των ιστορικών συμμάχων της (να κάτι, πχ, που οι Γάλλοι συμφωνούν με την Δύση..., οι Γάλλοι φοβούνται το ένα ...τέρας, και η Δύση το ...άλλο), ο αγωγός Nordstream πηγαίνει από την Ρωσία στην Γερμανία, από εκεί μοιράζεται προς όπου μοιράζεται, και δεν παρακάμπτει το ...Καλίνινγκραντ (τέως Königsberg), αλλά μάλλον το Gdańsk (τέως Danzig)...
Να θυμίσω, εκτός από το (πάνω) ρητό του Μπίσμαρκ, το σύμφωνο Ρίμπεντροπ-Μολότωφ, και ότι ο Β' ΠΠ ξεκίνησε με τον βομβαρδισμό του λιμανιού του Gdańsk από τους Γερμανούς.
Το κάτω ρητό, εικάζω ότι το έχουν ...όλοι υπ' όψη τους, αλλά αφού εκλέγονται ...Δημοκρατικοί στις ΗΠΑ, εγώ πάω πάσο... Αλλά ξέφυγα από το θέμα... Το θέμα είναι η σχέση Γερμανίας - Ρωσίας με την καημένη την Πολωνία στη μέση, και την ...Ευρώπη στην περιφέρεια της ...Ευρωπαϊκής πεδιάδας. Σε αντίθεση με την Πολωνία, εμείς είμαστε σε γύψο... Πάντως, δείτε τα αυτά τα δύο, το δεύτερο είναι πολύ πιο ενδιαφέρον, νομίζω...
Germany's Energy Relations with Russia
Germany's primary focus remains managing the eurozone crisis, but Berlin is also trying to ensure that it maintains a close working relationship with Russia. Germany and Russia have deep economic ties, especially in the energy sector. The Nord Stream pipeline, completed in 2012, has the capacity to carry 55 billion cubic meters of natural gas per year from Russia to Greifswald, Germany. Moreover, Germany's insecure geographic position -- with Russia to its east and France and the United Kingdom to its west -- informs its strategy of using its relationship with Russia to balance its alliances in Western Europe. On the other hand, Germany's goals include promoting the European Union's strategy of weakening Russia's leverage in the natural gas sector. As the EU Commission prepares for a transition in leadership, Germany will take a more central role in resolving the standoff between the European Union and Russia over Gazprom's monopolistic practices in Europe and Russia's South Stream plans, which currently do not comply with EU rules.
Germany's Trilateral Initiative with Russia and Poland
In 2014, Germany will struggle to balance its relationship with Russia with the interests of Berlin's Central and Eastern European allies. To this end, Germany's new coalition government will attempt to boost its trilateral interactions with Poland and Russia in order to increase cooperation and defuse tensions in the region. This trilateral arrangement likely will focus on several contentious issues, including the European Union's energy disputes with Russia, missile defense and the future of Ukraine
In early January, German Chancellor Angela Merkel reportedly plans to visit Poland to meet with the country's leadership. On Dec. 19, Germany's new foreign minister, Frank-Walter Steinmeier, visited Warsaw to discuss the recent crisis in Ukraine. On the same day, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov happened to be in Warsaw as well, for a separate meeting with Polish Foreign Minister Radoslaw Sikorski. While Lavrov's visit was planned as part of a meeting of the Committee on Strategic Russian-Polish Cooperation, Steinmeier announced his trip a day before, upon his inauguration as foreign minister. He cited a recent interview with Polish President Bronislaw Komorowski regarding the West's mishandling of Ukraine's crisis as the reason for his impromptu visit. Although Sikorski met with each foreign minister separately, the presence of all three ministers in Warsaw may be an informal step in Germany's trilateral talks with Poland and Russia, which were announced as a part of the German government's coalition agreement.
Germany faces a challenge as it works to maintain good relations with Russia, one of its top trading partners, and Poland, whose cooperation is essential for fulfilling Germany's goal of European cohesion. While Russia's aims include increasing influence in the former Soviet periphery and expanding economic activities in Central Europe, Poland is committed to limiting Russia's involvement in the region, especially in Ukraine.
Germany's Goals in Russia and Poland
While Germany's primary focus remains on managing the eurozone crisis, Berlin will also ensure that it maintains a close working relationship with Russia. Germany and Russia have deep economic ties, especially in the energy sector. The Nord Stream pipeline, completed in 2012, has the capacity to carry 55 billion cubic meters of natural gas per year from Russia to Greifswald, Germany. Moreover, Germany's insecure geographic position -- with Russia to its east and France and the United Kingdom to its west -- informs its strategy of using its relationship with Russia to balance its alliances in Western Europe. On the other hand, Germany's goals include promoting the European Union's strategy of weakening Russia's leverage in the natural gas sector. As the EU Commission prepares for a transition in leadership, Germany will take a more central role in resolving the standoff between the European Union and Russia over Gazprom's monopolistic practices in Europe and Russia's South Stream plans, which currently do not comply with EU rules.
Germany aims to cement its close economic and political ties with Poland in order to ensure the cohesion of the European Union and maintain a buffer zone between Germany and Russia. Poland is the most populous country in Central and Eastern Europe. Of all the countries that have joined the bloc over the past decade, Poland is the most politically influential in the European Union. Poland's continued dedication to the European project is thus essential for the European Union's future. Economically, Poland is a major supplier of cheap labor to Germany. In the long run, Germany regards Poland as a potential alternative source of energy for Central and Eastern European countries as Warsaw explores shale gas and prepares to open its first liquefied natural gas terminal in 2014.
Poland's historical vulnerability is its geographic position on the North European Plain between Germany and Russia. With Russia to its east, Poland needs strong alliances to feel secure in its neighborhood. For the past two decades, Poland has sought the protection of NATO allies, but the weakening of NATO has left Poland hoping for more support from Western Europe.
Poland already has deep economic and political ties with Germany, but it is growing wary of Germany's focus on holding the eurozone together while Russia is growing more assertive in Central and Eastern Europe. Moreover, the eurozone crisis has weakened the bonds of the European Union. Creating stronger defense ties with Germany and France, therefore, is an important goal for Poland. Warsaw has also sought to promote the Eastern Partnership program as way to bring Eastern European states into the European sphere of influence and create a buffer zone between the European Union and Russia. Ukraine's EU integration, or at least maintaining Ukraine as a neutral country, is thus one of Poland's primary strategic aims.
Germany's Balancing Act
Over the past few weeks, German policymakers have made attempts to balance the interests of Russia and Poland. In early December, outgoing German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle said the interim deal with Iran could lead to progress in the West's dispute with Russia over missile defense, a public concession to Russian officials who have argued recently that the removal of the Iranian threat means NATO can no longer justify building missile defense systems in Eastern Europe. Steinmeier, on his first day in office, criticized both Russia and the European Union for their handling of the crisis in Ukraine instead of joining his counterparts in places like the Baltic states, who denounced Russia's pressuring of the Ukrainian government.
At the same time, Germany has been supporting the opposition in Ukraine, which opposes Russian influence in the region. Germany's ruling Christian Democratic Union party, as well as German government-funded organizations, have openly supported Ukrainian opposition leader Vitali Klitschko. While on a trip to Kiev, Westerwelle toured the site of opposition protests, the Maidan, with Klitschko and Arseniy Yatsenyuk, a close ally of jailed former Prime Minister Yulia Timoshenko.
Moving Toward a Trilateral Arrangement
The mixed messages coming from Germany's top leadership are designed to reassure Berlin's Central European allies and set clear boundaries for Russia in the region while preserving Germany's ability to cooperate and bargain with Russia. Maintaining this balance of contradictory policies will require intense diplomacy from Germany at a time when its attention is focused on the eurozone crisis.
The drive to strengthen trilateral interactions is Germany's newest strategy for achieving its goal. For the first time, Germany's coalition agreement included a provision regarding trilateral talks specifically between Germany, Poland and Russia as a way to improve EU relations with Russia. Moreover, it was probably not a coincidence that Lavrov and Steinmeier visited Poland on the same day to discuss the Ukraine crisis. As fiery rhetoric continues from Russian and EU officials regarding issues such as the EU Commission's anti-trust probe into Gazprom, the European Union's objections to Russian South Stream contracts, Russia's deal with Ukraine, and the reported deployment of Iskander missiles to Russia's Western military district, German, Polish and Russian policymakers are working behind closed doors to discuss their differences in the hope of ultimately reducing tensions and forming the basis of future cooperation.
As Germany engages in more trilateral talks with Russia and Poland over the next year, the central issues are likely to be energy, missile defense and Ukraine's future. While any deal on these contentious matters is unlikely in the short term, Merkel's upcoming visit to Poland and the German Foreign Ministry's recent attempts to balance the interests of Russia and Poland point to Germany's centrality in managing relations between Central Europe, the European Union and Russia.