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Germany branded ‘selfish’ in Russia-Ukraine tensions as country eyes Nord Stream 2




Kyiv reporter reveals how Ukrainians really feel about Russia

Russia has said it is pulling some troops from its border region with Ukraine. While it said some units were returning to their bases, large-scale drills will continue. The Russian defence ministry failed to outline the exact number of troops leaving, and it is as yet unclear whether this will reduce tensions.

New German Chancellor Olaf Scholz landed in Moscow on Tuesday and will meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin in an effort to de-escalate the growing risk of conflict.

Germany has been notably quiet amid the geopolitical crisis, the country having a long and complicated history with Russia.

The Nord Stream gas pipeline project — two giant pipelines that supply Europe with Russian gas — has been consistently referred to.

Nord Stream 2, the newest addition, was finished last year but has yet to come into operation.

Germany news: The country was accused of being 'selfish' over the Nord Stream 2 pipeline

Germany news: The country was accused of being ‘selfish’ over the Nord Stream 2 pipeline (Image: GETTY)

Olaf Scholz: The German Chancellor met Russian President Vladimir Putin on Tuesday

Olaf Scholz: The German Chancellor met Russian President Vladimir Putin on Tuesday (Image: GETTY)

It directly connects Russia to Germany, with Berlin having shaken off much of the EU’s concern about growing reliance on Moscow for energy sources (Russia supplies 40 percent of Europe’s gas).

The pipeline has made Germany reluctant to involve itself in Western condemnation of Russian aggression, many, like Professor Julian Lindley-French, have argued.

An internationally recognised strategic analyst and advisor in defence, who has worked with NATO, he told that Mr Scholz and his government are being “selfish” and putting financial interests above that of European peace, integrity and safety.

Talking about how Putin is utilising this disconnect, Prof Lindley-French said: “He’s using hard power to test whether we really do stand by our values and principles or whether we’re just paper tigers, and many European countries, maybe even our own, are paper tigers.

“Let’s be blunt: the Western European powers, including France and Germany, are in a mess.

JUST INRussian troops move to ATTACK positions

Emmanuel Macron: The pair during joint talks in February

Emmanuel Macron: The pair during joint talks in February (Image: GETTY)

“Germany doesn’t want anything to do with armed conflict because it has Nord Stream 2; it is often selfish when it comes to these kinds of issues, and its public are childish when it comes to these issues.”

Russia, he said, is using Nord Stream 2 as “leverage” against Europe and the West.

Many European leaders had warned Germany of the potential consequences of allowing such a pipeline to be built, especially given that the pipeline is operated by Gazprom, the Russian state-owned energy company.

While construction of Nord Stream 2 was initially delayed by US sanctions last year, it is now complete.

The US has since said that Nord Stream 2 will not open if Russia invades Ukraine.

But Prof Lindley-French says Germany will likely give it the green light in the coming months, as there are “powerful” lobbies at play that have major influence over the German government.


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Nord Stream: The pipeline directly links Russia with Europe

Nord Stream: The pipeline directly links Russia with Europe (Image: GETTY)

Natural gas: Russia supplies Europe with around 40 percent of its gas

Natural gas: Russia supplies Europe with around 40 percent of its gas (Image: GETTY)

He explained: “Russia is using Nord Stream 2 as leverage, but Germany will use it because there’s a powerful lobby inside the German government supporting Nord Stream 2.

“There’s a powerful lobby inside Germany pushing for it, and Germany has a different relationship with Russia than much of Europe, the UK and the US, because of their history

“The nonsensical scrapping of three of six relatively young nuclear power stations and the obsession with carbon neutral goals at all costs makes Germany fundamentally reliant for much of its energy on Russia.

“And that then extends to much of Europe, and Russia is scrupulously exploiting this, because at the moment our gas storage is so limited that the simple fact is that we have to prioritise and ration gas in the event of being denied Russian gas — or at least Germany and some other European countries would — Russia will ruthlessly use this in its efforts.

“It’s part of the new warfare it is using, it is hybrid war, cyber war and hyper war in conjunction.”

A number of highly influential figures in German politics and history are part of the Nord Stream project.

Gerhard Schröder: The former chancellor has close ties to Putin

Gerhard Schröder: The former chancellor has close ties to Putin (Image: GETTY)

The country’s former Chancellor, Gerhard Schröder, is Nord Stream AG’s Chairman of the Board.

He and Putin have a long friendship, both in and out of politics, with reports suggesting the pair have wined and dined together.

Mr Schröder was famously pictured greeting Putin outside a restaurant in St Petersburg for his 70th birthday in 2014, just weeks after Russia had annexed Crimea from Ukraine.

Alongside the two men was Matthias Warnig, a former officer in the Stasi who is said to have worked with Putin during his days as a KGB officer.

Mr Warnig is Nord Stream AG’s CEO.

Earlier this month, the US and EU said they were working to ensure gas supplies can respond to disruptions in pipeline gas flows.

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, alongside Josep Borrell, the EU foreign policy chief, told reporters in Washington: “We’re working together right now to protect Europe’s energy supply against supply shocks, including those that could result from further Russian aggression against Ukraine.”

Ukraine: Far-right groups have been training citizens in Kiev in the event of a Russian invasion

Ukraine: Far-right groups have been training citizens in Kiev in the event of a Russian invasion (Image: GETTY)

Mr Blinken said the coordination with allies and partners includes “how best to share energy reserves in the event that Russia turns off the spigot, or initiates a conflict that disrupts the flow of gas through Ukraine”.

Josep Borrell, the EU’s foreign affairs representative, said the bloc’s immediate priority is to diversify sources of energy and gas flows to avoid supply disruption and “ensure that the world energy markets will be liquid, competitive and well-supplied”.

Even before the newest tensions, EU leaders casted doubt over the long-term future of Nord Stream.

In 2016, figures in Brussels signed a letter objecting to the gas link.

The document set out that if the project went ahead, Nord Stream 2 would generate “potentially destabilising geopolitical consequences”.

It continued: “The Nord Stream 2 project that is currently under preparation can pose certain risks for energy security in the region of central and eastern Europe.

“It would strongly influence gas market development and gas transit patterns in the region, most notably the transit route via Ukraine.”



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Read more: Ryan Garcia and Who is Ryan Garcia Net Worth


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'This is huge' Swedish Air Force jet deployed over Belarus border in threat to Putin




The Scandinavian country is not a member of NATO, but could be ready to trade in its neutral status in the wake of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

News of Stockholm’s decision to send a jet was revealed by twitter user Jamming.

They wrote: “Swedish Air Force Korpen active over Poland border area with Belarus.

“Sweden part of surveillance of Belarus and Ukraine!!!

“This is a huge political statement! Update on SwAF Korpen.”


The Gulfstream IV aircraft was tracked taking off from Linking airport and then flying towards the city of Grodno in western Belarus.

It was flying at an altitude of just under 12,000 metres at a speed of 836 kilometres per hour.

Although Sweden is not a NATO member, it is an “enhanced opportunity partner” of the military alliance.

The government also signed a statement in 2018 pledging to strengthen its defence cooperation.

Swedish Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson rejected calls by opposition parties earlier this month for the country to join NATO.

She argued that such a move would further destabilise Europe.

Her statement came in the wake of threats from Moscow that NATO membership would bring “serious military-political consequences” for Sweden.

However, there is growing public support among Swedes for their country to join the transatlantic military alliance.

A poll conducted in late February by broadcaster SVT found that 41 percent of the public supported NATO membership, while thirty-five percent were against.

It was the first time an opinion study in Sweden had found more people in favour of the country joining NATO than were against it.



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Putin humiliated: Russia tries and fails to capture defiant Ukraine village for tenth time




Russia has tried and failed to capture the village of the Chornobaevka ten times, according to Ukrainian presidential adviser Aleksey Arestovich. Videos shared by Ukrainian officials online showed the “tenth defeat of the Russian invaders in Chornobaevka”. The continued failures to capture the village comes as Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said last night that his country’s forces had “dealt powerful blows” to the Russian military.

Mr Arestovich told a press conference that Russian troops had tried to take Chornobaevka for the tenth time, but the assault again ended in failure.

Following this, the head of the nearby Mykolaiv Regional State Administration Vitaly Kim published a video showing “the defeat” as explosions erupt on the outskirts of the village.

The resolute village has become famous in Ukraine for its defence, as President Zelensky commended Chornobaivka last weekend for fending off six invasions at the time.

He said: “Ukrainian Chornobaivka will go down in war history. This is a place where the Russian military and their commanders have shown themselves for who they truly are – incompetent, capable of simply handing over their people for slaughter.

“Our military has annihilated the invaders near Chornobaivka six times.

“Six times, yet they keep coming back.”

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Online users ridiculed the latest Russian failures and hailed the Ukrainian defiance, with one Reddit user remarking: “At some point, I think every military intelligence outfit looking at this must be wondering how bad the rot is in the Russian military.”

One user visavillem added: “So this is the 10th time. Are Russians trying to bait Ukrainians to waste ammo with some obsolete/broken equipment, or are they really so stupid, that they keep stepping on the same rake again and again?”

Another user on Reddit adfgqert posted: “The Ukrainian people have resolve and determination that is beyond what I think is normal.

“Beyond inspirational and they bring fighting for what they believe in to a new level for me.” 

This comes amid ongoing setbacks for Russian military forces in the south of the country.

Earlier this week, it was reported that Russia had withdrawn most of its helicopters from a strategic airport in Kherson, in southern Ukraine, according to satellite images.

Kherson has also been the site of several local protests against the occupying Russian soldiers.

The official said: “We can’t corroborate exactly who is in control of Kherson but the point is, it doesn’t appear to be as solidly in Russian control as it was before.

“That would make it very, very difficult for them to make any kind of ground movement on Odesa.

“That would be a significant development, no question about that, in terms of the southern part of the war.” 


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