Russia’s Gazprom – Corrupt politicians and the greed of the west | DW Documentary

Russia’s Gazprom – Corrupt politicians and the greed of the west | DW Documentary

Russia’s Gazprom – Corrupt politicians and the greed of the west | DW Documentary

For decades, European countries have been dependent on Russian gas imports. And they did it to themselves. The biggest culprit? Germany. Only after Russia declared war on Ukraine did the German government realize that Russia has been using gas as a weapon for a long time.

How did this come about? What is Russian President Vladimir Putin’s plan? The films take a look behind the scenes of the Russian gas monopoly Gazprom. They show the genesis of an empire: from the collapse of the Soviet Union to the Russian goldrush, the restrictions imposed by newly-elected President Vladimir Putin and his regime’s subsequent arrests and expropriations. The filmmakers shot the film before the start of Russia’s attack on Ukraine; a project that would no longer be possible today. The material allows viewers a glimpse into the inner workings of the energy giant Gazprom.

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Video Transcript

The gas business a source of conflict since the Cold War that’s because the gas Europe so desperately needed came from Russia a partnership that creates major political dependency so this was all seen as part of a overall Soviet strategy uh to weaken the west and to break up NATO

Feers that were by no means unfounded using oil gas dependencies as a political weapon was common practice in the Warsaw PCT meanwhile a young Putin began his extraordinary career as a case officer you have to be able to manipulate people it as no such a sen as former KB guy

Vladimir Putin became one of the world’s most powerful leaders and made the gas business a top priority the Russian president recognized the power of His nation’s greatest treasure he said we do have more oil and gas than anyone else and people should remember that the Europeans know that there’s no

Truly reliable alternative to Russia as an energy partner German governments in particular continued their Reliance on Russian blue gold it was clear who had the upper hand in this Arrangement which Fields can we access what pipelines are available if you don’t have any and that’s the case here

We have to look for ways to be compensated G prom set the prices and the conditions The Challengers were punished if someone’s turning off the gas tap in the 21st century you could definitely call it an act of War despite saber rattling and cutting its supplies to Eastern Europe Russia’s aggressive

Foreign policy was tolerated and that’s not all right the idea that you would still build up this dependance on Russian energy was thought of is is crazy nordstream will help to ensure that Europe continues to have a secure supply of gas in the future Russia remained the guarantor of

Gas industry stability in Western Europe while the political Fallout was ignored gas prom is part of the Russian army it’s one of their Weapons Western Siberia Russia here the Region’s indigenous people uphold their thousand-year-old Traditions the yens are reindeer herders for decades mako’s retinue has been following the same route through the tundra up to the northern Cara sea but then gazprom opened a gas field across the herder’s path

The route we use to take the animals through the tundra is becoming more and more difficult railway lines pipes and roads it’s a huge problem pristine natural surroundings now consigned to history after the river the group must navigate the hard concrete roads around the bovanenkovo gas Fields the provisional Solution on

This particular day gas prom workers Roll material out over the road this protects the wooden Runners on the nen sleds hello hello I’m headed the group pleased to meet you and what do you think it wasn’t that easy was it some of the animals didn’t want to cross at

First just like a red carpet a cooperation driven by necessity the nens and their reindeer can cross the banovo field for now but for how much longer no one here knows gas prom employees on site are well aware of the conflicting interests humans came here and destroyed

The unity and Harmony of nature on the other hand they’ve opened up new areas they’re extracting gas from Nature’s resources that also brings good things of it feeds our families and creates many many jobs in the year 2019 gas prom employed 1,200 staff at this site alone metal

Worker Serge petkin came here for the first time 10 years ago I wanted to be there where the gas comes from to be at the source and be involved in the process the first time I was here the gas wasn’t flowing yet but I was overwhelmed by by the sheer

Numbers of pipes and metal constructions I was immediately fascinated gas prom eventually began production here in 2012 it’s a high security Zone a kind of Russian gold reserve gas and oil are like drugs we’re addicted take them away and what then withdrawal symptoms we can’t manage without take them away

And what’s left of our economy collapse but it wasn’t just the Russians themselves who needed a steady supply of blue gold Europe also relies on gas gas from Russia a dependency the gas prom has been exploiting for decades furthering Russian President Putin’s political power spring 2006 right after gas prom

Cut the gas supply to Ukraine as a response to a dispute in price increase the effects were felt in other European countries a boon to gas prom’s plans to rroo gas supplies around traditional Transit Nations nordstream the new head of the shareholder committee Mr Shudder you’ll be aware that we have a growing demand for gas in Western Europe and declining self-sufficiency within the region itself and that’s why it’s extremely important to build this pipeline to reasonably satisfy the demand that exists and will continue to exist in early discussions Russians were not connecting North stream one was

Removing uh Transit flow from Ukraine into different route they were saying it’s new gas but they were lying to everybody about what their real intent was while the German ex-chancellor pursued his lobbying activities a key pipeline supplying gas to Georgia was blown up in the depths of Winter the Georgian

Government had previously refused to sell its own pipelines to Russia the Georgians suspected a conspiracy and felt like they were being blackmailed I think the world should wake up to this threat because yesterday it was Ukraine today it’s much worse than Georgia tomorrow it can be any other European country is that is

Dependent of this irresponsible and unpredictable supplier gas prom’s counter campaign was already in full swing we’ve been assured by Mr Miller that there won’t be any problems with supplies to Germany in the future haven’t been any problems with the German Supply either a short time later alexe Miller struck a very

Different tone with EU ambassadors and Moscow money alone wasn’t enough he said the EU should stop obstructing his company’s EXP expansion the head of gas prom said get over your hostility to Russia or you won’t get any gas they thought they were in an imperial position when it came to natural Gas in 2005 they took us all to Western Siberia and then we had the dinner with President Putin I asked him is Russia an energy superpower and so he looked at me and he said oh I think you know energy superpowers an old-fashioned Cold War

Term but he said we do have more oil and gas than anyone else and people should remember that the Germans did in 2006 the chancellor and the head of BASF traveled to Siberia to secure access to a new gas field even back then ideas were already circulating about building pipelines to

The east there’s a need for gas there in China another reason why it was geopolitically important for us us to secure these gas reserves for ourselves in Europe the pipeline project continued without consulting Eastern European nations the unilateral approach unsettled rodic secorski who was polish defense minister at the Time there’s a long history of very ominous direct relationships between Germany and Russia we count among those the partitions of Poland and then of course the Hitler the Stalin Park when Germany and Russia fix something together over our heads we don’t like it we feel threatened by

It the Europeans know that there’s no truly reliable alternative to Russia as an energy partner but Europe should not pretend that the Russians had to be grateful for being allowed to supply oil and gas to Europe on the contrary the Europeans should make allowances for the pride of the Russian people the

Vulnerability of the Russian soul and the special features of the country’s history Putin’s power depended on the efficient exploitation of Russian energy reserves you could see Russian production decline very rapidly with the collapse of the Soviet Union came back very strongly in the 2000s heard Russian production recovered oil prices went up

And Vladimir Putin rode into a stronger and stronger position on the back of rising oil prices Keen to hone its International image the company hosted a British film crew in 2006 gas from the likes of the oroy field has made this company wildly wealthy and they let us have a rare

Glimpse inside the company’s nerve center the TV team was even permitted to film in the control room the managers oozed with self-confidence the next Benchmark will be 1 trillion biggest company in the world yes the British reporter was shown around the entire gas prom headquarters but this didn’t look like a company with

A trillion in turnover equally modest the staff infirmary and the small in-house TV studio behind you 13 years later we get the same tour it’s a completely different Picture since 2006 gas prom has earned more than2 200 billion euros from its gas business with Germany alone SOI a city on the Black Sea and host of The Winter Olympics in 2014 sponsored by gazprom among others we’re taken around the Olympic Stadium by a member of

Staff in St Petersburg too gas prom maintains a towering presence when we visited the offices were still a work in progress presented as the company’s new HQ it’s the tallest building in Europe but in the year 2020 one after years in the planning the Locka Center was still empty like a movie set

Millions for a hollow symbol of Power Russia seemed to be a struggling country economically but then you know the Big Boon for Putin was that energy prices then were Rising so fast and that I think emboldened him to do a lot of things that he wouldn’t have done Otherwise Putin’s Global agenda became more ambitious and aggressive since he took office tens of thousands of people have died in cnia a former Soviet Republic that sought independence from Moscow one care ous journalist dared to criticize Putin for the brutal War the situation is ongoing human rights are being completely disregarded following two attempts to poison the journalist she was shot dead on the 7th of October 2006 in the elevator of her apartment Block in Moscow it was Putin’s 54th birthday a

Short time later ex FSB agent Alexander litvinenko publicly exposed the president somebody has asked me directly who is guilty of Anna’s death who has and I can directly answer you it is Mr Putin the president of the Russian Federation who killed her 3 days after the murder Vladimir Putin visited Angela merel in

Germany in a TV interview that evening Putin praised Merle’s ability to listen well a few days later Alexander litvinenko was poisoned with a radioactive substance in Britain after weeks of suffering he Died while in Dresden Vladimir Putin also presented gazprom as the new sponsor of Shala 04 the company promised to invest invest more than € 200 million EUR in the Bundesliga soccer club gazprom needed to essentially charm its way into the hearts of German football fans so that

It legitimized what it was doing so it would be just seen as a legitimate member of the ecos system so that people wouldn’t ask questions and and they wouldn’t feel as though there was something um strange or Insidious about all of this before long gas prom the Bundesliga and the Champions League

Became inseparable or bed fellas sport is very important to people people fall in love with sport they feel very passionately about it and and so because of that you know people had almost this unquestioning relationship not just with gazprom but by implication with the Kremlin that proxy Warrior that

We’ve lived for the last 10 years is intended to disrupt divide deceive sponsorship and spending on sport has been part of that proxy war so whilst many of us may think well well we’ve been watching a UFA Champions League game sponsored by gazprom we’ve been watching shalka sponsored by gazprom in

Reality we’ve been watching a weapon that has been deployed gas prom’s most powerful lobbying weapon was ghad Shuda in 2019 he fired the start gun at the nordstream race in Keel the sporting event itself seemed completely divorced from any political turmoil the motto of this fata is connecting baltics and we’re bringing

Together sport cultures clubs and sailors from different countries and in the end that’s precisely what nordstream is doing making a big contribution to International understanding and interculture coexistence the route of the longdistance rata took Sailors all the way to St Petersburg along the Baltic Sea pipeline my wor a PR gift for is

Ring in my head for you head and another stage for gazprom let’s be honest ladies and gentlemen the world is plagued by a whole host of problems so isn’t it nice to have events like these showing us that different ways of living are possible peacefully in friendship and in

A way that benefits us all putting a Sentimental spin on things Shuda did a good job and the partners were pleased if you have such a precious instrument you have to protect it from all sides propaganda is one of the elements of protection to this day gas prom

Continues to flex its power both publicly and on the sidelines in the Year 2007 Miller and his team began applying pressure on the next former Soviet Republic to step out of line Belarus from August 3rd at 10: a.m. gas supplies to Belarus will be cut by around 21 million cubic m per day

It’s a classic Russian Playbook the debt you had yesterday said that’s due today and there’ll be a 300% price increase if you don’t pay it and if you don’t pay it we’re going to cut off the supply it’s transparent bellarus buckled to the pressure from gazprom was just too Great we’re seeing genuine efforts on the part of bellarus to resolve the debt issue so we’ve decided not to restrict supplies today we expect all gas debts to be settled by Thursday next Week all EX Soviet republics got to feel the power of gas prom at some point the world watched while Russia turned one country after another into an example December 2007 Vice Chancellor and foreign minister frankal steinm was in Moscow to meet Putin and his chosen successor Dimitri medv the men opened

Another BASF gas field energy supplies from Musha cover almost 40% of German demand in the gas sector and this is based on a robust and trusting energy partnership between German and Russian companies this should remain in place in the future getting access to the gas fields and not just being dependent on the

Pipelines was the right thing in principle but how dependent am I making myself in an article steinm criticized Frank umbach’s view the latter had warned against excessive dependence on Siberian gas and a new cold war that led to dispute with Mr steinm he said no this isn’t a cold war it’s

Part of our OST politi so to speak we can’t return to a new East West conflict that’s old thinking we need new thinking in fact this amounts to wishful thinking and ultimately it’s something akin to a collective denial of reality there is a school of foreign policy that asserts the deeper the

Economic relations are the more harmonious the foreign policy relationships are but it wasn’t about a historical disagreement about the power of trade to change foreign policy it was about this person and his policy and the risk that he posed it was in interdependence all right but it’s the kind of interdependence that

You have between wolves and Sheep the United States has overstepped its National borders in every way in the economic political cultural educational policies it imposes on other nations who’s happy about this no one feels safe as a result I want to emphasize this no one feels safe at the time I wasn’t yet chairman of the

Conference but I was sitting in the audience listening and noticed how the German American audience reacted to this speech with astonishment but without really taking it seriously it was the first time very publicly that Vladimir Putin said my attempts at um being a partner to the west or working

With the West that’s over Russia will now follow and pursue its interests Putin was still reeling from the orange revolution in Ukraine where politicians were pushing for EU membership the orange Revolution did have a big impact him that was his first major major defeat in Ukraine the color revolutions were beginning in the

Post-soviet space and it was at that speech at the Munich security conference where he said that era is now over in 2008 Putin was invited to a special NATO Summit as he so often was in the preceding six years we view the appearance of a powerful military block on our borders

As a direct threat to the security of our nation the claim that this process is not directed against Russia will not suffice National Security isn’t based on promises what he wondered from the United States certainly was a recognition that you know the European Union and NATO would never expand

Anywhere near Russia’s borders when he didn’t get that then I think he reverted more to True Form Germany stood by Putin NATO isn’t directed against anyone certainly not against Russia Russia is a partner partner for the first time since 1992 Putin allowed Russian nuclear bombers to conduct training flights close to the

US Vladimir Putin began longrange bomber flights in 2007 and then he began to demonstrate that there cannot be independent Sovereign countries around Russia Putin supported separatists in Georgia with Russian tanks and Soldiers the first European War of the the 21st century 2008 was just a greater warm-up

Act for what he would do in Ukraine the deaths in Georgia did not affect the business with Russian gas with the situation as it was then I can’t recall any government seriously talking about an energy boycott meanwhile in Moscow gas prom was throwing another party marking 15 years as a public limited

Company our energy exports including those to far away Nations helped to ensure International Energy security the same day gas prom threatened Ukraine and used its own media as a stage to do so we’ve already prepared an action plan for tomorrow in connection with restrictions to our gas supplies the message was received in

Ke nothing will change until Ukraine kneels before Russia Alexa Miller invited the head of Ukraine’s gas company for talks he publicly accused Ukraine of stealing Russian gas the man wasn’t allowed to defend himself meeting with Putin at the president’s official residence outside Moscow Miller reported back his proposal curtail gas supplies to

Ukraine by the precise amount that the ukrainians allegedly stole Putin gave the green light and the plan was implemented immediately over 80% of Russia’s gas exports to Europe go via pipelines which run through the Ukraine and on this coldest day of winter three of those have basically been shut down Romania

Has a 75% reduction and over here Austria is 90% down if someone’s cutting the gas off in the 21st century you can certainly describe it as an act of War I can’t think of another phrase alternative this situation is obviously very serious and needs to improve rapidly this whole Ukraine story back

Then the cutting off of supplies raised certain questions about the reliability of gas prom as a supplier I didn’t like it I also spoke to Alex Miller about it he said yes it’ll pass I was personally in the room of Mr Miller when he was clearly telling our delegation everything you want to

Discuss you tell me here’s the phone I call there he tells me yes or no if it is about Ukraine Putin decides Putin waged the gas war with ruthlessness missing all the arguments from Ukraine it doesn’t matter who presents what I could simply toss all these papers in the fire what’s important is This no Transit nation has the right to abuse its position and take European customers hostage in this way the Russians are brilliant propagandists and Ukraine did not help itself in those days because the suspicion of corruption was quite high and Ukraine was not always a sympathetic

Case and so the Russians were able to leverage that to say you poor Europeans are suffering because these irresponsible ukrainians are not paying their bill Russia has actually um been very successful at framing uh those disputes and blaming Ukraine blaming Ukraine supposed theft of the gas and I think that there’s a

Lot of people in Germany especially who buy into that and uh agree that actually the problems with the Ukraine uh Transit are more Ukrainian uh than they are Russian and there’s a lot of sympathy I think for the Russian point of view in Germany not necessarily anywhere else

But I’ve seen it very much here the mistrust was directed at Ukraine and not Russia on behalf of the Ukrainian State I would like to explain that Ukraine despite all claims made by the Russian leadership hasn’t Stone on a single cubic meter of Russian natural Gas the ukrainians put up a defense but Germany wasn’t really listening my take is that that particular view builds upon perhaps in particular German narrative visa Ukraine a narrative in which Ukraine is invisible and if it is visible it’s only visible through stereotypes the EU eventually sent

Monitors to run checks on the gas flow Putin continued to feain Innocence that’s why I’m asking you to take all the necessary documents with you including the contracts we’ve got nothing to hide these aren’t classified documents my country strongly condemned Russia’s actions in Georgia we also are very troubled by using energy as a uh a tool of intimidation feel

On the propaganda front Putin began to lose ground on a visit to gazprom HQ he continued to blame Ukraine it may well be that the Ukrainian pipeline network is in such a state that it can’t pump such quantities of gas that’s also quite possible but then you have to be upfront about

It finally Putin turned the gas tap back on good this is Pavlov senior dispatcher at gas prom headquarters asking you to restore the gas supply via the zuda gas metering station at 10: a.m. Moscow time Putin got concessions from the Ukrainian government that they would not

Try and push for NATO membership he got the Black Sea Fleet which was on a lease basis he got the ukrainians to extend that lease 2017 it was very clear that he would he got those as part of the gas deal negotiations and Putin managed something else he’d kept Germany Sweet Miller had

Made sure that gas supplies to Germany remained unaffected by the Crisis Germany didn’t suffer during the Ukraine gas crisis not at all on one occasion there was talk of maybe reducing the Reliance a little but nothing happened that was never a German problem no one did that to the Germans they did it to the others I heard oh Andre we are such a

Big gas market and Russians would not mess with it the Kremlin has weaponized energy over the years in such a dramatic fashion so many times that it is astonishing that there had been no policy changes in Berlin or in Vienna or or by other governments in in Western

Europe Germany did nothing to adapt its strategy it wanted more and more Russian gas as cheaply as possible we were grateful to have access to Russian gas and the gas Fields this was of long-term significance I mean let’s not forget the gas was really cheap if I can make an

Analogy buying Russian gas was like going to the Discounter Aldi discount Aldi in early 2009 Chancellor Angela Merkel wrote to EU commission president Jose Manuel baroso outlining her arguments in favor of nordstream secure links were needed an issue once again highlighted by the Ukraine Crisis there could have been major obstacles to this as indeed there were at times that’s why progress was so slow and that’s why political support was crucial in Europe meanwhile gas prom continued its EU charm offensive new pipeline sections were opened with great fanfare at one such event German EU energy commissioner

G eringer gave the pipeline his Blessing time and again we’ve actually had to intervene and provide support above all politically in Brussels that’s true gas pal didn’t do the lobbying work on its own I mean it’s just too far away you need European Partners we Lobby together of course

Today if you want to build a large wind Park in the North Sea you’ll come up against similar issues some are quick to sort out others take longer late 2010 Berlin Putin pokes fun at the EU and the sluggish progress of the pipeline project Vladimir [Applause] Putin one thing I’ll never understand what do you actually plan to heat with you don’t want our gas or our nuclear energy do you plan to heat with wood even for that you’ll have to go to Siberia from his perspective this was certainly a hint you need me more than I need

You in this respect yes we can say there were sufficient indications that should probably have been taken more serious seriously and yes that perhaps weren’t taken as seriously as they should have been a dinner date later that same day in Berlin Putin and vonik met with the ex-chancellor at a posh restaurant owned

By Matias vonk’s [Applause] son I don’t know how many French presidents how many British prime ministers have been phot with Putin probably also in Parisian restaurants I don’t know this debate to say in hindsight yes one could have done this or that and these photographs show this special closeness everyone in Europe was

Happy that the Germans were ensuring a high level of energy security the governments in swedenland and Finland were strongly against the pipeline due to environmental problems and also due to geopolitical problems the Swedish Military Intelligence came out with a statement or or warning saying that this pipeline could be used

To spire on on Sweden Sweden used to get visits from Uh Russian submarines they were very concerned about that could happen again and that they could use uh nordstream some of the platforms and the line to to actually to spy on on Sweden ex- Chancellor shudo was once

Again deployed for gazprom he contacted a man who was once prime minister of Sweden Yan PE and they are old bodies he was one of the first top level politicians to talk about the climate crisis and hardly against lobbyism in 2007 he received a phone call and S

Invited him for lunch and um after the lunch date Yan pearon went public and told that he has now signed as consultant at the public affairs Bureau in Sweden linked up to ion the German energy Giant and one of the shareholders of nordstream gazprom also saw the need for

Action in Finland schrudder homed in on a senior Finnish politician they really needed a person to speak in their favor a high level person and uh they found power Libanan leanin led the social Democrats in Finland serving as prime minister for eight years leanin was invited to Berlin he was received Byer and Matias manik the former sty Captain leanin started working as a paid lobbyist for nordstream he was a key person by meeting uh politicians in Finland to

Convince him that this is a very good thing for Finland and for Scandinavia and for whole Europe we will secure the gas supply so that was his task to convince The Finnish government about that and the population and he succeeded now Vladimir Putin was able to visit the pipeline construction site in

The Gulf of Finland and show the world he was advancing towards Europe it was very very clever from the Russian side to recruit all the former top level politicians and to fill the pockets were there any consequences no way they are living in the best way today the pipeline project became Unstoppable in

September 2011 Putin and Shuda symbolically turned on the Gas Germany had finally thrown its weight behind gas in response response to a catastrophe that had just befallen Japan the Fukushima disaster terrified not only Japanese but also European politicians into fear of the security of of nuclear Power we will completely phase out nuclear energy by the end of 2022 at the time we made it clear that we needed to invest more in coal and especially in gas this configuration of the energy transition was entirely focused on gas that created an enormous vulnerability for Germany and it only

Accelerate the dependence on on Russian gas ladies and Gentlemen please welcome angala marle Chancellor of the Federal Republic of Germany nordstream will play its part in ensuring that Europe also has a secure Supply in the future marle along with the French and Dutch Prime Ministers were also invited

To turn on the tap gas then flowed through nordstream 1 to Western Europe with less and less being channeled through Poland and Ukraine I would challenge you to find one example of how any of these pipelines or any of these energy deals with Russia made Russia more open more

Democratic it’s never happened and it was never going to happen and I think that German leaders knew this and went along with anyways actually I also think they knew what they were doing because I don’t think you see it was na it was greed this fundamental attitude didn’t

Change in the years that followed German politicians went on pilgrimages to Russia in 2019 the state premier of Saxony Michel ketar concluded a new gas contract and lobbyist Shuda defended the next Russian Pipeline he left no no doubt as to who the opponents were Danish politics has been jeopardizing a timely conclusion for

Months whereas construction is already underway in Russia Sweden Finland and Germany Danish approval is still pending and that’s because of political pressure from the US and of course Ukraine corruption is a strategic tool of the Kremlin in many ways it’s how Russia’s system works in many ways they’re

Exporting how it works inside Russia and I think they were surprised how easily it it was uh imp imported into the West a board seat a very lucrative contract when you consider what is at stake uh a nation’s energy security a nation’s National Security it’s very cheaply purchased

You have the former econ minister of Austria being a senior adviser for nordstream 2 AG you have former foreign minister of Austria Karen kisil with whom uh Putin was invited to and she danced with at her Wedding dear bride and groom I congratulate you with all my heart on your marriage and the formation of a new family I’m than 10 years you have former French prime minister SW F nominated to not one but two Russian state owned oil and gas trading firms and the list goes on and

On Putin never took his eye off one nation Ukraine Seria gianti worked at the US Embassy in Kev and experienced Russian influence at firsthand a fair amount of the corruption in Ukraine is Russia as a malign actor and a malign influence for example in the gas sector and Ukraine’s main protagonist

Was Dimitri fash the billionaire lives in Exile in Vienna he made his money in the gas business partly because gas prom offered him special conditions Dimitri fash is one of the oligarchs of Ukraine he has his fingers in every single cookie jar he has media Holdings he has energy Holdings he

Became Rich among other things by stealing from the Ukrainian gas sector and by siphoning off very large portions of the gas gas prom let him get away with it fos has always denied any wrongdoing us authorities want his extradition from Austria Demitri fos has been indicted by the US government for

Bribery schemes he has extremely strong connections to Russian organized crime and to Putin aren’t you afraid if you want to lick honey don’t be afraid of bees fos had founded a company with Russian Partners gas prom had over 160 subsidiary companies money could move around change hands and and you’d never

Be the wiser as to where it went in my estimation a lot of those companies existed so that they could take money off the books and buy politicians and we all knew who was behind it was established to give corrupt money to politicians so they used the revenue from the gas to

Basically corrupt Ukraine and take money themselves yes that’s my assessment in the early 2000s and even beyond that the way that much of the gas was imported into Ukraine and then re-exported to Europe was through a very opaque company called Ross UK energo which had Russian and Ukrainian business

People involved in it fos supported the pro-russian candidate yanukovich after winning the 2010 election he steered Ukraine towards Moscow these people had political influence in Ukraine and some of them were clearly agents of Russia it was very clear that Russia was using its money from gas prome to influence Ukrainian

Politicians and I long thought that just like the trade in gas corrupted Ukrainian politic so it would corrupt German politics Merkel did not back away from Putin and Russia I think that’s right Europe and Russia are strategic partners that have certainly not yet exhausted their potential for cooperation changing the Constitution

Allowed Putin a third term we won after an open and honest fight on the day of Putin’s inauguration tens of thousands of people protested in Moscow denouncing the president as corrupt he ordered the brutal suppression of the protest the West was telling itself its own stories we didn’t want to change our

Business our Behavior our agenda and Mr Putin kept telling us I’m going to disrupt you until you take my interest seriously more and more Russian money was being plowed into the destabilization of Ukraine in 2013 the nation found itself in a dangerous crisis when president yanukovich had to decide on a with the

EU yanukovich kovich attended a special Summit of the European Union and he told us the other side is offering more the European heads of States said to him that’s our limit you won’t get anymore that prompted him to reply and I won’t sign the association agreement that was what Putin wanted and the

Result was maidan it was the spark that triggered an explosion yanukovich was forced into Russian Exile in in August 2015 I started at the US Department of State as European energy security adviser I took over the job uh about a year after Russia legally invaded eastern Ukraine the donbas region and purportedly annexed

Crimea the idea at the time was nordstream 2 had been shell right the idea that you would still build up this dependence on Russian energy was thought of is is crazy but less than a year later nordstream 2 was back and and the Ghost of Putin’s pipeline was once again

Haunting Europe the contract for the construction of nordstream 2 was signed in September 2015 I don’t see any strategic trap there I mean the current situation is very much defined by the war with Ukraine which is bad really bad and actually can’t be justified but I think it’s an

Exaggeration to say that we’ve fallen into a strategic trap here shortly before the annexation of Crimea Miller visited Berlin once again he blamed Ukraine yes Ukraine is in deep political crisis but the gas still has to be paid for and Miller had another surprise up his sleeve

Even I didn’t think that Germany would be so naive as to sell gas Brom its storage capacity a BASF subsidiary agreed to this trade in 2012 at that time everything needed to be authorized the state could have said no we don’t want that we want the storage facilities for ourselves but that didn’t

Happen on the contrary because we needed even more gas economics Minister Gabriel approved the sale in 15 we received an increased share in production facilities we continued to expand and acquired more gas fields that was the goal it was also full steam ahead for nordstream 2 in accordance

With the wishes of Chancellor Merkle and her Deputy Schultz I clearly on a couple of occasions saw the data which was prepared by gpro inside German ministries Yes and those people were top ranked people in the German Ministry of economy that would me Minister and the state secretaries yes they would very

High the propaganda machine had cut deep into the system Russia was a reliable energy supplier even in the Cold War this is a purely economic a purely commercial project this is a private sector project that I have German interests to represent in particular this project isn’t directed against of our Partners I’m worried about Ukraine because by relocating gas Transit routes Putin is Paving the way for a large scale military operation that will ultimately lead to the appearance of Russian tanks on the Eastern borders of Poland Hungary Slovakia and Romania R forgive me for interrupting you but do you really believe that’s a

Feasible scenario why did you say that because it is true GPR is part of the Russian army it’s one of their weapons shortly before Putin ordered the invasion of Ukraine nordstream 2 was Completed today the second nordstream 2 pipeline must also be filled with gas 7 months after the initial attack on Ukraine the nordstream 1 and two pipelines were sabotaged one pipe remained operable it appears that one of the nordstream 2 pipelines is still intact in short the ball is now in the eu’s

Court is the will there well then they should turn on the Tap

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