Trump’s ‘Energy Dominance’ Agenda Is Breaking Russia’s Grip On Poland

From The Daily Caller

Tim Pearce | Energy Reporter

Natural gas from the U.S. is flooding Polish markets as the European country seeks to loosen Russia’s grip on its energy security, The New York Times reports.

Russia supplies roughly half of Poland’s fuel, but long-term contracts with American companies signed by Poland’s state-owned gas giant PGNiG could displace all of Russia’s supply. U.S.-based companies Cheniere Energy, Venture Global LNG and Sempra Energy have all signed agreements with Poland in the last six months.

“The strategy of the company is just to forget about Eastern suppliers and especially about Gazprom,” PGNiG President Piotr Wozniak told The NYT. (RELATED: US Will Ship Gas To Poland For Next 24 Years)

Gazprom is Russia’s state-controlled gas company. Gazprom and Europe have a decades-long history of disputes over fuel supply and prices that have caused fuel shortages in many countries across the continent.


A major pipeline connecting Russia with much of Europe passes through Ukraine. Feuds between Gazprom and Ukraine have caused gas shortages across Europe. The disputes usually involve Gazprom negotiating with Ukraine to raise prices.

As the two countries work towards a deal, potentially millions across Europe, including Poland, may be left struggling to stay warm in the dead of winter. Such an event happened in January 2009, after which Poland began trying to diversify its fuel supply away from Russia.

U.S. President Donald Trump greets Poland's President Andrzej Duda in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, U.S., September 18, 2018. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque

U.S. President Donald Trump greets Poland’s President Andrzej Duda in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, U.S., September 18, 2018. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque

Gazprom choked off fuel supply to Ukraine completely in the winter of 2008-2009 and accused the country of stealing fuel meant for sale elsewhere.

“For us it is a new world,” Wozniak told The NYT. “If I pay to Americans, I pay to my NATO allies.”

President Donald Trump has pursued an “energy dominance” agenda consisting of cutting regulations and expanding access to U.S. fuel resources. Trump’s agenda, paired with the shale fracking revolution that swept the oil and gas industry, has grown the U.S. into the world’s largest oil producer.

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187 thoughts on “Trump’s ‘Energy Dominance’ Agenda Is Breaking Russia’s Grip On Poland

  1. Now if only Germany could be convinced of the same logic that it will be at the mercy of Russia if push comes to shove.

    • Polish industry is a minnow comparing to Germany’s, in addition Poland is digging coal for their power stations on a grand scale. This appears to have a large doze of political medicine than real necessity. Nearby Norway also exports huge and reliable quantities of gas to large part of Western Europe.

          • Very hard to drop bombs to the bottom of the sea and his a pipe 4 feet across. Couple of attempts and counter sub torpedoes will be dropped to get rid of the nuisance. If things get ugly, Allies can drop pipe segments all over the Baltic for Russia to try to figure out which one to aim at.

      • There is a closer relationship between Germany and Russia than most people think, even without Merkel. German contractors are active in Russia (and have bern since czar Peter the Great). Russia will never cut Germany off gas.

        • Indeed, the Russo-German relations at the highest level go back a long way.
          Catherine the Great, Empress of Russia was born as Princess Sophie of Anhalt-Zerb while the Russian tzar Nicholas II, first cousin of German Emperor Wilhelm II, was married to princess Alix of Hesse.
          In mid 18th century German colonies were founded in both Ukraine and Russia. In early 19th century German colonies were set up in Odessa region from where many of their descendants emigrated to the United States.
          Gerhard Schröder was a German chancellor, for the past decade he has been working for the Russian energy industry as a board member of several energy consortia including Gazprom.

        • I don’t know Gary…If it were 1914-1918, or 1941-1945, or even the The Berlin Crisis, 1958–1961 and much of the Cold War, and probably most of Stalin’s reign, I don’t think we could have trusted Russia to deliver. Although they didn’t have NG for export then…

          Of course those are the worst dates of the last century, but they represent at least 10%-20% if not much more of that time frame that Russia and Germany were outright hostile and at full blown war or a long simmering Cold War. There are long memories there on both sides, although time softens things somewhat.

          The only thing I have personally noticed while travelling internationally and mingling with expat Germans in whatever country, is how much Germans, especially young Germans, are enamoured with Vladimir Putin. But we don’t know how long he lasts or what comes next in Russia or German/Russian relations. I suspect you are mostly correct, except for the future unknown factor, and also that Russian leadership has become pragmatic and also desperately needs foreign currency earnings from its sales of NG to Europe, and especially Germany. But I still think Germany would be in major error putting all its eggs in one basket with Russia.

          • A few things here. Vlad is fluent in German. During the cold war there was both West and East Germany. I think it reasonable to think Vlad got on very well with E. Germany. Merkel was from E. Germany. Russia and China seem to be working together in S. America against Trump. Not to sure whether EU is to be regarded as being in ‘The West’ or is actually on the same side as Russia and China. Time will tell. Some of which will be decided here in the UK quite soon.

      • ‘Polish industry is a minnow comparing to Germany’s,’
        This is true, it is one sixth, however it is one third of Russia’s, which is mainly a GDP of oil and gas exports.
        Were Poland to reduce the price of oil and gas to below that from Europe of Russia, mine its own coal and have a secure supply of oil and gas, as the economy of Russia stagnates, it may end up with an industrial GDP parity to Russia over 20 years.
        This would be the thinking of Trump and Duda.
        That means its 2% of GDP defence bill will be easier to pay, thus costing the US less.

      • Correct. Putin worked for Stasi. Merkel was an activist in East German Communist party — therefore, also obviously worked for Stasi. Old comrades, these poisonous spiders.

    • only Germany could be convinced
      =≠========
      Merkle was educated and trained in E Germany while it was still a communist country, part of the soviet (Russia) bloc.

      You are asking the tiger to chance its stripes.

    • Do grow up you pathetic little ignoramus. The world’s greatest bully is America, not Russia. Everything America does is about conquering and control, not freedom.

      We are all sick and tired of pathetic Americans saying Russia enslaves and America liberates.

      Russia is a reliable energy supplier in Europe and nothing any American says will change that. America may be an alternative supplier but unless they kick the CIA and their troops out they are not supplying freedom. They are just supplying gas.

      Mr Watts is not fit to run a website if he believes such spurious nonsense….

      • What can you possibly say to a comment like this? How about:

        “What color is the sky in your world?”

      • Mr Watts is not fit to run a website ….

        If you think that’s the case, you know where the exit is. No one is forcing you to visit such a place.

          • Sure there is. You know where the nearest airport is, I’m sure. Just book a flight on out of here, one way. Don’t let the plane door hit you on the way out.

          • And my I suggest you book that one way flight to Venezuela, as that country seems more to your political leanings.

          • Trump is doing a great job running the country. Leaps and bounds better than the previous guy.
            You are just upset that he’s threatened to cut off your supply of free stuff.

            BTW, love the change of subject. Just proves that even you know you aren’t a serious player.

          • MarkW
            “Trump is doing a great job running the country.”
            Tell that to Otto Warmbier’s parents. How can anyone defend a man who betrays a young man and his family, just so he can suck u to a dictator like Kim.

          • Simon, I don’t see any connection between your rant and whether or not Trump is doing a good job running the country.

          • What does some random student who was arrested by North Korea during Obama’s watch have to do with running the country let alone whether that country is being run well or not?

          • And further if he’s a sign of Trump running the country poorly, then Obama must have been doing an even worse job of running the country considering not only was the kid arrested by the North Koreans on Obama’s watch, Obama left him to rot in a N. Korean prison for a years whereas Trump managed to bring him home in less than 6 months (something Obama completely failed to do).

          • markW
            “Simon, I don’t see any connection between your rant and whether or not Trump is doing a good job running the country.”
            Well then I can see why you think a man who is happy to take the word of a dictator, over his own secret service, is doing a great job. And let’s not forget it is not the first time. I seem to remember him thinking Putin was Mr honesty over the election hacks.

            This young boy was an American citizen. He deserves better than to be betrayed by a two bit crook like Trump.

      • The Poles don’t appear to agree with you!
        Most of Western Europe understand the long term relationship with Russia and don’t believe it is any better today. Putin is a KGB gangster running a kleptocracy, so why would anyone in their right mind trust him.
        You are either a fool or a liar or a shill for Putin, or some combination of those abysmal characteristics.

      • Rys, although I agree with you that Russia will be a reliable supplier to Europe, I detect an ideologically anti- American anger in your over the top insult. Trump did terminally dispose оf the Eurocentric магху sрагкsу тоталiтагуаи plan which had everyone except America on board. You show that you know if America isnt on board, it won’t happen. I give you fill marx for that!!

      • Rhys: you have a valid point that Russia and the US play the same games across the globe:
        Why are Russia and the US involved in Afghanistan? Opium.
        Why are Russia and the US involved in Syria? Oil & gas pipeline routes.

        But no one is receptive to your message because your delivery sucks.
        Lighten up. You’ll catch more flies with honey than with vinegar.

      • U.S. does not cut off contracts at any time over political disputes and argue constantly over prices.

      • No, Russia and Germany have a mutual respect that goes back to Czar Peter the Great. Even without Merkel it is strong and not well known, apoarently.

        • I’m sure The Russians felt nothing but love from Germany when the Panzers rolled toward Stalingrad.

          The Russians returned that love soon enough in Berlin.

          ~_~

          • Nazis vs Soviets. Different protagonists.

            Russia’s alliance with Germany is a natural fit, see Mackinder’s Heartland Theory, which has been one of the geostrategic pillars of Anglo-American policy for over a century.

          • Ah, Academia. Where decades of Invasion, betrayal, and political domination can be overshadowed by a cute socio-political theory.

            ~¿~

    • Yeah. If only Germany were stupid enough to become hugely dependent on high-priced US LNG that can and will be cut off the moment Germany fails to support the latest US genocidal rampage in the Middle East or elsewhere… energy shipped overseas, thousands of miles away from rapidly depleting American fracked shale deposits… Of course the Germans have made themselves dependent on others for their energy supplies in the first place by shuttering their coal and nuclear plants… but Russia is far more reliable than the US for anything…

      FYI: for decades Ukraine received hugely discounted supplies from Russia but still stole pipeline supplies for themselves… the latest pipelines bypass these low-life crooks altogether, insuring uninterrupted supplies into Europe… which prefers these supplies than US product for obvious reasons.

        • That’s an astute rebuttal to plain facts… lots of good facts. Anyway the Germans can count and not about to be fleeced by US strong-arm tactics.

          • Have no idea what you’re trying to say… try English next time… You could also try inserting some facts into your ramblings…

            For example you could try showing how much cheaper US LNG is than Russian natural gas… or the costs for building LNG import infrastructure… or the projected exhaustion of US fracked wells… but of course you don’t know any of these facts…. let alone post them… So Prattle on.

      • Posa, You are very much in need of an upgrade on US gas resources. You have the marxy sparksy memo of 10 years ago. Multiply this by at least 50 times. Or keep the old picture if you find it mor comforting.

        • Have no idea what you’re trying to say… try English next time… You could also try inserting some facts into your ramblings…

          For example you could try showing how much cheaper US LNG is than Russian natural gas… or the costs for building LNG import infrastructure… or the projected exhaustion of US fracked wells… but of course you don’t know any of these facts…. let alone post them… So Prattle on.

      • Another Russian troll who’s been trained to believe that everything bad happens because the US willed it to happen.

        I wish the US had 1/10th the power and influence these Rusophiles believe it does.

        • MarkW – at this rate, we’ll get there soon.

          The Empire and its $1 trillion budget cannot be sustained. Germany has no foreign bases and nearly 1/20th of the US military-security-intelligence budget and it’s doing pretty well, immigration problem notwithstanding.

          • The birth rate for German born women in 2016 was 1.46. Men can’t give birth. The country is committing demographic suicide.

          • The US already committed financial suicide blowing trillions on genocidal wars; trillions of bailouts to banksters; trillions on lost production; trillions on annual “defense” spending… Its Predator Class off-shored and out-sourced productive assets and pauperized the labor force. So you were saying Habitant…

      • You know, that reminds me. If Trump is supposed to be ‘Colluding’ with Russia, how come he keeps doing things they don’t like? and how come all the Russia loving communist Trolls hate Trump and America and badmouth them in every way.

        I’m just saying, I don’t remember there being all this hate from Russia back when Obama was President, and non-colluding Clinton decided to sell them half our Uranium, and most of our secrets.

        ~_~

    • The issue here is how much of a premium did the Poles have to pay for US LNG vs. Russian pipeline NG? Germany was not ready to pay that kind of a premium because it isn’t as paranoid about Russia as Poland is, understandably so given its recent history. As well the Germans, like Spain and Denmark, have already made some poor decisions with their energy policies that have ended up making their power costs prohibitive, so they’re more careful with their energy procurement costs now.

      Merkel turned out to be more pragmatic and less of an atlantist ideologue than say, Macron, who has recently tried in vain to convince her to scrap the Russian deal.

    • The bigger problem is convincing the Russians they’re not in any danger. Russia is a land of paranoia, though with some good reason. Flipping nearly the entire Warsaw Pact to NATO violates a long standing Russian strategic requirement, and is a major concern to the Kremlin.

      “Freedom” looks very different to them than to us.

      • But Putin actually knows better. He uses that history as a justification to keep Russia insular and easier to control.
        Russia’s future, in terms of it’s people’s wellbeing would be infinitely better as a democratic country under rule of law and strongly tied to Europe economically.

      • All this wonderful stuff regarding the value of the Warsaw Pact nations (AKA Russian/USSR buffer states) is horse pucky.

        The “buffer” didn’t work in Napoleon”s time, or WWI, or WW2. Russian strategy was to conquer & dominate the world (Poles, etc), pure & simple.

  2. Having a substantial export market for natural gas should tend to make coal more viable for electrical generation, except for the political risk of a new administration returning to the Obama era campaign against coal. If there is enough potential return, someone might accept the risk.

    • Democrats, doubling down on their angry efforts to overturn the election of Donald Trump ensures a generation of Dems out of the governing business. The next Democratic President is presently a teenager. He/she will have a government that looks very much like Trump’s – pro America. When EU finally collapses, European governments will be pro Europe and look a lot like Trump’s, too. With a vacuum in the pundit ranks, a mining engineer will have to do for now!

  3. Good news for democratic Eastern Europe. Now to really infuriate the goofy globalist left of Europe, if only America would run a pipeline across to the Baltic. (I know, it would be hugely difficult and expensive).

  4. Good news for democratic Eastern Europe. Now to really infuriate the goofy globalist left of Europe, if only America would run a pipeline across to the Baltic. (I know, it would be hugely difficult and expensive).

    Can you imagine the fury of the wind wackos!

  5. Obviously the problem has less to do with Russia than with Ukraine not paying its bills and nazi Ukrainian nationalists sabotaging pipelines.

    • Which is, of course, why the Russians seized Crimea. /sarc Who are these Ukrainian extremists of whom you speak? Are you sure they aren’t just freedom loving patriots? Anyway, isn’t it a bit early in the thread to invoke Godwin’s Law?

        • Assuming that at the age of 16 one was a member of the German Nationalist Socialist party, said individual would now be 90 years old. I very much doubt nonagenarians play a big role in Ukraine politics.

          Considering what the Russians did to Ukraine during the ’20’s and ’30’s, you can understand why they might have welcomed the Germans. That fact does not make them Nazis, per se.

        • A bunch of Ukrainians decided that they hated the Russians more than they feared the nazis. You can not blame them after what Stalin did to them in the Holodomor.
          That is the sort of thing a people will not forget.
          As far as modern neo-nazis go, I do not think any of them really want to establish the Fourth Reich. Seems like little more than flag waving and attention seeking to me. And, of course, a predictable media playing up the NAZI angle.

          • “A bunch of Ukrainians decided that they hated the Russians more than they feared the nazis. You can not blame them after what Stalin did to them in the Holodomor.
            That is the sort of thing a people will not forget.”

            This was my sentiment when the whole situation started. I sympathized with the Ukrainians (and still do in that regard). But in retrospect, the impulse for revenge in no way justifies genocide, which is what the Ukrainian militias and army tried to accomplish in Donetsk (but failed), and were planning to do in Crimea (which is why Russia intervened).

          • Icisil,

            The Ukrainian government and local Ukrainians did not attempt “genocide” in the Donbas, unlike Stalin’s genocide against Ukrainians in the 1930s.

            Most of the supposed “rebels” in the Donbas and Crimea were Russian troops. Crimeans do probably prefer to rejoin Russia, but the plebiscite was bogus. Russia invaded and occupied Crimea before the vote ostensibly supporting annexation.

            If a real election were held in the Donbas, independence or union with Russia would have some support in the cities, but the countryside remains staunchly pro-Ukrainian. Voting however has not been possible in the “Peoples’ Republics” of Donetsk and Luhansk since the separatist regimes seized power, backed by Russian forces.

            Who knows how the presidential elections will turn out next month, but without Crimea, anti-Russian candidates will benefit. Whoever wins is liable to be less authoritarian and corrupt than Putin, despite high levels of corruption in Kiev.

          • “Most of the supposed “rebels” in the Donbas and Crimea were Russian troops.”

            You have no evidence to support this. Merely a talking point. Most of the people in Donbass (Donetsk) are ethnic Russians. I marveled when locals raided a war museum to extract a T-54 tank to use in the conflict. They may have, and probably did, receive weaponry from from like-minded people in Russia (not necessarily from the government), but so what?

          • Icisil,

            I have all the evidence in the world to support that fact, to include satellite photos and the protests of mothers of Russian soldiers killed in action there.

            Yes, in the cities of eastern Ukraine, there are a lot of ethnic Russians, descendents of those moved in under Twarist and Communist industrialization. There are also ethnic Ukrainians in SE Russia, descendants of Cossacks.

            But even a majority of ethnic Russians in the Donbas don’t favor union with their ancient homeland. If they did, Putin would permit supervised elections. He can’t move in enough Russian Russians to override the wishes of Ukrainians.

          • “But even a majority of ethnic Russians in the Donbas don’t favor union with their ancient homeland.”

            Eastern Ukraine (Donbass) is not historically a part of Russia. Crimea is. That probably has something to do with Russia being willing to intervene in Crimea, but not Donetsk (Donbass).

          • “Ukrainian militias and army tried to accomplish (genocide) in Donetsk…, and were planning to do in Crimea (which is why Russia intervened).”

            Don’t know enough about this to have an opinion, but I do know that Russia’s only warm water Naval Base is on the Crimean peninsula. Putin was not going to let it get taken away. That alone was reason enough for Russia to re-take eastern Ukraine.

        • One can’t really blame the Ukrainians turning to the Nazi’s in the 1930’s after Stalin’s manufactured starvation genocide against them. Stalin murdered some 4 million of them.

          After that, Stalin followed up with his great purges and show-trials. By1939/40 the Nazi’s looked to the Ukrainians like the road to freedom from Communism. They were wrong, but one can’t fault them for that early misapprehension.

          Five guys isn’t “many.”

      • Speaking of pipelines, isn’t that what the Syrian conflict is about? The idea is to prevent a pipeline from Saudi Arabia building a pipe to Europe, which has to pass through Syria.

        The Chechen corridor is blocked by conflict provoked by, guess who? Someone wants all the pipes to go north first, and Someone Else wants them to go south so they don’t pass through Russia.

        And how will Kazakh gas get to market? Where will the pipelines go? I understand that for the past 20 years the regional conflicts are all rooted in determining pipeline routes and who will have a Big Valve to turn things on and off.

        • Sunni crescent vs. Shia crescent. Qatar (Sunni) wanted a pipeline through Syria (also mostly Sunni, but secular government). They were BIG financiers of the Sunni jihadis in Syria. For the time being it looks like a pipeline from Iran (Shia) is more likely.

          I don’t think Islamic terrorism in Chechnya is that big of a problem anymore. Ramzan Kadyrov has an novel approach to remediating the problem. He gives no quarter when dealing with actual terrorists, but bends over backwards to reconcile radicalized persons by explaining that Wahhabism (Saudi Arabian salafism) is not Islam. They actually had a world Islamic conference in Chechnya a few years ago that purposely did not invite Saudi Arabia. But I guess by “Chechen corridor” you mean the countries to the south.

          • The Assad regime isn’t secular. It’s dominated by the Alawite sect, some 11% of the prewar population, plus the smaller number of Shia in Syria, and, formerly, with some Sunni, Christian and Druze members for window dressing.

            This minority government maintained itself in power only by periodially slaughtering the Sunni Arab majority (62% prewar, plus more Sunnis among Kurds, Circassians and Turkomen, for a total of perhaps 80%) whenever it rose up. The remainder of non Shia/Alawite population consists of Yazidis, Druze, various Christian denominations, etc.

            At the outset of the civil war, Sunnis mainly left the armed forces, leaving Assad reliant on Lebanese Shia in Hezbollah, Iraqi Shia militias, Iran and Russia to stay in power by yet again massacring his subject peoples, with foreign invaders and mercenaries.

            Assad also made sure that Salafist terror groups would be included among the rebels, by releasing from his prisons political prisoners radicalized there. Putin swelled the ranks by allowing Islamist fighters from Russia and the Caucasus to join the opposition.

            Had Syria been liberated from the minority Alawite tyranny, as was days from happening when Putin sent in Russian troops to defend the Alawite coastal homeland, the Muslim Brotherhood would indeed have been in the new government. But far from all Sunni Arabs are radical, thanks to Syria’s cosmopolitan history under the French, and to a lesser extent, the Turks. If half of Sunni Arabs supported the Brotherhood, then it would win about a third of seats in Parliament. Kurds, Turkomen and Cicassians have their own religious beliefs and political ideologies, separate from Salafist extremism, and of course there is the non-Sunni 20% or so.

            This situation is why Israel doesn’t fear a jihadi takeover of a democratic Syria. The present Iranian puppet regime is a far greater threat to peace in the region. Turkey and Jordan naturally concur.

          • Please, don’t start with this. Assad is an Alawite, but his wife, most of the government, army and populace are Sunni. Syria is a westernized culture that wants a secular government, rather than a sectarian (religious) government ruled by sharia law, or a “Sunni democracy” (a less strict form of sharia). The minority Alawites wrested power from the Muslim Brotherhood fundamentalists (Sunni salafists) in order to avoid being eradicated by them.

          • Icisil,

            You are mistaken. Under the Assad regime, most positions of political and military power were held by Alawites, not Sunnis. Most Sunni soldiers and officers sided with the rebels. It doesn’t matter to whom Assad is married.

            The Assad regime came to power not by overthrowing an Islamist government, but as a result of a half dozen coups after independence, including those by and within the Arab Nationalist Socialist Ba’athist Party. It first seized power in 1963, having never gotten more than 20% in a popular election. Then in 1966 an ultra-Leftwing military junta effected another coup within the party against the older, more nationalist wing the Ba’athists. Finally, Assad and his Alawite faction overthrew this unpopular tyranny, but continued receiving Soviet support.

            The Assad regime stayed in power by slaughtering tens of thousands of Sunnis, rather than allowing free elections, which of course the Alawites would have lost badly. Assad’s uncle was responsible for the Hama massacre in 1982. Unless he has die reccently, he still lives high on the hog in London, with treasure plundered from the Syrian people.

            If Sunnis backed Assad, he wouldn’t need the backing of Hezbollah, Iraqi militias, the Iranian and Russian armed forces to stay in power, nor need to drive millions from their homes and murder hundreds of thousands of Syrians (not counting foreign losses). As should be obvious.

          • ” Under the Assad regime, most positions of political and military power were held by Alawites, not Sunnis. ”

            You have no idea what you are talkig about.

            “The Assad regime isn’t secular”

            I’m sorry, but you’re just totally ignorant. Baathism is Arab national secularism.

            “If Sunnis backed Assad…”

            Sunnis do back Assad. To suggest otherwise is just ignorant.

          • Icisil,

            Talk about ignorant. You don’t even know the name of the Ba’ath Party, let alone its history. It’s the Arab Socialist Ba’ath Party, formally established in 1947, but formed in the early ’40s, based upon its founders’ experience in Paris in the early ’30s. Inspired by the German National Socialist Worker’s Party, former Communist Michel Aflaq and his fellow ideologue Salah al-Din al-Bitar, started the movement in post-independence Syria.

            You could look it up and learn, rather than spewing the mendacious Kool-Aid of which you’ve drunk such heavy draughts.

          • Icisil,

            You must not bother to read before responding.

            The Ba’ath Party was taken over by an Alawite-dominated faction in 1970. The Assad family and its Alawite cronies have since then kept control of the “party” and state through brutality since then. They stay in power only with Lebanese, Iraqi and Iranian Shi’a and Russian support.

            So, it’s presently a sectarian faction, not a broad secular, Arab nationalist socialist movement.

          • “So, it’s presently a sectarian faction, not a broad secular, Arab nationalist socialist movement.”

            Damn. This sucks when you have to resort to wikipedia

            …the overthrow of the old ruling classes and supported the creation of a secular society by separating Islam from the state

            https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ba%27athism

          • There’s no reason not to think, though, that a Muslim Brotherhood party in Syria, free to move, would not also slaughter its way to sole power, and establish a Salafist regime there.

            For example.

            Another example of Muslim Brotherhood civil moderation, is their wonderful program of an Israel free of Jews.

          • Pat,

            As I noted, Israel isn’t worried about a possible MB controlled Syria. It has supported the rebels as much as it can without getting more direcctly involved, which would lend credence to Assad’s charge that the opposition is controlled by Israel.

          • “There’s no reason not to think, though, that a Muslim Brotherhood party in Syria, free to move, would not also slaughter its way to sole power, and establish a Salafist regime there. ”

            That’s exactly what would have happened had it not been for Russia entering the conflict and saving Syria’s @ss. Here’s the rub though. Violent salafism (e.g., Al-Queda) always overthrows “moderate” Islam (e.g., Muslim Brotherhood). Every “moderate” jihadi who was exiled to Idlib (the province in Syria to which all jihadis who surrendered to the Syrian army were exiled) eventually were conquered (in Idlib) by Al-Nusra (Al-Queda in Syria). Consequently, Idlib is now the pre-eminent Al-Queda stronghold on the planet.

          • Sorry Icisil, I’m going to have to disagree with you on this one. It’s fairly well know that many Middle Eastern and Far Eastern National Governments declare themselves ‘Secular’ for the same reason Communist ones declare themselves to be ‘Democratic’ and Republic’.

            Kind of like how Leftists like to refer to themselves as ‘Liberal’ or ‘Progressive’. The talk the talk, but they don’t walk the walk.

            ~_~

          • Schitzree, do you have any evidence that Syria is not a secular state? If it is Islamic, it’s truly the strangest Islamic country I’ve seen, where both Christians and Muslims dress up in Santa outfits to publicly celebrate Christmas. I probably can find pictures of that if you like.

      • Commie, do a bit of reseatch. Icisil is not far off the truth.

        https://www.timesofisrael.com/kiev-renames-major-street-to-honor-russian-nazi-collaborator/

        Yes, Stalin was a genocidal bastard and I understand why many Ukrainians of the time saw Germany as liberators. Bandera was a Nutsi collaborator and is a hero of the left in Ukraine although he never returned to the Ukraine and died in Germany as a German citizen.

        America, typically naive about other nation’s histories, unwittingly (I hope), supported and funded Poroschenko, who represented the very worst of this faction in Ukraine. Europeans who went “all-in” behind Poroshenko have more recently become clued in on who they went to bed with and have stepped back. Crimea, which has the buns of the West in a twist, was traditional Russian territory -Katherine the Great had her fleet there.

        Crimea was given as a gift to Ukraine by Kruschev who was born in Kalinovka, Ukraine. Russia took this gift back, period!

        • This “gift” by the Ukrainian Khrushchev in 1954 was actually illegal according to the Russian constitution.

        • “Crimea, which has the buns of the West in a twist, was traditional Russian territory”:

          Isn’t it interesting that Russia officially went to the defense of Crimea, but not Donetsk (eastern Ukraine).

          • You really believe that Russian troops aren’t in the Donbas? The mothers of those killed there beg to differ with you.

      • Flipping nearly the entire Warsaw Pact to NATO
        ≠=======
        Long forgotten Russian proverb. You catch more flies with borscht than club.

  6. An economically rising Poland is smart to tie itself closer to the World’s #1 military power. Really inexpensive insurance against a dangerous neighbor.

    • Tell that to the countries that are now targeted by Russian nukes because they “bought some inexpensive insurance”.

        • Russia doesn’t have the conventional forces to withstand those of western powers, but, unlike 3rd world countries, it does have the power of nuclear fission, which it will use, according to their warnings, against any threats to its sovereignty. Caveat emptor.

          • Russia has far and away the largest conventional armed forces in Europe, about three times that of its closest compeitor, Turkey, and five times that of the biggest purely European military, France.

            Active personnel of the Russian armed forces last year numbered 1,013,628, fifth highest in the world. Its nominal reserves are vast, thanks to conscription and civilian training, but first tier number 2,572,500.

            By contrast, the US, with global commitments, to include a big navy, has about 1.3 million active and 811,000 Guard and Reserve personnel. Most of Russia’s military is ground forces.

            Eastern and Western Europeans have good reason to fear Russia, which has invaded the West at least once in every century since Peter the Great. In turn, it has been invaded by Sweden in the 18th, France in the 19th and Germany in the 20th centuries.

            Russia got to be the biggest country, starting from little Muscovy in the 16th century, because of constant aggression against its neighbors, ever farther away from Moscow.

          • “Yep. They’ll use their nukes and then they’ll lose… assuming the invasion doesn’t occur in winter.”

            Really? Who has ever succeeded in conquering Russia? The US is far more vulnerable. Disable the US grid and infrastructure (an EMP pulse is all that is necessary) and watch all of the nuclear reactors melt down (Oh damn! This place isn’t such a nice place to live anymore).

          • Lose, as in lose any war they start, because Putin is a ruthless klepto-tyrant, but he’s not nuts enough to nuke the West. He might use tactical nukes on Russian soil, but if NATO merely defends the Baltic states or other East European nations, without counterattacking, he wouldn’t dare.

            Russia is an economic basket case, with an economy smaller than Italy’s, and only that big thanks to its natural resources. Putin and his plutocrat partners have plundered the people’s wealth.

          • Icisil,

            The Mongols and Tatars conquered Russia.

            Poland held it for a while, installing their choice for Tsar. As of course too did Germany twice. The first time, Lenin surrendered Finland, the Baltics, Ukraine and much else, but the Western Allies then beat Germany, permitting the Red Army to conquer Ukraine. The second time, Stalin would also have lost without the Western Allies.

          • Icisil,

            If Putin wanted to be vaporized, he wouldn’t have stashed hundreds of stolen billions in Swiss, Cayman, Panamanian and other compliant banks around the world.

          • “The Mongols and Tatars conquered Russia.”

            Nope. The mongols and tatars only conquered part of Russia. Russia is very, very big.

          • “They conquered what was then Russia…”

            You mean some of Russian land. The people just retreated like they did during WWII. Russians, due to their large land mass, have that capability to lose some land and maintain their national identity.

          • Icisil,

            Why do you keep spouting such easily shown false lies?

            The people didn’t just retreat from the Tatars. They were under the Tatar yoke for hundreds of years.

  7. There is just so much wrong with this article. In the first place, Gazprom has never cut supplies to Europe, but rather Ukraine has persistently and illegally stolen gas from the pipeline for their own use, in addition to not paying for all the (subsidised) gas they acknowledged consuming. Furthermore, they resold some of this subsidized gas to European countries at full price, as well as pocketing transit fees.

    Nord stream 2, is the new gas pipeline that will eventually lead to the closure of the Ukrainian pipeline and the loss of billion dollar transit fees to Ukraine, and I guess, lots of free gas they will no longer be able to syphon off.. Germany, despite sympathetic noises couldn’t care less about Ukraine’s loss. I guess this is poetic justice.

      • A year ago (February 2018) Ukraine decided to purchase Russian gas, but this time Moscow did not make available 33% discount on the price of natural gas purchased from the Gasprom.

  8. The title of this article betrays an appalling ignorance. Russia no more has a grip on Poland than Saudi Arabia does on the West and no more than any supplier has on a customer. Poland is free for its part to become 100% reliant on American LNG shipped halfway round the world at twice the cost, but will have to suffer the economic costs of its Russophobia. Russia for its part could care less about gas to Poland and is near 100% completion of the new pipeline to China.

    • Are you serious? Russia controls 50% of Poland’s gas supply. Saudi Arabia provides only 10% of US oil imports, and the US imported only 19% of the oil it consumed. The rest came from domestic production. So US dependency on Saudi oil is a whopping 1.9%. Yes, the Great Satan should tremble in fear before Saudi economic might. /sarc, just in case.

      • Turn it around, europe controls gas supply from russia. The USA wants to cut off this supply because of the money russia needed.

        • Umm, no. Paranoia strikes deep.

          The US has excess gas production. We can liquefy and sell NG across the Atlantic more cheaply than Russia can produce and transport it via pipeline.

          It’s just economics. If the competitive price advantage also happens to benefit US foreign policy, all the better. If our policy be wise and in our best interests.

          • What’s ironic is that Qatar helped finance the construction of LNG terminals in the US (and around the globe as well) hoping to sell their natural gas in the US.

  9. Selling the U.S. gas to Poland at twice the price – that is pure politics.
    Why GAZPROM does want to avoid Ukraine? Simple – because the Ukrainians steal the gas and even do not pretend hiding that fact.

  10. Export that gas baby! Having natural gas prices steady around $4/mcf would be a huge boon to the USA since we have more natural gas than we know what to do with.

  11. Poland has, of course, been exposed to Russian brutality not that long ago. The other European countries mostly read about their past history of being oppressed by Hitler and have been lucky enough to avoid having had the boot of Russian tyranny on their throat in recent decades as the Polish have. .

  12. The world’s greatest bully is America, not Russia. Everything America does is about conquering and control, not freedom.
    =====?
    Ah yes. I remember reading in Russia history books. US built Berlin wall to control Germans. Russia tore down Berlin wall to free Germany. Great Russian patriot Ronald Regan orders “Mr Gorbechov, tear down this wall”.

    https://youtu.be/7NjNL4Nsa4Q

    And in 1939 Russia invades Poland to protect them from Nazis. CIA spies lech walesca and pope Paul II conspire against Russia to form Solidarity which sells polish nation into slavery of democracy in 1990 elections. Polish people sad to see end of Russian puppet show.

    Fruit-cake World history.

          • I don’t need to deflect, since you’ve been destroyed and humiliated here.

            If you’re not commenting on behalf of the Russian regime, then please state from whence you are posting, so that the moderators can check out your address.

            Thanks!

            I’m commenting under my real name from Quilpue, Chile.

          • What’s pitiful is the other boilerroom aliases who try to bail you out. You’re not doing a good job. But who could, trying to defend Putin? So your pitiful job is probably safe. Beats working for a living, which is hard to do in Putin’s Russia.

          • John, classic old 20th Century history is great, but you really need to bring yourself up to date on Ukraine. You’re a sterling sceptic on climate, but your letting the same people whom you parry on climate snow you on Russia and Ukraine.

            I grew up in Winnipeg where a lot of Ukrainian refugees came after Stalin’s genocidal campaign and I did and still do abhor what was done. But history has a habit of switching evil characters and you have to keep up. I traveled from Dombass to the Hungarian Border region and north south ~ 15 years ago so (on business) I’ve kept up with developments since. Yeah, the 1930s were a bitch, but the faction that was bought and paid for by the US is also a bitch. I dont know whether your historical travels have acquainted you with a fellow called Bandera, but they just named the main street after him in Ukraine. Maybe start your modern study of history with this guy.

          • Gary,

            I’ve known about Bandera since at least 1969. As a nationalist, he was arrested by the Gestapo and sent to Sachsenhausen. He was not a Nazi. He couldn’t have lasted as long as he did after the war without the support of lots of Ukrainians.

            The people who turned out in Maidan Square were not Neo-Nazis in the pay of the CIA.

            Please state just what you imagine to be my errors. Sorry, but a trip across Ukraine 15 years ago doesn’t count too much against the votes of Ukrainians now for independence from Putin’s attempt to reconstruct the Russian Empire.

            There are indeed differences in opinion between western and eastern Ukraine, with the south in between. But again, Mr. Putin, please let the people vote. Then we’ll know.

            It seems you’ve bought into Putin’s propaganda lies.

          • “please state from whence you are posting, so that the moderators can check out your address.”

            From the US. Not under Russian control, except under democrat delusions

      • I hope you’re kidding.

        If East Germany were such a paradise, why did so many people risk their lives to escape it to the West?

        Were you ever in East Berlin, to smell the open sewage and smoky Trabants? Did you ever visit the ravaged, polluted countryside?

          • I noticed. But didn’t need the hint. Ferd’s intent was obvious.

            I was responding to Icisil, not Ferd. Should have addressed him directly.

          • Hope this isn’t a dupe.

            I didn’t need to notice. It was obvious that Ferd was sarcastic.

            I was responding to Icisil. Should have addressed him, but thought the “paradise” comment made clear to whom I was replying.

        • Were you ever in Don-Bass or Crimea to find out what is going on, I was there by car from the Netherlands in 2014 as well in 2018. In Crimea people are happy that they got rid of Ukraine.In DonBass people did’nt want to be treated as secondary citizens. The same for the hungarian minority. I see you have fake information from propaganda sources. To conclude Russia relies on europe for the money and Deep State wants to cut it off as a new type of sanction.

          • JJM,

            The Crimea and Donbas are different situations. The Donbas was a Ukrainian, ie Cossack, region, into which Russians moved from the late 19th century. Khrushchev and Brezhnev were examples. Chernenko was the opposite, ie a Ukrainian born in Russia.

            Again, if Putin thinks a majority of Donbas natives there would vote for union with Russia, why hasn’t he allowed a UN-supervised plebiscite?

            Putin’s strategy is to carve off mini-state bits of his troublesome neighbors, like Georgia and Ukraine, who could interfere with his oil and gas deliveries. Same reason why he’s so invested in Syria. Also, nations with territorial issues can’t join NATO.

            No propaganda. Just the faccts. Did you miss this during your 2018 visit to the battlefields?

            https://theconversation.com/how-the-mothers-of-dead-soldiers-may-be-what-reins-in-vladimir-putins-ambitions-84943

          • SMC,

            I don’t. Putin has battalions of trolls, and promoting climate alarmism is part of his strategy.

            They frequent even less eye-balled sites than this one.

            Icisil’s approach here has been classic Russian boilerroom practice.

          • “Icisil’s approach here has been classic Russian boilerroom practice.”

            And yours has been classic democrat boilerplate practice.

          • Icisil,

            I’m a registered Republican, and before that independent.

            But I’ve studied Russia for decades.

          • Icisil,

            I was anti-Communist when the Democrats, like Ted Kennedy, sided with the USSR against Reagan.

            I was pro-Russian when Yeltsin first liberated the people from Communism. But now Putin is trying to reassemble the empire. All of a sudden formerly anti-anti-Communist Democrats are now opposed to an authoritarian Russian autocrat.

          • The real colluders with Russia are Democrats.

            Obama told Putin he’d be accomodating after the election, although he had already cancelled ballistic missile defense for Eastern Europe. Then he backed down in Syria because Putin said he’d take over Assad’s chemical weapons, which he didn’t, of course.

            Clinton let Putin and China read her classified emails. She allowed Russia to buy US uranium, in exchange for payola to her crime Family Foundation, through a Canadian cutout.

            Can’t collude much more than such traitorous acts as those.

          • John Tillman — you forget to mention the repressive laws Ukraine made against the etnic hungarians and russians and that is the root cause of the trouble in Ukraine. Georgie was the agressor in the SouthOssetie war and accordingly sentenced by the EU. In Germany the majority get fed-up with the american “democratic” policy. It’s all about global dominance by the USA.

      • Russia built the wall to keep the barbarians from invading paradise.

        May you live in that paradise forever.

    • Lighten up everybody – Ferd forgot his /sarc tag…

      BTW, it appears that some folks on this thread know less about history and economics than AOC – hard to believe.

  13. American history is ‘simples’, not much happen there since independence and the civil war. In contrast the European history could not have been more different. Most of adult Europeans, especially the continental Europeans are extremely well informed about it, and as a consequence understand intricacies of the current European political relations possibly far better than their more distant cousins across the Atlantic. Even British, only 20 miles away, although deeply involved with continent for many centuries, still have not fully mastered continental logic and vice-versa, hence Brexit is such a shamble.

    • Vuk,

      Whatever mistakes they made, which were plenty, Kissinger, Brzezinski, Albright, Power and Gorka didn’t make them due to not understanding their native Europe. Nor C. Rice, an Eastern Europe expert, nor S. Rice, an Oxford grad, nor Powell, who commanded formations in Germany. Nor for that matter, Ivana and Melania Trump.

      • Not to mention Al Haig, who had been SACEUR before SecState. Or even Wesley Clark, another Oxford grad with lots of military command experience in Europe. Granted, he didn’t cover himself with glory in the Balkans.

        Finally, who understood what would benefit Europe better than former US gneral SecState Marshall, whose plan revived the continent after the second time Europe tried to destroy itself in 30 years?

        Do you really think that Europeans did such a great job of understanding their own continent before the US rode to its rescue? Twice.

      • I was having in mind just the ordinary people of Europe and America, kind of people commenting here. American political leaders however deep their European roots have acted or at least should have acted the first and foremost according to what they understood to be in the interest of United States. European political leaders on the other hand are thorn between acting in the narrow national interest and the memory of the grandiose mistakes of their predecessors.
        The Byzantine politics of Poland, Hungary, Greece, Italy, UK, France, Germany and the rest (excluding the wise and sensible Scandinavians) vs triangle Brussels, USA and Russia, is a challenge to the reason, hence the often encountered black/white interpretation from a more distant observer. Europeans be it the East or the West should be left to learn to sort out their little differences among themselves.

        • Fine with me, except that Europeans have traditionally sorted out their differences by terrible wars, before permanent US intervention, which now might be ending.

          The US of course had its own terrible internecine war in 1861. We might have another.

          As a college freshman, I benefited from having living European history on my campus, in the form of Alexander Kerensky, in the last year of his life. Stanford also enjoyed the presence of experts on British, French, German, Spanish and Italian history, including the author of the still standard work on the German general staff, by Gordon Craig, a Scot.

          We’re not as ignorant as you imagine, perhaps without having met a lot of us.

          But IMO both European and US young people today don’t know much history.

          • Kerensky, first as war minister and later as the prime minister wasn’t a great success, it is possible that his isolation of conservative monarchist and right wing but democratic orientated political forces, may have contributed to the rapid rise of Bolsheviks whom he didn’t see as much of a threat at the time.
            In another afterthought, the both European wars might have been less brutal and shorter if the USA got involved initially as an arbiter or militarily at the early stages.
            I was born and educated in Tito’s Yugoslavia, only European leader who stood up to Stalin, he who for decades masterfully balanced the East-West politics. But that was Balkans, handful of quarrelsome and warlike often brutal peoples. Having lived almost all of my adult life in the UK I would have a much different perspective of events.

          • Vuk,

            Tito was far from the only European leader who stood up to Stalin. All the NATO countries stood up to Stalin until his death.

            The US did try to arbitrate WWI, to no avail. How could we have gotten more involved in WWII before Dec 1941? We were already siding actively with the Allies rather than neutral, as the people wanted, after the debacle of the Great War. That’s why H!tler declared war on the US after Pearl Harbor. He wanted to unleash his U-boats on our maritime commerce and navy, hoping he could whip us in a two-front war.

            You really need to brush up on 20th century history.

          • More than half of my family male members lost their lives in two wars, one only age 16, further two ended in conccamps. Some, one generation removed who were American citizens at the time, joined up with Canadian forces to do their patriotic bit in Europe. John, my 20th century history was learnt from a bitter family sacrifice.

          • “How could we have gotten more involved in WWII before Dec 1941?
            You really need to brush up on 20th century history”

            The USA did not have to get involved at all at any time, but Europe is for ever grateful that it decided to do so. Perhaps it would have been less costly in lives to both the American forces and the European population if it did get involved earlier.
            So happened in Europe before Dec. 1941.
            Britain declared war on Germany (didn’t have to do so) On September 3, 1939
            Holland and Belgium invaded in May 1940
            Germans march into Paris in June 1940
            Battle of Britain July, Sept & Oct 1940, with parts of London devastated by German bombers, but brave British airmen won it.
            German forces occupied parts of SE Europe 1941
            Germans invade Soviet Union in 1941
            Pearl Harbour December 1941.
            European gratitude goes to the half American and possibly the greatest European ever Sir Winston Churchill, who in the late December, 1941, stood in front of the US Congress and urged the Americans to join the “two nations in a unstoppable fighting force”.
            I believe that Churchill declared war on Japan (after Pearl Harbour) before the US Congress did, but you can correct me if I am wrong.

  14. Poland, like many of its neighbors has plenty of natural gas, but it requires that evil hydraulic fracturing to extract efficiently. Hopefully, their government will not shoot itself in the foot like France and ban fracturing. They could supply both themselves and some of their neighbors.

  15. I wonder what need Anthony has of publishing a politically divisive post with a Russo-phobic slant that is also factually incorrect. Russian supplies of gas to Europe have never been cut and it might be debatable but by no means implausible that Ukraine (the second poorest country in Europe and the most corrupt, according to Transparency International) did indeed siphon off gas from the pipelines that cross its territory.

    It shouldn’t have been difficult to predict that such a post would immediately attract comments from Putin admirers and anti-Russian conspiracy theorists. Btw, who is more anti-Russian nowadays than Trump and MAGA-haters?

    Poland has decided to reduce its dependence from Russian gas by signing contracts with US suppliers? Excellent. Why not just leave it at that without introducing unnecessary judgements about other countries’ malevolent purposes?

    Every European country is free to follow the Polish example if they so wish. That none of them is doing so (except for Lithuania, I believe) suggests that the deal may not be so good, economically speaking, that they don’t share the author’s view on the alleged menace of the Russians and that perhaps they don’t see that depending on the US improves their situation much.

  16. “Tell that to Otto Warmbier’s parents. How can anyone defend a man who betrays a young man and his family, just so he can suck u to a dictator like Kim.”

    Simon, that was Obama that let him languish in North Korea for a year before Trump was sworn in as president.

  17. Stalin-Hitler vs. Trump-Duda. Let’s see which bromance turns out to be ‘on the right side of history’ for the Polish people.

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