Sputnik: So, to begin with, despite receiving all of the necessary permits in Germany, many EU countries and the bloc’s energy department head don’t seem too keen on the Nord Stream 2 pipeline. They say that this is because they place emphasis on the “diversification” of supply routes, including through Ukraine. Do you sense that there is something political at play here?
Adam Garrie: Oh it’s totally political. When it comes to basic logistics and economics, the rules simply dictate they one wants a supply of gas from a country that is stable, through routes that are stable, and Nord Stream two absolutely provides that. An undersee route from western Russia into Northern Germany, you can’t get much more stable than that. Clearly some of these factions within the EU are playing a game of politics with something that should simply be about what is cost effective, what is consistent and what is secure.
This whole Ukraine issue is something that they bring up whenever they essentially run out of other ways and other ideas to slander Russia, to defame Russia and to try to retort Russia’s economic progress. Everyone knows that Ukraine is one of the most corrupt and least stable and violent and turbulent countries, not just in the region; but in the entire world. We could compare to Somalia far more accurately than any let’s say stable European Union country. So the idea that a Ukrainian route would be a diversification of supplies would be a bit like saying that they’d rather set up a small business, let’s say a fruit stand in the middle of Mogadishu, than in the Middle of Nairobi. It just doesn’t make any logical sense.
Sputnik: We’ve seen Germany’s ex-foreign minister Sigmar Gabriel receive pretty harsh criticism this week for saying that Germany should take a more balanced attitude toward Russia, particularly with regards to energy policy, and that his country should take a position that’s more independent from the United States – what do you make of such an assessment?
Adam Garrie: Well Mr Gabriel has always shown at least somewhat of an ability to judge situations in a moderate and logical and sensible way. It’s really a shame that things like moderation and logic, which are really the essence of both business and ought to be the essence of politics, are portrayed as dangerous or deluded or extreme, when really this is the attitude which is positive.
Far from giving the credit to him alone though it must be said that the wider German business community wants to do more business with Russia. They’re tired of the sanctions, they’re tired of provocations regarding the delivery of cheap gas, and they want to get on with things. It’s only a political class, that frankly have no experience, in the world of business but only in the world of beauracy, where it’s a virtue to be slow and not cost effective, where we see these anti-Russian voices coming from.
Anyone that’s actually working in the real world where real money is at stake, and the real delivery of services and products is at stake, they all want these hostilities between Europe and Russia to end because it’s bad for business across the board. So in that sense, Gabriel is absolutely correct. He’s speaking not only for a logical voice that represents a big faction within German society but he’s representing the vast majority of German businessmen and German consumers.
Sputnik: And finally as I mentioned earlier, Germany has approved permits for the construction of the pipelines, but so too has Finland signed the necessary documents to have the pipe stretch through its territory. Despite the current political climate, do you see the future of EU energy policy, perhaps inevitably, improving with Russia?
Adam Garrie: I think it will simply have to. As Europe becomes more and more in need of cheap and efficient gas supplies particularly in the winter months, it doesn’t make sense for Europe to deal with anyone other than Russia. The United States has incredibly overpriced liquefied natural gas, which has to be shipped across the Atlantic whereas the Russian gas is not only much cheaper but it comes much more rapidly through a pipeline; you can’t get much more direct than that. So any option other than Russian gas simply makes zero economic sense.
The entire thing is combination of the United States pulling on Europe’s strings in order to sell its expensive gas. And they are of course using the people I call ‘the useful idiots’ in Europe who have these strange ideological pathology regarding Russia and its relations with parts of the former Soviet Union. Let’s get down to business. It’s called ‘win win’ – that’s how the Chinese president Xi defines it and it can apply to just about every situation, particularly Europe’s relationship with Russia.
The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the speaker and do not necessarily reflect those of Sputnik.