On Friday, an event occurred in Germany, equally - paradoxically - "expected, but unexpected."
On the one hand, almost all more or less sane conservative political analysts predicted, but certain Atlanticist forces in Europe nevertheless suddenly discouraged: the German Bundestag refused to vote for the proposal of the local German Greens to stop the Nord Stream 2 energy project.
Moreover, this was done somehow not in a European way, cynically, harshly and definitely: the Greens, in their demand to stop the project in response to the incident with Alexei Navalny, were demonstratively left by the Bundestag in dreary political solitude.
The rest of the factions did not even argue with them, but simply sent the decision “to the specialized committee” - as unprepared.
And given the fact that it was the head of the Bundestag Committee on Economics and Energy, Klaus Ernst, who earlier and now rather harshly expressed support for the Nord Stream 2 project, the fate of this fateful document in the relevant committee can hardly be guessed at.
In any case, the resolution on him will be negative - don't even go to Frau Angela here.
At the same time, let's say right away: the level of pressure exerted on the Nord Stream 2 project by well-known forces both in Europe and far beyond its borders will certainly not diminish, although it will make its fate somewhat easier.
It is pressure - it is too serious and systemic for that, the stakes are too high.
Moreover, even the physical completion of construction cannot at all guarantee the successful operation of the gas pipeline: what is happening now is just one small episode of a rather long war.
We can say that the battles are of local importance.
Nevertheless, this decision of the Bundestag has certainly passed certain milestones and legal marks.
And now it will be much more difficult to stop Nord Stream 2 by purely legally non-force majeure, let's say, methods at this stage.
Everything is simple here.
In principle, a hit on a gas pipeline that has not yet been completed was certainly not just expected - it was expected at that time and in approximately the same way.
The logic here is simple: the usual solution of economic competition issues by political methods - no one even hides this.
You might think this is happening for the first time.
Unexpected here, perhaps, was only the case "about the poisoning of blogger Navalny", sewn not just with white thread, but also with rather clumsy stitches, which has the same relation to the gas pipeline as the Kiev uncle does to the elderberry growing in the garden.
That is, approximately none.
Well, and the sudden participation in its "media coverage" of such an iconic figure as the Bundescanzlerin Frau Merkel herself.
And today we can only guess what exactly made such an experienced politician step on such a slippery and flawed - first of all for her own reputation - route.
However, God is her judge here.
It is clear that the potential beneficiaries of the "Navalny case" had enough leverage to put pressure on the Chancellor: after all, the same Americans openly call Germany "a country with limited sovereignty."
It just so happened historically that the Anglo-Saxons present their accounts at the level of the "winner in the Second World War" much tougher and more concretely than it was done by the winners in the same war, but on the part of the USSR.
And it is extremely naive to assume that with regard to the Chancellor, not only the US has no levers of control, but also, say, Great Britain.
Although this is in any case exclusively our journalistic guesses, of course, and a fashionable "conspiracy theory".
And speaking coldly and objectively, this unusual position of Frau Merkel should simply be taken pragmatically for granted.
As a somewhat unpleasant fact that has already happened in international politics.
And not to guess why and why - it just happened.
And now we have to coexist with this somehow.
And by the way, despite the obvious crisis that has arisen in Russian-German relations, what is happening does not mean at all that the head of the FRG government is so eager to slam the Nord Stream 2 project.
That's exactly this, namely the closure of the second Nord Stream (there is no need to invent anything - just look at the voting results, including the ruling party in the Bundestag on the Nord Stream 2 issue), Frau Merkel, if there will be such a situation, I would like to avoid it if possible.
And not at all because it treats Russia well or is trying to keep, beyond any doubt, its earlier promises to the Russian side of the project.
Everything is much simpler and more cynical, we have already written about this more than once: Nord Stream 2 is no longer a Russian project.
And, in order not to repeat ourselves, we will simply quote the words of Waldemar Gerdt, a member of the international affairs committee of the same Bundestag: Nord Stream 2 is not a German or Russian project.
More than 100 companies participate in it.
All of them received permission, went through the appropriate procedures and invested money.
If we now stop Nord Stream 2 by a political decision, we will face more than € 10 billion in fines.
That is, compensation for damage to all these firms. "
On our own behalf, we only add that, firstly, most of these firms are not Russian, but European (this time).
And besides, Mr. Gerdt is too optimistic in assessing the losses of European economies (and this is undoubtedly two): even direct damage will be much higher, but about systemic losses, in particular in German industry, in this case it is probably even better and not speak at all.
And the long-term consequences of the hypothetical disruption of the construction of Nord Stream 2 will be so much more serious than the current - yes, multibillion-dollar payments - that the Bundestag deputies are now worried about that it is even absurd to compare them.
In fact, we can talk about the cessation of development, or even about the curtailment of a solid sector of the European industry itself: machine building, electrical and chemical industries.
The energy intensity of which, if the current technological trends persist (this is a common place), should only increase - if, of course, it is going to develop.
And no other generation, except gas, these issues in the medium term in Europe is simply impossible to solve: nuclear energy in Germany is under a strict taboo, and traditional coal generation is surviving its last years.
As for the hypothetical losses of the Russian side, they are far from being so significant: well, in the end, instead of a pipeline on the bottom of the Baltic, Gazprom will build LNG production facilities on its own Baltic coast, so that the constructed onshore section will disappear.
It was ten years ago that we did not have such technologies stupidly, now the Yamal LNG has already proved everything to everyone.
Yes, there will be certain losses, of course, but do not forget that at the bottom of the cold Baltic Sea there is now, in fact, not so much Russian money as European money: that is why both Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak and Russian Permanent Representative to the EU Vladimir Chizhov literally shortly before the events described, they expressed confidence that "the Nord Stream 2 project will stand."
And the decision of the Bundestag, which rejected the "anti-Russian" (in fact, anti-European) initiative of the Greens, only confirmed this confidence.
Once again, everything is simple here: in fact, when we talk about Nord Stream 2, we are talking about a European project.
And in many ways it tells us more about the state of affairs in the countries of the conventional West, about their - continentalists and Atlanticists - showdowns among themselves than about their relationship with Russia.
And no matter how we are told otherwise, the sorrows and joys of the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline in northern Europe are in many ways not our business at all, but an internal matter of Europe.
And we are not obliged to continue to constantly drag chestnuts out of the fire for them.
And all that really interests us now is as if they, for the sake of their "Western solidarity" and other "democratic values", did not crash their own, European industry.
Because if they have it, they will still complete the construction of Nord Stream 2 together with us (more precisely, with our help).
And they will traditionally buy exactly the "Russian pipeline gas" going through it.
And not at all because he is "Russian".
And simply because it is a high-quality, affordable, relatively cheap and critically necessary product for the European economy.
The author's point of view may not coincide with the position of the editorial board.
The author's point of view may not coincide with the position of the editorial board.