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posted by janrinok on Thursday July 21 2022, @02:24PM   Printer-friendly

Arthur T Knackerbracket has processed the following story:

Russia’s Gazprom has told customers in Europe that it cannot guarantee gas supplies because of “extraordinary” circumstances, according to a letter seen by the Reuters news agency, upping the ante in an economic tit-for-tat with the West over Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine.

The Russian state gas monopoly said in a letter dated July 14 that it was retroactively declaring force majeure on supplies from June 14. The news comes as Nord Stream 1 (NS1), the key pipeline delivering Russian gas to Germany and beyond, is undergoing 10 days of annual maintenance scheduled to conclude on Thursday.

The letter added to fears in Europe that Moscow may not restart the pipeline at the end of the maintenance period in retaliation for sanctions imposed on Russia over the war in Ukraine, heightening an energy crisis that risks tipping the region into recession.

Known as an “act of God” clause, force majeure is standard in business contracts and defines extreme circumstances that release a party from their legal obligations. The declaration does not necessarily mean that Gazprom will stop deliveries, rather that it should not be held responsible if it fails to meet contract terms.

[...] Russian gas supplies have been declining via major routes for some months, including via Ukraine and Belarus as well as through the Nord Stream 1 pipeline under the Baltic Sea.

[...] The grace period for payments on two of Gazprom’s international bonds expires on July 19, and if foreign creditors are not paid by then the company will be technically in default.


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  • (Score: 4, Interesting) by Spook brat on Thursday July 21 2022, @02:53PM (7 children)

    by Spook brat (775) on Thursday July 21 2022, @02:53PM (#1262103) Journal

    Update:
    https://www.npr.org/2022/07/21/1112662872/key-gas-pipeline-from-russia-to-europe-restarts-after-a-break-for-maintenance [npr.org]

    Looks like Russia is still keeping this option open as a leverage point on NATO for the time being.

    Also, I'm hearing commentary elsewhere that there's some grumbling now about how maybe turning off the German nuclear plants wasn't the best call, considering that they're making up for the gas and nuclear shortfall with burning coal and oil again...

    --
    Travel the galaxy! Meet fascinating life forms... And kill them [schlockmercenary.com]
    • (Score: 5, Insightful) by drussell on Thursday July 21 2022, @04:25PM (6 children)

      by drussell (2678) on Thursday July 21 2022, @04:25PM (#1262116) Journal

      Also, I'm hearing commentary elsewhere that there's some grumbling now about how maybe turning off the German nuclear plants wasn't the best call, considering that they're making up for the gas and nuclear shortfall with burning coal and oil again...

      Oh, it most certainly was a bad idea, or at least at an absolute minimum the short timescale was a bad move. This was vocally, vehemently expressed at the time, yet ignored.

      It was a knee-jerk reaction to the ineptitude and stupidity at Fukushima, not well thought out energy policy.

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday July 21 2022, @04:30PM (5 children)

        by Anonymous Coward on Thursday July 21 2022, @04:30PM (#1262119)

        Opportunity knocks for the most technically advanced nation in the world to build some of those supposedly awesomeballs thorium reactors. If not now, when? [wikipedia.org]

        • (Score: 3, Informative) by captain normal on Thursday July 21 2022, @06:02PM (4 children)

          by captain normal (2205) on Thursday July 21 2022, @06:02PM (#1262135)

          Broke link...Perhaps you meant:

          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thorium-based_nuclear_power [wikipedia.org]

          Tiny links and such may save bits over the interwebby, but the days of 96k modems are long gone and they often break.

          --
          Everyone is entitled to his own opinion, but not to his own facts"- --Daniel Patrick Moynihan--
          • (Score: 2) by maxwell demon on Thursday July 21 2022, @06:19PM (3 children)

            by maxwell demon (1608) on Thursday July 21 2022, @06:19PM (#1262138) Journal

            Except it wasn't a short link, just one with an incorrectly (or rather not at all) encoded special character. Here's the corrected link: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/If_Not_Now,_When%3F_(novel) [wikipedia.org]
            The %3F is an encoded question mark which, if not encoded, has a special meaning in URLs.

            --
            The Tao of math: The numbers you can count are not the real numbers.
            • (Score: 2) by drussell on Thursday July 21 2022, @08:44PM (2 children)

              by drussell (2678) on Thursday July 21 2022, @08:44PM (#1262162) Journal

              I realize from your URLs you're trying to link to a (novel), but that second attempt at a link doesn't work either...

              The inline-text version now shows correctly in the second one, but the actual link still has a ? character.

              (You can see the ? in the first link, by the way, but wikipedia needs the actual, un-translated, %3F in the link.)

              • (Score: 3, Insightful) by maxwell demon on Friday July 22 2022, @04:12AM (1 child)

                by maxwell demon (1608) on Friday July 22 2022, @04:12AM (#1262238) Journal

                Well, it's no my link, but the original AC's link.

                But I now see that the culprit is actually the Rehash software that apparently replaces the encoded with an unencoded question mark when generating the link. That's clearly a software bug.

                --
                The Tao of math: The numbers you can count are not the real numbers.
                • (Score: 2) by drussell on Friday July 22 2022, @06:54PM

                  by drussell (2678) on Friday July 22 2022, @06:54PM (#1262338) Journal

                  Indeed. The English language is terribly imprecise...

                  I was meaning the plural form of you in that statement when I said "your", as in the French vous rather than tu, like as in "you folks," or "you people", like where in French you would write "vous êtes" instead of "tu es." 😀

                  I realize the original link was by an AC, rather than you, maxwell demon or captain normal with the link to actual reactors...

  • (Score: 2) by Opportunist on Thursday July 21 2022, @03:11PM (13 children)

    by Opportunist (5545) on Thursday July 21 2022, @03:11PM (#1262105)

    I have a pretty good idea who is that extraordinary circumstance that clogs the pipeline. Remove him and it should clear up that problem immediately.

    • (Score: 3, Insightful) by inertnet on Thursday July 21 2022, @03:29PM (7 children)

      by inertnet (4071) on Thursday July 21 2022, @03:29PM (#1262108) Journal

      He's currently reviving old school youth groups, some sort of "Putin Jugend", who will consider him a god. Much like North Koreans worship their divine dictator. Removing him will result in more fanaticism.

      • (Score: 2) by Opportunist on Thursday July 21 2022, @03:32PM (4 children)

        by Opportunist (5545) on Thursday July 21 2022, @03:32PM (#1262109)

        I remember some asshole that tried this around these parts here. It works pretty well 'til the kids have to go to war, then they suddenly don't like it that much anymore.

        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday July 21 2022, @04:13PM (3 children)

          by Anonymous Coward on Thursday July 21 2022, @04:13PM (#1262115)

          ??? What parts are "here"? Who is the asshole?

          • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday July 21 2022, @05:55PM (2 children)

            by Anonymous Coward on Thursday July 21 2022, @05:55PM (#1262131)

            If you have to ask who is the asshole...

            • (Score: 1) by khallow on Friday July 22 2022, @11:48AM (1 child)

              by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Friday July 22 2022, @11:48AM (#1262269) Journal
              Then you're probably replying to an asshole who will keep stringing you along.
              • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday July 22 2022, @06:58PM

                by Anonymous Coward on Friday July 22 2022, @06:58PM (#1262341)

                Self awareness is beginning in khallow. I almost didn't point it out since it usually causes a regression, but that is likely anyway with conservatives. Libertarians are no different except for issues they don't care about, then logic and reason sometimes work.

      • (Score: 2, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday July 21 2022, @05:22PM (1 child)

        by Anonymous Coward on Thursday July 21 2022, @05:22PM (#1262125)

        Removing him will result in more fanaticism.

        We'll cross that bridge when we get to the river.

        Mark my words: As long as Putin is alive, there will be no peace. You can't reason or negociate with a mad man, which is exactly what Putin is. However, that's probably not the case of all his entourage. Remember, he's just one man. One 70+ year old man who's defective psychopathic brain is stuck in the soviet era, when his sole reason for existence was to protect the integrity of the Soviet Union, at all cost. And that's what he's been trying to recreate for decades now. He will not stop until he's dead.

        Once he's gone, his entourage will be more inclined to stop a bloodshed that is benefiting no one, sit at the negociation table, and solve this through diplomatic means. Russia, as a country, has legitimate grievances, but none of them justify slaughtering inocent civilians by the thousands.

        • (Score: -1, Troll) by Anonymous Coward on Friday July 22 2022, @10:22PM

          by Anonymous Coward on Friday July 22 2022, @10:22PM (#1262402)

          lmao! as if it;'s Putin's fault that The Jew won't be satisfied until all White Russians are dead.. They are so powerful Putin can't even name The Jew. he calls them "oligarch traitors", etc. While dumb Americans allow congress to send Billions to kill Whites in this contrived White genocidal war. The race traitors in congress even gave that subversive jew Zelenski a standing ovation. Pitiful cucks.

    • (Score: 2) by legont on Friday July 22 2022, @01:07AM (4 children)

      by legont (4179) on Friday July 22 2022, @01:07AM (#1262205)

      You are mistaken. Whoever replaces Putin will be way more aggressive.
      For example the former West darling Medvedev openly calls for nuclear strikes in his blog. I guess sanctioning his daughter was a bad idea.

      --
      "Wealth is the relentless enemy of understanding" - John Kenneth Galbraith.
      • (Score: 2) by Reziac on Friday July 22 2022, @02:19AM (1 child)

        by Reziac (2489) on Friday July 22 2022, @02:19AM (#1262219) Homepage

        That's what those calling for his removal don't understand.

        Putin is the =moderate=.

        --
        And there is no Alkibiades to come back and save us from ourselves.
        • (Score: 3, Touché) by Opportunist on Friday July 22 2022, @06:34AM

          by Opportunist (5545) on Friday July 22 2022, @06:34AM (#1262250)

          If that's the moderate, it only means that the excision has to be more extensive to get rid of the cancer.

      • (Score: 3, Insightful) by khallow on Friday July 22 2022, @03:50AM

        by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Friday July 22 2022, @03:50AM (#1262234) Journal

        Whoever replaces Putin will be way more aggressive.

        Don't buy it. My take is that we should make a habit of getting rid of bad leaders rather than have some ridiculous fear that we'll somehow always get worse.

      • (Score: 1, Redundant) by Opportunist on Friday July 22 2022, @06:32AM

        by Opportunist (5545) on Friday July 22 2022, @06:32AM (#1262249)

        It's quite easy to bark when you don't have to follow through with it. For how many years do you think our socialists have been calling for UBI, only to conveniently forget about it as soon as they even come close to actually having to run the show?

        You'll find that hardliners suddenly are curiously way, way less tough if they actually have to put their money where their mouth is.

  • (Score: 4, Informative) by Rosco P. Coltrane on Thursday July 21 2022, @04:12PM (8 children)

    by Rosco P. Coltrane (4757) on Thursday July 21 2022, @04:12PM (#1262114)

    The Russian economy collapsing, in the footsteps of the Ruble, and Gasprom reopening the valve in a hurry to make some cash quick.

    It's a game of chicken: Putin is betting that the Europeans will cave in before he runs out of money. The trouble is, fossil fuel is basically Russian's only source of income. Because remember: Russia is nothing more than a big gas station [businessinsider.com].

    • (Score: 2) by DeathMonkey on Thursday July 21 2022, @05:43PM

      by DeathMonkey (1380) on Thursday July 21 2022, @05:43PM (#1262128) Journal

      The United States, as the largest gas station on the planet currently, [eia.gov] will be happy to sell them some of our oil!

    • (Score: 2, Troll) by legont on Friday July 22 2022, @01:00AM (6 children)

      by legont (4179) on Friday July 22 2022, @01:00AM (#1262204)

      The thing is, since the war has started, ruble is the strongest currency in the world.

      --
      "Wealth is the relentless enemy of understanding" - John Kenneth Galbraith.
      • (Score: 1) by khallow on Friday July 22 2022, @04:02AM (3 children)

        by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Friday July 22 2022, @04:02AM (#1262236) Journal

        The thing is, since the war has started, ruble is the strongest currency in the world.

        Try buying something with them then - say like cheap dollars. That's the real test.

        • (Score: 2) by legont on Saturday July 23 2022, @04:59PM

          by legont (4179) on Saturday July 23 2022, @04:59PM (#1262511)

          Actually, Russia demands the West pays for gas and oil in rubles.

          The problem is not to buy dollars with rubles - that's easy - but where to get them if one does not export anything to Russia for rubles.

          --
          "Wealth is the relentless enemy of understanding" - John Kenneth Galbraith.
        • (Score: 2) by legont on Saturday July 23 2022, @06:32PM (1 child)

          by legont (4179) on Saturday July 23 2022, @06:32PM (#1262517)

          Let me explain how and why this happened.

          Before the war, Russia had a "budget rule". Any proceeds from oil above $40 were sent back to the US as a reserve. Say oil is at $60, Russia would get $40 then Central Bank would print and sell rubles to get $20 and it would put them on deposit in the US. This created a serious down pressure on ruble.
          Since the US confiscated the reserves, the rule is broken and ruble gets a push up.

          Another factor was oligarchs exporting dollars from Russia. Yes, anybody who has ruble account can buy as much dollars as he wants even now, but what to do with them? One can't buy foreign toys because of sanctions. One can't move dollars out in fear of confiscations under sanctions. One can't even get paper benjamins because the US does not provide them to Russia any more. One can just keep them on account I guess, but what is a dollar account in Russia? For example Tinkoff - the best online bank over there - customer dollar accounts are simply a deposit at Manhattan branch of Chase. I even happen to know the account number. Any day Tinkoff could end up on sanction list and all the client's dollars would disappear.

          This is why ruble goes up and in spite of desperate efforts of Russian Central Bank it does not slow down. This has some consequences such as government budget looks bad and exporters suffer, but it's the worst for oligarchs. Meantime ordinary people are happy. They feel rich and local business is booming as it got double push - currency and removing of competitors. Common Russians love it. In fact the sanctions package - some believe - is the best thing ever that happened to Russia since perestroika. Death to oligarchy and power to the people. More real economy instead of commodity exports. Most folks praise and love Putin for this.

          --
          "Wealth is the relentless enemy of understanding" - John Kenneth Galbraith.
          • (Score: 1) by khallow on Saturday July 23 2022, @11:20PM

            by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Saturday July 23 2022, @11:20PM (#1262562) Journal

            This is why ruble goes up

            I thin that assumption is completely broken. Sure, if you're able to get rubles at the above official exchange rate and buy dollars or something else valuable with them, then go crazy with that. But it sounds like there's a black market with vastly weaker deals for those rubles when people aren't so well connected.

      • (Score: 2) by captain normal on Saturday July 23 2022, @04:35AM (1 child)

        by captain normal (2205) on Saturday July 23 2022, @04:35AM (#1262445)

        The Russian Ruble is worth less than 2 cents, and about the same to the Euro. What are you smoking? Russian crack?

        --
        Everyone is entitled to his own opinion, but not to his own facts"- --Daniel Patrick Moynihan--
        • (Score: 2) by legont on Saturday July 23 2022, @04:52PM

          by legont (4179) on Saturday July 23 2022, @04:52PM (#1262509)

          Check the charts, you moron.

          Besides, a reserve currency Japanese Yen is 1c ;)

          --
          "Wealth is the relentless enemy of understanding" - John Kenneth Galbraith.
  • (Score: 2) by VLM on Thursday July 21 2022, @05:58PM (2 children)

    by VLM (445) on Thursday July 21 2022, @05:58PM (#1262132)

    crisis that risks tipping the region into recession

    The decision of who to blame the next recession upon has been made and it'll be the non-Israeli leader of Russia, instead of the whole covid mess.

    • (Score: -1, Offtopic) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday July 21 2022, @07:59PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Thursday July 21 2022, @07:59PM (#1262149)

      Interesting dog whistle, still pretty clear to anyone with a brain you're a white supremacist.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday July 22 2022, @07:01PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Friday July 22 2022, @07:01PM (#1262342)

      Surprised you did not call it the CHYna virus. Is Trump no longer your daddy?

  • (Score: 2) by bradley13 on Thursday July 21 2022, @07:17PM (3 children)

    by bradley13 (3053) on Thursday July 21 2022, @07:17PM (#1262144) Homepage Journal

    Or is the government sticking their collective head in the sand?

    I don't know, but politicians do like kicking the can down the road. If Germany is smart, they ought to be finding ways to live with no Russian gas this winter. Really, they ought to turn off the tap at their end.

    Anything else is opening themselves to Russian blackmail.

    --
    Everyone is somebody else's weirdo.
    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday July 21 2022, @07:31PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Thursday July 21 2022, @07:31PM (#1262145)

      Easy to say, not so easy to do. Natural gas is the most common house heating fuel in Germany,
          https://www.wingas.com/fileadmin/wingas_news/2020/2020-07-23-BDEW-Umfrage-WEB-EN.pdf [wingas.com]

      Gas central heating holds a lead in both residential buildings (40.5 per cent) and apartments (35.7 per cent). In total, natural gas is used for heating (central heating, heating systems covering one floor, gas heat pumps, gas boilers) in 9.3 million residential buildings (49.3 per cent) and in 19.5 million apartments (48.2 per cent).

    • (Score: 2) by RedGreen on Thursday July 21 2022, @07:37PM

      by RedGreen (888) on Thursday July 21 2022, @07:37PM (#1262146)

      "Anything else is opening themselves to Russian blackmail."

      They are more than happy for that there response from the start of this has proven it. They are apologists chicken shits who only grudgingly got in on the hard part of supporting Ukraine when it became obvious the Ukrainians were not going to just roll over and accept being a Russia lapdog. They still only do half measures even with all that has happened they try to have it both ways pretending full support while not doing anything like the needed measures. More than a few of the scummy countries that supposedly support the Ukraine do this like my useless fucking country Canada, sending back the gas pipe turbines so Russia has the blackmail option still at their disposal.

      --
      "I modded down, down, down, and the flames went higher." -- Sven Olsen
    • (Score: 2) by looorg on Thursday July 21 2022, @08:31PM

      by looorg (578) on Thursday July 21 2022, @08:31PM (#1262158)

      Nice heating/energy system you have there ... would be ashamed if something was to happen to it ...

      But yes. They all got sucked down into the green wave of the future after Fukushima cause apparently all German nuclear plants was going to be swept away in a Gojiro like tidal wave; even tho there is no German Gojiro or earthquakes or tsunamis etc. I guess we call that feelgood-planning or something.

      A lot of European countries that have been sucking on Putins gas-pipeline are currently desperately trying to find alternatives -- Green Coal is a thing right? Or buying Gas from someone slightly less volatile etc. The problem with their nuclear plants is that they can't just be turned on again cause a lot of them have already started their decommission cycle and there is no big red abort button. Some are planning to build new once but that is going to take years and well the problem is now and it's hard to keep warm during the winter on future planning.

      So I guess a better question is how long until certain countries start to waiver on that whole free Ukraine thing. Slightly depending on how cold the winter is going to get. If it gets real cold and shitty then they might be starting to lose friends by every single drop of the Celsius.

  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday July 21 2022, @08:33PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday July 21 2022, @08:33PM (#1262159)

    They should execute their equivalent to put alternative energy sources in place now before the demand hits. Anything to get rid of Putin quicker will help everyone.

  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday July 21 2022, @08:54PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday July 21 2022, @08:54PM (#1262163)

    That's a good one!

  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday July 21 2022, @11:01PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday July 21 2022, @11:01PM (#1262177)

    Anyone for the last few Choc Ices there now?

  • (Score: 2) by legont on Friday July 22 2022, @01:10AM (2 children)

    by legont (4179) on Friday July 22 2022, @01:10AM (#1262207)

    It's ready and does not pump gas simply because Germany does not want it.

    I wonder how it's explained to Germans.

    --
    "Wealth is the relentless enemy of understanding" - John Kenneth Galbraith.
    • (Score: 3, Touché) by stretch611 on Friday July 22 2022, @08:33AM (1 child)

      by stretch611 (6199) on Friday July 22 2022, @08:33AM (#1262255)

      Its likely explained to the Germans as a pipeline that sends all its profits to a hitler type dictator who cares more about his own ego than the lives of millions of civilians.

      --
      Now with 5 covid vaccine shots/boosters altering my DNA :P
      • (Score: 3, Troll) by Rich on Friday July 22 2022, @12:28PM

        by Rich (945) on Friday July 22 2022, @12:28PM (#1262273) Journal

        It's not explained at all. There is near zero mention of the option on mainstream. Recently, right-wing populist party AfD called for using it, but that went past without any further comment or consideration of either politicians or media. The last notable mention of NS2 was a few months ago and went like "We can't use it, because it's not certified, and anyway, the holding structures are a mess, and we don't even know if the companies who operate it still exist."

        Instead, the last two weeks were full of headlines: "Will Putin cut our gas off and make us freeze? Who will freeze first? Will police come into your house and check your swimming pool temperature? Some people think the Russians lie about that turbine from Canada". Which I think is silly, because the Russians want our money, the more, the better.

        If they really want to become independent from fossils, what would be needed on the part of the German government would be a somewhat totalitarian masterplan to force the "Energiewende" and become renewable net positive into a few years. Like ("all have to put in their share") declaring every town that objects to nearby windmills as a nuclear waste facility, and putting a CASTOR on the town square, with mandatory guard duty for all inhabitants. Put a duty draft on anyone sociologist for rooftop solar installations (and let the job sort them out). That kind of stuff. But that's not going to happen, the government is mostly dysfunctional.

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