by Eric Zuesse
The poisoning of Alexei Navalny has created intensified support by pro-U.S., and especially pro-NATO, officials in the European Union, to block the nearly completed NordStream 2 natural-gas pipeline from Russia to Germany, and to import into the EU, instead, far costlier U.S. LNG, liquefied natural gas. A very real possibility thus now exists that the poisoning of Navalny will turn out to have been worth many billions of dollars to U.S. frackers, by causing the nearly-completed NordStream 2 to be turned to waste so that fracked U.S. LNG will sell in Europe. The present article will explore the relative likelihood that the poisoning of Navalny isn’t merely coincidentally perfectly timed in order to achieve that objective for the benefit of America’s gas-industry, but that it probably was actually planned and perpetrated in order to achieve this.
The idea that the Russian Government poisoned Alexei Navalny presumes such astounding stupidity on the part of Russia’s Government as to be exceedingly dubious, at best. Navalny, though he actually is favorably viewed by only around 2% of Russians (as indicated in polls there), is widely publicized in U.S.-and-allied media as having instead the highest support by the Russian people of anyone who might challenge Vladimir Putin for Russia’s leadership. It’s a lie, and always has been. Other politicians have far higher polled support in Russia. For example, whereas in the latest poll, published on September 5th, Navalny was one of four individuals who had 2%, Zhirinovsky had 5% and Zhirinovsky was the only person who had more than 2%, other than Putin, who had 56%. In the 2018 Presidential election, Zhirinovsky polled at 13.7%, Grudinin polled at 12.0%, and Putin polled at 72.6%. The actual election-outcome was Putin 76.69%, Grudinin 11.7%, and Zhirinovsky 5.65%. The idea that Putin would need to kill anyone in order to be leading Russia is so stupid and uninformed (and mis-informed) that it is beyond belief, though it is widely publicized in The West as being instead the reality. But what is true is that Navalny has been an immense propaganda-asset to the U.S. Government, and he now is especially so.
Even America’s CNN let slip, in a news-report on September 18th, regarding Navalny, that “his list of enemies is as long as it is powerful,” but they said nothing about whom those “enemies” might be. No one questions that Navalny claims to be an anti-corruption campaigner, and that this would generate enemies regardless of whether his accusations are truthful. The article on “Alexei Navalny” at Wikipedia, which is CIA-edited and written, and which blacklists (blocks from linking to) sites that aren’t CIA-approved, indicates that Navalny has accused numerous individuals of corruption, but not that any of those individuals is corrupt — and this is at a site (Wikipedia) which can reasonably be expected to link to documentation of any damning evidence that Navalny has come up with. But the article doesn’t link to any. The article does make clear that Navalny has been hoping to use these accusations in order to rise in Russian politics. It would be a dangerous way to rise in any nation’s politics, regardless of whether those accusations are true. The idea that Putin was behind this is insane. Is Putin so stupid as to poison the U.S. regime’s most-heavily propaganda-favored Russian precisely at the time when the EU is about to grant final approval to Russia’s vast (and virtually completed) NordStream 2 pipeline?
England’s Financial Times headlined on September 16th, “Germany offered €1bn for gas terminals in exchange for US lifting NS2 sanctions”, and sub-headed “Deal, detailed in a letter by Olaf Scholz to Steven Mnuchin, predates the poisoning of Alexei Navalny”. They reported that “In the August 7 letter seen by the Financial Times, Mr Scholz said Germany would increase its financial support for LNG infrastructure and import capacities ‘by up to €1bn’ in exchange for the US ‘allow[ing] for the unhindered construction and operation of Nord Stream 2’,” and reported that:
The US has long opposed Nord Stream 2 and in December imposed sanctions against companies involved in its construction. That move prompted Swiss pipe-layer Allseas to suspend its work with just 6 per cent left to install. A group of US senators from across the political divide are pushing to extend those sanctions.
Criticism of the project has grown in Europe too, with opponents saying it will increase Europe’s dependence on Russian energy exports at a time of rising tensions with Moscow. In her State of the Union address on Wednesday, European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen said: “To those that advocate closer ties with Russia, I say that the poisoning of Alexei Navalny with an advanced chemical agent is not a one-off. This pattern is not changing — and no pipeline will change that.”
The U.S. regime’s agent, von der Leyen, is doing her utmost to serve U.S. LNG marketers. Many other U.S.-regime agents also are.
On September 17th, America’s neoconservative (or pro-U.S.-empire) Newsweek bannered “Opinion: Open Letter: For the Sake of Transatlantic Security, Stop Nord Stream 2”, with 114 signatories of NATO-related U.S. and European officials, and published their argument that, “Over the past decade, the Government of the Russian Federation has engaged in a litany of malign activities aimed at upending liberal democratic norms across Europe and North America. The shocking poisoning of Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny by a variant of the weapons-grade nerve agent Novichok shows that Moscow has not been deterred by Western actions and statements and refuses to reverse its destabilizing political adventurism at home and abroad.”
How blatant and scummy can a marketing campaign get?
Investigative historian Eric Zuesse is the author, most recently, of They’re Not Even Close: The Democratic vs. Republican Economic Records, 1910-2010, and of CHRIST’S VENTRILOQUISTS: The Event that Created Christianity.