After supplying small arms like Panzerfaust-3IT anti-tank weapons, Germany is lining up heavy weapons for Ukraine, risking it all. Krauss-Maffei Wegmann’s (KMW) is offering to sell Panzerhaubitze 2000 self-propelled howitzers or PzH 2000 to Ukraine. Rheinmetall is ready to transfer decommissioned models of the Leopard 1 tanks and the Marder infantry fighting vehicles to Ukraine. As per German media, 50-60 vehicles are ready for shipment. The first delivery is possible within six weeks. After the federal government approves the deal, German tanks will go to Ukraine. But in this war, the wunderwaffe’s and the Big Bertha’s are not military wares but the Russian oil and gas.
It is easy for the Americans to refuse Russian hydrocarbons as they even have their own. Energy-deficient Europe is in a completely different position. The main risks are borne by the locomotive of the EU economy – Germany.
‘Day X’ is what the Germans call the moment when their country stops receiving Russian gas. Fifty billion cubic meters of gas per year for Germany is worth two hundred million euros per day for Russia – it is the real weapon. The entire German industry is under threat, and it is Germany that is the growth engine of the entire economy of the European Union.
The irony of the situation
The legendary German corporations Krupp and Thyssen, Bauer and BASF, became rich during the First and Second World Wars. There is a popular opinion that they took part in inciting them. After the defeat of the German state, all these corporations carried out a rebranding. They changed the top managers and continued their activities. Not many in the world remember or know that millions were killed from the weapons produced by Krupp, and Bauer financed human experiments in Nazi concentration camps. But never have Germany’s largest corporations risked as much as they do today in an economic war against Russia.
Germany has already developed three action plans in case gas supplies from Russia are cut off. The priority for energy supply is assigned to hospitals and pharmaceutical production. Next comes residential buildings – the Germans will freeze for the sake of Ukraine, but not to death. But gas supplies to businesses will be cut off before anyone else.
Russia may well use its wunderwaffe here and, without waiting for the Germans, cut off their gas on their own. The State Duma has already said it.
Production will go bankrupt, and millions of people will lose their jobs. All this against the backdrop of skyrocketing prices for energy, food, and housing rent. To put it politely, Europe’s largest economy will be in recession. “Honestly,” BASF chief Martin Brudermüller told the Guardian, “this could lead to the worst crisis since World War II and end our prosperity.”
German draft law on nationalization of energy companies
The German Ministry of Economic and Climate Protection has prepared amendments to the energy security law. In an acute crisis, the authorities will have the right to transfer under temporary management and even nationalize energy companies as a last resort.
The document says that the Ministry of Economy may transfer a critical energy infrastructure operator to external management if there is a specific risk that without it, the enterprise will not be able to fulfil its tasks in ensuring activities in the energy sector, and thus there will be a deterioration in the supply situation.
“In cases where trust management or other milder means, such as alternative acquisition, appear insufficient, nationalization may immediately follow,” the document says.
In addition, in the event of a cessation of gas supplies from Russia, the German Ministry of Economy plans to create a digital platform on which large industrial companies and gas trading companies will have to register.
It is assumed that, based on the information they provide, the authorities will be able to decide where to save gas or even which enterprises to turn off in the first place in the event of a shortage of energy resources. The amendments also provide that it will be more difficult to terminate agreements with consumers in a situation of an energy crisis.
The day before, the press secretary of the President of the Russian Federation, Dmitry Peskov, said that Russia did not intend to supply gas for free if the European Union refused to pay for it in rubles. As the Kremlin spokesman emphasized, “no payment, no gas.”
On March 28, Khabek announced that the G7 countries had abandoned Russia’s demand to pay for gas in rubles. According to him, the G7 countries are ready for various scenarios, including stopping Russian gas supplies.