The new geopolitical importance of Lubmin

Published on Online Journal, by F. William Engdahl, July 12, 2010.

In the postwar history of the Federal Republic, German chancellors tend to disappear once they pursue political goals that deviate from the Washington global agenda too much.

In the case of Gerhard Schroeder, it involved two unforgiveable “sins.” The first was his open opposition to the 2003 US invasion of Iraq. The second, far more serious strategically, was his negotiations with Russia’s Putin to bring a major new natural gas pipeline directly from Russia, bypassing then-hostile Poland, to Germany. Today the first section of that Nord Stream gas pipeline has reached the Mecklenburg-Vorpommern coastal town of Lubmin on the Baltic Sea, making Lubmin into a geopolitical pivot for Europe and Russia. 

Gerhard Schroeder, in effect, owed his job to the quiet but influential backing of US President Bill Clinton who, according to our German SPD sources, demanded that a Schroeder Red-Green coalition, if elected, support a US-NATO war against Serbia in 1999. Washington wanted to end the era of Helmut Kohl. By 2005, however, Schroeder was far too “German” for Washington, and, reportedly, the Bush administration turned its considerable attention to backing a successor … //

… His last act as chancellor was to approve a giant gas pipeline from Russia’s port of Vyborg near the Finnish border to Lubmin, called Nord Stream. On leaving office, Schroeder became chairman of Nord Stream AG, a joint venture between Russia’s state-owned Gazprom and German companies E.ON-Ruhrgas and BASF-Wintershall. He also increased his public critique of US foreign policies, accusing US-client state Georgia of initiating the 2008 war against South Ossetia … //

… Washington has put major pressure on EU countries as well as Turkey to build an alternative to Russia’s South Stream gas line, called Nabucco, that would eliminate Russia. To date Nabucco has little backing in the EU and insufficient sources of gas to fill the pipeline.

Completion of South Stream would weld a major geopolitical bond between the countries of the EU, Central Europe and Russia, something that would represent for Washington a geopolitical nightmare. US policy since World War II has been to dominate Western Europe first by fanning the Cold War with the Soviet Union, and after 1990, by extending NATO eastwards to the borders of Russia. An increasingly independent Western Europe turning east rather than across the Atlantic, could spell a major defeat for continued US “sole Superpower” domination.

So, unwittingly, the lovely seaside resort town of Lubmin in northeastern Germany de facto has become a major pivot of the geopolitical drama between Washington and Eurasia whether its citizens realize or not. (full text).

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