A version of this article was published by Newsmax.
The Intermarium nations of the lands between the Baltic, Black, and Adriatic seas find themselves in a serious predicament because U.S. President Joe Biden is no friend of energy security and free markets. He demonstrated it by keeping his electoral promise to shutter the Keystone Pipeline and assault other oil and gas businesses. At the same time, he reverted to the Paris regime of green dreams to save the planet from the allegedly human-generated climate change by pursuing sexy projects in alternative energy fields and others. And that is damage inflicted just at home.
Abroad, Biden’s energy performance has not been much better. He disdainfully rejected the idea of selling U.S. gas and oil through hubs in the Intermarium (specifically, in Croatia, Bulgaria, and Poland) to provide energy security to Europe by breaking Russia’s near-monopoly on servicing the Old Continent’s needs.
The latest is the White House’s refusal to oppose Moscow and Berlin’s Nord Stream 2 pipeline. Reportedly, the U.S. President himself intervened to oppose the sanctioning of a former Communist secret policeman who heads the German subsidiary of the Kremlin’s Gazprom, the firm running the project.
The excuses are aplenty. First, Europe needs energy. Sure. So why does Biden favor Russia by preventing America from supplying it through the Intermarium? Second, the project is near completion. So what? The United States is still powerful enough to thwart it at any stage, including by pressuring Germany to accept a better deal from us.
But, as yet another excuse goes, the Germans are our allies, and we should not oppose them. Right. They are our allies, and they should work with us. Why do they prefer to deal with Russia? Also, don’t they know that accepting oil and gas from the Russians will make them more energy dependent on Vladimir Putin? And it will also put the security of the nations of the Intermarium in jeopardy. In fact, it will threaten the entire European Union.
Nord Stream 2 is Russia’s Trojan horse in Europe. Its success will make the western part of the Old Continent pliable, and the eastern part ready for re-absorption. Most likely, that is the game that Germany is playing: Berlin dreams of a condominium with Russia over Europe.
The Federal Republic already dominates in the EU. It can assert its hegemony over the Intermarium together with the Russian Federation. That has been the re-occurring historical pattern since the 18th century. Only the United States is in the way. Both Chancellor Angela Merkel and President Vladimir Putin understand it perfectly well.
Meanwhile, Biden and his team appear to be hell-bent on re-launching Obama’s Reset policy with Putin. OK. It makes sense for Washington to deal with Berlin and Moscow instead with a dozen small nations in the lands-in-between. That was precisely the logic behind FDR’s brilliant Yalta strategy. He made a deal with Stalin to make half the world safe for Communist tyranny.
The difference with Biden is that now his partners are Germany and Russia, and not Great Britain and the Soviet Union.
What can the Intermarium do? There are a few options. In the short run, our allies there should complain and clamor, every which way, to halt, sanction, and boycott Nord Stream 2. This entails diplomatic nimbleness and sabotage through propaganda, lawfare, and a parliamentary offensive in Brussels and at home. Poland should lead the way in conjunction with other Intermarium nations.
For instance, one can tie Poland’s compliance with the Paris Treaty to thwarting Nord Stream 2. This can be done jointly with an appropriate Polish referendum, as the Swiss just have held, enabling them to weasel out of the Paris regime as inimical to their national interests, in particular because of its negative impact on the economy. That happens to be applicable to Poland, too, as the fight with Berlin, Brussels, and Prague over the Turów brown coal mine shows.
Further, propaganda and direct action are in order. Green hysteria of an imminent environmental catastrophe brought about by Nord Stream 2 should work on the public at large. In addition, radical greens should be encouraged to perform their hijinks on sea and land as well as in the air on and near Nord Stream 2. Next, a thoughtful energy security narrative should be aimed at Western elites.
Moreover, protecting our allies, creating jobs, and making money on U.S. gas and oil deliveries will resonate with the folks in America. Invoke often the besieged Baltics and poor Ukraine.
Meanwhile, in the long run, the Intermarium nations should work harder on alternatives to both U.S. and Russian energy.
First, the Poles should step up their efforts to finish the Baltic Pipe from Norway (currently stalled through unreasonable shenanigans of Danish greens).
Second, Warsaw should threaten that it would be forced to revert to black and brown coal to meet its energy needs.
Third, the Polish should speed up their nuclear energy project. They have already been working with U.S. Westinghouse. Warsaw should further explore American portable reactors and thorium reactors. If the Biden Administration prevents such a deal, the Poles should turn to the French, Japanese, and South Koreans for their nuclear know-how and infrastructure. While at it, the Poles should check out a new Finnish method to seal the nuclear waste underground forever (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kYpiK3W-g_0).
Fourth, if nothing else works, and Putin and Merkel succeed with Nord Stream 2, sign up for Russian energy. That’s where Poland has been forced to buy most of its gas and oil from anyway. If you can’t beat them, join them. At least until America is ready to be a leader again.
Marek Jan Chodakiewicz
Washington, DC, 17 June 2021