Putting citizenship up for sale is a controversial endeavor. Some natural-born citizens of a country might revolt against the idea of wealthy foreign investors purchasing what is essentially their birthright. Others may be opposed to the possibility of Chinese or nationals of another state pouring into their own country. There are also geopolitical risks to weigh when a country implements a citizenship by investment (CBI) program. Some existing CBI programs, for instance, have lured Russian oligarchs. Notably, aluminum magnate Oleg Deripaska, an ally of Russian President Vladimir Putin, purchased Cypriot, and hence EU, citizenship through the CBI program in Cyprus. Reuters reported earlier this month that Iranian nationals are making use of Turkey’s recently revamped economic citizenship program to dodge U.S. sanctions. Additionally, there are
The effect of LNG and newly sourced gas in the Southern Gas Corridor will spread across the CEE and the SEE and put the heat on Russia’s gas monopoly. In other words, if hidden and overt preferential treatment for Gazexport is revoked, this will result in lower prices or market shares for the incumbent monopoly. Reverse supplies via the Trans-Balkan Pipeline could start as early as January 1st, 2020, bringing gas from Turkey, Greece, and the Southern Gas Corridor to clients in Romania, Moldova, Ukraine, and Slovakia even before Turk Stream gas crosses the Bulgarian border. Demand for Nord Stream-2 south and eastbound gas exports via Opal and Eugal gas pipelines should wane with lower price differentials amid rising competition from the Southern Gas Corridor and LNG.
Sanctions on their own won’t stop Nord Stream-2, the market, and the EU directives can obliterate the effect sought by the Kremlin and turn what President Putin perceives as an asset into a liability. Gas pipelines are not a threat – politicians like Putin certainly are. The national security line in addressing the issues starts from the basics – Is Russia a threat? Perceptions matter. For many politicians in old Europe, located in offices at a safe distance from Russia, the threat notion is vague, remote, and academic. They do not discern Putin’s Russia as a threat. Perception matter. For many politics in old Europe. For the Austrian business, born and bred in brokering deals between Russia and Eastern Europe, this is routine and legitimate “business”.
Russia launched the Nord Streams as a political endeavor to bypass this Ukraine and forge a strategic alliance with Germany to subjugate Eastern Europe. Germany was not the only partner, Austria also joined in. Ample proof in the outspoken Russian lobby among Austrian politicians and businessmen. Germany has its Schroeder; Austria has a long list of his kins – from Straße to Schussel. German politicians have their own business plan, calculated financial benefits at the expense of Eastern Europe. Their symbiosis with the Russian oligarchy is striking, with more evidence and proofs, as Russian oligarchs Timchenko and Rothenberg build and receive billions in inter-related project orders for gas infrastructure, connecting the Yamal gas fields to the Baltic ($ 4 billion), to the Black Sea ($ 15 billion). The
The article first published in americanthinker.com on 07/21/2019. Two events happened last week – one profusely covered in the European and world media, the other hardly at all – that would have long-lasting and, in the second case, profound implications for generations to come. The first case, of course, had to do with the elections off Ursula von der Leyen as the new president of the European Commission, the second, with the publication of a study showing that the Germans increasingly are losing their majorities to those with a migrant background. The second study was, of course, vastly more important historically for the future of Europe, but, that, predictably was not the coverage it received. Instead, it was barely noticed, driven as it was to obscurity by the hubbub of
If you looked at the results of the elections for European parliament in Germany, you’ll get a very adequate picture of what happened in Germany, which, while a meaningless tautology, is quite characteristic of what the mainstream media appear to be doing. To wit: the long-established parties, left and right, are losing their grip on the population to the Greens, which ultimately means more of the same in the EU – more Europe, more renewable insanity and more political domination by the Brussels elites, which are neither left nor right, but an increasingly amorphous power blob that sees itself as the virtuous and self-appointed leaders of the great unwashed masses. To that extent, the pundits are right, nothing much has changed and it matters not whether a socialist or
Next week’s elections for European parliament are likely to be treated as irrelevant by most European voters with considerably less than 50% expected to turn out at the polls. Nonetheless, they are watershed elections even though you wouldn’t know that by reading the European press. The reason for that is that both the press and most politicians strenuously avoid discussing what is really at stake in European politics. Instead, they conjure up doomsday predictions of the rise of supposedly anti-European “nationalists” and “populists.” In fact, the “nationalists” are anything but anti-European. Expected to win between a quarter and a third of the vote, few if any of them want to leave the European Union and in most ways they are much more representative of traditional European values than the
The Canadian Climate Leadership Council recently proposed a plan that was supported by 27 Nobel laureates in economics and other business dignitaries, calling for the introduction of a national carbon tax starting at $40 per ton of carbon dioxide. The base argumentation used was primarily economic efficiency and climate fatalism. The underlying logic seemed closer to abstract academic theory than sound economic reasoning. More has been happening recently, with an obvious reference being made to Brexit, as politicians tend to lead the public without a clear understanding of the costs and consequences, jumping into reckless actions while lacking trustworthy and elaborate impact assessments and risk analyses. Canada is one of the zealot countries, diehard supportive of climate change policies and the Paris accords. Ottawa has been on the