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Qatar gas contract signals more problems for Germany

A month-long tragedy has finally found its happy ending – albeit rather symbolically. After Federal Economics Minister Habeck (Greens) was rebuffed in Qatar in the spring when he was looking for a replacement for the boycotted Russian gas, reports of an agreement are now making the rounds.

Published: December 4, 2022, 6:45 am

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    Qatar and Germany have therefore agreed on a long-term supply contract for liquefied natural gas (LNG). According to the contract, the liquid gas is to be sold to the US company Conoco-Phillips, which will then deliver it to Brunsbüttel in Germany. However, deliveries are not scheduled to begin until 2026 and will last up to 15 years. The previous major supplier Russia, has been absent since the Russian military operation in the Ukraine.

    But the contract with the sheiks is little more than a symbolic “deal”. It only includes up to two million tons of LNG per year – this corresponds to about 2,7 billion cubic meters of non-liquefied natural gas per year, which represents an extremely small delivery volume. For comparison: through the Baltic Sea pipeline Nord Stream 1, around 55 billion cubic meters were delivered from Russia to Germany every year until the beginning of the Ukraine war. In 2021, Germany also consumed almost 90,5 billion cubic meters of natural gas.

    Gas for China

    Particularly insulting is that the meager German contract conclusion came only a few days after the announcement of a gas deal between Qatar and China, which is of strategic importance primarily because of its long term. The supply agreement with China provides for the export of liquefied natural gas (LNG) in the amount of 108 million tons over 27 years – a multiple of the delivery volume for Germany.

    The Arab world makes no secret of the fact that Germany is no longer considered a reliable partner. It’s not just about the intrusive attempts to instruct the German World Cup team and the Federal Minister of the Interior, who felt she had to provoke the Qatari hosts in the stadium with the rainbow-colored “One Love” armband.

    What is more serious is that Berlin has lost international trust by confiscating Russian gas infrastructure and other Russian monetary and material assets as part of the Western sanctions policy.

    German politicians depend on war support for their own survival

    In the face of economic hardship, it appears hat European solidarity with Ukraine has its limits. The perception of Ukraine as a haven of freedom that deserves support has also changed significantly for the worse – despite ongoing propaganda in the media. Fewer and fewer Europeans support arms deliveries to Kiev. And fewer and fewer want to see Ukraine in the EU.

    A recent survey by the Bertelsmann Foundation, which was conducted throughout the EU, provides figures on the change in mood.

    According to this, only 48 percent in Germany were in favor of arms deliveries to Kiev in September – in March it was 57 percent. Across the EU, too, approval fell to 50 percent. At 76 percent, the Poles, as direct Ukrainian neighbors, were most in favor of arms deliveries, while Italy had the lowest approval rate at 36 percent.

    In addition, approval for Ukraine’s EU accession fell across the EU in the coming years. In March, 69 percent of EU citizens supported this, in September only 63 percent. The willingness to take in refugees from the Ukraine is also declining across Europe.

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