Friday, July 14, 2017

Does Russia Fear Qatar's Natural Gas?

In April 2017, Qatar announced it was going to increase liquid natural gas (LNG) production despite a three year market slump, which was viewed as not likely to make its major competitor, Russia, happy. Then, in May, Qatar's state news agency website was hacked with a false flag news story attempting to portray the emir pro Iran and Hamas, a growing friend of Israel and of tensions with Trump.  All designed to inflame other members of the Gulf Coalition.  Despite U.S. Intelligence agencies quickly identifying Russian hackers, perhaps mercenaries, as the source of the false flag
hack, other members of the Gulf Coalition, including Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, and the UAE made 13 demands of Qatar which were and remain impossible for Qatar to meet, including funding terrorism which it denied.  Demands, such as shutting down Al Jazeera, ceasing diplomatic relations with Iran, kicking Turkish troops out of Qatar, and stop supporting the Muslim Brotherhood, which even the United States does not recognize as a terrorist organization, are designed as unreasonable demands which cannot be met.  These demands and the ensuing blockade immediately upset the global LNG market and even had President Trump, who would very much like to sell LNG to Europe, siding with his recent international host Saudi Arabia, despite Saudi Arabia being internationally known to have foundations and families which actively support terrorism.

The only beneficiary of this seemingly unresolvable dispute based on a false flag hack perpetrated by Russian hackers, paid by whomever, is Russia itself who is very desirous of the LNG Nord Stream 2 pipe line approved and completed as it would increase Russia's economic influence over eastern Europe and the Ukraine as well as intensify Germany's reliance on Russian LNG and oil as well as divide the Gulf Coalition and disrupt U.S. relations with the countries involved: the US has depended on Saudi Arabia to support military operations in the Middle East, has a major naval port in Bahrain, and an important air base, the largest US military base in the Middle east which is used to  launch air strikes against ISIS, in Qatar aas well as the regional U.S. Central Command, and an air base in the UAE also.  This false flag hack has driven a wedge into the Gulf Coalition which the U.S. Secretary of State Tillerson, despite President Trump's rushed support of efforts against Qatar, has been shuttling between countries trying to resolve.

Qatar is not giving up its LNG production plans and continue to export to Europe and other countries, although future contracted shipments to Egypt and the UAE may be in doubt, as well as seek damages.

Meanwhile, Russia is pushing Nord Stream 2, counting the future money and economic influence, and pushing another wedge into NATO.

Update 7/17/2017

U.S. intelligence sources have indicated that UAE senior officials planned the false flag hack on May 23 and financed its implementation.  The UAE and Russia announced in April the consideration of a strategic partnership. The two countries have a long history of cooperation

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