On December 5th, work on completion is to be continued

Laying ship for Nord Stream 2 in Laage

The Norwegian consulting and certification specialist Det Norske Veritas – Germanischer Lloyd (DNV-GL) is discontinuing its cooperation with the replacement ships from Russia.

(Photo: dpa)

Berlin Almost exactly a year ago, threats of sanctions by the Americans stopped the construction of the Nord Stream 2 Baltic Sea pipeline. The European special ships that welded the pipes and lowered them to the seabed withdrew – the operators were too risky of being targeted by the US authorities .

Nothing progressed for months, but now things are in motion: The “Akademik Tscherski”, a Russian laying ship that was sent to the Baltic Sea months ago, but has so far been idle in the port of Mukran on the island of Rügen, is in on Thursday Lake set. This is proven by GPS data that can be viewed on the online platform Vesselfinder. The Nord Stream 2 final has started.

A spokesman for Nord Stream 2 AG confirmed at the weekend that work on the pipeline will resume on Saturday, December 5th. The Baltic Sea Waterways and Shipping Office in Stralsund has already announced construction work south of the Adlergrund area from next Saturday and has asked ship captains to be particularly careful, as the NDR reported. There are the two pipe ends that lead to the Lubmin landing station.

Six percent of the total of 1200 kilometers long and around 9.5 billion euros expensive gas pipeline still has to be laid. Most of the missing sections are in Danish waters and a small part in the German part of the Baltic Sea.

Tension is now growing on both sides of the Atlantic. Completing the pipeline will be a race against time. Because while construction work in the Baltic Sea is to be resumed, Washington is working on new sanctions.

The first consequence: the Norwegian consulting and certification specialist Det Norske Veritas – Germanischer Lloyd (DNV-GL) is discontinuing its cooperation with the replacement ships from Russia.

“We believe that DNV-GL’s risk management activities for equipped ships managing the Nord Stream 2 project are subject to US sanctions,” the company said. That is why DNV-GL will no longer offer any services which “could be incompatible” with the Protecting Europe’s Energy Security Act of the USA.

graphic

This law, known as PEESA for short, was passed by the US Congress with the stated aim of stopping Nord Stream 2. The pipeline, which aims to double the capacity for direct deliveries of Russian gas to Germany, has many opponents in the US.

The Americans fear that Europe will become precariously dependent on Moscow. That is why the resistance against Nord Stream 2 unites the otherwise hopelessly divided political camps in Washington.

In the coming weeks it could be decided whether Nord Stream 2 will become a billion dollar grave. Or whether the Russian gas company Gazprom and its European business partners Engie, OMV, Royal Dutch Shell, Uniper and Wintershall-Dea will still succeed in completing the project.

Nord Stream 2 AG, based in Switzerland, did not want to comment on DNV-GL’s withdrawal. “It is up to the governments and the European Commission to protect European companies from illegal extraterritorial sanctions,” the company said.

DNV-GL initially only wants to discontinue those certification services that are related to laying vessels. The certification of the pipeline itself is not affected by the withdrawal decision. The news agency Reuters quotes from an email from DNV-GL that the line is ready to be certified until it is completed. How long it will stay that way is open, however.

Across factions, Democrats and Republicans are currently working on another anti-Nord Stream 2 bill. The planned “Protecting Europe’s Energy Security Clarification Act” (PEESCA) would expand the existing PEESA rules and could bring the pipeline project to a permanent failure.

In June, DNV-GL was unaffected by the sanctions threats from the Americans. The company announced at the time that all contracts, laws and trade regulations were complied with and that a system was in place to ensure compliance with sanctions. At the time, however, industry insiders already had doubts whether DNV-GL would stand firm.

There is an alternative

However, there is still an alternative: If DNV-GL were to drop out completely, at least the Danish approval authorities would accept a replacement, because the Danish energy authority did not require a specific certification company when approving Nord Stream 2. Nord Stream 2 AG is thus free to choose another provider.

There are not many alternatives. In the industry, however, there has been speculation for months that the Russian side may commission a Russian certification organization. Nord Stream 2 AG does not comment on this.

Ursula von der Leyen

The head of the EU commission defends the construction of the Baltic Sea pipeline.

(Photo: dpa)

There is broad consensus within the EU that US sanctions threats are unacceptable. Governments of EU countries that reject the pipeline project also take this view.

EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen last made the position of the Europeans clear at the beginning of November. “The Commission firmly opposes the imposition of unilateral sanctions against EU companies doing legitimate business. Such measures are unacceptable and violate international law, ”said a letter from the Commission President dated November 3rd, addressed to MEPs from Germany and Austria.

Coalition politicians are critical of the latest developments. “The federal government urgently needs to discuss Nord Stream 2 with the new US administration. Future US President Joe Biden rejects the pipeline, but he is interested in constructive cooperation with Europe. You have to seize this opportunity, “said Timon Gremmels, reporter for the SPD parliamentary group for Nord Stream 2, the Handelsblatt. It is “inconceivable that we end up with a useless stub of a pipeline in the Baltic Sea”.

Greens against further construction

But there is also resistance to the pipeline in Germany. The Greens demand that the federal government withdraw support for the project. Nord Stream 2 has strained both Germany’s relations with other EU countries and with the USA, said the green European politician Franziska Brantner. The future US President Biden is also a “clear opponent” of the pipeline. Brantner criticized the fact that “letting construction continue would not be an economic or legal necessity, but rather a political stupidity of the federal government”.

When Biden takes office on January 20th, he finds himself in a dilemma. He considers Nord Stream 2 to be a strategic mistake, but on the other hand also wants to improve relations with Germany, which suffered badly under the outgoing US President Donald Trump.

Should he maintain the sanctions against a close ally like Germany, it will be difficult for the hoped-for renaissance of the transatlantic partnership. Should he relax the sanctions, Nord Stream 2 will likely be up and running soon.

Compromise at Huawei is conceivable

The question, however, is whether Biden and his advisors will even have the leeway to relax sanctions on their own initiative. The previous sanctions laws against Nord Stream 2 severely restrict the government’s freedom of action.

If Congress passes the PEESCA Sanctions Enhancement Act before Biden is sworn in, the US government may not have the opportunity to give in.

“I cannot imagine that the Democrats in Congress have an interest in restricting their own president’s ability to act,” said SPD foreign policy expert Christoph Matschie and, like Gremmels, advocated a diplomatic initiative: “If Biden has taken office, we have to strive for political clarification. ”

For this it is necessary that both sides approach each other. Nord Stream 2 must be able to be completed. In return, however, the federal government should signal to the USA that Germany will refrain from using the Chinese provider Huawei, which the US government considers a security risk, for the 5G expansion. Perhaps that way we could do business with the Americans.

More: The biggest problems of the unfinished pipeline

.

Certifier DNV-GL withdraws

In the meantime a replacement has been found, two Russian ships have been moved to the Baltic Sea and are supposed to complete the work. But now the next setback for the pipeline follows: The Norwegian consulting and certification specialist Det Norske Veritas – Germanischer Lloyd (DNV-GL) is discontinuing its cooperation with the replacement ships from Russia.

“We believe that DNV-GL’s risk management activities for equipped vessels managing the Nord Stream 2 project are subject to US sanctions,” the company said. That is why DNV-GL will no longer offer any services which “could be incompatible” with the Protecting Europe’s Energy Security Act of the USA.

So is Nord Stream 2 becoming a billionaire grave? Or will the Russian gas company Gazprom and its European business partners Engie, OMV, Royal Dutch Shell, Uniper and Wintershall-Dea still manage to complete the project?

Tension is growing on both sides of the Atlantic. New sanctions are being prepared in Washington. And something is also happening in the Mukran seaport on the German Baltic Sea island of Rügen: the Russian laying ship “Akademik Tscherski” has left the port. Possibly in order to relocate the remaining six percent of the 1,200-kilometer route. The finalization of the project becomes a race against time.

The withdrawal of the certification company DNV-GL exacerbates the drama. Nord Stream 2 AG, based in Switzerland, did not want to comment on the matter. “It is up to the governments and the European Commission to protect European companies from illegal extraterritorial sanctions,” the company said.

The most recent developments in the USA are decisive for DNV-GL’s decision. There has been working on tightening the sanctions against Nord Stream 2 for weeks. DNV-GL initially only wants to discontinue those certification services that are related to the laying vessels. The certification of the pipeline itself is not affected by the withdrawal decision. The news agency Reuters quotes from an email from DNV-GL that the line is ready to be certified until it is completed. How long it will stay that way is open, however.

Across factions, Democrats and Republicans are currently working on another anti-Nord Stream 2 bill. The planned “Protecting Europe’s Energy Security Clarification Act” (PEESCA) would tighten the existing PEESA rules even further and could ultimately bring the pipeline project to failure.

In June, DNV-GL was unaffected by the sanctions threats from the Americans. The company announced at the time that all contracts, laws and trade regulations were complied with and that a system was in place to ensure compliance with sanctions. At the time, however, industry insiders already had doubts whether DNV-GL would stand firm.

Alternatives available

According to experts, it is uncertain whether the Norwegians will leave it at that to withdraw from the certification of the ships, but continue to certify the pipeline themselves. Rumors also remained unconfirmed on Friday that the certification of the Russian lay vessels had already been completed.

However, there are still alternatives: If DNV-GL should drop out completely, at least the Danish approval authorities would accept a replacement, because the Danish energy authority did not request a specific certification company when approving Nord Stream 2. Nord Stream 2 AG is thus free to choose another provider.

There are not many alternatives. In the industry, however, there has been speculation for months that the Russian side may commission a Russian certification organization. Nord Stream 2 AG does not comment on this.

There is broad consensus within the EU that US sanctions threats are unacceptable. Governments of EU countries that reject the pipeline project also take this view.

Ursula von der Leyen

The head of the EU Commission defends the construction of the Baltic Sea pipeline.

(Photo: dpa)

EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen last made the position of the Europeans clear at the beginning of November. “The Commission firmly opposes the imposition of unilateral sanctions against EU companies doing legitimate business. Such measures are unacceptable and violate international law, ”said a letter from the Commission President dated November 3rd, addressed to MEPs from Germany and Austria.

Coalition politicians are critical of the latest developments. “The federal government urgently needs to discuss Nord Stream 2 with the new US administration. Future US President Joe Biden rejects the pipeline, but he is interested in constructive cooperation with Europe. You have to seize this opportunity, “said Timon Gremmels, reporter for the SPD parliamentary group for Nord Stream 2, the Handelsblatt.

“Extra-territorial sanctions are not possible,” said Gremmels. It is “inconceivable that we end up with a useless stub of a pipeline in the Baltic Sea,” said the SPD politician.

Greens against further construction

However, there are increasing indications that the completion can still succeed despite all resistance. The “Akademik Tscherski”, one of the Russian laying vessels that could complete the pipeline, left the port of Mukran on Rügen on Thursday. This is proven by GPS data that can be viewed on the online platform Vesselfinder. This feeds speculation that the ship will now continue work on completing the pipeline. There was no confirmation of this on Friday.

The Greens demand that the federal government withdraw its support for the project. “Nord Stream 2 has been on the brink for a long time, not just because of the technical implementation, but because of the political consequences,” said the green European politician Franziska Brantner.

Nord Stream 2 has burdened Germany’s relations with other EU countries and with the USA. The future US President Biden is also a “clear opponent” of the pipeline. Brantner criticizes that “letting the construction go on would not be an economic or legal necessity, but rather a political stupidity of the federal government”.

When Biden takes office on January 20th, he finds himself in a dilemma. He considers Nord Stream 2 to be a strategic mistake, but on the other hand also wants to improve relations with Germany, which suffered badly under the outgoing US President Donald Trump.

Should he maintain the sanctions against a close ally like Germany, it will be difficult for the hoped-for renaissance of the transatlantic partnership. Should he relax the sanctions, Nord Stream 2 will likely be up and running soon.

Compromise at Huawei is conceivable

The question, however, is whether Biden and his advisors will even have the leeway to decide on sanctions on their own initiative. The previous sanctions laws against Nord Stream 2 severely restrict the government’s freedom of action.

If Congress passes the PEESCA Sanctions Enhancement Act before Biden is sworn in, the US government may not have an opportunity to give in. Negotiations in both chambers of congress, the Senate and the House of Representatives, are ongoing. An agreement is expected in the next few weeks.

“I cannot imagine that the Democrats in Congress have an interest in restricting their own president’s ability to act,” said SPD foreign policy expert Christoph Matschie and, like Gremmels, advocated a diplomatic initiative: “If Biden has taken over the office, we have to strive for political clarification. ”

For this it is necessary that both sides approach each other. Nord Stream 2 must be able to be completed. In return, however, the federal government should signal to the USA that Germany will refrain from using the Chinese provider Huawei, which the US government considers a security risk, for the 5G expansion. Perhaps that way we could do business with the Americans.

More: The biggest problems of the unfinished pipeline

.

Certifier DNV-GL withdraws

In the meantime a replacement has been found, two Russian ships have been moved to the Baltic Sea and are supposed to complete the work. But now the next setback for the pipeline follows: The Norwegian consulting and certification specialist Det Norske Veritas – Germanischer Lloyd (DNV-GL) is discontinuing its cooperation with the replacement ships from Russia.

“We believe that DNV-GL’s risk management activities for equipped ships managing the Nord Stream 2 project are subject to US sanctions,” the company said. That is why DNV-GL will no longer offer any services which “could be incompatible” with the Protecting Europe’s Energy Security Act of the USA.

So is Nord Stream 2 becoming a billionaire grave? Or will the Russian gas company Gazprom and its European business partners Engie, OMV, Royal Dutch Shell, Uniper and Wintershall-Dea still manage to complete the project?

Tension is growing on both sides of the Atlantic. New sanctions are being prepared in Washington. And something is also happening in the Mukran seaport on the German Baltic Sea island of Rügen: the Russian laying ship “Akademik Tscherski” has left the port. A spokesman for Nord Stream 2 AG confirmed to the dpa news agency at the weekend that construction work should start again in December – after an interruption of almost a year. About six percent of the 1200 km long route still has to be relocated. The finalization of the project becomes a race against time.

graphic

The withdrawal of the certification company DNV-GL exacerbates the drama. Nord Stream 2 AG, based in Switzerland, did not want to comment on the matter. “It is up to the governments and the European Commission to protect European companies from illegal extraterritorial sanctions,” the company said.

The most recent developments in the USA are decisive for DNV-GL’s decision. Work there has been working on tightening the sanctions against Nord Stream 2 for weeks. DNV-GL initially only wants to discontinue those certification services that are related to the laying vessels. The certification of the pipeline itself is not affected by the withdrawal decision. The news agency Reuters quotes from an email from DNV-GL that the line is ready to be certified until it is completed. How long it will stay that way is open, however.

Across factions, Democrats and Republicans are currently working on another anti-Nord Stream 2 bill. The planned “Protecting Europe’s Energy Security Clarification Act” (PEESCA) would expand the existing PEESA rules and could bring the pipeline project to a permanent failure.

In June, DNV-GL was unaffected by the sanctions threats from the Americans. The company announced at the time that all contracts, laws and trade regulations were complied with and that a system was in place to ensure compliance with sanctions. At the time, however, industry insiders already had doubts whether DNV-GL would stand firm.

There is an alternative

According to experts, it is uncertain whether the Norwegians will leave it at that to withdraw from the certification of the ships, but continue to certify the pipeline themselves. Rumors also remained unconfirmed on Friday that the certification of the Russian lay vessels had already been completed.

However, there is still an alternative: If DNV-GL were to drop out completely, at least the Danish approval authorities would accept a replacement, because the Danish energy authority did not require a specific certification company when approving Nord Stream 2. Nord Stream 2 AG is thus free to choose another provider.

There are not many alternatives. In the industry, however, there has been speculation for months that the Russian side may commission a Russian certification organization. Nord Stream 2 AG does not comment on this.

There is broad consensus within the EU that US sanctions threats are unacceptable. Governments of EU countries that reject the pipeline project also take this view.

Ursula von der Leyen

The head of the EU commission defends the construction of the Baltic Sea pipeline.

(Photo: dpa)

EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen last made the position of the Europeans clear at the beginning of November. “The Commission firmly opposes the imposition of unilateral sanctions against EU companies doing legitimate business. Such measures are unacceptable and violate international law, ”said a letter from the Commission President dated November 3rd, addressed to MEPs from Germany and Austria.

Coalition politicians are critical of the latest developments. “The federal government urgently needs to discuss Nord Stream 2 with the new US administration. Future US President Joe Biden rejects the pipeline, but he is interested in constructive cooperation with Europe. You have to seize this opportunity, “said Timon Gremmels, reporter for the SPD parliamentary group for Nord Stream 2, the Handelsblatt.

“Extra-territorial sanctions are not possible,” said Gremmels. It is “inconceivable that we end up with a useless stub of a pipeline in the Baltic Sea,” said the SPD politician.

Greens against further construction

However, there are increasing indications that the completion can still succeed despite all resistance. The “Akademik Tscherski”, one of the Russian laying vessels that could complete the pipeline, left the port of Mukran on Rügen on Thursday. This is proven by GPS data that can be viewed on the online platform Vesselfinder.

According to information from the broadcaster NDR, the Baltic Sea Waterways and Shipping Office in Stralsund has announced construction work south of the Adlergrund area from next Saturday and asked ship captains to be particularly careful. The two pipe ends that lead to the Lubmin landfall are located in the area.

But there is also resistance to the pipeline in Germany. The Greens demand that the federal government withdraw support for the project. Nord Stream 2 has strained both Germany’s relations with other EU countries and with the USA, said the green European politician Franziska Brantner. The future US President Biden is also a “clear opponent” of the pipeline. Brantner criticizes that “letting the construction go on would not be an economic or legal necessity, but rather a political stupidity of the federal government”.

When Biden takes office on January 20th, he finds himself in a dilemma. He considers Nord Stream 2 to be a strategic mistake, but on the other hand also wants to improve relations with Germany, which suffered badly under the outgoing US President Donald Trump.

Should he maintain the sanctions against a close ally like Germany, it will be difficult for the hoped-for renaissance of the transatlantic partnership. Should he relax the sanctions, Nord Stream 2 will likely be up and running soon.

Compromise at Huawei is conceivable

The question, however, is whether Biden and his advisors will even have the leeway to decide on sanctions on their own initiative. The previous sanctions laws against Nord Stream 2 severely restrict the government’s freedom of action.

If Congress passes the PEESCA Sanctions Enhancement Act before Biden is sworn in, the US government may not have an opportunity to give in. Negotiations in both chambers of congress, the Senate and the House of Representatives, are ongoing. An agreement is expected in the next few weeks.

“I cannot imagine that the Democrats in Congress have an interest in restricting their own president’s ability to act,” said SPD foreign policy expert Christoph Matschie and, like Gremmels, advocated a diplomatic initiative: “If Biden has taken office, we have to strive for political clarification. ”

For this it is necessary that both sides approach each other. Nord Stream 2 must be able to be completed. In return, however, the federal government should signal to the USA that Germany will refrain from using the Chinese provider Huawei, which the US government considers a security risk, for the 5G expansion. Perhaps that way we could do business with the Americans.

More: The biggest problems of the unfinished pipeline

.

Georgia decides on Senate: Trump supporters mutiny against their own party

Georgia decides whether the Republicans will retain a majority in the US Senate. In fact, only one of the two candidates has to win. But of all people, the hardcore fans of President Trump are now calling for a boycott of the runoff election. That could be the Republicans’ undoing.

The state of Georgia has been at the center of the controversial US election for weeks: on the one hand, because the state narrowly and surprisingly voted for the elected President Joe Biden, and on the other because runoff elections for two senatorial seats are taking place here at the beginning of January, which are based on majority decide in the Senate in the next two years.

According to a “Politico” report, the most determined supporters of the incumbent President Donald Trump, including many supporters of the QAnon movement, remain convinced that the Georgia elections are corrupt. Trump had already said this weeks ago and, for no reason, focused on postal voting fraud. His hardcore supporters are now even calling for a boycott of the runoff elections for the Senate planned for January 5th. The Republican candidates, Kelly Loeffler and David Perdue, are also not radical enough on Trump’s side. Under hashtags like #CrookedPerdue and #CrookedKelly Opponents of the two Republicans gather.

In fact, there is still no evidence or evidence of electoral fraud. On most points Loeffler and Perdue agree with Trump. The Trump camp now fears that the Democratic candidates could benefit from the boycott call: The incumbent’s son, Donald Trump Junior, called on Twitter to vote for Loeffler and Perdue – and dismissed the boycott considerations as “nonsense” back. “This is nonsense. Ignore these people,” said Trump Jr. continue.

“Any distraction can be crucial”

Concern that the radical camp’s conspiracy theories may turn away too many voters and play into the hands of the Democrats is shared by other Republicans. “Whenever you have a tight election, any distraction can be crucial, and from what you hear, the runoff elections in Georgia will be tight, just like in November,” “Politico” quoted Alex Conant, the former communications director for the presidential campaign by Senator Marco Rubio in 2016. “I think Republicans need to focus on stopping Joe Biden’s agenda in the runoff election. When it comes to conspiracy theories, it only divides our party and encourages the Democrats.”

Trump lost in the presidential election on November 3rd with around 12,000 votes to Biden. No surprise is expected for the recount, for which the state has more than a week. Georgia is actually a Republican stronghold, but Biden and the Democrats won and secured the 16 electorate.

Republican majority in danger

The runoff election for the Senate, whose election was held parallel to the presidential election, is necessary because none of the candidates had a majority of more than 50 percent in the first round. While Senator Loeffler is challenged by Raphael Warnock on January 5, Perdue faces Jon Ossoff. Without the votes of the radical supporters of Trump, things could get very close for the Republicans. The two candidates therefore stand up for the electoral system that Trump himself has denied.

The Senate election will be decisive for further politics in the USA. So far, Trump’s Republicans had a majority of 53 Senate seats. To defend this majority, at least one of the two candidates Loeffler and Perdue must win. If this succeeds, the majority in the upper house would make governing the future President Biden much more difficult. But if both Democrats win in Georgia, there would be a stalemate in the Senate, both parties would get 50 votes. In this case, the US Constitution stipulates that the Vice President establishes a majority in Senate decisions with his vote. After Biden takes office, his party colleague Kamala Harris will hold the office of Vice President. So it could be that Trump’s fraud allegations ultimately decide the future of the Senate in favor of the Democrats.

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Trump holds out the prospect of withdrawing from the White House – Biden calls for unity

According to Iranian President Hassan Ruhani, resolving the differences with the US after the election of US President-elect Joe Biden could be “easy”. “We can go back to the time before the tensions, and if the new US administration were to show the right political mentality, a solution (of the differences) would also be easy,” said Hassan Ruhani on state television on Wednesday.

But this step is mutual, said Ruhani. Iran could return to its obligations under the Vienna nuclear deal, ease tensions with the US and even act with respect for Washington – if Biden’s government did the same, the president said. The condition is still a return to the nuclear deal of 2015 and the lifting of the sanctions imposed by the incumbent US President Donald Trump.

In the opinion of observers, however, this will not be as easy as Ruhani assumed. The problem is that the moderate Ruhani and the reformers could be voted out on June 18. Then a new president will be elected in Iran. Since the hardliners and archconservatives were able to clearly win the parliamentary election in February 2020, they are also expected to have good chances for the presidency. According to the observers, the question now is whether Biden will negotiate with Ruhani as soon as he takes office on January 20 or whether he will wait for the time after the election in Iran.

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Trump pardons former security advisor – Biden calls for unity

According to Iranian President Hassan Ruhani, resolving the differences with the US after the election of US President-elect Joe Biden could be “easy”. “We can go back to the time before the tensions, and if the new US administration were to show the right political mentality, a solution (of the differences) would also be easy,” said Hassan Ruhani on state television on Wednesday.

But this step is mutual, said Ruhani. Iran could return to its obligations under the Vienna nuclear deal, ease tensions with the US and even act with respect for Washington – if Biden’s government did the same, the president said. The condition is still a return to the nuclear deal of 2015 and the lifting of the sanctions imposed by the incumbent US President Donald Trump.

In the opinion of observers, however, this will not be as easy as Ruhani assumed. The problem is that the moderate Ruhani and the reformers could be voted out on June 18. Then a new president will be elected in Iran. Since the hardliners and archconservatives were able to clearly win the parliamentary election in February 2020, they are also expected to have good chances for the presidency. According to the observers, the question now is whether Biden will negotiate with Ruhani as soon as he takes office on January 20 or whether he will wait for the time after the election in Iran.

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“I think Trump is an anomaly”

John Bolton

The former security advisor to the US President believes many in his party are intimidated by Donald Trump.

(Photo: AP)

Denver John Bolton shaped American foreign policy for years – always with a conservative stance. Most recently, he was National Security Advisor under Donald Trump, with whom he fell out and was dismissed by the President.

In an interview with the Handelsblatt, he now settles accounts with his former boss. Trump will leave the White House, but “then still claim that the election was stolen”. Bolton calls on his Republican party colleagues to finally distance themselves from Trump.

He recently advised Europeans to grit their teeth, wait and see, and sit out Trump for the last few days. “No one should now please lose faith in democracy and the rule of law because of our current difficulties in Washington. Our problems are not just due to some flaw in the system. You’re up to Donald Trump, ”Bolton told the editorial network Germany.

“The time until January 20th (handover) seems long at first glance. But thanksgiving is coming soon, then Hanukkah, Christmas, New Years, ”said Bolton.

“I am absolutely certain that after the handover on January 20th we will have a completely new situation.”

Read the whole interview here:

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America is turning its back on the Donald Trump era

Janet Yellen

The former Fed chief stands for a bold Keynesian fiscal policy, without which neither America nor the rest of the world can overcome the economic consequences of the pandemic.

(Photo: AFP)

In time for Thanksgiving on Thursday, America has reason to celebrate: Three weeks after his election defeat, Donald Trump is clearing the way for a change of power. The designated US President Joe Biden can now take off and relies on a healthy mixture of experience, pragmatism and a bold new beginning. America’s “checks and balances” democracy has proven itself in its greatest crisis to date, despite all warnings.

For the economy, and not just for America, an agonizing phase of uncertainty is coming to an end. Not only that: Biden is planning a new start in economic policy. With his election of Janet Yellen as the new Treasury Secretary, he made three exclamation marks: During her time at the helm of the US Federal Reserve, the former Federal Reserve Bank patiently pushed through the longest economic recovery in US history against the opposition of many conservative economists with extremely low interest rates .

You could hardly ask for more experience in combating the current Corona economic crisis. Yellen also stands for a bold Keynesian fiscal policy, without which neither America nor the rest of the world can overcome the economic consequences of the pandemic.

The next aid program for the battered US economy is therefore likely to be larger. That and the fact that Yellen would be the first woman to head the US Treasury should also appease the progressive left among the Democrats and give Biden more support in his own party.

Biden pairs his political courage in economic policy with multilateral pragmatism in foreign policy. With Antony Blinken as Foreign Minister and Jake Sullivan as National Security Advisor, the new US President is also relying on many years of experience in the cabinet.

U-turn in American foreign policy

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Here Donald Trump can still do considerable harm to Joe Biden

Donald Trump will probably no longer be able to save his presidency. Even if he tries everything. But he can do Joe Biden yet make life hard. Especially in Georgia.

Mike Pence came, anyway. The vice president flew to the southeastern United States on Friday, to Georgia. While Donald Trump complains on Twitter about the allegedly stolen election, Pence is already campaigning again. “We will defend the majority!” Pence shouts to the audience, as shown by video recordings. And the audience cheer.

Unlike their flood of futile lawsuits and attempts to undermine democracy, Georgia Republicans still have a realistic and, above all, legal way of influencing the outcome of the election. Because here on January 5th it will be decided how powerful President Joe Biden will really be.

Photo series with 17 pictures

It’s going to be tight for Biden

The presidential election practically ran out in Georgia as well. On Friday when Mike Pence toured the state by bus, the Republican governor put his signature on the result. The election workers had previously counted the ballot papers by hand, instead of 14,000 votes, Biden now leads with 12,670 votes. But he just leads. Trump’s team immediately requested another recount, which this time will be automated. It will cost tax money again, but Biden is unlikely to win. There is nothing left to get.

But on November 3rd, the Americans not only elected the president, they also filled many seats in the House of Representatives and the Senate, the two important chambers of parliament. In the House of Representatives, the Democrats have defended their majority, albeit much more tightly than hoped. Who will be in charge of the Senate in the future will be decided on January 5th in Georgia. Because there the result for two Senate posts was so close that there was a runoff election. Two Republicans compete with two Democrats.

It will be tight for the Democrats and thus for Joe Biden in any case. Both of their candidates must win in order for the Senate to have 50 Democrats and 50 Republicans in the future. The vote of Vice President Kamala Harris would then narrowly secure the majority for the Democrats – provided that not a single Senator leaves. Even if only one Republican wins in Georgia, they would have defended their majority in the Senate.

One compromise after another

Joe Biden would then be the first president in over 30 years to come into office without control of the two houses of Congress. It would severely limit his plans from the start. Both chambers have to approve every bill. And since Congress has budgetary powers, it can withdraw funding from the President for his projects. Without a majority in the Senate, Biden would have to make one compromise after the other right from the start.

Not a good prospect.

Georgia has actually been Republican hands for decades. The fact that the Democrats won a slim majority this time was one of the biggest surprises of the presidential election. So it will be anything but easy for the democratic candidates: the more moderate liberal Jon Ossoff and the more left-wing pastor Raphael Warnock.

Preventing another Trump term in office was the main successful message of the Georgia Democrats before November 3rd. Now the two candidates are campaigning for votes by emphasizing that Biden must now be able to implement his plans, for example in the Covid crisis. With a majority in both Congress Chambers.

The complicated message of the Republicans

Georgia is actually a home game for the Republicans, and only one of the two seats is enough for them to win a majority. But their message is currently a little more complicated. And that’s up to Donald Trump.

With the runoff election, the Republicans can prevent much of what Joe Biden wants to achieve. You can sabotage the new president, prevent him from undoing Trump’s policies. That would be the main logical message of their campaign.

However, it is more difficult to convey it with a Donald Trump who still claims at every opportunity that he has won and will remain President. Especially since he likes to publicly punish Republicans on Twitter who say goodbye to this line. So why go to the polls again when Trump has everything under control and remains president?

Vice President Mike Pence (middle) with Republican Senators Kelly Loeffler and David Perdue in Georgia. (Source: Alyssa Pointer / Atlanta Journal-Constitution / AP / dpa)

Mike Pence tried the balancing act on his Friday visit by saying that a “Senate Republican majority could be the last line of defense for everything we’ve done”.

The Republican Senators Kelly Loeffler and David Perdue, who fear for their re-election, are apparently too subtle. Perdue warned Friday that without her, the Democrats “have the White House, the Senate, and the House of Representatives. They’ll do whatever they want!”

Both senators are big Trump supporters and even asked the state election officer to resign after the election – a party friend. Now they implicitly acknowledge Biden’s victory. To win for yourself.

Is Trump coming?

The runoff election on January 5th is likely to be largely determined by voter turnout. Far fewer people tend to vote in runoff elections than in large presidential or mid-term congressional elections. Teaching people what depends on the Georgia runoff is therefore the most important task for both camps.

Both Trump and Biden’s team know that, of course. Biden’s chief of staff, Ron Klain, recently said that the newly elected president could be expected to visit Georgia. Some Democrats there also want Barack Obama, especially since the votes of the blacks have contributed a large part to the democratic success there.

And Trump? Whether he visits Georgia depends on his schedule, said Chief of Staff Mark Meadows last week. Maybe Trump will simply continue to support the candidates where he currently prefers to be: on Twitter.

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Joe Biden fills top White House communications posts with women

According to Iranian President Hassan Ruhani, resolving the differences with the US after the election of US President-elect Joe Biden could be “easy”. “We can go back to the time before the tensions, and if the new US administration were to show the right political mentality, a solution (of the differences) would also be easy,” said Hassan Ruhani on state television on Wednesday.

But this step is mutual, said Ruhani. Iran could return to its obligations under the Vienna nuclear deal, ease tensions with the US and even act with respect for Washington – if Biden’s government did the same, the president said. The condition is still a return to the nuclear deal of 2015 and the lifting of the sanctions imposed by the incumbent US President Donald Trump.

In the opinion of observers, however, this will not be as easy as Ruhani assumed. The problem is that the moderate Ruhani and the reformers could be voted out on June 18. Then a new president will be elected in Iran. Since the hardliners and archconservatives were able to clearly win the parliamentary elections in February 2020, they are also expected to have good chances for the presidency. The question now, according to the observers, is whether Biden will negotiate with Ruhani as soon as he takes office on January 20, or whether he will wait for the time after the election in Iran.

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