"Always make a good treaty with Russia" - Chancellor Otto von Bismarck (attributed)
Sometimes it is the countries that appear to be on the margins of empires that foretell their collapse. In the early 1980s the Soviet Empire's cracks began to widen as the Solidarity movement in Poland and the election of an anti-Communist Polish Pope in the Vatican became harbingers for the breakup of the Warsaw Treaty/Eastern Bloc. Today the ability of leaders in the European Union to openly defy both Washington and Brussels signifies that the European Union that the U.S. spent decades promoting is itself headed toward a breakup like another Union of a generation ago. Hence the widespread derogatory label used by euroskeptics of #EUSSR.
With the EU poised to simply ignore the results of the Dutch vote on an association agreement for Ukraine and soon the British vote coming up on Thursday, June 23rd (the day after the summer solstice in the northern hemisphere, for those like 'W' and @BanksterSlayer keeping track of the esoteric symbolism), the hits are likely to keep coming for the supranational bureaucratic superstate that arrogantly claims to speak for 'Europe'. The widespread 'democratic deficit' whereby the EU only accepts 'yes' for an answer from voters, the empowerment of 'technocrats' like 'super' Mario Draghi who are losing control over their illegal and unconstitutional QE to infinity and helicopter money printing schemes, and popular resistance from both the anti-austerity Left and the nationalist Right are spinning the EU apart like a broken centrifuge.
The Austrians Emerge as the 'Rational Germans' for Moscow
While one can say that the Empire of Chaos may be deliberately trying to wreck Europe by military (war in Ukraine/threats of war with Russia), monetary (pressure on Greece and the eurozone), and migratory assault (immivasion by millions from the greater Muslim Mideast and Africa), the price of 'chaos' as a strategy leaving the USA and King Dollar as the last 'offshore' tax haven and reserve fiat currency standing is alienating rational leaders who refuse to be bullied or bribed into their countries going down with the Anglo-American ship. Austria -- the land of beautiful alpine valleys and Viennese kunst undkultur -- appears to be one such country.
Austria's leadership is increasingly defying Brussels and Washington's diktats, despite growing concerns about the stability of its banking system nearly 85 years after the failure of Credit Anstalt kicked off the Great Depression in Europe. One could even go so far as to say that the eastward turn of Austria's government towards Moscow this past week as Austrian banks were subject to scrutiny under the EU's new bail-in legislation is NOT a coincidence. If the EU sanctions against Russia were to be even partially lifted this summer, Austrian banks including Raiffeisenbank, which has extensive loan operations in Moscow, would benefit. As would Austrian agri-business which like the food exporters of Spain, Italy, Greece and Poland was hit hard by Russia's counter-sanctions blocking most EU foodstuffs, particularly fruits and dairy products. As RT reported on Wednesday, April 6:
“The Austrian President Heinz Fischer says the EU has to find a way to lift sanctions against Russia.
”I always say that sanctions are disadvantageous for both sides,” Fischer said at Wednesday’s meeting with Russia’s State Duma Speaker Sergey Naryshkin. “It is important to find a way to lift them in the near future.”
He also said Austria is actively participating in EU’s discussions on the issue.
”Our position is that it’s necessary to consider all the opportunities to develop cooperation between Russia and the EU,” he added.
A few days ago Austrian business leader Christoph Leitl criticized anti-Russian sanctions, saying they had proved unsuccessful. Leitl said Russia with its raw materials and Europe with its expertise would complement each other perfectly.
At the moment, there’s no unity among the European Union for automatically prolonging the economic sanctions against Russia which are due to expire on July 31.
The Italian and Hungarian foreign ministers said last month that things can’t be taken for granted at this stage; the question of sanctions should be decided at the highest level and cannot be automatic. Meanwhile, the Baltic republics and Poland are demanding sanctions should continue as a response to what they describe as expansionist Russia.”
More Than Just Immediate Sanctions Relief, Austria Wants to Remain a Gazprom Hub
In addition to the issue of sanctions and their adverse impact on Austria's financial services, agriculture, and even tourism sectors with Vienna and the Alps popular with affluent Russians (including ex-Moscow Mayor Yuri Luzhkov and his wife the richest woman in Russia, Elena Baturina), there's another major tie between the Austrian and Russian economies -- energy. The little town of Baumgarten an der March near the Slovak border sits on top of now exhausted gas fields that are used to store imported fuel from Russia's Gazprom against peak winter and summer demand across Europe. With the failure of the U.S.-backed Nabucco project and the Trans Adriatic Pipeline (TAP) from Albania to Italy only starting construction later this year, the Central European Gas Hub AG (CEGH) with its headquarters in Vienna, depends on Russian gas to meet market demand for the clean-burning fuel.
Europe is Hooked on Russian Gas for the Foreseeable Future and Germany is Partnering with Austria on Nordstream 2 -- Whether Washington and Warsaw Like it Or Not
Despite the hype about Poland importing Norwegian gas for the first time this year and Lithuania accepting LNG, the collapse in gas output from the North Sea countries like the Netherlands, Denmark and the UK and turmoil in Turkey [plus Indian and Chinese competition for Turkomen/Iranian gas] almost guarantees continued demand for Russian energy for years if not decades to come across Europe. And Austria is an eager advocate for the expansion of the existing Nordstream linkage under the Baltic Sea between Russia and Germany, bypassing Poland, Belarus and Ukraine, a project that moves forward despite claims the spare capacity is not needed amidst weak EU demand for gas as cover for geo-politically motivated opposition:
“...on this front it’s particularly important to look at the dynamics of cooperation in the field of energy between Russia and Austria – a country which, thanks to its central geographical position on the continent and the existence of the Baumgarten hub which is of one of the largest gas distributors [in the EU] – a crucial strategic place in all European transport projects in energy.
The corresponding data could be heard during the working meeting of the President of the Management Board of OAO Gazprom Alexei Miller and Vice President of Austria and the Austrian People’s Party Reinhold Mitterlehner which was held on February 2 in Moscow. In particular, just in January 2016, exports of Russian gas to Austria rose by 76.2% in comparison with the analogous period of the previous year 2015. As for the dynamics of a slightly longer period for the year 2015 the amount of adequate gas supplies for its part rose by 11.5% compared to 2014 year.
What is even more important – and was highlighted by the meeting participants – can now be determined with absolute certainty that the Russian-Austrian cooperation in the oil and gas field carries the “long-term strategic character”, which was first achieved back in 1968. Accordingly, Austria intends to support the project pipeline “Nord Stream – 2″ in order to meet the growing demand for Russian gas in the future. It should be noted that the main partner of Gazprom in Austria is a local company OMV – and it will appear as one of the parties to the agreement of the shareholders in the framework of the project for constructing gas pipeline “Nord Stream – 2″ [under the Baltic Sea to Germany].
However, the construction of major pipeline – this is only one aspect of the problem of ensuring energy security in Europe. No less of importance is the development of appropriate infrastructure, in the sense of underground gas storage (PSG). Russian-Austrian cooperation is directly related also to this direction. Specifically, it is about interacting on issues of expansion of PSG, Heidach – the largest in Austria and the second largest gas storage facility in Central Europe. This facility is one of the most successful examples of trilateral Russian-Austrian-German cooperation in the energy field. Co-owners of PSG, Heidach is Gazprom (66.7% capacity), the Austrian company RAG and the German company WINGAS. The main task of Heidach is – to provide reliable delivery of Russian gas export towards the [underground storage] warehouse in Baumgarten and consumers, Slovenia, Hungary, Austria, Germany, Slovakia and Italy.
Russia and Austria have agreed in 2015 to increase the overall active capacity of Heidach to 150 million cubic meters of gas or about 5%. And what is more important in terms of the present financial and economic crisis in Europe – this goal was reached without any additional resources and investment.”
Austria's Chief of Staff Tells Washington and Brussels While Speaking from Moscow:
'I'm Not Going to Follow Your Orders' Not to Cooperate with Russia
In addition to the 77-year-old Heinz Fischer making what may be his last visit to Moscow as president of the Austrian Republic at Vladimir Putin's invitation and criticizing the sanctions alongside Duma chairman Sergey Naryshkin, another important bilateral meeting took place last week. One that the Anglo-American media, caught up in the #PanamaPapers leaks which are now amusingly being described in the rabidly anti-Russian Washington Post as a Putinist plot, did its best to ignore. And that was Austria's Chief of Staff Lieutenant-General Othmar Commenda greeting Russia's First Deputy Defense Minister (and the alleged author of Russia's doctrine on hybrid warfare) Valery Gerasimov with a pointed message to Brussels and Washington: Austria is a sovereign country and will engage in talks with whomever it damn well pleases about threats to its national security, regardless of Cold War 2 sanctions:
“Austrian armed forces are ready to cooperate with Moscow as “Russia is much closer to Austria than other major world powers,” chief of the Austrian General Staff said in Moscow, according to TASS.
Vienna’s top military figure noted that one of the reasons for his visit to the Russian capital was to disobey others’ orders.
“I’m not going to carry out instructions and follow orders on who’s worth talking to and who’s not. That’s exactly the reason why I decided to pay you a visit,” Austrian General Staff Lieutenant-General Othmar Commenda said at a meeting with the chief of Russia’s General Staff, First Deputy Defense Minister Valery Gerasimov.
Commenda said that Vienna is well aware of the ongoing global changes and noted that Russia is much closer to Austria than any other major world power, Interfax reported.
“We only could deal those [global] problems cooperatively,” Commenda said, adding that Austria is ready to work together “within its capabilities” and “where there’s a deal of sense in it.”
Commenda specifically mentioned that Austria has been unable to invite the Russian general for a visit because of the “developments in Europe” and that [to correct] that deficiency, [he is] expecting his Russian counterpart to visit Vienna in the years to come.”
Austria Builds a Big Beautiful Fence to Stop the Immivasion, and Works with Russia to Repatriate Syrian Refugees and Make Mitteleuropa Great Again...
It would have been difficult for Commenda to say it any other way without being blunt to the point of rudeness to big brothers in Brussels and across the Atlantic. While the video from NextNewsNetwork posted above slightly exaggerates when the presenter says Austria is adopting a full fledged alliance with Russia -- we won't see Russian troops back in the nominally neutral Alpine country for the first time since the Red Army withdrew following WWII -- there is no doubt that Moscow and Vienna have a common interest when it comes to Syria. Namely, Moscow wants to keep Assad or a handpicked successor in power (while blocking any Qatari gas project through the country), which requires bringing the foreign sponsored jihadist insurgency to heel. The Austrian government want the Syrian and other Middle Eastern refugees now pressing against their Balkan borders to be repatriated.
Above: prosperous, orderly and Germanic Austrians don't want this in their country. Uncle Sam isn't doing a damned thing about it and the EU(SSR) is making it worse. Enter Russia...are you getting the picture yet?
In other words, Russia can give the conservative Austrians, under considerable pressure from their people to preserve the country's national character, something they want. The United States government and Obama Administration either isn't willing due to Islamophilia and PC, or is unable to do so at this point. In either case, the result is the same: Vienna and Moscow are being drawn closer together by business as well as the migration and monetary pressures on Europe.
As the Russia Analyst has written in recent weeks, [see "You Forgot About Poland: Central Europe Prepares for Life After Ukraine Implodes and the Dollar/EUSSR Crumble"] lurking behind all of these pressing geo-strategic and economic issues is a longer term trend: the return of Central Europe or Mitteleuropa to the European stage as independent actors, not just as puppets of Washington, London or Berlin. Which means geopolitics will in some sense begin to reflect the growing spirit of nationalism in defiance of the Atlanticist Empire's demands for open borders, multiculturalism, and non-traditional sexual relations from Warsaw to Bratislava, and Budapest to Belgrade.
Colored Revolutions Are Nothing New: They Were Tried in 1848 as Well and Austro-Hungary and Tsarist Russia Historically Opposed Them and the Muslim Ottoman Turks
A cynic might suggest here that the Obama Justice Department will suddenly discover that Julius Meinl has been violating OFAC-imposed sanctions on American trade partners against Iran for many years. Or wonder whether we'll soon see Senator John McCain or Undersecretary of State Victoria Nuland flying in to Vienna on missions to hand out cookies to George Soros-funded do-gooders while slamming the heartlessness of Austria protecting its borders.
While Russophobic historians like John R. Schindler (aka ex-NSA analyst and US Naval War College professor @20Committee) have historically emphasized the clashes between the Tsarist Russian Orthodox Empire and the Roman Catholic Habsburgs since the 18th century over the Balkans and Bosporus...they tend to forget that St. Petersburg and Vienna also had two historic enemies in common. That is, two sets of adversaries who were aided by City of London bankers and Parisian salons, including during the Crimean War: the Ottoman Turks, as THE perennially expansionist Muslim threat to Christendom; and the Masonic/Illuminist revolutionaries, who diabolically raged against Church and Crown.
The 'good treaty' that Otto von Bismarck famously said Germany should always make with Russia after all, was called the league of the three emperors. Had it been followed by Bismarck's successors, Imperial Germany would have avoided encirclement between a revanchist France and the vast Russian Empire, with both allied to the Germans preeminent economic rival for world domination, the British (and the increasingly Anglophile East Coast U.S. elites, who eventually dragged America into WW1 using Woodrow Wilson as their technocrat puppet). The First World War, the rise of Bolshevism and Nazism, and the Second World War may have been avoided, with incalculable benefits for European civilization and the world as we know it.
Whether the Viennese can once again act as the wily interlocutors between Orthodox Russia and Catholic Europe in part to prevent a third (or fourth) world war is an interesting question, but one that may pivot on Christian revival (or at least a renewed cultural attachment by non-believers to Christendom) on the Continent. As the rising #AltRight likes to say online, "No more brother wars" (between Europeans, including the 'Mongol-Asiatic' Russians).
What is certain is that for now, Moscow may find a chilly reception in Berlin under the (temporary) grip of the Iron EU/NATOist Chancellor Mutti (Mommy). But the 'rational Germans' of Austria, the modern heirs to Metternich, are more than happy to offer the Russians a warm welcome back to the Concert of Europe -- a Europe that no longer needs U.S. supervision.