So much for the lunatic charge that Trump is 'in Putin's pocket'
Die-hard Trump-haters continue to maintain that the president of the United States is in thrall to, or maybe being blackmailed by, Russia's President Putin. As a corollary, they still push the notion that Russia will corrupt the 2020 presidential election so that if and when Trump wins, they will deny him legitimacy.
The crashing and burning of the Mueller effort to prove this thesis means nothing to the deluded dead-enders. But the stupidity of this charge is refuted by the power play President Trump's secretary of energy, Rick Perry, carried out over the holiday weekend. Via Reuters:
"We're helping Poland to reduce its dependence on Russian gas," U.S. Energy Secretary Rick Perry told a news conference in Warsaw after meeting officials from Poland and Ukraine.
The Polish government official responsible for energy infrastructure, Piotr Naimski, said Poland, which has increased purchases of liquefied natural gas (LNG) from the United States in recent years, would be able to send six billion cubic meters of gas to Ukraine starting from 2021 compared to the current capability of 1.5 bcm.
"We will take every effort to diversify gas supplies to Ukraine, which is now completely dependent on Russian deliveries," Naimski told the same conference.
Perry, Naimski and Ukraine's Secretary of National Security Oleksandr Danylyuk signed a memorandum of understanding to enhance security of gas supplies in the region via LNG supplies from the U.S. through Poland's and Ukraine's infrastructure which still has to be expanded.
Russia's domination of natural gas supply to Europe, with multiple pipelines running through Ukraine, has long been a strategic weapon.
Natural gas pipelines from Russia to Europe.
Image credit: Samuel Bailey.
The threat to let Europeans freeze to death during winter months has been exercised before and remains active, as this article, entitled "Ukraine Faces a Bleak Winter as Russia Prepares to Cut Off Gas," demonstrates.
The ability of the United States to check Putin's energy weapon is the result of the fracking boom that President Trump has unleashed. Instead of President Obama's claim that it is impossible "to drill our way out" of energy dependence, President Trump has embraced — and strategically exploited — the mushrooming energy production that the United States is experiencing.
So pause for a minute and ask yourself which president was behaving as if he were in Putin's pocket. The one who protected Putin's energy weapon against Europe (and also enriched the faltering Russian economy that mainly depends on oil and gas exports)? Or the one who checkmated Putin's energy weapon and impoverished his economy?