Patrick Christys: Several world leaders have all made the same decision... power to Putin, money to Putin, leverage to Putin

The advertising line for this is: “At the flip of a switch, Russia’s state-owned Gazprom can send gas to Germany at a lower cost with less hassle”

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Right then, austerity’s back in a big way. Do you want to be warm this winter, or put an extra 15 wooly jumpers on and hope for the best? Average energy bills are set to top £2000 for the first time – a hike of around £800 on average.

Absolutely, this is in part to energy firms going bust, etc, etc. But it’s highlighted a much bigger issue – it’s highlighted the power that President Putin has, and how he has been allowed to amass that power by the incompetence of Western leaders.

Outgoing German Chancellor, Angela Merkel, decided to approve the final stages of construction for Nord Stream 2 – which will see natural gas carried from Russia to Germany under the Baltic Sea.

The advertising line for this is: “At the flip of a switch, Russia’s state-owned Gazprom can send gas to Germany at a lower cost with less hassle” Well, yes, but at the flick of a switch they could turn it off and plunge Europe into chaos.

Who helped Merkel get this over the line? The one and only President Joe Biden. Although I’m sure he can remember a time where we were all sat around camp fires in caves huddling together for warmth, I doubt he realises that his administration’s decision to lift sanctions on Russia and allow them to finish the Nord Stream project, could plunge much of the European continent back in time.

Michael McCaul, the top-ranking House Republican on foreign affairs, said: "If the Putin regime is allowed to finish this pipeline, it will be because the Biden Administration chose to let it happen." He added: "It is a Russian malign influence project that threatens to deepen Europe's energy dependence on Moscow, render Ukraine more vulnerable to Russian aggression and provide billions of dollars to Putin's coffers."

I don’t think he’s wrong, is he? Who do Merkel and Biden claim to care about most? The disadvantaged, the poorest, the needy. The very people who will be most affected by price hikes in this country, the very people who can least afford to have Putin turn the taps off, and they’ve chosen to make Vladimir Putin, a man who oppresses any political opposition, tortures prisoners, assassinates people on a whim, suppresses gay rights, women’s rights, everything really…the’ve chosen to make him wealthier and more powerful.

What’s gone under the radar is how the Nord Stream project started… in early September 2005; German Chancellor Gerhard Schröder was on the cusp of losing power to an East German-born physicist named Angela Merkel when he hosted a ceremony with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Berlin to ink a pipeline deal that would come to be known as Nord Stream.

What did he do after leaving office? Schröder was named chairman of Nord Stream, an engagement that over the years has made the Social Democrat a rich man. It’ll be interesting to see what Merkel’s next move is after leaving office, won’t it?

While it has long been suggested that Merkel may have a light dusting of Russian snow on her boots – grew up in east Germany, etc…I’m not sure that’s the issue. Whatever the true motivation behind this, just remember when you see headlines like the ones in today’s papers about energy price hikes…several world leaders have all made the same decision.

Power to Putin, money to Putin, leverage to Putin. Putin is more powerful than ever, and the staggering incompetence of many Western leaders has also allowed China to flex its muscles and put itself in a position, allied with Russia, where they can dominate the world.

People talk a lot about a new world order, I think we’re witnessing it, and like the fading of a dying star, our Western leaders have let it happen.