Michael MacKay, Radio Lemberg, 29.01.2018
On January 28, sanctions imposed on Russia for invading Ukraine were busted wide open. The Gaselys, a liquid natural gas carrier under long-term lease by French energy concern Engie, docked in the Port of Boston. It is carrying liquid natural gas from Yamal LNG in Russia. Yamal LNG is owned by Novatek, which is on the US Treasury Department list of sanctioned companies. Novatek was sanctioned by the US on 12 September 2014, at a time in Putin’s War when Russia’s invasion army was advancing in Donbas and Russia had cut natural gas supplies to Germany and to Poland.
The shipment of liquid natural gas originated from a Yamal LNG project that is majority owned by a Russian company called Novatek. Novatek is sanctioned by the US under Executive Order 13662, “Blocking Property of Additional Persons Contributing to the Situation in Ukraine.” Novatek is minority owned by France’s Total, the China National Petroleum Corporation, and China’s Silk Road Fund. Engie is a French multinational corporation doing business with electricity generation and distribution, natural gas, nuclear and renewable energy. An American company, Mystic Power Generation, is the buyer of the gas. Altogether, Russian, French, Chinese and American companies are conspiring to bust sanctions designed to secure peace in war-torn Europe. The people of Ukraine will be the ones to suffer.
The Engie gas shipment to Boston has been ‘laundered’ just like the Siemens shipment of turbines to Russia-occupied Crimea was ‘laundered.’ Money laundering involves a series of transactions to make money from the proceeds of crime – dirty money – look like it came from legitimate sources – clean money. Siemens and Engie have found ways to break sanctions by ‘laundering’ their products in a series of transactions. Siemens shipped turbines to Russian companies in Russia proper (not Russia-occupied Crimea), which is not in itself a contraventions of sanctions. Having ‘laundered’ the turbines in Russia, Siemens partner companies then shipped the turbines to Crimea – as Siemens knew would happen from the beginning. Yarmal LNG shipped liquid natural gas through the Isle of Grain terminal in the UK because Yarmal LNG and parent Novatek are not sanctioned by the European Union. Engie then shipped the gas to the United States, having ‘laundered’ it in the UK.
Engie (which has 9% of shares in Gazprom's Nord Stream AG) is directly financing Russia’s invasion of Europe in Ukraine. CEO Isabelle Kocher (she is a member of the board of Nord Stream AG) and the board of directors of Engie are responsible for the deaths of Europeans at the hands of Putin’s war machine that will occur because of their greed, recklessness, immorality, and treason to European values.
US company Mystic Power Generation, the Port of Boston, the US Coast Guard, and other American individuals and entities who conspired with Engie have broken US sanctions on Novatek. Whether by negligence or by policy, Trump allowed US sanctions to be broken.
Putin will be elated at the success of this divide-and-conquer attack on the unity of Western allies against Russian aggression. Having sent one sanctions-busting liquid natural gas shipment, he will send another, and another. Putin will do exactly like he did with truck convoys resupplying his invasion army in Donbas: having gotten away with breaking international law with the first one in August 2014, he proceeded to send 72 more convoys of weapons, ammunition and matériel in the three and a half years since.
New England has had a cold winter, and it needs natural gas for power generation. But by busting Russia sanctions to get that gas, New Englanders are now feeding Putin’s war machine. Americans will be paying for this Russian gas in dollars. Ukrainians will be paying for this Russian gas in death, injury, and destruction. Russia’s global war against the West will go on a little longer because the Gaselys docked in Boston.