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Tags: andrewneil | russia | putin | nordstream1 | europe

Andrew Neil to Newsmax: Putin 'Desperate' in Cutting Gas

(Newsmax/"John Bachman Now")

By    |   Monday, 05 September 2022 01:45 PM EDT

There is an "element of desperation" showing from Russian President Vladimir Putin and the Kremlin and their move to shut down gas supplies to Europe through the Nord Stream 1 pipeline until the West lifts its sanctions over the invasion of Ukraine, Andrew Neil, one of Britain's most respected news broadcasters, said on Newsmax Monday.

"The Germans, in particular, have managed to get their storage up of gas for the winter to where it should be in October," Neil, the chair of The Spectator in the United States and the United Kingdom, commented to Newsmax's "John Bachman Now." "They've done it by early September. They're at 80%, and they'll get to 95% by October."

And while Putin is trying to make it more difficult for Germany to bring its supplies to the 80% mark, Nord Stream 1 was only running at 20% capacity, said Neil.

"[Putin] thought he had to ramp it up to try and have some impact, but it's too late," Neil said. "The German storage will be at capacity by the time they go into winter."

The Germans, though, will still have a "difficult time" this winter, and "there will be a form of rationing," Neil said. "They'll be desperate for more LNG, liquefied natural gas, and will be looking to America [to] provide a lot of that as well."

Putin may have "overplayed himself," by turning off the Nord Stream 1 tap to Germany, said Neil.

"Where does he sell his gas to now?" he said. "There's no other market that is buying it at this price. Now the Chinese have stopped buying it. The Indians have stopped buying it. They're firing up their coal fire stations."

Meanwhile, the war in Ukraine is not going well for Putin, so "although Europe is in for a tough winter, if it holds its act together, it could come out the other end stronger," said Neil.

The journalist also commented on the divisions that are being felt among the different members of the European Union as it faces a difficult winter.

"With President Emmanuel Macron in France, you're never quite sure which way he's going to go," said Neil. "He's actually been complaining that maybe we're taking a too tough line with Mr. Putin."

Macron on Monday called for a 10% reduction in his country's energy use in the upcoming weeks and months, warning that otherwise, rationing and electricity cutoffs may be required this winter.

Neil further told Newsmax's John Bachman that the Germans "seem pretty solid," at this time and that Poland and the Baltic states are the "backbone of Europe."

"They're the tough guys," he said. "Finland and Sweden, and Norway, which is not a member of the European Union, but it's tough as well. I don't detect a weakening of Europe's resolve to stand with America in standing up to the Russians in Ukraine."

Neil also on Monday commented on the selection of British Foreign Secretary Liz Truss as the country's new prime minister.

"She becomes prime minister tomorrow when she flies to Scotland to see the Queen at Balmoral, and the Queen will ask her to form a government," said Neil.

He added that as Truss has been serving as foreign secretary, he does not expect major changes in that aspect, but he does think there will be a "number of major changes" when it comes to domestic policy.

"When it comes to an issue like Ukraine, I think you will find that Prime Minister Truss will be as solid with the United States and the eastern Europeans as Mr. [Boris] Johnson was," he said. "When it comes to the Atlantic Alliance, I think you may find she's even more solid."

Truss has said she plans to increase defense spending, even though the country already spends more than the Germans and the French, said Neil.

"She's going to increase that, and I think as a result of that, you'll see Britain under Truss becoming as important a member of NATO, the second most important NATO member after the United States," he said. "That's not going to change."

Still, Truss is coming into office as prices are skyrocketing in Britain, said Neil.

The average British household fuel bill is about $1,000 a year, but is expected to climb to $5,000 a year, as 80% higher prices are predicted, said Neil. Inflation is also expected to climb to 13% in October, according to the Bank of England, he added.

"These are the domestic challenges, but they don't stop there for Liz Truss," said Neil. "It's quite a situation she's stepping into."


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Sandy Fitzgerald

Sandy Fitzgerald has more than three decades in journalism and serves as a general assignment writer for Newsmax covering news, media, and politics. 

© 2023 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

There is an "element of desperation" showing from Russian President Vladimir Putin and the Kremlin and their move to shut down gas supplies to Europe through the Nord Stream 1 pipeline, British broadcaster Andrew Neil said on Newsmax Monday. 
andrewneil, russia, putin, nordstream1, europe
Monday, 05 September 2022 01:45 PM
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