German Chancellor Olaf Scholz.
A photo: REUTERS
“Patience and a little effort”. This Russian proverb has a German counterpart, which is now very suitable for the season: “Fleiß bricht Eis” (“Patience breaks the ice”). The German Federal Chancellor is now probably in high spirits and celebrating his victory. Or almost a victory. And almost celebrating. His September voyages to the Arab monarchies, which he undertook this fall in order to persuade partners to increase the supply of liquefied natural gas (LNG) to Germany, finally had an effect. Doha agreed to supply its LNG to Germany. Recall that from other countries in the region, Scholz brought the figurine.
But here it worked!
Although, on the other hand, how to say. The real result of Scholz’s diplomacy is better described in the words of a song sung by a little-known modern Israeli singer Alla Pugacheva: “If you suffer for a long time, something will work out.” This is the “something” in the end.
Qatar has agreed to increase LNG supplies to Germany. The Qatari state oil and gas company QatarEnergy has signed an agreement with the American company ConocoPhillips to supply its LNG to Germany in the amount of about 2 million tons per year. And the contract will be concluded for a rather long period – as much as 15 years.
And then, as in a vulgar joke, there are nuances.
Firstly, 2 million tons is about 5 times less than Russia’s Gazprom supplied Germany with LNG. It remains to find somewhere else 8 million tons, and Russian LNG can be safely abandoned.
And secondly, and this is much more remarkable – deliveries will begin only in 2026. More than three years later. How Germany will go through the heating seasons at this time, sorry, the problem is not Qatar. As are the weather conditions.
It is noteworthy that almost a year ago, Olaf Scholz assumed his current position, and before that he announced that he intended to serve as Federal Chancellor for more than one term, which is estimated at 4 years. True, now many experts are predicting an early early resignation for him, which will cause a government crisis. At the same time, the Germans can look, for example, at the UK and evaluate the effectiveness of the double exchange of awl for soap.
But even if Scholz finishes his job as chancellor until the end of his term, the gas from Qatar will come to his successor, who will head the government after him.
What then remains for Scholz? In full accordance with the German proverb arm yourself with patience and “break the ice.” In the literal and figurative sense of the word. All three years.