My enemy’s enemy is my … um …

The United States has threatened the German intelligence services with a reduction in intelligence sharing if the German government does not fall into line with America’s proposed ban on Huawei technology in 5G networks. To try to counter this, the German government has sent senior economic adviser, Lars-Hendrick Roeller, to China, supposedly to negotiate a “do not spy” guarantee with the Chinese. The Americans have pointed out that this is unlikely to be worth more than the screen it might be written on.

But in a further sign of the Trump administration throwing its weight around with its intelligence allies, there are rumours that the US may impose sanctions against companies involved in building the proposed Russia-Germany gas pipeline. This pipeline is vital to the German economy. However, the US is hinting that sanctions are possible because the pipeline would increase European reliance on Russian gas. The White House says that Germany would, in effect, be creating an “energy weapon” for Russia because the Kremlin could cut off supplies whenever it wanted. They are citing energy disruption in the Ukraine in 2006 as an example.

Of course, the fact that US energy companies supporting President Trump would very much like to be selling their fracked gas to Europe is neither here nor there.

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