After the poisoning of Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny, the German government continues to discuss an appropriate response to Russia. Opinions also differ within the CDU.
Economic Affairs Minister Peter Altmaier has fundamentally questioned the effectiveness of sanctions against states like Russia. The CDU politician strongly condemned the poisoning of oppositionist Alexej Navalny on Monday evening. “That was a cowardly assassination attempt on a Russian citizen in Russia – with materials that are not for sale in the supermarket. That needs to be clarified,” said Altmaier of the ARD program “hard but fair”. If it doesn’t, the West and the EU would have to deal with the answer.
Altmaier stressed that he was unaware of any instance where sanctions induced a country like Russia to change its behavior. This previously led to a hardening of politics. “We also need to clarify the question of what we want to achieve with our sanctions: is it just about looking in the mirror, or is it about achieving and creating something positive for human rights?”
Merkel does not want to rule out the stop of Nord Stream 2
As a result of the poisoning of Navalny, there is a debate in Germany whether the construction of the German-Russian pipeline Nord Stream 2 should be halted or suspended. The federal government has so far left the future of the project open. Chancellor Angela Merkel (CDU) also thinks it is wrong to rule out something, said government spokesman Steffen Seibert on Monday.
Altmaier also stressed, “It is not the time to rule out something, or we will weaken ourselves.” By stopping the pipeline project, however, not one cubic meter of gas less will initially reach the west. It is important to maintain influence on civil society. “The people in Russia don’t say,” Impose sanctions on the devil. “They say,” Stand up for freedom, democracy and human rights. “”
Altmaier assured, “I would never license any country in the world.” But one should not believe that one has fulfilled one’s moral duty if one expresses disgust and indignation loud enough and resolves sanctions. “That’s not enough to fulfill our responsibility for global stability.” That’s why you have to talk to Russia. “We need to see when economic sanctions make sense. We Europeans decide that together.”