Will the poisoning of Russian opposition Alexei Navalny affect the Nord Stream 2 pipeline project? Two members of the federal government create a link here.
According to Foreign Minister Heiko Maas (SPD), Health Minister Jens Spahn (CDU) has also linked the future of the Baltic Sea pipeline Nord Stream 2 to the case of poisoned Russian opposition Alexej Navalny. Maas put it correctly from his point of view: “Russia is mainly in control of whether and how things can continue with Nord Stream 2”, Spahn said Sunday evening in the political lecture “The right questions” on “Bild live”. It is clearly up to the leaders in Moscow to ease and avoid their “very defiant attitude”. “There is no economic demand that can ultimately outweigh the foreign and security interests of Germany and Europe,” stressed Spahn.
Maas had previously told “Bild am Sonntag”: “I hope the Russians will not force us to change our position on Nord Stream 2.” In the ARD broadcast “Report from Berlin”, the minister said there are still good reasons for the pipeline. He again referred to 100 companies involved in the project, half of them from Germany. At the same time, however, he stressed that he felt it was wrong “to rule out from the outset that what is currently taking place could affect this project at all”.
The German government has called on Russia in harsh terms to clarify the poisoning of Navalny, but has so far avoided linking the matter to the German-Russian gas project. Russia has denied involvement in the poisoning of the opposition party.
Mass demands clarification
Maas again called on Russia to help clarify the situation. “If Russia does not cooperate with the investigation or if smoke candles are still being launched, as has been the case for days, then that is another indication that something needs to be hidden,” Maas said on ARD on Sunday evening.
By the term “Nebelkerze”, Maas referred to allegations by Moscow that Germany for its part is delaying the investigation by leaving a Russian request for legal assistance unanswered. The Foreign Minister made it clear that the German government had “long agreed” to a request from the Russian prosecutor’s office and communicated this to the Russian ambassador in Berlin a week ago.
Maas saw Russia in particular as obliged to hand over the results of the investigation of Navalny’s inpatient treatment in Omsk, Siberia, to Germany: “Mr. Navalny was treated in Russia for two days. So there are many traces, investigations that have taken place there. the results are only available there, ”says Maas.
The Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs has made serious allegations
Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Sakharov had previously accused the German government of delaying the investigation into the Navalny case. “Berlin postpones the investigation calling for itself. On purpose?”, Sakharov said on the online network Facebook.
Sakharov said that on August 27, Berlin did not respond to a request for legal assistance from the Russian prosecutor’s office. “Dear Mr. Maas, if the German government is serious about what you have said, it should be interested in responding as soon as possible to a request from the Russian Attorney General,” added the spokeswoman. “So far we are not sure if Germany is not playing doubles.”
Prominent Russian opposition politician Navalny has been treated at the Berlin Charité since August 22, after collapsing during a flight in Russia two days earlier. The federal government said on Wednesday that Navalny had “without a doubt” been poisoned with a chemical nerve agent from the so-called Novitschok group. The poison was developed by Soviet scientists in the 1970s.