Maas Did Not Rule Out The Suspension Of Nord Stream 2 As A Reaction To The Incident With Navalny
German authorities are considering all options, including suspending the construction of the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline, as a response to the incident with Alexey Navalny, according to a statement on Thursday evening by German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas on the ZDF TV channel, noting that the decision on the project will depend on Russia.
"We will put all options on the agenda and make a decision at the appropriate time," the Minister said. "Russia, by taking part in the investigation [of the incident with Navalny], can contribute to the fact that such a decision (on suspending the construction of the Nord Stream 2) was not accepted," Maas claimed.
"We cannot say that if the sanctions do not apply, then we do not need to introduce any. Sometimes it is necessary to take measures, thereby saying that we do not want to live in a world without rules," the German Foreign Minister said.
Talks about stopping the implementation of Nord Stream 2 began in Germany after Navalny was hospitalized. The leaders of the Union-90 / Green party categorically demanded that the project be stopped. The liberal Free Democratic party proposed a temporary moratorium on construction until all issues were clarified. The same was demanded by the candidate for the post of Chairman of the Christian Democratic Union, Friedrich Merz. The left party is against it.
The German government has so far offered not to link the Navalny case and the construction of the gas pipeline, and only after the German military toxicologists reported that Navalny, according to their data, was poisoned with a substance of the Novichok group, the tone changed somewhat. Maas previously expressed hope that "Russia <...> will not force [Germany] to change its position." That was interpreted by the media and observers as a threat to stop the project. According to the representative of Angela Merkel, the Chancellor "joined the words" of the foreign Minister. The head of the German Economy Ministry, Peter Altmaier, said that he was skeptical about the prospects of introducing such sanctions.
The official representative of the Russian President Dmitry Peskov said that Moscow is ready for comprehensive cooperation with Berlin. He noted that no toxic substances were detected before Navalny was exported to Germany. The Russian Foreign Ministry indicated that Moscow continues to wait for Berlin to respond to the request of the Prosecutor General's office. The official representative of the Foreign Ministry, Maria Zakharova, said that the German Foreign Ministry did not provide the Russian Ambassador with any evidence of what happened.