The Saxon Prime Minister, Who Supported Nord Stream 2, Intends To Visit Russia In December
The Prime Minister of the German Federal State of Saxony, Michael Kretschmer, criticized the position of the Federal government of Germany in a situation with the Russian blogger Alexei Navalny and announced the intention in December to visit Russia, according to the tabloid Bild.
"I will go to Russia in December," the politician said, noting that "of course" he will also discuss issues related to human rights. According to the publication, he accused the German government of escalating the situation around Navalny. "I am not interested in continuing to escalate with Russia, increasing the tone more and more. I would like us to cooperate with this country," said the Prime Minister of Saxony.
According to Bild, Kretschmer called for the completion of the Nord Stream 2 project, stressing that the position of German foreign Minister Heiko Maas "is not a good sign for Germany." Maas, because of the situation with Navalny, previously expressed hope that Germany will not be forced to "change its position" regarding the construction of the gas pipeline.
The Prime Ministers of the East German States, including the Saxon Prime Minister Kretschmer, on Friday at a conference in Berlin called for the continuation of the construction of the Nord Stream 2.
Nord Stream 2 involves the construction of two strands of a gas pipeline with a total capacity of 55 billion cubic meters of gas per year from the coast of Russia through the Baltic sea to Germany. The project is actively opposed by the United States, which promotes its liquefied natural gas in the EU, as well as Ukraine and several European countries. States in December 2019 imposed sanctions against the project, requiring the companies leading the laying to stop construction immediately. Swiss Allseas almost immediately announced the suspension of the gas pipeline.
The Nord Stream 2 project is implemented by Nord Stream 2 AG with the sole shareholder, Gazprom. European partners-Royal Dutch Shell, OMV, Engie, Uniper, and Wintershall-collectively Finance the project by 50%, that is, up to 950 million euros each.
Earlier, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said that the issues of Nord Stream 2 and the incident with Alexey Navalny should be considered separately. However, there were calls from several politicians in Germany to suspend or complete the project altogether. At the same time, there are more balanced positions.
The Kremlin has previously called for stopping mentioning Nord Stream 2 in the context of any politicization, since it is a commercial project that benefits both Russia and the European Union, and primarily Germany.