Merkel says Navalny & gas pipeline two 'separate' issues & Berlin won’t change policy towards Russia, important to 'keep talking'
Her comments come after a week in which tensions have risen to the surface over the alleged poisoning of Moscow protest leader Alexei Navalny and the political crisis in Belarus.
Merkel told reporters that she supports dialogue with Moscow. "We have to keep talking," she told reporters at her annual summer news conference in Berlin, adding that Russia was a key player in the international arena. Russia is also Europe's largest country and has the continents biggest economy, when measured by purchasing power parity, according to the IMF.
She said that the European Union would take appropriate measures if an investigation found that Navalny, who was brought to Germany for medical treatment, had been intentionally poisoned.Also on rt.com Germany warns US against imposing sanctions on Nord Stream 2, says no country has right to ‘dictate’ its energy policy
On Belarus, she said that her government does not recognize the results of the contested presidential election, and expressed concerns that Russia could send forces to the country. But she rejected the notion that political differences should interfere with Germany’s cooperation with Russia on the Nord Stream 2 pipeline.
“The Nord Stream 2 project should be completed,” she said, stressing that Navalny’s case was a “sensitive issue” but that it “should be kept separate” from economic policy.
The pipeline has been a major point of contention between Washington and Berlin, with the US threatening sanctions on European firms that participate in the project.
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