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7 Sep, 2020 16:10

German government says it’s ‘too early’ to discuss abandoning Nord Stream 2 pipeline over Navalny case as Kremlin sees ‘no risks’

German government says it’s ‘too early’ to discuss abandoning Nord Stream 2 pipeline over Navalny case as Kremlin sees ‘no risks’

After a weekend of talk in Berlin about linking the Nord Stream 2 pipeline to the alleged poisoning of Russian opposition figure Alexey Navalny, the speculation was dialed down on Monday by a German government spokesman.

Steffen Seibert told reporters that Germany is “waiting for answers” from Russia regarding the incident, and added that it’s too early to talk about the fallout from Navalny’s case.

“I understand that your questions are formed in one direction – about the repercussions,” he told reporters, adding that it was “too early” for a definitive response.

The spokesman added that while Nord Stream 2 is often considered a German project, it involves companies from other states as well. He also confirmed that German Chancellor Angela Merkel has not yet discussed the situation with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Meanwhile, the Kremlin does not currently see any risk of Germany blocking the construction of the pipeline. Speaking to journalists, spokesman Dmitry Peskov delivered a blunt “no” when asked if Moscow was concerned that Berlin may derail the project.

When asked to comment on remarks by a number of German politicians calling for the pipeline to be suspended, Peskov noted that the Kremlin is watching these proclamations. “Now, we see that for each such new statement, two statements appear, which speak about the absurdity of such proposals,” he explained.

On Sunday, German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas had warned that Berlin could cancel the project, and press the European Union to consider other sanctions against Moscow.

“I hope the Russians don’t force us to change our stance on Nord Stream 2, we have high expectations of the Russian government that it will solve this serious crime,” he told the Bild. On Monday, Siebert said that Merkel supported Maas’ viewpoint. “The chancellor shares the opinion of the foreign minister," he confirmed.

Peskov said that Russia remains ready for comprehensive cooperation with Germany.

Last Wednesday, the German government alleged – citing military toxicologists – that Navalny had been exposed to a nerve agent of the Novichok family. The anti-corruption activist was rushed to a local hospital in the Siberian city of Omsk on August 20 after collapsing on a flight from Tomsk to Moscow. He was placed in an induced coma and attached to a ventilator. Early on August 22, he was airlifted to Charite hospital in Berlin, at the request of his wife.

Also on rt.com Russian opposition figure Alexey Navalny out of coma and responding to verbal stimuli - Berlin Charité hospital

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