Germany and Russia refuse to budge on stance over Navalny poisoning

WION Web Team
Moscow, Russia Published: Sep 07, 2020, 04:13 PM(IST)

File photo of Alexei Navalny Photograph:( Reuters )

Story highlights

Anti-corruption campaigner Navalny fell ill on a flight last month and was treated in a Siberian hospital before being evacuated to Berlin.

Both Germany and Russia are resolutely maintaining there stance over the alleged poisoning of opposition figure Alexei Navalny.

A spokesman for German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Monday said the country will not rule out consequences for the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline project if Russia fails to thoroughly investigate the incident.

Asked whether Merkel would protect the multi-billion-euro pipeline from Russia to Europe if Germany were to seek sanctions over the Navalny case, spokesman Steffen Seibert said: "The chancellor believes it would be wrong to rule anything out from the start."

Also read: Ready to cooperate with Germany on Navalny’s case 24 hours per day: Russia

Nord Stream 2, a $11-billion pipeline near completion beneath the Baltic Sea, is set to double Russian natural-gas shipments to Germany, Europe's largest economy.

It has long been in the crosshairs of the United States, which has criticised European countries for their reliance on energy from Russia.

Also see: The curious case of Russian Kremlin critics who were allegedly poisoned

Meanwhile, the Kremlin on Monday denounced attempts to blame the Russian state for the alleged poisoning.

"Attempts to somehow associate Russia with what happened are unacceptable to us, they are absurd," President Vladimir Putin's spokesman Dmitry Peskov told journalists.

Anti-corruption campaigner Navalny fell ill on a flight last month and was treated in a Siberian hospital before being evacuated to Berlin.

Germany said last week there was "unequivocal evidence" that Putin's top critic had been poisoned with Novichok.

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