Berlin/Moscow – German Foreign Minister issued a stern warning ‘If Russia is trying to shirk the responsibility by not cooperating appropriately in the Alexei Navalny poisoning case, Germany will be forced to review the ‘Nord Stream-2’ pipeline project.’ spokesman of Chancellor Angela Merkel also endorsed the stand and warned that no possibilities could be excluded in the Navalny case. The United Kingdom issued a summons in the name of the Russian Ambassador and the European Union is preparing for new sanctions against Russia. The mystery surrounding the Navalny case has deepened following a statement by the Belarus dictator Alexander Lukashenko, regarding the issue.
Alexei Navalny, leader of the ‘Russia of the Future’ party, is known as a staunch opponent of Russia President Vladimir Putin. Over the last decade, Navalny has organised many agitations against President Putin’s policies and it is said that there was a good response from the Russian population. He even tried to contest the Presidential elections, against Putin, in 2018. Last month, he developed health issues on the flight from Siberia to Moscow. After being initially treated at a local hospital, he was moved to Germany on the 22nd of August.
It was revealed in the medical tests, conducted in Germany, that he was poisoned with ‘Novichok Nerve Agent’. Thereafter the European countries, including Germany, have become aggressive and have made an aggressive demand that President Putin should accept the responsibility in the matter and reveal all the information. But Russia has dismissed all the allegations levelled against it, in clear language and has replied that Germany should share all the information with Russia. This is the second instance of suspicious death by poisoning, of a person opposing Putin, in the last three years.
In March 2018, Former Russian military official and secret agent, Sergei Skripal, along with his daughter had been poisoned, in the United Kingdom, with Novichok Nerve Agent. The United States along with the European countries had imposed sanctions against Russia and decided to reduce diplomatic ties with Russia. While the sanctions are in force, death of Navalny, known as a staunch opponent of Putin becomes significant. All the European countries, including the United Kingdom and Germany, have become aggressive against Russia.
European Union has started preparations to impose fresh sanctions against Russia. NATO also has asked for an explanation from Russia. There has been no proper response from Russia, despite being repeatedly approached by Germany. Therefore, there is displeasure in the German political circles and pressure is being built on Chancellor Merkel to take an aggressive stand. The threat issued by German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas, over the ‘Nord Stream-2’ project, seems to be a part of the same efforts. Nord Stream-2 is a vital, ambitious project and both the countries have invested billions of dollars in the project. Despite opposition from the US and some European countries, Germany has gone ahead with the project and the project is said to be in the final phases.
In this situation, the statement to review the project becomes sensational. Both the sides will suffer immense losses if the project is suspended. Chancellor Merkel and a group of German entrepreneurs have said that this decision will not be correct in the current situation. The support generated for the statement made by the Foreign Minister could create trouble for Chancellor Merkel.