Merkel does not rule out sanctions against “Nord stream-2”

Many prominent German politicians are calling for the project to be suspended in response to Navalny’s poisoning.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel does not rule out imposing sanctions on the “Nord stream-2” project in response to the alleged poisoning of Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny with a Soviet-style nerve agent, her spokesman said on Monday.

Many prominent German politicians, including members of the CDU party, to which Merkel belongs, are calling for the construction of the gas pipeline to be suspended. They insist that Berlin should not turn a blind eye to the attempt, and the suspension of the project will be a clear signal to the Kremlin.

German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas said on Sunday that Russia must help clarify the circumstances of Alexey Navalny’s poisoning. Otherwise, Germany will refuse to support “Nord stream-2.”

Merkel’s representative Steffen Seibert, responding Monday to a question about how does she share the view of the Maas, said: “The Chancellor agrees with the remarks made by the Foreign Minister.”

This is the first clear sign that Merkel is ready to take action on a project that she previously supported.
The new gas pipeline, which is due to start operating in early 2021, is designed to double Russian gas supplies to Germany. At the moment, more than 90 percent of the work has been completed.
However, Seibert noted that it is too early to decide on sanctions against Russia in connection with the poisoning.