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Merkel Walking into Navalny Trap

Sept. 3, 2020 (EIRNS)—So far, the German government has been firm in its resistance against U.S. Senate demands that Germany stop the construction of the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline and move out of gas dealings with Russia. But the pro-Navalny geopolitical faction is making heavy pressure to pull Germany out of the pipeline project, under the pretext of alleged necessities to have new sanctions against the “Putin system”—this being a favorite propaganda slogan of Norbert Röttgen (CDU), chairman of the Bundestag foreign relations committee.

Chancellor Angela Merkel held a special Berlin press conference yesterday, in her function as present semester president of the EU, denouncing the “poisoning” of Alexei Navalny most categorically and announcing a firm response by the EU as a whole, but not going into details. Röttgen appeared on TV, calling on Europe to “stand united” against the Russian threat to “civilization.” Foreign Minister Heiko Maas summoned the Russian Ambassador to convey to him the “most decisive protest” by Germany.

The Russophobe Greens were, no surprise, the most explicit in their call for an end to the pipeline project: Katrin Göring-Eckardt, chairwoman of the Greens’ Bundestag group, said that “the evident assassination attempt by the mafia structures of the Kremlin not only must make us concerned but also must have real consequences.... Nord Stream 2 no longer is something which we can continue together with Russia.”

But Wolfgang Kubicki, vice-chairman of the Free Democrats and vice president of the Bundestag, has warned to consider what stopping Nord Stream 2 would mean, because he is “skeptical that in the present state of knowledge we should put a project of that size into question.” He also said that it is possible that the attack on Navalny was not carried out on orders from the Kremlin. “I cannot believe that Vladimir Putin or the government is behind this attack.... There are also forces in the Russian administration that lead a partial life of their own.”

Kubicki said he hopes that Putin will clarify on these issues and punish those who are to blame. Otherwise, there is the danger that relations between Germany and Russia could move into an ice age for weeks, months or years, Kubicki warned.

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