German FM says stopping Nord Stream 2 gas link would cost too much: report

Stopping the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline in response to the poisoning of Russian oppositionist Alexei Navalny would cost industry too much, Germany’s foreign minister has warned, according to the euobserver.com website.

Image by Magnascan from Pixabay

Image by Magnascan from Pixabay Pixabay licence

The website said that symbolic travel bans on Russian officials now looked like the EU’s most probable response to what it described as the Kremlin’s second use of a chemical weapon in Europe in as many years.

Referring to the recent poisoning of Kremlin critic Navalny, German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas was cited by the Bild tabloid as saying: „I hope the Russians won’t force us to change our position regarding Nord Stream 2. Whoever demands this has to be aware of the consequences. The Nord Stream 2 project includes more than 100 companies from 12 European countries, with around half of them from Germany.”

Meanwhile, the Reuters news agency cited a spokesman for Angela Merkel as saying on Monday that the German Chancellor does not rule out imposing sanctions on the Nord Stream 2 pipeline.

Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki has said that Warsaw is trying to step up pressure on Germany to halt the contested pipeline following the poisoning of Navalny.

In an interview for Bloomberg Television, Morawiecki said: “With the recent developments in Belarus, where Mr. Putin is clearly threatening… intervention, and what he did with Mr. Navalny, this should be a final wake up call for Germany.”

The controversial 1,200-kilometre Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline is designed to have the capacity to send around 55 billion cubic metres of Russian natural gas a year directly to Germany, while bypassing the Baltic states, Poland and Ukraine.

Poland has strongly opposed the project, saying it will pose a threat to Europe’s energy security by doubling Russia’s gas export capacity via the Baltic Sea.

(pk)

Source: euobserver.com/Reuters/ Bloomberg News

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