German Opposition Party Calls for Halting Nord Stream 2 Gas Project Over Navalny Case

BERLIN, September 3- Germany’s Free Democratic Party has called for putting on hold the Nord Stream 2 pipeline project as a means to pressure Russia to cooperate with the investigation into the poisoning of Russian opposition blogger Alexey Navalny, Alexander Graf Lambsdorff, the deputy chair of the party’s parliamentary fraction, said on Thursday.

BERLIN, September 3 (Sputnik) – Germany’s Free Democratic Party (FDP) has called for putting on hold the Nord Stream 2 pipeline project as a means to pressure Russia to cooperate with the investigation into the poisoning of Russian opposition blogger Alexey Navalny, Alexander Graf Lambsdorff, the deputy chair of the party’s parliamentary fraction, said on Thursday.

On Wednesday, the government of Germany, where Navalny is undergoing treatment from an acute health condition since late last month, said that tests found traces of a nerve agent from the Novichok group in his system. According to Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov, Berlin so far provided Moscow with neither an official notification on the findings, nor assistance in the investigation launched by the Russian law enforcement immediately upon Navalny’s initial emergency hospitalization in Russia.

“We cannot continue business as usual. We will be calling for a moratorium on this project [Nord Stream 2] for as long as the Russian government is ready to cooperate with investigators in order to find out what really happened to Navalny,” Lambsdorff told Germany’s Die Zeit daily.

The lawmaker clarified that he meant a temporary halt of the project rather than its complete abandonment, describing the latter option as “going too far.”

Last week, German Chancellor Angela Merkel called for not linking the Navalny affair to the progress of Nord Stream 2, a massive offshore pipeline designed to pump Russian gas directly to Germany and potentially other European countries if connected to the EU networks of pipes.

On August 20, Navalny suffered a condition followed by a medically induced coma during a domestic Russian flight. He was initially treated in the Siberian city of Omsk, where the plane made an emergency landing. Two days later, the man was flown to Berlin-based hospital Charite for further treatment.

German doctors initially claimed they found traces of intoxication with a substance from the group of cholinesterase inhibitors in his system.

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