German authorities are considering the suspension of the construction of Nord Stream-2 gas pipeline in response to the poisoning of Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny. The final decision depends on Russia's actions, said the German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas on air of the TV channel ZDF.
"We will put all options on the agenda and make a decision at the right time," Maas said.
According to Maas, if Russia takes part in the investigation of the incident, Germany can refrain from such measures.
"We cannot say that if sanctions are not effective, then there is no need to impose them. Sometimes action should be taken, in order to say that we do not want to live in a world without rules," the minister explained.
A representative of Nord Stream 2 AG responded that "as a developer of a commercial investment project does not comment on political discussions."
"Our project is based not on political agreements between countries, but on billions of investments of six leading energy companies, five of which represent EU countries. The project is implemented in strict accordance with applicable national and international law and has received all the necessary approvals from the governments of the five countries," said the representative of Nord Stream 2 AG, as cited by RBC news agency. According to him, the project participants remain confident that the early completion of the project and the commissioning of the gas pipeline are in the interests of energy security and European competitiveness.
Maas has previously said that the discussion around Navalny’s poisoning should not be narrowed down to the Nord Stream-2 project. He noted that more than a hundred companies from 12 European countries are engaged in the project and about half of these companies are German. The German Foreign Minister said that those who demand a review of the position on Nord Stream 2 should be aware of the consequences of such a step.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel, according to her representative, does not rule out the possibility of imposing sanctions against the construction of the gas pipeline in response to Navalny’s poisoning. German Defense Minister Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer said the authorities would consider the future of the project depending on Russia's actions. Former Christian Democratic Union leader in the Bundestag and candidate for the head of the party Friedrich Merz called for the construction to be frozen because Russian President Vladimir Putin "understands only such language."
Russian presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov, for his part, noted that the Kremlin does not see the risks of Germany blocking the construction of Nord Stream-2.