Germany calls for European solution to Navalny Russian sanctions

Berlin, Sep 8 (efe-epa).- Germany on Tuesday called for a “European solution” to possible sanctions over Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny’s Novichok poisoning.

Berlin has said it is considering interrupting the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline, which will take Russian gas directly to Germany through the Baltic Sea.

Conservative parliamentary group leader Ralph Brinkhaus said: “The situation created does not only affect Germany but Europe as a whole.”

Navalny has been treated at Charité University Hospital in Berlin since August 22 and came out of an induced coma on Monday.

The 44-year-old was airlifted to Berlin two days after suddenly collapsing on a flight in Siberia on 20 August.

German authorities have said there is no doubt he was poisoned with a nerve agent in the Novichok group after conducting tests in military laboratories.

Novichok, developed by the Soviet Union in the 1970s and 1980s, was used to poison former Russian double agent Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia in 2018 in the United Kingdom.

Berlin has called on Russia to explain what happened and has threatened to impose sanctions if it does not receive an adequate response, which could include disruption to the gas line.

The United Nations on Tuesday called on the Russian government to seriously investigate the situation or agree to collaborate with an external probe into how someone could obtain the nerve agent used to poison Navalny.

Michelle Bachelet, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, said in a statement: “It is not good enough to simply deny he was poisoned, and deny the need for a thorough, independent, impartial and transparent investigation into this assassination attempt.

“It is incumbent on the Russian authorities to fully investigate who was responsible for this crime — a very serious crime that was committed on Russian soil.”

Her spokesman Rupert Colville said the case was the latest in a series of poisonings and other forms of targeted killings against Russian citizens that have occurred over the past two decades, either on Russian soil or abroad.

“These are not materials that you can buy in a pharmacy or a farm shop or a hardware store,” Colville said of Novichok and Polonium-210, which was used to kill Alexander Litvinenko in 2006 while he was in London.

Before his poisoning, Navalny was the object of repeated threats, attacks and arrests by Russian authorities and unknown persons.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel has demanded Moscow clarify what she has described as attempted murder.

A number of politicians from other German parties, including Norbert Röttgen of the Christian Democratic Union, have called for Nord Stream to be paralyzed.

The interruption of the gas pipeline, which around 12 billion euros have been allocated to, could affect nearly 120 companies in a dozen European countries.

The Kremlin has denied any involvement and foreign minister Sergei Lavrov said Germany is yet to share its findings with prosecutors in Russia.

Russia’s foreign ministry said on Tuesday it has summoned the German ambassador in Moscow Géza Andreas von Geyr.

Spokeswoman Maria Zajárova told local press: “It is time to put the cards on the table because it is clear that Berlin is bluffing, by playing a dirty policy.”

Related Articles

Back to top button