The case of the alleged assassination attempt of the Russian opposition politician Alexei Navalny has generated much controversy and discussions worldwide. In Germany, where Navalny is currently, the political controversy surrounding the case is taking on particularly large proportions. The Nord Stream 2 pipeline construction project is clearly not related to the Navalny case, but according to Bavarian Prime Minister Markus Soder, the incident brought new circumstances that make Nord Stream 2 something “negative”.
Soder, is a member of the Christian Social Union and part of the conservative-centrist alliance that appointed Angela Merkel to the post of federal chancellor. He believes that the case has had a negative impact on Russia and that Nord Stream 2 would be surrounded by such controversies. Although Soder’s prestige has given him a greater voice, this has become a common discourse among some German and European politicians in general.
The opposition Greens party has made a strong call in Parliament for Nord Stream 2 to be stopped immediately. For this party, it is unacceptable to continue any international cooperation project with Russia due to the suspicion of an attempt on Navalny’s life. “The apparent attempted murder by the mafia-like structures of the Kremlin can no longer just give us cause for concern, it must have real consequences”, Green parliamentary group leader Katrin Goering-Eckardt said.
In fact, the Greens have long opposed the construction of the gas pipeline due to ideological agendas and national projects that are irreconcilable with the German government and with the political and congressional wings favorable to Russian cooperation. However, with the Navalny case, these opponents achieved a “humanitarian justification” for their anti-Russian and pro-Western discourses.
Even the renowned parliamentarian and government ally Norbert Roettgen commented on the case condemning the normality of the agreement for the construction of the gas pipeline: “diplomatic rituals are no longer enough (…) After the poisoning, we need a strong European answer, which Putin understands (…) The EU should jointly decide to stop Nord Stream 2”, said the German politician on a social network.
For his part, Bundestag’s vice-president Wolfgang Kubicki, stated that the construction of the Nord Stream 2 pipeline should not be questioned at the current stage of the investigation of the alleged poisoning of Navalny, also claiming to be skeptical on the possibility of making any changes to the project. “I’m skeptical that we should question a project of this magnitude at this stage”, he told Deutschlandfunk radio.
Similarly, the position of German Federal Chancellor Angela Merkel was reasonable. She recently commented that the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline should be completed soon and that it should not be linked to the Navalny case, thus removing opposition speech and maintaining firm cooperation between Russians and Germans as a major opinion.
The construction of the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline has divided German politics in recent years. Designed to diversify Russian gas supply routes to Europe, escaping the Ukrainian and Polish routes, the agreement aims to increase energy security in the region. However, works for the construction of the gas pipeline were suspended in December last year, after Washington threatened to impose various commercial and tariff sanctions on the Swiss company Allseas, which carried out the construction’s works. Since then, international pressure has only grown. In addition to the pressure against the project made by US, Ukraine and Poland, the governments of Lithuania and Latvia have also threatened to break economic ties with Germany.
On September 2, German government spokesman Steffen Seibert reported that toxicological tests carried out by a German Armed Forces laboratory revealed that Russian opponent Alexei Navalny, who is currently receiving treatment at Berlin’s Charité Universitätsmedizin University Hospital, was poisoned with a Novichok substance. The big problem is that the discovery of the poisoning was the reason for the start of a great information war, where the Russian government was accused, without any evidence, of planning the murder of an opposing politician. To date, there is no evidence to link the government or government agencies to the alleged attack on Navalny’s life. The mere fact that he is a political opponent does not mean that his assassination attempt is necessarily for political reasons. The spread of rumors, fake news and lies about the case is immense and an imaginary has already been created in the West that the attack was in fact committed by members of the Russian government, even though no investigation has been carried out.
The intention behind the disinformation is clear: to undermine Russia on the geopolitical scenario. Nord Stream 2 is showing this. The objective is to disseminate as much as possible any type of information that damages Russia’s image, simply to favor countries whose interests clash with those of Moscow.
The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of The Duran.