October 2020, Vol. 247, No. 10


Germany Pressed to Rethink Nord Stream 2 Pipeline after Poisoning

Pressure has mounted for German Chancellor Angela Merkel to reconsider the Nord Stream 2 pipeline, which will take gas from Russia to Germany, after she said Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny had been poisoned with a Soviet-style nerve agent. 

German landfall site (Photo: Nord Stream 2)

Merkel said Navalny, who is being treated in a Berlin hospital, was the victim of a murder attempt using the nerve agent Novichok. Merkel is demanding an explanation from Russia.  

Moscow has denied involvement and said the West should not leap to hasty conclusions.   

Western countries have condemned the attack and many German politicians want a tough response. 

“We must pursue hard politics; we must respond with the only language (Russian President Vladimir) Putin understands – that is gas sales,” Norbert Roettgen, the conservative head of Germany’s parliamentary foreign affairs committee, said, according to Reuters. 

Nord Stream 2 will double the capacity of the existing Nord Stream 1 pipeline from Russia to Germany. Led by Russia’s Gazprom with Western partners, the project is more than 90% completed and scheduled to operate from early 2021, which could make it hard to stop. 


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