Kuleba maintains that there is no reason to doubt the results of the toxicology tests carried out by a German laboratory which have proved that Navalny has been poisoned. The Ukrainian Foreign Minister believes that Russia is quite capable of such things. “They have no limits when they want to poison someone… It happens all over the world”, he said. 

Kuleba thinks that this crime should not be left unpunished. “Ukraine proceeds from that fact that our partners and all those who are in opposition to the policy line pursued by the Russian Federation have to use an efficient instrument of influence on this country including new sanctions and the revision of the attitude towards the construction of the Nord Stream-2 gas pipeline”, Foreign Minister Kuleba concluded. He was supported by Prime Minister of Poland Mateusz Morawiecki.

On September 13, Morawiecki called on Germany and the European Union to refuse from going on with the construction of the gas pipeline as a response to the poisoning of the Russian oppositionist. “One cannot wag a threatening finger at Russia and then gets involved in the Nord Stream-2 project together with GazProm”, Mateusz Morawiecki writes. 

In his opinion it is not enough only to take note of the fact that Russia ignores democracy and freedom of speech the way these values are understood in the West. The Polish Prime Minister strongly believes that it is impossible to have any constructive dialogue with a state that violates international standards and international law in its own soil as well as in the territory of the countries-members of the European Union and NATO.

The negative attitude of official Washington towards the new pipeline is well known. Thus, U.S. President Donald Trump has repeatedly declared that he supports the idea that Germany has to refuse from the Nord Stream-2 project. He has stressed that from the first day of his presidency he has spoken strongly against the pipeline because “the United States defends Germany from Russia”. In the meantime, Germany pays Moscow “billions of dollars” for electric energy. The United States has repeatedly imposed sanctions against the joint project of Russia and Germany, the measure that has disrupted more than once the dates of commissioning the project. 

As our correspondent Natalya Pysanska reports from Germany, passions are high regarding the final stage of the pipeline construction. Initially, the Government of the Federal Republic of Germany and its Chancellor Angela Merkel have maintained the stand that the Nord Stream-2 is an economic project and has nothing to do with politics. But after the results of the toxicology tests have been published, many politicians in Germany began to demand a strong answer to the actions of the Kremlin.

For instance, former ambassador of Germany to the United States, Wolfgang Friedrich Ischinger who is presently head of the Munich conference for security had this to say about the project, “If we with our partners want to give a clear signal to Moscow then economic issues must be on the agenda. This means that we should not leave the Nord Stream-2 project without our attention”.

Chair of the Bundestag Foreign Affairs Committee, Norbert Röttgen, also speaks for the construction of the gas pipeline to be stopped. He has stressed that if the construction of the project will be finished now then this fact will become an incentive to Putin to continue his policy.

It has become known that for the first time Angela Merkel has not ruled out a possibility that the situation around Aleksei Navalny may influence the final decision concerning the pipeline. Until the German Government has not published the results of the toxicology tests conducted by a Bundestag laboratory that have proved the presence of Novichok poison in the blood of the Kremlin critic, the Chancellor has considered unreasonable to link this economic project to the Navalny case.
“Now the Chancellor holds the opinion that nothing can be excluded from the beginning”, said German government spokesperson Steffen Seibert to journalists on September 7. However, in the words of Angela Merkel, the final decision concerning the future of the project will have to be made by the entire European Union rather than Berlin alone. The German News Agency DPA has quoted the statement of Angela Merkel, “The European response to the Navalny case is needed… This was not an attack against Germany. But it must declare about itself as a member of the European Union. Germany must listen attentively to what its EU partners say”.

It will be known soon what the EU partners will say to Berlin and whether they will heed appeals of the Polish Prime Minister and the Ukrainian Foreign Minister to revise their position on the Nord Stream-2 project. In this connection of interest is the recent telephone conversation between French President Emmanuel Macron and Russian President Vladimir Putin that was held on September 14. As the Elysee Palace informs, during the conversation Macron expressed his wish that “the light will have to be shed without delay on an assassination attempt on the life of Aleksei Navalny”. In the words of Macron, “France shares the conclusions made by some of its European partners that this is about the case of the poisoning by the Novichok neurotoxin”.

The newspaper Holos Ukrainy