MOSCOW, September 30. /TASS/. Berlin may lose some of its economic sovereignty using the Navalny incident to escape US sanctions over the Nord Stream 2 project, Chairman of the Russian State Duma (the lower house of parliament) Foreign Affairs Committee Leonid Slutsky told reporters on Wednesday, commenting on German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s statements.
"German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s calls for clarifying the incident involving blogger Navalny look particularly cynical given that the German authorities have in fact refused to respond to Russia’s requests. Instead of conclusions made by German doctors, we keep hearing accusations and ultimatums," the senior Russian lawmaker noted.
According to Slutsky, "it’s becoming increasingly clear that there are some forces behind the situation around the Russian blogger that seek to influence the future of the Nord Stream 2 project in the first place." "I don’t rule out that Germany is facing some external pressure. However, Ms. Merkel, as Germany’s chancellor, should refrain from using far-fetched excuses to save her political face and escape looming US sanctions. It can make Berlin lose some of its economic sovereignty," Slutsky stressed.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel said during a federal budget debate in the Bundestag that the Navalny incident was an international issue. The German authorities intend to wait for the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons’ conclusions and discuss a response with other EU members.
Navalny was rushed to a local hospital in the Siberian city of Omsk on August 20 after collapsing on a Moscow-bound flight from Tomsk. He fell into a coma and was put on a ventilator in an intensive care unit. On August 22, he was airlifted to Berlin and admitted to the Charite hospital.
On September 2, Berlin claimed that having examined Navalny’s test samples, German government toxicologists had come to the conclusion that the blogger had been affected by a toxic agent belonging to the Novichok family.
Kremlin Spokesman Dmitry Peskov said that Russia was ready for comprehensive cooperation with Germany. He pointed out that no poisonous substances had been detected in Navalny’s system prior to his transfer to Berlin.