VIENNA, September 15. /TASS/. The incident with Alexey Navalny should not be mixed with the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline, because its construction is a purely commercial project, Austrian President Alexander Van der Bellen said on Tuesday. He was speaking after talks with Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky in Vienna.
According to him, the EU cannot leave the incident with Navalny without response and is now deciding on further steps in that situation.
"I personally stress that I personally do not see any connection between the case of Navalny and Nord Stream 2. To me Nord Stream 2 is a commercial project that essentially concerns Russia, Ukraine and European partners," Van der Bellen said responding to a question whether he supports the idea of blocking Nord Stream 2 due to the Navalny incident.
"In this particular case, we are talking about diversifying gas supplies. This is a commercial issue."
Van der Bellen stressed that Austria has been buying gas from Gazprom for more than 50 years and has only good experience of cooperation with the Russian gas giant. He also welcomed the agreement between Russia and Ukraine on gas transit.
Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky arrived in Vienna on September 15 to hold talks with Austrian President Alexander Van der Bellen, Chancellor Sebastian Kurz and the first chairman of the Austrian National Council (lower house of parliament) Wolfgang Sobotka.