News ID: 279635
Published: 0250 GMT January 19, 2021

Nord Stream 2 pipeline under continued 'unlawful' US pressure: Kremlin

Nord Stream 2 pipeline under continued 'unlawful' US pressure: Kremlin

The Nord Stream 2 project is facing ruthless and unlawful pressure from the US, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov stated.

He added that this policy of pressure is continuing and even growing – something that Moscow deeply regrets, reported.

The spokesman elaborated that the Kremlin is studying Washington's actions against the project and is looking into ways to complete its construction regardless of sanctions pressure.

Separately, the head of the German Bundestag's Committee on Economic Affairs and Energy, Klaus Ernst, called the US sanctions against the Nord Stream 2 pipeline unacceptable, adding that they will fail to reach their desired effect.

He urged Berlin to summon the US envoy to the country to the Foreign Ministry and "unequivocally" explain to him the German government's stance on Nord Stream 2 and the US attempts to sanction it.

Ernst expressed concern that Washington's policy might not necessarily change under incoming President Joe Biden.

The lawmaker suggested that Berlin should introduce hefty tariffs on LNG gas from the US if that turns out to be the case.


New sanctions


The statements by the Kremlin spokesman and the German lawmaker come in the wake of a report by the German newspaper Handelsblatt suggesting that Washington plans to slap sanctions on the pipe-laying vessel Fortuna as part of US attempts to stop the pipeline's construction.

The White House objects to the project, claiming it will increase Europe's dependency on Russian gas and will purportedly give Moscow leverage. Both Russia and European countries participating in the project rejected these claims

Washington suggested the EU should buy foreign liquefied natural gas instead of less expensive Russian pipeline gas, openly offering American and Israeli LNG as possible options.

The main benefactors of the international project, such as Germany, refused to give up hope on Nord Stream 2, which is at least 90 percent complete.

US sanctions, however, might hinder attempts to certify the pipeline upon completion since companies engaged in the process also risk facing sanctions.


Sanctions calls dismissed


Also on Tuesday, Peskov said Kremlin would not heed calls by some Western countries for sanctions over Russia’s detention of opposition politician Alexei Navalny because his case was a purely domestic matter.

Navalny, 45, was detained on Sunday after flying back to Russia, according to Press TV.

He was taken ill on a domestic flight on August 20 last year. He was later transported to the German capital, where he was hospitalized with alleged poisoning.

His aides, as well as the German government and some Western countries, had already claimed he had been poisoned before the domestic Russian flight, blaming Moscow.

But the Russian doctors who examined Navalny before he was moved to Germany said at the time that they had found no trace of a toxic substance in his blood sample.

Moscow has time and again denied involvement in any attack on the opposition figure. It also maintains that Western media coverage of the case of the opposition figure serves as a pretext to promote new sanctions against Russia.

Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia want the European Union to respond with sanctions against Moscow.

“We hear these statements, but we cannot and don’t plan to take these into account,” Peskov told reporters on a conference call.

“This is about a Russian citizen not complying with Russian law. This is an absolutely domestic matter and we will not allow anyone to interfere in it.”

Peskov said Navalny had genuine questions to answer about violating his parole conditions for a suspended prison sentence.

On Monday, an impromptu court hearing in Khimki police station, near Moscow, demanded that Navalny must be remanded in custody.

The court’s decision means that Navalny will be detained for 30 days, from the day of his arrest on Sunday, awaiting trial, his lawyer Vadim Kobzev tweeted.

He is accused of breaking the terms of his probation, following a three-and-a-half-year suspended sentence he received in 2014, RT reported.

That conviction relates to a fraud case involving a French cosmetics brand, which the opposition figure says was politically motivated.

Peskov also dismissed as nonsense the notion that Russian President Vladimir Putin fears Navalny.

“Different statements about someone being afraid of someone else are absolutely nonsense,” he said.

Peskov said Navalny’s calls for Russians to take to the streets over his detention were alarming, but that the Kremlin did not fear mass protests.



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