19:34 GMT26 February 2021
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    MOSCOW (Sputnik) - Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz has rejected calls to abandon the Nord Stream 2 pipeline construction after a Russian court jailed opposition activist Alexey Navalny for 3.5 years.

    "I welcome the German federal government’s decision to stand by Nord Stream 2", Kurz said in an interview with the Welt am Sonntag newspaper, published Saturday.

    He argued that Nord Stream was a European project that would benefit many EU countries.

    "I disagree that the necessary response to the proceedings against opposition figure Navalny should be tied to the Nord Stream 2 construction. Those who think that only Russia is interested in the new pipeline are wrong", Kurz said.
    Pipe-laying vessel Fortuna leaves the port of Wismar
    © Sputnik / Dmitry Lelchuk
    Pipe-laying vessel Fortuna leaves the port of Wismar

    German Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Friday that her government still supported the commercial project to bring more Russian gas to Europe.

    Nord Stream 2 will carry 55 billion cubic meters of natural gas a year under the Baltic Sea to northern Germany and onward to Europe. The United States has imposed sanctions in a bid to end the project, which rivals its liquefied natural gas supplies to the lucrative EU market. Poland and Ukraine, the main transit countries for Russian gas, have also vehemently opposed the new gas link.

    Nord Stream 2, Nord Stream 2, Nord Stream-2, Nord Stream 2, Germany, Russia, Austria, Sebastian Kurz
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