02:46 GMT22 September 2020
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    The ambitious Russian gas project has been called into question amid European accusations that Russia was complicit in Navalny's alleged 'poisoning' with a Novichok-type substance.

    Nord Stream 2 is a commercial project which is profitable for both Russia and the EU, and should not be politicised, Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov told journalists on Wednesday.

    Earlier in the day, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen expressed the belief that any resolution of the situation around the Nord Stream 2 pipeline would not urge Russia to change its behaviour in the international arena.

    Von der Leyen also claimed that Moscow's behaviour in the situation with Russian opposition figure Alexey Navalny, who is currently treated in Berlin after his alleged poisoning, was absolutely "typical." Peskov refuted the statement and stressed that Germany kept rejecting cooperation on the probe. The Kremlin spokesman also qualified the statement as "political bias" and "lack of understanding" of the situation.

    The alleged 'poisoning' of Russian opposition figure Alexey Navalny in late August prompted a few officials in Europe and other Western countries to call for sanctioning Russia over it, although Moscow's role has not been substantiated. The discourse focused specifically on the calls to halt the Nord Stream 2 project, a massive offshore pipeline designed to pump Russian gas directly to Germany, currently in the final phase of construction.

    Navalny is currently undergoing treatment at the Charite hospital in Berlin. His condition has improved and he longer is on a ventilator and can get out of bed, according to the German hospital. 

    Nord Stream 2 is a $10.5 billion joint venture between Russia’s Gazprom, Germany’s Uniper and Wintershall, Austria’s OMV, France’s Engie, and UK/Dutch energy conglomerate Royal Dutch Shell. The 1,230 km pipeline, whose construction was nearly completed late last year before the US introduced sanctions against a key contractor, envisions doubling the existing 55 billion cubic meters of gas per year capacity of the Nord Stream network. Once completed, it will provide Germany with gas supplies, and turn the central European nation into a major energy hub.

    Tags:
    Alexei Navalny, Nord Stream 2, Russia
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