German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s statements that the incident with Alexei Navalny could affect the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline project signal that Berlin could be under pressure with the use of "the anti-Russian card," Chairman of the Russian State Duma (the lower house of parliament) Foreign Affairs Committee Leonid Slutsky told reporters.
"The statements of German Chancellor Angela Merkel following the remarks of German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas regarding the possible influence of the situation around Alexei Navalny on the Nord Stream 2 project just confirm the geopolitical underpinning of the entire story with his alleged poisoning," the lawmaker said.
Slutsky did not rule out that "Berlin, which used to consistently oppose US plans on slapping sanctions on the Nord Stream 2, is now under pressure with the anti-Russian card being played." "All this could be one major provocation," he said.
"The ball is in Germany’s court now. Russia still expects full and confirmed actual information about Navalny’s condition and the causes of the incident," Slutsky said, noting that Moscow did not receive information, which had been sent to the EU and NATO. "Until there are facts it is difficult to speak about providing any explanation," he said.
Russia is interested in establishing the truth more than any other country, Slutsky stressed. "As for new sanction threats, again until there is evidence all accusations are unfounded and we are dealing with highly likely 2.0," he pointed out, TASS reports.
German government's spokesman Steffen Seibert told a briefing on Monday that Chancellor Angela Merkel agreed with German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas that Berlin's position on Nord Stream 2 may depend on Russia's further steps on the incident with Alexei Navalny. Earlier, Maas did not rule out that Berlin could change its position on Nord Stream 2, depending on Russia's actions after the incident with Navalny.
In turn, the Ministry of Economy of the Federal Republic of Germany said that they "do not speculate" on the possible consequences of the suspension or termination of the Nord Stream 2.