EU Parliament calls for halt to Nord Stream 2 construction after Navalny arrest
EU lawmakers are currently voting on a resolution that would stop the completion of the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline in response to the Kremlin’s arrest of Alexei Navalny.
It is expected that the resolution, which calls on the bloc to review its cooperation with Russia in light of Navalny’s arrest, will pass.
“The European Parliament … calls on the EU and its member states to critically review cooperation with Russia in various foreign policy platforms and on projects such as Nord Stream 2, the completion of which the EU must stop immediately”, ran a draft of the bill.
Navalny was detained this weekend when he arrived back in Russia for the first time since being poisoned by a military grade nerve agent.
Although it does not have legal status, the resolution would mark yet another setback in long-running attempts to bring the undersea pipeline on stream.
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The project has long been the subject of disagreement in the EU, with opponents claiming that it will increase the bloc’s dependency of Russian gas as well as cutting off crucial revenue streams from Ukraine.
In 2019 former president Donald Trump levied sanctions against the pipeline, which led to one contractor pulling out.
Despite the punitive measures, the rest of the consortium elected to press on with the project, which is now 90 per cent complete.
It is expected to be finished and begin operating in early 2021.
When it is completed, it will carry 110 billion cubic metres of gas to Europe a year, more than half of Russia’s overall pipeline gas exports to Europe.