In a resolution, adopted with 581 votes in favour, 50 against and 44 abstentions, Parliament calls on EU member states to take an active stance on the arrest of Navalny and to significantly strengthen the EU’s restrictive measures vis-à-vis Russia.
the European Parliament said:
- Following years of deteriorating relations, MEPs stress the importance of critically reviewing cooperation with Russia in various foreign policy platforms and on projects such as Nord Stream 2.
- They call on the EU to immediately stop the completion of the controversial pipeline.
- MEPs also underline that the EU should no longer be a welcoming place for Russian wealth of unclear origin.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel said on January 21 she wants to discuss the Nord Stream 2 project and related U.S. sanctions with Joe Biden's new team.
Germany has supported the project despite criticism elsewhere in the EU, and Merkel said that her views on the gas pipeline project have not changed. She said:
- We will, of course, talk about [Nord Stream 2] with the new American administration, because this is viewed critically across party lines in the U.S., and is also viewed critically in parts of Europe
- But we also have to talk about which economic relations in the gas sector with Russia are acceptable and which are not
- And it is also not the case that there are no trade relations at all between the U.S. and Russia in the oil sector, for example
- That means we have to put all this on the table and talk about whether we want to have no more trade with Russia in the gas sector, what level of dependence is tolerable
- I am saying today that ... my basic attitude has not yet changed in such a way that I would say that the project shouldn’t happen
- In my call with president Putin I reiterated the EU is united in its condemnation of Navalny’s detention and calls for his immediate release.