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German MP criticises sanctions on Russia, urges launch of Nord Stream 2: report

06.07.2022 19:30
A senior German lawmaker has called for an end to sanctions against Russia and for the launch of the controversial Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline, according to a report. 
Klaus Ernst (left) and former German Chancellor Gerhard Schrder (right).
Klaus Ernst (left) and former German Chancellor Gerhard Schröder (right).PAP/EPA/Omer Messinger

Klaus Ernst made the plea in a press interview, Poland’s tvp.info website reported on Wednesday. 

The MP with the post-communist Left party told the Rheinische Post newspaper that punitive measures against Russia over its invasion of Ukraine “aren’t working,” according to tvp.info. 

Ernst added that by supporting the sanctions, Germany is “shooting itself in the foot,” as cited by tvp.info. 

Nord Stream 2

According to Ernst, who heads the Bundestag’s energy and climate protection committee, Berlin should hold talks with Moscow on the launch of the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline to avoid a gas supply shortage, tvp.info reported. 

Ernst said, as cited by tvp.info: “The federal government must do everything in its power to ensure energy supplies. We need to talk to Russia, despite the war that violates international law, about launching Nord Stream 2 for a specified period of time, if gas supplies cannot be secured in a different way."

The lawmaker also criticised German Economy Minister Robert Habeck’s efforts to obtain gas from sources other than Russia, saying that “other countries cannot fully make up” for the lack of deliveries from Moscow, tvp.info reported.   

Ernst warned that a halt in gas supplies could irrevocably damage Germany’s “industrial backbone,” tvp.info said. 

Nord Stream 2, designed to bring Russian gas directly to Germany, had been criticised by Eastern and Central European countries including Poland as a potential “blackmail tool” for the Kremlin.

The project was halted by German Chancellor Olaf Scholz in response to Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine.

Sanctions against Russia

Ernst went on to state that “energy sanctions aren’t working.” 

“On the contrary, energy sanctions are beneficial to Russia,” he added, as quoted by tvp.info. 

He also argued that Russia continued to "earn good money for its raw materials while our citizens and our economy are suffering as a result of a totally misguided sanctions policy,” tvp.info reported. 

“We should only adopt measures that really help end the war and that don’t harm our own citizens,” Ernst said in his interview with Rheinische Post, according to tvp.info.

Fuel for Russian propaganda

The Polish website said Ernst’s words became fuel for Russian propaganda after they were extensively quoted by outlets including the state news agency RIA Novosti

According to the Kremlin’s propaganda, the war in Ukraine has created many problems for Western countries, including rising inflation and a spike in food and fuel prices, tvp.info reported.

Russia maintains that launching Nord Stream 2 would be a reasonable move as the pipeline is a business project, not a political one, tvp.info said. 

Wednesday was day 133 of the Russian invasion of Ukraine.


Source: tvp.info