During PACE Merkel Called for Dialogue with Russia

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The issue of Germany's participation in the construction of Nord Stream 2 is politicized, says German Chancellor Angela Merkel. Despite conflicts existence in relations with Moscow, Europe needs to maintain a dialogue with it. The story of the opposition leader Alexei Navalny persecution and the Kremlin's policy towards Ukraine significantly darken relations between Europe and Russia. But even under such conditions, it is necessary to maintain a platform for dialogue. Federal Chancellor of Germany Angela Merkel announced this on Tuesday, April 20, during a video speech at the PACE spring session. "There are many conflicts with Russia. But I remain the person who keeps repeating: we must talk to each other. We must continue the dialogue," Merkel said. The quality of Russian gas is the same in all gas pipelines Polish MP, Chairman of the European People's Party political group in PACE Aleksander Pociej asked the Chancellor why does Germany continue implementing the project for Nord Stream-2 gas pipeline building and "does not speak with Russia in a single voice with Europe." Angela Merkel replied that Germany has always advocated that Ukraine retain the role of a gas transit country to the EU. “I know that there are many conflicting views around Nord Stream 2, in particular, I know what do many PACE member states thing about the Nord Stream 2 But I would like to emphasize that the gas that has not yet gone through Nord Stream 2, but is already going through the Nord Stream 1, is no worse than the gas going through Ukraine and the gas transported from Russia through Turkey, " Merkel explained. According to her, due to the fact that many perceive this issue differently, a political struggle and discussion unfolded around Nord Stream-2 over "how far we should go in matters of trade with Russia, in particular in energy". “Here Germany has come out in favor of the Nord Stream 2 construction,” the Chancellor emphasized. At the same time, Merkel noted that Berlin is concerned about the state of health and the future fate of Alexei Navalny and "is trying to use leverage" on the Russian authorities in these matters. In addition, she recalled that the European Union imposed sanctions against Russia in connection with the Navalny case, the illegal annexation of Crimea and Russia's participation in the conflict in Donbass. In her opinion, this is a manifestation of European unity in relation to the policy of the Russian authorities. Merkel criticizes Putin in private conversations Ukrainian MP Oleksii Goncharenko from a group of conservatives asked Angela Merkel to answer the question "does she consider Vladimir Putin a murderer." And although PACE President Rick Dams, presiding at the session, made a remark on this matter and asked Goncharenko to refrain from insulting in the session hall, the chancellor nevertheless answered this question. "Regarding Vladimir Putin, I will say that when it comes to criticism against him, I do not hide it and express it in personal conversations," Merkel said, adding that, in particular, she criticizes the Russian president regarding human rights observance in Russia.