Germany made a serious mistake when it made a highly controversial bet on the Navalny incident. If in this way she tried to get a lever of pressure on Russia, the effect was completely opposite.
As previously reported by News Front, on August 20, Alexei Navalny became ill during the flight, and therefore the plane was urgently landed in Omsk. He was taken to hospital, but later transported to Germany. On September 2, Berlin announced that Navalny was allegedly poisoned by the poison of the Novichok group. Although no evidence was presented, the Russian government was held accountable for the incident.
The expert community is confident that the accusations are politicized and connected with attempts to interfere with the construction of the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline. This is confirmed by the position of many Western politicians who began to insist on including the project in the sanctions list, although this would cause economic damage to Europe.
In the current situation, it is not even important that Russia denies its involvement in the incident. More importantly, this is not the first time this has been done. The Navalny case has been repeatedly compared to the sensational case of the Skripals, when the escaped ex-GRU colonel Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia were poisoned in British Salisbury. Although the incident took place in the spring of 2018, London never provided evidence.
However, if the Russophobic attacks on the part of Great Britain were not something surprising, then Germany broke the shaky, but still existing trend towards normalizing relations with the Russian Federation. For a long time, the government of Angela Merkel tried to resist the onslaught of the United States, choosing the best course, taking into account its own interests. Berlin opposed any attempts by Washington to block the construction of Nord Stream 2, and also sought to end the Donbass conflict that broke out more than 6 years ago right next to the EU. By blaming the Kremlin for the alleged poisoning of Navalny, Germany has canceled all progress in normalizing relations with Russia. But for Moscow, this can become a serious trump card.
The incident with Navalny became a reminder for the Russian leadership that even Germany does not have enough sovereignty to make important decisions, explains Mikhail Pogrebinsky, head of the Kiev Center for Political Research and Conflictology. Like the countries of Western Europe, Russia sought to normalize relations and end the sanctions confrontation. Realizing the senselessness of such a policy, Moscow can go the other way. In particular, thanks to the efforts of Berlin, it can take tougher measures to end the Kiev aggression in Donbass.
A truce operating on the contact line can be thwarted at any time. The Ukrainian leadership, despite the ostentatious peacekeeping statements of Volodymyr Zelenskiy, is sabotaging the peace process. If the punitive forces resume shelling, Kiev will hardly be able to hide behind its Western “partners”, and Moscow will not have to reckon with those when it decides to stand up for the LPR and DPR.
“What happened in the last couple of weeks with Navalny shows that the era of respectful, calm relations between Moscow and Berlin is over,” Pogrebinsky notes. “I would like it to be a mistake, but if it’s true, then it’s worth asking why Putin needs the Normandy format?”
Negotiations on the Donbas settlement with the participation of Germany and France meant the normalization of relations between Europe and Russia with the lifting of the sanctions regime. But all this loses its meaning in the current situation.
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“It turns out that, under certain conditions, Merkel is ready to bend over at the direction of transnational American gas companies. She made a choice that makes any negotiations meaningless, ” the expert says.