The Seimas of the Republic of Lithuania has adopted a resolution calling for a halt to the construction of Russia's Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline over the poisoning of Russian opposition politician Alexei Navalny.
In total, 47 parliamentarians voted in favor, while one abstained, the publication said.
"The poisoning of Navalny with the use of a nerve agent developed in Russian laboratories, which is banned by international treaties, has made it very clear that the Kremlin is not ready to change its aggressive and cynical behavior towards the political opposition," the statement reads.
The Seimas emphasizes that the export of energy resources is the major source of funding for Russia's aggressive foreign policy initiatives, mostly directed against the Baltic States and other Central and Eastern European countries.
In this regard, the authors of the resolution propose that the Nord Stream 2 pipeline project be abandoned.
Navalny poisoning: Background
- On August 20, Russian opposition politician Alexei Navalny felt sick on board the plane he was flying to the city of Tomsk. His rapidly deteriorating condition forced the captain to perform an emergency landing in Omsk. Two days later, he was evacuated from Omsk to Charite, a hospital in Berlin, Germany.
- On September 4, it became known that experts from the German military's Institute for Pharmacology and Toxicology in Munich had found traces of a toxic substance from the Novichok group in samples of Navalny's blood, urine, and skin.
- On September 10, Navalny was out of induced coma.
- On September 23, he was discharged from Berlin's Charite hospital.
Nord Stream 2: Background
- The Nord Stream 2 project envisages the construction and operation of two gas pipeline branches with a total throughput capacity of 55 billion cubic meters of natural gas per year from the coast of Russia through the Baltic Sea to Germany. It should connect Russia's Ust-Lug and Germany's Greifswald. This new pipeline bypassing Ukraine is to be built next to the existing Nord Stream 1 pipeline.
- The construction of the pipeline was expected to be completed before the end of 2019.
- The pipeline will be 1,220 km long. The project is being implemented by Russia's Gazprom in alliance with European companies – ENGIE, OMV, Royal Dutch Shell, Uniper, and Wintershall. Ukraine stands against the construction of Nord Stream 2 as it will most likely lose its status of a gas transit country, while its potential revenue losses are estimated at US$3 billion annually. The project is also highly criticized by the U.S., Poland, and the Baltic States.
- On July 15, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo warned that the participants in the Nord Stream 2 project would fall under the Countering America's Adversaries Through Sanctions Act, CAATSA.
- On July 16, the U.S. recommended that investment companies reconsider their participation in the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline project.
- On July 23, the U.S. Senate approved the draft National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2021, which, among other things, contains additional sanctions against the companies involved in the construction of Nord Stream 2.
- Ukraine's Foreign Ministry welcomed the United States' readiness to impose sanctions on investment companies involved in the completion of the project.