BERLIN (Reuters) – Germany must answer urgent, growing political concerns about the planned Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline project given Russia’s seizure of three Ukrainian ships and their crew off the coast of Crimea, a senior German conservative said on Sunday.
Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer, a top candidate to replace Chancellor Angela Merkel as leader of the Christian Democrats, told public broadcaster ARD it would be “too radical” to withdraw political support for the project, but Berlin could reduce the amount of gas to flow through the pipeline.
Russia - Calls - Ships - Weekend - Kerch
Russia is resisting international calls to release three Ukrainian ships seized last weekend in the Kerch Strait near the Crimea region that Moscow illegally annexed from Ukraine in 2014. Moscow has accused the 24 sailors of illegally crossing the Russian border, which Ukraine denies.
After meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin, Merkel on Saturday called on Russia to release the sailors and allow free shipping access to the Sea of Azov, but stopped short of endorsing any additional sanctions against Moscow.
Kramp-Karrenbauer - Merkel - Ally - Stance - Russia
Kramp-Karrenbauer is a close Merkel ally but has taken a firmer stance on Russia’s actions in recent days. On Friday, she told Reuters the European Union and the United States should consider banning from their ports Russian ships originating from the Sea of Azov in response to the incident.
She told ARD on Sunday that it was time to draw a firmer line against Russian actions, including its...
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