Tag Archives: Navalny

Germany marks Carnival with not enough parades | Instant News


Associated Press

DUESSELDORF, Germany – Multiple carnivals poking fun at the likes of Russian President Vladimir Putin, former US President Donald Trump, German politicians and the fight against the coronavirus walked Monday through the largely empty streets of Duesseldorf, which are usually the locations the. raucous celebration.

Parades, street festivals and other major gatherings have been canceled this year.

But organizers in Duesseldorf, one of Germany’s main Carnival strongholds of the Rhineland, don’t want to leave Rose Monday in 2021 completely devoid of traditional caricatures of current events.

They sent eight floats across the city – separately, not in parades, and on previously undisclosed routes to prevent crowds from gathering.

“This is a small signal that we are still alive,” float maker Jacques Tilly told German news agency dpa.

This year’s tribute includes a depiction of Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny kicking a much larger Putin, both wearing judo suits, and a caricature of Trump on fire marked with the words “Make America Great Again!”

There is also a float showing Earth trying to contain the virus while a monster painted with the word “Climate” appears behind it. Others describe brains flying out of the head of an activist fighting coronavirus restrictions.

Armin Laschet, the new leader of Chancellor Angela Merkel’s party and contenders to replace her after the elections in September, was described as Merkel – a reference to the ideological closeness felt by two politicians – with the words “Continue Merkeling with Armin Laschet. “

One of Germany’s first super-spreading events stems from Carnival celebrations in a city west of Cologne in February 2020, during which large numbers of people came into contact with infected men. This year the authorities took no chances, with alcohol consumption in some places banned by the public.

Germany has seen more than 65,000 confirmed coronavirus deaths during the pandemic and has only limited its borders with Austria and the Czech Republic to prevent new virus variants from circulating in those countries.

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France ‘will not interfere’ in Germany’s choice of Nord Stream 2 | News | DW | Instant News


France will not pressure Germany to change its plans for that Nord Stream pipe 2 to send more Russian gas to Europe, Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said in an interview with Europe 1 radio on Wednesday.

A junior French minister This week it said Europe should consider halting the project because of Russia’s actions against Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny and the imprisonment of his supporters.

However, Le Drian said that Paris did not interfere in Berlin’s decision on the controversial pipeline.

“We must not mix topics,” he said, when asked if the pipeline project would be canceled. “We have discussions with Germany on Nord Stream, but that is largely tied to European energy sovereignty. “

Meanwhile, the United States on Wednesday evening returned to exert pressure on the controversial project.

“Nord Stream 2 and Turk Stream’s second line are designed to increase Russia’s influence over our allies and partners, and they undermine transatlantic security,” State Department spokesman Ned Price told media.

Price said the US will continue to monitor construction of the pipeline.

“We will monitor activities to complete or certify the pipeline, and if such activity occurs, we will enforce sanctions,” Price said.

Le Drian: It’s up to Germany

Despite the Navalny poisoning scandal, the conflict in Ukraine, and security concerns over relying on Russia, German Chancellor Angela Merkel continues to support the pipeline.

Any decision to leave the project will be “up to Germany,” said Le Drian. “I will not interfere with Germany’s energy options.”

He noted that there would be “calm, loyal and honest discussions” on the topic with Berlin officials.

Commenting on Navalny’s imprisonment, Le Drian said Russia was taking authoritarian steps and that the EU would consider how to react after EU Foreign Minister Josep Borrell returned from a trip to Moscow this weekend.

A call to put ‘maximum pressure’ on Russia

Meanwhile, conservative German MP Andreas Nick called on Germany and Europe to consider all options “exerts maximum pressure” about Russia in response to Moscow’s treatment of Alexei Navalny.

Nick told DW that the exclusive focus on the Nord Stream gas pipeline project would be too narrow, too bilateral and too expensive, because stopping the project could lead to billions of dollars in damage payments.

“I think for this debate to be honest and meaningful, everything has to be on the table,” Nick told DW. “It’s not about bilateralization being a German-Russian problem.”

On Tuesday, Navalny was sentenced to 3 ½ years in prison for violating the terms of his probation regarding a 2014 embezzlement case. Outspoken Kremlin critics called the trial an attempt to “intimidate” the public.

Pro-Navalny demonstrations taking place across Russia have resulted in a record number of arrests in recent weeks.

lc, dv / msh (Reuters)

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German Merkel condemned Navalny’s sentence, demanding an end to the violence | Instant News


FILE PHOTO: German Chancellor Angela Merkel leaves a press conference after meeting with the vaccine producer and the German state prime minister for a “vaccine discussion” via videoconference, in Berlin, Germany February 1, 2021. REUTERS / Hannibal Hanschke / Pool

BERLIN (Reuters) – German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Tuesday condemned the sentence of Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny and sentenced him to three and a half years in prison for breaking the law and demanding an end to violence against peaceful protesters in Russia.

“The verdict against Alexei Navalny is far from the standard of any rule of law. Navalny must be released immediately, ”he was quoted as saying in a tweet by his official spokesman.

“Violence against peaceful demonstrators must stop,” he added.

Reporting by Thomas Escritt, Editing by Franklin Paul

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France pressures Germany to get rid of Nord Stream 2 via Navalny | News | DW | Instant News


French European Affairs Minister Clement Beaune on Monday said France had urged Germany to cancel the Nord Stream II project, especially after the recent mass arrests of supporters of detained Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny.

The US and some European countries such as Poland have strongly criticized the construction of the pipeline, saying it would increase Germany and the European Union’s dependence on Russia for critical gas supplies. France has been less vocal in its opposition but has raised concerns.

“We always say that we have the biggest doubts on this project in this context,” Beaune told France Inter radio.

Beaune was asked if Paris wanted Berlin to cancel the project: “Indeed, we’ve said this,” he replied.

The call came after Vladimir Putin’s crackdown on opposition led by Navalny, who was arrested in mid-January and faces a trial that could land him in detention for years.

“The sanctions have been put in place, we can do that, but we have to be clear, it will not be enough. The Nord Stream 2 option is being considered,” said Beaune, admitting: “This is a decision for Germany, because the pipeline is in Germany.”

The European Parliament also demanded that the construction of the pipeline be postponed immediately.

Berlin demands Navalny’s release however, on Monday, Chancellor Angela Merkel spokeswoman Martina Fietz said the government had not changed its mind on Nord Stream 2. Fietz said she had “no new updates” to the project, which Merkel strongly supports. “The government has not changed its basic position,” he told reporters.

Work continues on Nord Stream 2 in December after being detained for nearly a year on American sanctions.

Can the cancellation backfire?

Green party politician Jürgen Trittin, a former German environment minister, told DW he believed the pipeline cancellation would be in vain. Russian pipeline developers will receive legal compensation from Germany while still being able to export their gas in other ways.

“I have never been a friend of this pipe, but stopping it at this point would probably have a very high price, without achieving any real effect,” he said. “However, Russia has many opportunities to export its gas via other routes.”

Meanwhile, Renate Alt, a Bundestag lawmaker with Germany’s pro-business Free Democrats, said he believed a moratorium should be imposed on the construction of the project.

“It is now important that the construction halt, the moratorium, be enforced until the Russian side moves, as far as clarification of Alexei Navalny’s poisoning is concerned,” Alt told DW.

“So far it has been unclear and as long as these protests have stopped so brutally … we must not allow the pipeline to continue building.”

Russian energy giant Gazprom – a major investor in the project – said Nord Stream 2 is now 94% complete.

Nord Stream 2 consists of two pipes, each about 1,230 kilometers (765 miles) long, and is expected to deliver tens of billions of cubic meters of natural gas per year from Russia to Germany.

rc / msh (AFP, dpa)

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The European Union must punish Putin for Navalny’s arrest by cutting off the flow of money: German Weber | Instant News


BERLIN (Reuters) – The European Union should punish Russian President Vladimir Putin for the arrest of Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny and thousands of his supporters with targeted financial sanctions, the leader of the bloc’s biggest political alliance said on Sunday.

People hold signs in support of jailed Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny, amid the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic, in downtown Dublin, Ireland, January 23, 2021. REUTERS / Clodagh Kilcoyne

Police detained more than 3,000 people and used force to disperse rallies across Russia on Saturday in support of Navalny, who was arrested last weekend when he returned to Russia from Germany for the first time since he was poisoned with a nerve agent.

“It is unacceptable that the Russian leadership is trying to shorten the growing protests by arresting thousands of demonstrators,” Manfred Weber, a senior German conservative and head of the center-right EPP group in the European Union Parliament, told German newspaper group RND. .

“EU foreign ministers are not allowed to avoid this once again and stop at general pleas,” said Weber.

“The European Union has to hit where it hurts the Putin system – and that’s the money,” Weber said. Therefore, the EU must cut financial transactions from Putin’s inner circle, he added.

Moreover, the threat to stop the Nord Stream 2 pipeline, which is meant to double shipments of natural gas from Russia to Germany, must remain on the table, Weber added.

A German government spokesman declined to comment when asked if Berlin was willing to support new sanctions against Russia following Navalny’s arrest.

EU lawmakers passed a resolution on Thursday calling for the bloc to stop the completion of the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline in response to Navalny’s arrest.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who continues to support the project despite criticism elsewhere in the EU, said on Thursday that her view of the project has not changed despite the Navalny case.

The United States, EU and Britain all condemned Russia’s handling of security forces against Saturday’s protests, and the French and Italian foreign ministers on Sunday both expressed support for sanctions.

Reporting by Michael Nienaber; Edited by Alex Richardson

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