Austrian President Says He Sees no Link Between Navalny's Case, Nord Stream 2 Project
12:19 GMT 15.09.2020
VIENNA (Sputnik) - Austrian President Alexander Van der Bellen said Tuesday he did not see any connection between the situation with Russian opposition figure Alexei Navalny and the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline project.
"I, for one, do not see any connection between the situation with Navalny and the Nord Stream 2 project. I see the latter as a commercial project," the Austrian president said when asked if Vienna would back the project's closure over the situation with Navalny.
Van der Bellen remarked that there was no clarity in Navalny's case and that nothing had been proven decisively.
The statement follows US Ambassador to NATO Kay Bailey Hutchison's comment about Washington's hopes that Germany will abandon the Nord Stream 2 pipeline project over allegations that Russia poisoned Navalny.
Earlier on Tuesday, Navalny shared his first photo since coming out of a coma on Instagram. The opposition figure's condition has started to improve since 7 September, when he was awakened from an induced coma.
Last week, the German government said that doctors at Charite hospital found traces of a nerve agent from the Novichok group in Navalny's system. Russia said Berlin lacks evidence to back up its allegations and noted that Russian doctors had found no toxic substances.
Russia also requested legal assistance and more information on Navalny's case. German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas said Berlin could share information about Navalny, but such sharing is a multistage process.
On 20 August, Navalny fell ill during a domestic flight in Russia. He was initially treated in the Siberian city of Omsk, where the plane made an emergency landing but was then flown to Berlin once the doctors established he was fit for cross-border aerial transportation.
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