Update: Sahra Wagenknecht has followed up her NOZ interview, covered below, with a tweet: “Why, when the US is importing record amounts of Russian oil, should the EU not be allowed to purchase gas from Russia? BuReg must not fall in withTrump’s hypocrisy. Fracking gas from the USA is an expensive and environmentally harmful alternative!”
Sahra Wagenknecht, Die Linke, sees double standards at work in the Navalny case.
In the debate about measures to punish Russia because of the Navalny case, Wagenknecht warns against “hypocrisy” and referred to thousands of deaths from US drone murders [without any consequent sanctions].
The case of the Russian opposition politician Navalny, who is currently being treated at the Berlin Charité, serves some functionaries in the Bundestag as an opportunity to use the unexplained attack to call for a construction freeze on Nord Stream II.
In the debate about possible punitive measures against Russia, Wagenknecht warned of “hypocrisy” and complained about the government’s policy of sanctions against trading partners, as Berlin is not treating them equally. In her interview with the Neue Osnabrücker Zeitung she referred to serious violations on the part of Saudi Arabia and the USA.
“Anyone using Navalny to call for an end to the Nord Stream II natural gas pipeline would have to judge all other raw material suppliers in Germany by the same criteria and demand consequences there, too. Everything else is hypocrisy.”
“But even if the Kremlin were to be responsible (for which there is no evidence so far), it is way more hideous to behead oppositionists, or whip them to death, as in Saudi Arabia, but we get Saudi oil as a standard operating procedure,” says Wagenknecht.
She further said: Nor is it any more hideous than shredding innocent civilians with drones, as the United States has done in well over a thousand cases, but they supply us with their fracking gas.
[In contrast, there is the Foreign Ministry:] Foreign Minister Heiko Maas has already said: “I do not hope that the Russians will force us to change our stance on Nord Stream II.” At the same time, he did emphasize that stopping the almost completed pipeline would also damage German and European companies.
“If there are no contributions on the Russian side to investigate the attack on Mr Navalny in the next few days, we will have to discuss an answer with our partners,” continued Maas. “The attack is a serious violation of international law.” [Translator comment: “We will ask what Washington and NATO want”]
In the meantime, Oskar Lafontaine, leader of the Left Party in the Saarland state parliament, has also complained about the double standards of the federal government. The German government is alleging that Russia is involved in Navalny’s poisoning, which has not been proven. The question is, however, whether the federal government — “a government that takes part in wars that are contrary to international law and in which many thousands of people are cruelly killed” — is morally entitled to condemn “such crimes against humanity,” said Lafontaine.
Since the beginning of 2019, the German government has approved arms exports worth more than one billion euros to countries involved in the Yemen war. This fueled the war that has been going on for five years. For example, to the United Arab Emirates, which are involved in the war alongside Saudi Arabia and who have committed war crimes against the civilian population in Yemen.
The left-wing politician Gregor Gysi also criticized unequal treatment. “With Russia everyone would immediately call for sanctions. With other countries one is extremely careful.” He cited Saudi Arabia and the case of the murdered journalist Khashoggi as an example.
Left parliamentary group leader Dietmar Bartsch expressed himself similarly. He believes the current debate about a possible stop to the Nord Stream II gas pipeline project is completely wrong. With regard to the unsolved attack on Navalny, he warned against jumping to conclusions. “The very first thing is that it is clarified. And everyone has to participate,” said the left-wing politician. Otherwise, the presumption of innocence always applies in a constitutional state.
“I don’t want to speculate at all now because that’s exactly what is happening in abundance in Germany,” Bartsch continued. For many it is clear what happened. Not for me.”