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EU should stop Nord Stream 2 rather than expel diplomats, says Mihkelson

Marko Mihkelson.
Marko Mihkelson. Source: ERR

According to chairman of the Riigikogu's Foreign Affairs Committee, Marko Mihkelson (independent), expelling diplomats isn't enough. The EU should consider more effective means to respond to Russia's poisoning a former double agent on UK territory, for example stopping the Nord Stream 2 pipeline project.

Mihkelson told ERR on Friday that the question isn't how many Russian diplomats one or the other European Union member state expels. "This doesn't have any great influence on Russian foreign policy. On the contrary, it doesn't change anything in their activity, but makes it easier for them to react," Mihkelson said.

Ways needed to be agreed on at the European level that would actually affect the way Russia behaves towards Europe and the West.

"Why can't the European Union agree that the construction of Nord Stream 2 should be stopped for a while, or stopped entirely? Or where we're talking about London, the City is an important source of finance for Russia's state-owned oil and gas companies. Limiting them would probably affect Russia's behavior more than expelling diplomats from one or the other country," Mihkelson argued.

Former Russian military intelligence officer Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia were poisoned with a nerve agent in Salisbury, United Kingdom, on March 4. Both are still in hospital in critical condition. Skripal is a British citizen, his daughter a Russian citizen.

According to the British government, all signs point to the involvement of Moscow in the poisoning, and the Russian government has refused to clarify how the use of Novichok, a nerve agent developed for military purposes in the Soviet Union, was possible in the United Kingdom. The British government has said that Russia had the ability, motive, and will to commit the attack.

Editor: Dario Cavegn

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