Navalny poisoning a warning sign to the West - PM

Navalny poisoning a warning sign to the West - PM Sergei Ilnitsky/PAP/EPA

The recent poisoning of Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny should be a warning sign to some Western leaders, PM Mateusz Morawiecki said on Thursday before a sitting of the European Council.

Morawiecki said that the Navalny case also gave food for thought as to whether the German-Russian Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline project should be continued.

"It is worth thinking deeply about whether this is not the time for all of us to say that continuing a project like Nord Stream 2 is pointless in this situation," Morawiecki said. He said that Poland has been advocating against the undertaking for years, and voiced hope that other countries will now realise that "Navalny's poisoning and Nord Stream 2 are not two separate issues."

Morawiecki said the situation in Belarus will be an important theme at the European Council sitting, and added that Poland will present its economic proposals for the country. Also discussed, Morawiecki said, will be plans for EU sanctions against members of the Belarusian authorities responsible for policy brutality against demonstrators.

Belarus has been torn by mass protests after a rigged August presidential election gave to-date President Alexander Lukashenko a 6th term in office. The demonstrations have sparked brutal reactions from the police and security forces.

On August 20 Navalny was hospitalised in a serious condition while flying from Tomsk to Moscow after a suspected poisoning in what was possibly a politically motivated attack. On August 22, he was moved from Russia to the Charite clinic in Berlin on a special flight. After a lengthy period in an induced coma his life is now out of danger.