Parts of the left in the Bundestag are pushing for an end to the sanctions against Russia and the start of talks on the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline to secure gas supplies in Germany. Other parts of the party, however, vehemently contradict these demands. “The government must ensure that energy prices remain limited due to an increasing supply, including from Russia,” said the parliamentary group’s economic expert, Klaus Ernst, of the “Rheinische Post”.

The energy policy sanctions would not work. They would not stop Russia, the country continues to earn well from its raw materials “and our citizens and our economy are the victims of a completely failed sanctions policy. Against this background, it is immoral to maintain sanctions in this way.”

Less than two weeks ago, however, the party congress of the left passed a resolution in which it is explicitly stated that Nord Stream 2 will not be put into operation due to the Russian war of aggression in Ukraine.

Group leader Dietmar Bartsch has now made it clear: The left is not calling for a talk with Russia about the operation of Nord Stream 2. Previously, numerous left-wing members on Twitter had been outraged by Ernst’s statements. Party executive Luigi Pantisano wrote: “NO, NO, NO! Klaus Ernst and Sahra Wagenknecht do not represent the position of the Left Party. We do not want NordStream2 to resume, nor do we want sanctions against Russia to be lifted.”

The fact that Ernst nevertheless represents this to the outside world can hardly have been an accident and shows how deep the rifts are between the Left Party and parts of the parliamentary group. In particular, the left camp around the former faction leader Sahra Wagenknecht, to which Ernst can also be counted, was unable to assert itself with resolutions and candidates at the party conference in Erfurt. At the same time, Die Linke members repeatedly accuse the parliamentary group of not representing the position of the party to the outside world.

Because of the ongoing dispute, it was speculated that several MPs would leave the group – but that could quickly cost the left their group status. According to the participants, the first parliamentary group meeting after the party conference on Tuesday was quiet.

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