Fear of divisions prompted return of turbines to Germany, argues Wilkinson | War in Ukraine

Fear of divisions prompted return of turbines to Germany, argues Wilkinson | War in Ukraine

Nord Stream 1 gas pipeline turbines repaired in Montreal are at the heart of a dispute between Russia and Germany over Russian gas supplies.

Canadian Natural Resources Minister Jonathan Wilkinson argues the decision to send a turbine back to Europe for Russian natural gas supply was in response to a threat of rifts within allies with which Canada imposes sanctions on Moscow.

Appearing before the Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs and International Development on Thursday, he argued that this risk is of particular concern to the United States.

They raised concerns around divisions that could have undermined support for Ukraine, which would not be in anyone's interest, he argued alongside the foreign minister , Mélanie Joly.

She reiterated that Canada's decision was the best way to expose Vladimir Putin's regime's bluff. She argued that Ottawa's allies such as Germany, the European Union as well as the United States were on board.

We were unanimous in the approach to take, that is to say to ensure that no justification, no pretext can be given to President Putin, she said. This very idea of ​​using energy as a way to blackmail Europe was an approach [we wanted to respond to] in common with our allies.

Ministers Joly and Wilkinson said the issue of the bluff had been discussed with Canada's allies from the start, when Conservative MP Marty Morantz lamented a change of rhetoric by the Trudeau government.

That's not what you said in early July, when you made the decision, launched the MP, adding that Ottawa had rather justified itself by talking about protection of Germany's economy which depends on Russian gas.

NDP MP Heather McPherson added that there was no need to point out Russia's bluff. We already knew the bluff was there and now what we have done is we have weakened our sanctions regime.

Bloquiste Stéphane Bergeron also deplored the dismissal of the turbine. The only person who had to literally screw up seeing the situation was Vladimir Putin in the Kremlin, he said.

Moscow recently cut natural gas deliveries to Germany through the Nord Stream 1 pipeline to 20%. #x27;To authorize the return to Europe of a turbine used in the Nord Stream 1 gas pipeline, operated by Russian energy giant Gazprom.

The Canadian government has granted Siemens Energy an exemption from sanctions against Russia for sending a turbine to Germany after it underwent repairs in Montreal. The Nord Stream 1 gas pipeline supplies Germany with Russian natural gas. In all, Siemens Energy was granted a permit to import, repair and return up to six turbines for Gazprom.

Minister Joly avoided saying whether Ottawa was considering revoking the permit. #x27;Exemption granted for turbines that have not yet been returned when asked about it by NDP MP Heather McPherson.

The elected members of the Foreign Affairs Committee will also hear from other witnesses throughout the afternoon.

The Ambassador of Ukraine to Canada, Yulia Kovaliv, intends to ask the Government of Canada to revoke its decision to allow the delivery of turbines to Europe.

The government of Ukraine has previously accused Canada of setting a dangerous precedent, arguing that the exemptions undermine sanctions imposed on Russia in response to its invasion of Ukraine.

On Wednesday, Minister Joly and her German counterpart Annalena Baerbock, who were in Montreal, both insisted that the return of the turbines used in the Russian pipeline was necessary. But they added that the fact that the turbine remained in Germany after Canada authorized its return to Europe and Russia has since cut Germany's natural gas supply to 20% illustrated dishonesty. of Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Russia had cited the late return of the equipment as the reason for the reduction in the flow of natural gas through the pipeline that connects the; Germany to Russia.

Germany's Ambassador to Canada, Sabine Sparwasser, is also scheduled to appear before committee members, alongside Ambassador of the European Union (EU) in Canada, Melita Gabrié.

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