The G7 is expected to discuss the fate of a Russian turbine stranded in Canada and blamed for cutting gas supplies to Germany, though the bloc will not reach a solution by the end of the meeting, it said. said the Canadian Minister of Natural Resources on Wednesday.
“If you talk to the Germans, they are very, very concerned about ‘a drop in gas supplies allegedly caused by the missing turbine,’ Jonathan Wilkinson told Reuters. “I’m sure it will happen at least in the halls of the G7… I wouldn’t hold my breath that we will find a solution before the end.”
The leaders of the industrialized countries of the G7, including Canada and Germany, meet in Bavaria from Sunday to Tuesday.
Russia further cuts natural gas exports to Europe amid war in Ukraine
Russia’s state-controlled Gazprom has cut capacity along the Nord Stream 1 pipeline to just 40% of usual levels in recent days, citing the delayed return of equipment maintained by Germany’s Siemens Energy to Canada.
Moscow said on Thursday that further delays in repairs could lead to the suspension of all flows, putting the brakes on Europe’s race to fill its gas stocks.
Canada, alongside its Western allies, has imposed sweeping sanctions on Russia since it invaded Ukraine in February. Russia calls the war a “special military operation”.
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“We are trying to be sensitive to the concerns expressed by Germany and others and trying to find a solution that will allow us to ensure that we respect the intention of the sanctions, but also that we do not penalize our allies,” said Wilkinson, addressing Question Period in Parliament.
Germany warns of gas rationing if Russia closes taps
In March, the European Union presented plans to cut its dependence on Russian gas by two-thirds this year and eventually phase it out altogether. Moscow has warned that Western sanctions on Russian oil — an idea backed by the United States and already implemented by Canada — could prompt it to shut down a major gas pipeline to Europe.
European leaders such as German Chancellor Olaf Scholz have questioned whether the reduction in flows was politically motivated rather than a technical problem.
Wilkinson said he wasn’t sure if the turbines were the reason for the current gas supply cut, but said the issue would have to be resolved anyway.
“The reason these wind turbines are being refurbished here is that they need to be refurbished. And so at some point it will have an impact,” he said.
(Reporting by Steve Scherer at Ottawa Editing by Nick Zieminski and Matthew Lewis)