Return of Russia-Germany gas pipeline turbines from Canada is counterproductive: critics
OTTAWA — Federal Conservatives and the president of the Congress of Ukrainian Canadians are slamming Ottawa’s decision to allow delivery of equipment from a Russian-European gas pipeline to Germany, saying the decision violates the government’s own sanctions against the Russian regime.
Canada’s Natural Services Minister Jonathan Wilkinson announced on social media Saturday that the turbines of the Nord Stream 1 gas pipeline – which supplies natural gas from Russia to Germany – which had been sent to Montreal for scheduled repairs would be allowed to be returned.
Wilkinson said turbine maker Siemens Canada would be granted a « time-limited and revocable permit » to return the equipment.
He said the delivery was necessary to support « Europe’s ability to access reliable and affordable energy » as it tries to move away from reliance on Russian oil and gas.
The German vice-chancellor raised concerns that Russia could cut off natural gas deliveries to Europe after scheduled maintenance. The warning followed Russia’s previous cut in the flow of natural gas to Germany, as well as to Italy, Austria, the Czech Republic and Slovakia.
While Russian energy giant Gazprom blamed the cut in the pipeline to Germany on technical issues, German leaders questioned that explanation and instead dismissed it as a political decision.
Alexandra Chyczij, president of the Ukrainian Canadian Congress, expressed disappointment with Canada’s decision, saying Ottawa bows to Russian threats to cut off gas supplies by meeting Germany’s demand.
« Canada will not only contravene its policy of isolating Russia, it will set a dangerous precedent that will lead to the weakening of the sanctions regime imposed on Russia, » Chyczij said in a statement.
“This decision will ensure that the coffers of the Russian state budget will continue to be filled with European money which will be used to finance the Russian genocide against the Ukrainian people. «
Three Tory MPs also issued a statement on Sunday saying allowing the equipment to return undermines sanctions Canada has imposed on Russia at a time when it should instead become an alternative gas supplier to Europe.
« Allowing the return of the gas turbine sets a dangerous precedent for retreating into Putin’s blackmail of Europe and will negatively impact Canada’s position on the world stage, » reads a joint statement from the Conservatives Michael Chong, James Bezan and Pierre Paul-Hus.
This report from The Canadian Press was first published on July 10, 2022.
— With files from the Associated Press
Stephanie Taylor, The Canadian Press