Trudeau: Russia trying to ‘divide’ Western allies over turbine issue – National
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau backs Canada’s decision to send repaired Russian turbines back to Germany, despite Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy’s claim that the move violated sanctions.
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Speaking to reporters on Tuesday, Trudeau said the decision to return the turbine was « difficult » but « fair ».
“Russia will succeed neither in militarizing its energy nor in dividing our allies among ourselves. We are focused on being there to support Ukraine,” he said.
« This decision was difficult, but it was the right one to ensure that we continue to stand together against Putin’s illegal war in favor of Ukraine. »
Earlier this month, Canada granted an exemption from economic sanctions imposed on Russia in response to the invasion of Ukraine.
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The two-year waiver would allow six Siemens Energy turbines, which were in Montreal for repairs, to be returned to Germany for use in Russia’s Nord Stream 1 gas pipeline.
Canada sent a turbine for the Nord Stream gas pipeline to Germany by plane on July 17, according to Reuters.
Europe, which relies heavily on Russian gas supplies, has seen a reduction in the energy source as the Russian-Ukrainian war drags on.
Russian state energy company Gazprom cut gas deliveries by 60% last month from its Nord Stream 1 gas pipeline, which connects northeastern Germany, citing technical problems with the turbines.
The pipeline is currently completely closed for scheduled annual maintenance – but there were fears that Russia could extend this work beyond the scheduled completion date of July 21, a decision which could jeopardize European gas storage plans before the cold winter months.
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But Russian gas flows from the pipeline are on track to restart in time, two sources familiar with export plans told Reuters.
German energy officials told Reuters that the country’s household energy costs could triple as Russian gas supplies dwindle, which they say could cause social unrest.
Speaking to reporters on Tuesday, Trudeau said he was concerned about the loss of popular support for the West’s position on the Russian-Ukrainian war.
« Russia chooses to weaponize its energy policy as a means to continue its assault on Ukraine, but also as a means of dividing Western allies between us, as well as undermining public support for our strong stance in support of Ukraine. and against Russia, » he said.
Still, Zelenskyy was furious with Canada’s decision, calling it « absolutely unacceptable » last week.
“The decision on the exception to the sanctions will be perceived in Moscow exclusively as a manifestation of weakness. That’s their logic,” he said.
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Ukrainian-Canadians also expressed shock and disappointment at the decision.
At a rally in Ottawa on Sunday, Ukrainian-Canadian Yuri Kolomiyets told a crowd of about 150 supporters gathered on the lawn of Parliament Hill that the decision would mean more oil and gas money for the Russia to fund its attack on Ukraine.
« I guess it’s fine to provide genocide maniacs with technology and money, as long as it keeps German voters happy, » Kolomiyets told the crowd, drawing cries of « shame » in response.
« It’s not their children who die in the missile strikes. »
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Retired General Rick Hillier, who once served as Canada’s chief of defense staff, spoke out against the decision on Tuesday. He warned that this could be the start of a relaxation of Western economic pressure on Moscow.
« This decision to return the turbines…can be seen as the straw that broke the camel’s back, and we could start to see a release of pressure from NATO, from the West in general, » he said. said, addressing reporters in a virtual conference. press conference.
« Instead of going up and up with more and more penalties, this could be the straw that turns it down. »
– with files from The Canadian Press, Reuters and Aaron D’Andrea of Global News
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