Returning turbines to Germany: a “difficult” decision for Canada

Returning turbines to Germany: a “difficult” decision for Canada

UPGRADE DAY

The decision to return the turbines of the Nord Stream gas pipeline to Germany was “not taken lightly” by the Trudeau government, which assures that alternatives had been studied to avoid falling into the “ trap” of Russian President Vladimir Putin.

It is moreover the German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, whose country is “concerned” and “preparing reserves for the winter”, who would have directly contacted Canada to put pressure on the dismissal of these six turbines, affirmed the Minister of Foreign Affairs Mélanie Joly in parliamentary committee Thursday.

“It was a difficult decision for everyone in this government”, but it was the right one, because “when the influx of gas slows down, the world now knows for sure that it is a decision for [ Vladimir] Putin, solely responsible”, hammered Ms. Joly.

Also present to answer questions from parliamentarians, Natural Resources Minister Jonathan Wilkinson described the “trap” that Mr. Putin was trying to set in Canada: “Don't send back the turbines and Canada and the West will be accused of being responsible for the drop in gas imports to Europe risking dividing the alliance, or else send the turbines back and you will be accused of weakening the alliance's resolve with regard to sanctions [against the Russia].

Also taking part in the committee a little later, the Ukrainian ambassador to Canada insisted that Gazprom had no need for these turbines repaired in Canada to continue transporting gas to Europe.

“The repair of the six turbines in Canada will cement Russia's ability to instrumentalize energy and to derail efforts in the fight against climate change”, launched Yuliia Kovaliv.

Recall that Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky made his displeasure known as soon as the decision was made in Ottawa.

The Ambassador of the European Union to Canada, Melita Gabric, for her part welcomed Canada's decision and thanked it for its support for Europe's energy security.

Same bell from German Ambassador to Canada Sabine Sparwasser.

“No decision is perfect, none is easy. It was only after much questioning that Germany asked Canada to allow an exception to its sanctions regime, and the Canadian government only acquiesced after hard deliberation,” she said.

Note that the United States also endorsed the Trudeau government's decision.

Minister Joly responded to a barrage of questions regarding an article in the Globe & Mail, which reported earlier this week that Canada's policy in the event of an invasion of Ukraine was to abandon Ukrainian personnel employed by the Canadian Embassy in Kyiv to their fate.

According to the daily, which quoted three Canadian diplomats on condition of confidentiality, Russia has lists of undesirable people, and employees of embassies of Western countries could be included.

Ms. Joly and her deputy minister, Marta Morgan, have repeatedly indicated that the department had no information concerning the potential presence of its employees on the said lists.

They maintained that, on the contrary, , embassy staff remained in constant communication with their local employees and that they had maintained pay and job-related benefits despite the war.