Canadian, German leaders defend decision to return gas turbine to Russian company

Nord Stream 1 facilities

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is defending his government’s decision to allow the return of turbines to Russian state-owned energy giant Gazprom, as Ukraine renews its calls for Canada to reverse course.

Ukraine has called on Trudeau and his government to reverse their decision to exempt Siemens Canada from sanctions against Russia so it can repair six turbines for use in a pipeline that supplies natural gas to Germany.

One turbine already repaired at Siemens’ Montreal facility has been delivered to Germany and was supposed to go to Gazprom, which operates the pipeline, but the Russian company has refused to accept it.

Speaking at a joint news conference in Montreal on Monday, Trudeau and German Chancellor Olaf Scholz accused Russia of trying to use the issue as a cover for recent cuts to gas exports through the pipeline.

The two leaders also alleged that Moscow was hoping to pit Canada and Germany against each other, and divert public anger at the resulting increase in energy prices away from itself.

Yet while they claimed to have effectively called Russia’s bluff, as evidenced by Gazprom’s refusal to take the turbine, Trudeau sidestepped questions about whether his government would now block the import, repair and return of five other turbines.

© 2022 The Canadian Press

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