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Canada’s turbine return at issue as Ukrainian ambassador appears before MPs

Click to play video: 'Ministers Joly, Wilkinson questioned over consequences of returning Russian turbines on Ukraine' Ministers Joly, Wilkinson questioned over consequences of returning Russian turbines on Ukraine
Foreign minister Mélanie Joly and natural resources minister Jonathan Wilkinson had a heated discussion with Conservative MP James Bezan during a committee hearing on Thursday as he questioned the impact of the Liberal government’s decision to return gas turbines to Russia on fuelling Russia’s war on Ukraine and weakening sanctions on President Vladimir Putin – Aug 4, 2022

Ukraine‘s ambassador to Canada will Thursday make clear her country’s disappointment over Canada’s decision to allow pipeline equipment that was in Montreal for repairs to be returned to a state-controlled energy giant in Russia despite war-related sanctions.

Yulia Kovaliv is to appear before a committee of MPs looking into Ottawa’s decision to allow a turbine to be released to Gazprom, which Canada has sanctioned over Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, for use in the Nord Stream 1 pipeline supplying Germany with natural gas.

Read more: Canada called Putin’s ‘bluff’ with turbine return for Russian pipeline: Joly

Last month, the Liberal government drew criticism for granting Siemens Energy an exemption on sanctions against Russia and allowing the turbine to return to Germany and then eventually to Russia for installation in the pipeline.

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Siemens Energy was granted a permit to import, repair and return up to six turbines for Gazprom and the Ukrainian Embassy says Kovaliv will renew calls for Ottawa to revoke the decision.

Kyiv has accused Canada of setting a dangerous precedent, arguing the exemptions undermine sanctions put on Russia in response to its invasion of Ukraine.

Click to play video: 'EU energy in jeopardy as Russia says Canadian-repaired pipeline turbine’s delivery ‘impossible’' EU energy in jeopardy as Russia says Canadian-repaired pipeline turbine’s delivery ‘impossible’
EU energy in jeopardy as Russia says Canadian-repaired pipeline turbine’s delivery ‘impossible’ – Aug 3, 2022

Foreign Affairs Minister Melanie Joly and Natural Resources Minister Jonathan Wilkinson are also to appear before the House of Commons foreign affairs committee today, and Liberal chair Ali Ehsassi says it is important for Canadians to hear how the decision was made.

On Wednesday, Joly and German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock both insisted the return of the turbines used in the Russian pipeline was necessary.

But they also said the fact that the turbine remains in Germany after Canada allowed its release _ and that Russia has since reduced natural gas supplies to Germany to 20 per cent _ reveals the level of dishonesty from President Vladimir Putin.

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Click to play video: 'Germany, Canada call for return to Nord Stream gas flow' Germany, Canada call for return to Nord Stream gas flow
Germany, Canada call for return to Nord Stream gas flow – Aug 3, 2022

Russia had cited the delayed return of the equipment as a reason for reducing the flow of natural gas through the pipeline that runs to Germany from Russia.

“We called his bluff,” Joly said in Montreal on Wednesday in a joint news conference with Baerbock. “It is now clear that Putin is weaponizing energy flows to Europe.”

Ehsassi said Thursday’s meeting of the foreign affairs committee would help establish “the diplomatic representations that were made” around the decision.

Germany’s ambassador to Canada, Sabine Sparwasser, is also expected to appear before the committee, alongside the European Union’s ambassador to Canada, Melita Gabri.

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