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Ottawa considered jobs, global inflation in decision to return Russian turbine: documents

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

Newly released documents show that Ottawa considered the impact on Canadian jobs and global inflation in its decision to return a turbine being repaired in Montreal to a Russian energy giant.

The “memorandum for action” prepared by Global Affairs recommended Foreign Affairs Minister Melanie Joly grant a permit exempting Siemens Canada from sanctions against Russia and allow it to return the equipment for use in a pipeline carrying gas to Germany.

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

The document, submitted in Federal Court in response to a challenge of the turbine decision filed by the Ukrainian World Congress, notes that Siemens’ specialist Montreal facility employs over 400 highly skilled employees.

In a heavily redacted section, the memo warns of potential job losses or the closure of the facility, although the scenario that would cause that outcome has been removed as it contains “commercially sensitive information.”

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EU energy in jeopardy as Russia says Canadian-repaired pipeline turbine’s delivery ‘impossible’ – Aug 3, 2022

The document also cautions that not returning the turbine could ultimately weaken support for the Western allies’ strong stance on Russia and that returning the equipment would allow Canada to “manage the narrative.”

It says without the turbine, Russia could maintain the narrative that Western sanctions are limiting the pipeline’s ability to operate, and this would likely further increase world energy prices and global inflation.

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