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Ukraine asks Canada to suspend turbine exemption

OTTAWA –

As German Chancellor Olaf Scholz prepares to travel to Canada on Sunday, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is facing new calls from Ukraine to cancel a permit that would allow repair turbines in Montreal to be sent back to a batch. Russian energy giant.

Scholz, who took over from Angela Merkel last December, is scheduled to land in Montreal on Sunday night for a three-day visit that also includes scheduled stops in Toronto and Stephenville, NL

He will be accompanied by Deputy Prime Minister Robert Habeck, who is in charge of the country’s energy records.

A statement from the Prime Minister’s Office said the visit would advance common priorities between Canada and Germany “including our unwavering support for Ukraine, safeguarding peace and security in Europe and across the world.” worldwide, while also addressing the broader global impacts of Russia’s illegal and unjustified aggression.”

Ukraine criticized Trudeau and his government last month for agreeing to a request from Germany to exempt Siemens Canada from sanctions so it could return a turbine for use in the Nord Stream 1 gas pipeline. natural for Germany.

The turbine is being repaired at the Siemens facility in Montreal, the only location in the world capable of servicing the equipment. It was delivered to Germany and was supposed to arrive in Russia from there, but Russian authorities have so far refused to take it.

Russia has also cut gas in the pipeline to 20% of capacity and recently announced it will shut down the line completely for three days at the end of the month, citing the need for unscheduled maintenance.

The Canadian license also allows Siemens to import, repair and return another 5 turbines used in Nord Stream 1, according to their maintenance schedule and valid through the end of 2024.

In an interview, Ukraine’s ambassador to Canada, Yulia Kovaliv, called for the waiver to be canceled again.

She said it was clear that Russia would not accept the turbines that Siemens had delivered to Germany, and accused Russia of using gas supplies as a way to terrorize Europe.

“Our position is pretty clear: we think this waiver should be rescinded and now,” she said.

“If that’s an argument to call Putin a hoax, as everyone has seen in the last few weeks, it’s clearly a Russian game.”

Orest Zakydalsky of the Ukrainian Canadian Parliament said the prime minister’s visit would “be an opportunity for them to reverse the policy and cancel the permit.”

Ministers have defended the move as necessary to secure gas supplies to Germany, calling Putin a bluff. They argue that the Kremlin will use Canada’s refusal to return the turbines to blame sanctions for causing energy shortages in Europe, which could undermine public support for Ukraine.

In an interview, Natural Resources Minister Jonathan Wilkinson said Canada will continue to “evaluate” the decision to allow the return of turbines to Gazprom, the giant Russian state energy corporation that operates Nord Stream 1.

“It was obviously a difficult decision and it was one that we made on the basis that we believed that not bringing the turbine back would give Putin an excuse,” he said.

“It could have the effect of undermining the support that Ukraine enjoys for some Europeans.”

Wilkinson said he now feels Russia’s position has been exposed and that there is increasing pressure on Gazprom and the Russian government.

“Our expectation and our hope is that the turbine will actually return to Gazprom, and eventually it will be operational.”

He added that the government stood by its decision and felt it was too early to think about changing the immunity, but said “we’ll have to see what evolves over the next few months.”

“Obviously we will continue our dialogue with our European partners and our German partners,” he said.

Scholz and Trudeau plan to discuss energy security and the transition to clean energy, “including safe access to vital resources like clean hydrogen and vital minerals.” according to the Prime Minister’s Office.

In Stephenville, leaders are expected to sign a pact that will set aggressive timelines and targets for hydrogen exports to Germany, although some experts warn that the deal will only is a small, remote and costly part of the solution to Europe’s energy crisis. .

A consortium of four partners calling themselves GH2 World Energy plans to build a zero-emissions plant in the Newfoundland community that will use wind power to produce hydrogen and ammonia for export.

If approved, the project will be the first of its kind in Canada.

The union says the first phase of the proposal calls for the construction of up to 164 onshore wind turbines to power a hydrogen production facility at a deep sea port. Long-term plans call for a tripling of the size of the project.

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