Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky announced that Canada’s ambassador to Ukraine was recalled to Kyiv on Monday after Canada’s “unacceptable” return to Germany of turbines for Russia’s Nord Stream gas pipeline.
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“The State Department had to summon Canada’s envoy to our country due to an absolutely unacceptable exception to the sanctions regime against Russia,” Zelensky said in his daily message on Telegram.
According to Mr. Zelensky, this decision “will only be seen in Moscow as a sign of weakness.”
He added: “There is no doubt that Russia will try not only to limit as much as possible, but also to completely stop gas supplies to Europe at the most acute moment.”
Over the weekend, Canada agreed to deliver turbines needed to service the Nord Stream 1 gas pipeline to Germany, despite sanctions against Russia and appeals from Ukraine.
The turbines were undergoing maintenance at a Canadian site owned by German group Siemens, and Russia blamed their absence for a drop in pipeline deliveries.
Russian energy giant Gazprom on Monday began 10 days of maintenance on the Nord Stream 1 gas pipeline. Germany and other European countries are waiting to see if gas deliveries will resume.
For several weeks the German government has been in “extensive contact” with Ottawa to return the equipment in question to Europe.
Germany, fearing that Moscow would soon completely stop the flow of gas, offered Canada to take back the turbines in order to remain in the rivets “at the legal level”, rather than handing them over to Russia.
Berlin does not believe in the technical reason cited by Gazprom to explain the decline in gas shipments, but considers that the return of the turbines will deprive Russia of an excuse to extend this shutdown of the gas tap, which could turn into a major energy crisis..
For its part, Ukraine asserts that the Ukrainian gas pipelines are capable of transporting a sufficient amount of gas to Germany to compensate for the decrease in Russian shipments.
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