Canadian sanctions against Russia | Quebec is itself embroiled in the European energy crisis

Quebec is embroiled in spite of itself in the European energy crisis unleashed by Russia’s military offensive against Ukraine. An important piece of equipment for exporting Russian natural gas to Germany has been suspended in the Montreal region due to Canadian sanctions against Vladimir Putin’s regime. Overview of the situation in a few questions.

Posted on June 21

Julian Arsino

Julian Arsino
Journalism

what is the situation ?

Since last week, the Nord Stream 1 gas pipeline, which runs under the Baltic Sea to reach Germany, has seen its capacity drop to 40% of usual levels. the reason ? Russia’s state-run Gazprom says it is unable to recover a majestic turbine to allow compressors to increase the volume of natural gas in the 1,200-kilometer pipeline. This turbine is located at Siemens Energy’s Quebec facilities in Dorval, because its engine needs a facelift.

German giant confirms, in an email sent to Journalism. “These are air-derived gas turbines, made in Canada.”

Without this equipment, a volume reduction in the 1,200-kilometer pipeline is inevitable, Gazprom says. Berlin, which imports 35% of its natural gas from Russia, sees this as more than a ploy to raise prices.

Why are you stuck here?

The Trudeau government has not offered a specific explanation. Gazprom is on the Canadian list of companies targeted by Canadian sanctions, which has doubled since the start of the armed conflict in Ukraine.

Photo by Christiane Boksey, Bloomberg Archives

Gas turbines are huge pieces of equipment. The photo is a turbine at the German Siemens factory.

Moreover, the type of turbine in question is among the goods and technologies that cannot be exported to the Russian territory. Although the State Department is responsible for the application Special Economic Measures ActAll questions were directed to the office of Secretary of Natural Resources Jonathan Wilkinson.

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His press officer, Kian Nimbard, says discussions with Germany are underway to try to “find a solution”.

We will not stop imposing severe sanctions on the regime [de Vladimir] “Putin as long as his unjustified invasion continues, and we will continue to support our European friends and allies in working to stabilize energy markets,” he wrote in an email.

Is Canada right to act this way?

Mark Warner, a regulatory law expert, of Toronto-based Maaw Law, wonders if Ottawa is going a bit too far. In this case, the lawyer notes, the sanctions are intended to harm Russia, but will also have repercussions for the Europeans – allies of Canada.

Why do we impose sanctions on turbines used to transport natural gas from Russia to Germany when they do not affect us? asks Mr. Warner in a phone interview.

Moreover, the lawyer adds, there is no European ban on Russian natural gas. In his opinion, Ottawa should instead target people and companies doing business in the country. However, the Trudeau government is not very forthright on the matter, as it was revealed Journalism last March.

Is the conclusion at hand?

We can find a solution, believes Richard Ole, a specialist in international law and professor at Laval University. The Special Economic Measures Regulations (Russia) He said it could be changed at a cabinet meeting. No need to remind Parliament.

Photo courtesy of Laval University

Richard Ole is a specialist in international law and a professor at Laval University.

“If there are major issues for a Canadian partner, I imagine we are able to look into the question,” Mr. Ouellet believes. I think there is a little political leeway. But under current rules, Siemens cannot take out the turbine. »

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Mr Ole is also surprised that the German multinational has found no other way to achieve its goals. For example, Siemens Canada could have sent the turbines to Siemens in Germany, the expert explains. Delivery to the Russian giant could have taken place at a later time.

“A turbine can be pulled in a thousand ways,” he explains. There is something not said somewhere. »

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    In 2017, Siemens announced an investment of nearly $111 million in its Dorval plant to conduct research and development there.

    Quebec government

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