OTTAWA — Canada will return a repaired turbine to Germany that is needed for the Nord Stream 1 gas pipeline and could help to ensure continued flows of energy until Europe can end its dependency on Russian gas, Canada’s minister of natural resources said.
The Canadian government said in a statement on Saturday it was issuing a “time-limited and revocable permit” to exempt the return of turbines from its Russian sanctions and also announced new measures against Moscow in response to its invasion of Ukraine on Feb. 24.
Russia last month cited the delayed return of the turbine, which Germany’s Siemens Energy has been servicing in Canada, as the reason behind its reduction of flows to 40% of capacity through the Nord Stream 1 gas pipeline to Europe.
The Canadian government said shipping the turbine to Europe would support: “Europe’s ability to access reliable and affordable energy as they continue to transition away from Russian oil and gas.”
It was not clear how long it would take for the turbine to be returned and Siemens Energy did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
The Kremlin on Friday said it would increase gas supplies to Europe if the turbine were returned, while Ukraine has said returning the equipment would breach sanctions.
In addition to the special permit for the turbine, Canada said it would expand sanctions against Russia’s energy sector to include industrial manufacturing.
Canada’s new sanctions “will apply to land and pipeline transport and the manufacturing of metals and of transport, computer, electronic and electrical equipment, as well as of machinery,” it said.
A German government spokesperson said Germany welcomed “the decision of our Canadian friends and allies.”
Ukraine, however, was dismayed.
Alexandra Chyczij, national president of the Ukrainian Canadian Congress, said in a statement on Saturday that Canada had set “a dangerous precedent that will lead to the weakening of the sanctions regime imposed on Russia.”
“Our community is deeply disappointed by the Canadian government’s decision to bow to Russian blackmail,” it said.
Canadian Foreign Affairs Minister Melanie Joly said on Saturday in a statement that “Canada is unwavering in its support of Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity … Canada will not relent in pressuring the Russian regime.”
(Reporting by Steve Scherer in Ottawa and David Shepardson in Washington; Additional reporting by Thomas Escritt in Berlin; Editing by Sandra Maler, Lisa Shumaker, Chris Reese and Barbara Lewis)