OTTAWA, July 10 — Canada will return repaired Russian turbines to Germany needed for maintenance on the Nord Stream 1 gas pipeline, Canada's minister of natural resources said in a statement yesterday.
The Canadian government, which is issuing a permit to exempt the return of the turbines from its Russian sanctions, said the move would support "Europe’s ability to access reliable and affordable energy as they continue to transition away from Russian oil and gas."
Canada also announced 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."
Canada added that "absent a necessary supply of natural gas, the German economy will suffer very significant hardship and Germans themselves will be at risk of being unable to heat their homes as winter approaches."
The German government, which did not immediately respond to a request for comment Saturday, on Friday confirmed it received a positive signal from Canada regarding the turbines needed for Nord Stream 1 maintenance.
The turbines would be sent to Germany first, which will then deliver them to Russia's state-controlled Gazprom, a government source told Reuters earlier this week.
Russia's Gazprom cut capacity along the Nord Stream 1 pipeline to just 40% of usual levels last month, citing the delayed return of equipment being serviced by Germany's Siemens Energy in Canada. Siemens Energy did not immediately comment Saturday.
A decision to return the turbines had already been taken, a source familiar with the issue told Reuters on Thursday.
The Kremlin on Friday said it would increase gas supplies to Europe if the turbine was returned.
Ukraine has opposed Canada's handing over the turbines to Gazprom and Kyiv believes such a move would flout sanctions on Russia, a Ukrainian energy ministry source said on Thursday.
Canadian Foreign Affairs Minister Melanie Joly said Saturday in a statement "Canada is unwavering in its support of Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity... Canada will not relent in pressuring the Russian regime." — Reuters