UARU
'Pandering to Russia's whims': Ukraine calls on Canada to cancel decision to transfer Nord Stream turbine
10 July, 2022

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine and the Ministry of Energy of Ukraine called on the Canadian government to cancel the decision to return to Germany the repaired turbines of the Russian gas pipeline Nord Stream 1, reads the joint statement of the ministries.

They emphasize that Russia can continue supplying gas to Germany in full without this turbine, and its transfer will allow the Russian Federation to continue using energy as a tool of hybrid warfare against Europe.

What is the reasoning?

Ukraine stresses that:

  • the Nord Stream 1 compressor station is equipped with several turbines, including standby ones. There is currently only one turbine in Canada. However, according to Gazprom's decision, only three turbines are currently operating, the rest have been turned off without explanation. Thus, the volume of transportation decreased from 167 to 67 million cubic meters of gas per day.
  • Russia can conduct the continuous supply of gas to the EU, even if, for some reason, transportation through Nord Stream 1 becomes impossible. For example, the Russian Federation can use already paid for transit capacity through Ukraine. Currently, Gazprom uses less than 40% of the paid capacity.
  • Within the current contract, Gazprom can supply an additional 67 million cubic meters per day and reserve up to 135 million cubic meters per day of additional capacity. This route traditionally supplied the main volumes of gas for Germany, Italy, Austria, and other countries in the region. Thus, Ukraine can completely replace Nord Stream 1.
  • In addition, there is a gas transit route through Poland — it can transfer up to 90 million cubic meters of gas per day. Russia refused to use it by its own choice. But it can also resume gas transportation to Germany.

"Thus, Russia's demand for the mandatory return of the turbine to continue gas transportation is blackmail that has no technical justification," the ministries emphasize.

Ukraine provided comprehensive explanations to both the German and Canadian parties. Both sides confirmed that they understand that Russia's demand has no technical basis. However, the decision to give in to Russia's groundless demands was made anyway, the statement said.

Background

Gazprom announced on June 14 that it would cut gas supplies to Germany through the Nord Stream pipeline by approximately 40% due to the alleged lateness of repair work by Siemens. The Russian Federation said that the German group Siemens allegedly did not supply the necessary equipment for repair, which is serviced in Canada.

That turbine was sent to Montreal for repairs, but is stuck there due to sanctions against Russia's oil and gas industry announced by the Canadian government last month. Germany, already facing an energy crisis, proposed a detour for the turbine through Germany.

German Economy Minister Robert Habeck has said that the Nord Stream 1 turbine must be returned before repair work begins on July 11. Its release would deprive the Kremlin of an excuse to keep the pipeline closed.

"I will be the first to fight for a further strong package of EU sanctions [against Russia], but strong sanctions mean it should hurt Russia and Putin more than our economy," Habeck said.

Ukraine opposed the transfer of turbines by Canada. The Ukrainian Canadian Congress even sent an official letter to Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and members of his government, stressing that the fate of the turbine is "a test of the Canadian government's determination to maintain sanctions and continue to isolate Russia."

However, on July 10, Canada's Natural Resources Minister Jonathan Wilkinson announced that Canada would still hand over a gas turbine for Nord Stream, but would expand sanctions against the Russian Federation.