Europe’s dependence on Russian energy has been highlighted by the war in Ukraine.
- Ukraine’s German Galushchenko urged Canada to keep hold of a key part of Russia’s gas pipeline.
- German economy minister Robert Habeck made a plea to Canada as Europe still needs Russian gas.
- He fears the Nord Stream pipeline may not go back online after closing for maintenance on Monday.
Ukraine’s energy minister is urging Canada to keep hold of a key part for the pipeline Russian President Vladimir Putin uses to send Russian gas to Europe, Politico reported.
German Galushchenko said in a letter to Canada’s deputy prime minister, Chrystia Freeland, on June 23 that “Gazprom continues to spread false narratives to justify its actions aimed solely at monetary gain and putting ever more political pressure,” Politico reported.
The letter continued: “There should be a unified stance and consistent actions, like the one demonstrated by Lithuania, which is enforcing sanctions measures for the transit of goods, despite Kremlin’s blackmail and explicit threats.”
In June, Russia cut 40% of its natural gas supplies to Germany because a turbine sent to Montreal for repairs is now stuck in Canada due to sanctions imposed by the Canadian government on Russia’s oil and gas industry last month.
In the letter, Galushchenko added that “all necessary infrastructure is already in place for sufficient gas volumes to be transited to the EU … tet, Gazprom is refusing to use the available capacity of Ukraine’s [gas transmission system], which it pays for,” per Politico.
Maintenance on the Nord Stream pipeline is due to take place next week and there are fears in Europe that flows will not recommence when it is finished.
German economy minister Robert Habeck told Bloomberg: “I’ll be the first one who will fight for a further strong EU sanction package, but strong sanctions means it must hurt and harm Russia and Putin more than it does our economy.”
Habeck fears that if Canada continues to hold the key component to the pipeline, it would give an excuse for Putin to keep it closed after maintenance is completed. “Therefore, I ask for understanding that we have to take this turbine excuse away from Putin,” he told Bloomberg.
Release the turbine could be controversial for Trudeau’s government as Canada has the largest Ukrainian population outside of Russia.
Habeck said: “I know that they are carefully thinking through the situation and I completely understand the situation they have to balance.”