On the day when Canada announced this decision Russian army shelled residential areas in Mykolaiv, Kharkiv, Kryvyi Rih and a number of other settlements in Zaporizhzhia region. The Russian Federation acted like a terrorist state, intentionally striking houses and other objects of civilian infrastructure. Peaceful people died, dozens suffered injuries.
The international community, including Canada and Germany, have imposed a number of vigorous sanctions against Russia in order to stop its war against Ukraine. And Ukraine is grateful for these resolute actions.
However, the latest Canadian-German agreement and the decision announced on its basis is an adjustment of the sanction regime to the whims of Russia. This dangerous precedent goes against the principle of Rule of Law and will have only one consequence – it will strengthen Moscow’s feeling of impunity.
Russia is capable to continue gas deliveries to Germany in full without the turbine which has become the subject of discussion.
Firstly, the compressor station is equipped with several turbines including a backup one. And only one of the turbines is now in Canada. But according to the decision by Gazprom, only three turbines are in operation and the rest of the turbines are turned off without explanation. The volume of daily gas transporting have gone down from 164 mcm to 67 mcm.
Secondly, Russia can continue uninterrupted gas supplies to the EU even if for some reason it is not possible to use Nord Stream-1. Particularly, Russia can utilize the gas transit capacity through Ukraine already paid for by Russia. Currently Gazprom is utilizing only 40% of the contracted capacity.
Under the current contract Gazprom can supply additional 67 mcm per day. In addition, it can book up to 135 mcm of additional capacity daily to meet the needs of the European gas market. This route has been traditionally used to supply main volumes of gas to Germany, Austria and other countries in the region. Thus, Ukraine can completely offset Nord Stream-1.
Finally, there is a gas transport route through Poland, capable of transporting up to 90 mcm daily. Russia has opted out of its use and it can resume gas transport to Germany if it does really want to remain a reliable gas supplier to Europe.
That is why russia’s demand of mandatory return of the turbine to continue gas supplies is blackmailing which has no technical justification.
Ukraine has provided German and Canadian parties with comprehensive explanations. Both parties have confirmed they understand that russia’s demand lacks technical grounds. But the decision to make a concession to russia’s groundless demands has been made.
The transfer of the Nord Stream-1 turbine will enable Russia to continue using energy as a hybrid war tool against Europe.
We urge the Government of Canada to reconsider this decision and to ensure the integrity of the sanctions regime.
There should be no exceptions, when it comes to holdind russia accountable for killing tens of thousands of Ukrainians, hundreds of thousands destroyed infrastructure objects, millions of internally displaced persons and refugees and overt attacks on democracy and rule of law in the world.