In response to the Government of Canada’s announcement that it will grant a time-limited and revocable permit for Siemens Canada to allow the return of repaired Nordstream 1 turbines, Alexandra Chyczij, National President of the Ukrainian Canadian Congress, issued the following statement:
“Our community is deeply disappointed by the Canadian government’s decision to bow to Russian blackmail.
The Russian Federation has threatened Germany, which for decades has failed to understand the security implications of almost exclusive reliance on Russia for its gas supply, with a shut down of gas unless the Siemens turbine is returned to them. Germany has pleaded with Canada to return the turbine to allow gas to flow to Germany. This has placed Canada in the position of having to decide whether to heed the request of its ally, or to hold firm on the sanctions imposed on Gazprom and Nordstream 1.
In acceding to Germany’s request, Canada will not only contravene its policy of isolating Russia, it will set a dangerous precedent that will lead to the weakening of the sanctions regime imposed on Russia.
Past appeasement of Russia led to the Russian occupation of Crimean and the Donbas in 2014 and to the full-scale attack on Ukraine on February 24, 2022. Russia has repeatedly sought to undermine the sanctions regime imposed against it.
In April 2022 Russia demanded payment in Russian rubles for gas it supplies to EU countries. Acceding to that demand would have resulted in a violation of sanctions. Poland, Bulgaria and Finland stood firm and refused to capitulate to Russia’s demands and they have done without Russian gas since then. This latest demand for the return of the turbine is only the latest attempt to foment discord among Ukraine’s allies. By capitulating to this blackmail, Canada and Germany have emboldened Russia to continue with its attempts to undermine the unity of the west.
While the decision will ultimately be Germany’s, as to whether the turbine is returned to Russia, it pains Ukrainian Canadians that Canada, which is seen as one of Ukraine’s strongest supporters, is party to this circumvention of the sanctions regime.
This decision will ensure that the coffers of the Russian state budget will continue to be filled with European money which will be used to finance Russia’s genocide against the Ukrainian people.
The ramifications of Canada’s capitulation to Russian ultimatums will be far-reaching and widely felt. A precedent has been set wherein the Russians know that at the first sign of difficulty, our Government will submit to Russian blackmail and energy terrorism. Inevitably this will embolden Russia to further aggression – making Ukraine, the European Union, and Canada less secure.”