Ottawa is exploring ways to return crucial parts for Russia’s Nord Stream pipeline, which are currently stuck in Canada due to sanctions, Bloomberg reported on Tuesday citing Canadian Minister of Natural Resources Jonathan Wilkinson.
“We want to respect the sanctions because the sanctions were put into place for a reason. That being said, the intent of the sanctions was never to cause significant pain to Germany, which is one of our closest friends and allies. So, we are very seized with this issue,” Wilkinson told the news outlet.
“We are talking to Germany, trying to find a pathway through which we can actually enable the flow of gas. There may be different options that we can look at,” he stated, adding that Ottawa is negotiating with Berlin on ways to return the equipment.
Russia’s energy supplier Gazprom was forced to slash natural gas flows to Germany via the Nord Stream pipeline by 60% last week, because Siemens turbines from Gazprom’s Portovaya pumping station in Vyborg were stuck in Montreal, where they were sent to undergo maintenance. The parts fall under Canada’s sanctions against Russia, and the country says it cannot return them without breaching these restrictions.
According to the German Federal Grid Agency, the reduction in gas flow affected the supply of Russian gas from Germany to other European countries, including France, Austria and the Czech Republic.
The situation prompted these and other EU countries to announce emergency measures this week aimed at reducing the use of natural gas. Some countries have claimed that the reduction of gas flows was a political decision made by Moscow to increase pressure on Europe. Gazprom says the issue is technical.
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