Sunday July 17, 2022 | NATIONAL [Updated July 22, 2022]
by Mary P Brooke | Island Social Trends
On this summer Sunday, many Canadians had the day off. For Prime Minister Justin Trudeau today there was some significant work, in having a discussion with Ukraine’s president about current developments.
In speaking by phone with Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskyy today Trudeau will have found himself defending why Canada returned a refurbished gas turbine to Russia after the equipment had some maintenance done here in Canada. The turbine is part of a facility that supplies natural gas to Germany.
The Ukrainian president said a few days ago that the choice by Canada is ‘absolutely unacceptable,’ and called on Ottawa to reverse decision. Zelenskyy implied that Ukrainians will evidently never accept Canada’s decision to hand the Nord Stream turbine back to Germany, which was actually shipped in violation of sanctions.
Gas turbine distress:
The gas turbine repair allowed for Germany to continue receiving natural gas from nearby Russia. Canada has economic sanctions against Russia at this time, as a way of trying to curtail Russia’s revenues during that country’s war upon Ukraine. An exemption to those sanctions was made by Canada.
While the turbine was being worked on, Germany in some cases has used coal-fired generation. This even though Canada is trying to maintain a consciousness about the use of clean energy as the climate crisis continues.
But Trudeau told media last week that it’s important to keep Germany on board (including its population) with the support for Ukraine; disrupting their ability to provide heat for their homes and economy would have generated angst among the German population (whose goodwill is important amidst keeping up the extraordinary supports being provided to Ukraine in their defence against Russian’s war efforts).
Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland said in recent days that “it was a difficult but necessary decision” to return the turbines to Germany after servicing.
Russian state-owned energy company Gazprom reduced gas deliveries from its Nord Stream 1 pipeline, which runs to northeastern Germany, by 60 per cent last month, citing turbine-related technical problems.
Here in Canada, Conservative MP and leadership contender Pierre Poilievre says the liberal-mindedness of Justin Trudeau (and former Quebec Premier Jean Charest who is running in the current Conservative leadership race, and evidently capped natural gas resource industry development in Quebec years ago) is a ‘gift’ to dictators like Putin.
Here is the three-paragraph statement from the Prime Minister’s office in Ottawa on July 17, 2022:
“The Prime Minister and President discussed Canada’s continued assistance to Ukraine and work with like-minded partners to address the broader global impacts of Russia’s illegal and unjustifiable war. The Prime Minister reiterated Canada’s strong ongoing support for Ukraine against Russia’s military aggression. The leaders discussed the importance of maintaining strong unity amongst allies and continuing to impose severe costs on Russia in the face of its illegal and unjustifiable invasion of Ukraine.
The leaders also strongly condemned Russia’s persistent, indiscriminate, and horrific attacks on civilians and civilian infrastructure in Ukraine. President Zelenskyy thanked Prime Minister Trudeau for Canada’s military, humanitarian, and development aid to Ukraine.
The Prime Minister commended the President’s leadership in defence of Ukraine and our shared democratic values. He highlighted the courage of the Ukrainian people in coming together to defend their country and their freedoms against Russia’s ongoing attacks. The two leaders agreed to keep in close touch.”
Ukraine’s internal strife:
On July 17 it was learned that President Volodymyr Zelensky had fired the head of Ukraine’s security agency (SBU) and the prosecutor general, citing many cases of treason in the two powerful organizations.
He said more than 60 former employees were now working against Ukraine in Russian-occupied areas.
Long time line:
This level of increasing complexity of the sanctions, support and reorganization of the international global order — as well as internal security problems developing within Ukraine — is yet another indication that the war in Ukraine will be a long-term protracted affair.
Even when fighting eventually stops, there will be rebuilding to do over many years. The latter is of interest to NATO countries in particular, whose economies as well as defence forces would be involved in a rebuild.
Trudeau, Zelenskyy talk turbines as Ukrainian supporters ready to protest (July 17, 2022 – The Canadian Press)
Ukraine war: Zelensky fires security chief and top prosecutor (July 17, 2022 – BBC)