In June, Russian officials cut capacity of the Nordstream 1 pipeline, which delivers gas to Germany, by 40 percent, citing the need for a wind turbine that had been sent to Canada for repairs.
On Saturday, Canadian Natural Resources Minister Jonathan Wilkinson announced that the turbines would be sent back to Germany in the near future, circumventing current sanctions placed on Russia. The move angered Ukrainian president Zelensky, who criticized the Canadian government of bowing to Russian demands.
"Today was a difficult day," Zelensky said during his weekly Monday night address. "First the Ministry of Foreign Affairs had to summon Canada's representative to our country due to an absolute unacceptable exception to the sanctions regime against Russia."
"It's not just about some Nordstream turbine that Canada shouldn't have but still decided to hand over," he continued. "This is about common rules."
He referred to Russia as "a terrorist state," and warned that if it "can squeeze out such an exception to sanctions," it will seek more and more exceptions in the future.
"It is dangerous not only for Ukraine," Zelensky suggested, "but also for all countries of the Democratic world."
"The decision on the exception to sanctions will be perceived in Moscow exclusively as a manifestation of weakness."
Zelensky went on to predict that Russia would attempt to "completely shut down the supply of gas to Europe" as a result of Canada's decision, urging the government to show "strength" and not return the turbine to Germany.
Wilkinson justified the Canadian government's decision by saying the goal is to "support Europe's ability to access reliable and affordable energy as they continue to transition away from Russian oil and gas."
As Deutsche Welle reports, the Nordstream 1 pipeline is currently undergoing scheduled repairs, however many fear that Russia will keep it shut down longer than necessary.
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