Late Thursday night, July 8, German Economics Minister Robert Habeck was quoted as saying that Canada should return Russian gas turbines, currently being repaired in Canada since before Russia’s invasion of Ukraine began, to their Russian owners.
Referring to the Kremlin’s earlier statements, blaming the lack of energy in Europe as being the result of the lack of such turbines, Habeck was quoted as saying, “we have to take this turbine excuse away from Putin.” However, many in Kyiv saw more malevolent motives underlying the Minister’s comments.
A source close to the Presidential Administration in Kyiv, who declined to go on record, indicated that the decision would ultimately be Ottawa’s, not Berlin’s, however, Berlin’s insistence on cutting sanctions related to Moscow’s economic lifeblood, energy, would “fly in the face of a united West against Putin’s aggression.” The official indicated that Kyiv “remains optimistic that Canadian leaders will stick to their promises of standing up to Putin’s terrorism.”
“I have a great deal of faith in Trudeau and his Government. To normalize any aspect of relations with Russia right now, while our cities are being bombed and our people are dying – it is unthinkable,” said the official.
For weeks, the German Chancellor Olaf Scholz’ has received stiff criticism from many supporters of Ukraine for having failed to do more for Ukraine, faster. This latest episode will only further call into question Scholz’ commitment to Ukraine.
As of this writing, Canada had not yet made clear their plans for the hotly contested turbines.
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