Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is defending Canada’s decision to return six turbines for a pipeline that carries natural gas from Russia to Europe, even as the Ukrainian World Congress says it is seeking a judicial review in Federal Court.
The Liberals’ decision to grant Siemens Canada an exemption to deliver the equipment to Germany while it has sanctions in place against the Russian regime has earned it sharp rebuke from the Ukrainian government and critics at home.
At a news conference in Kingston, Ont., Trudeau says it was a difficult decision, but the government returned the equipment in response to Russia’s attempts to weaponize access to energy in Europe.
He says the Canadian sanctions against Russia are aimed at President Vladimir Putin and “his cronies,” not Canada’s allies who rely on Russian oil and gas.
The Ukrainian government says Canada’s decision sets a “dangerous precedent” at a time when the international community needs to show resolve against Russian threats and its invasion of Ukraine.
The Ukrainian World Congress says it and the Ukrainian Canadian Congress have been urging the federal government to reconsider its decision to return the turbines, which had been in Canada for scheduled repairs.