Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland says Canada’s decision last week to send repaired parts of a Russian natural gas pipeline back to Germany was a difficult decision, but the right one.
The Liberals are facing heavy criticism from Ukraine for exempting six Siemens Energy turbines, which were serviced in Montreal and help deliver gas to parts of Germany, from sanctions against Russia over its invasion of Ukraine.
Speaking to reporters in a teleconference after a meeting of G-20 finance ministers in Bali, Indonesia, Freeland says she understood Ukraine’s response, but maintained it was the right thing to do.
She says Canada is united and determined in its support of Ukraine, but cannot alone provide the country with the support it needs and adding unity is required among Ukrainian allies.
Freeland says Germany was clear its ability to sustain its support for Ukraine could be at risk over the pipeline operated by Russian state-owned energy company Gazprom, which reduced gas deliveries by 60% last month citing turbine-related technical problems.
The United States has publicly backed Canada’s decision, something Freeland says was very significant.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, on the other hand, condemned the decision as “absolutely unacceptable” earlier this week.