Scholz defends Trudeau, says return of Nord Stream turbine strengthens Europe’s position

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The German Chancellor, Olaf Scholz, has defended this Tuesday the Canadian Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, and has asserted that the return of the turbine for the Russian gas pipeline Nord Stream that was being repaired in the city of Montreal reinforces the position of Germany and Europe in the face of the energy crisis caused by the war in Ukraine.

“Sanctions have one goal: to impose economic costs on Russia. Checking whether our sanctions run counter to this goal is important. And with the turbine issue the question was who would pay the costs of it not being delivered. Russia is using it as a pretext to reduce gas supplies, so Trudeau made a strong decision that has strengthened our position,” he said.

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Scholz considers that the Canadian leader has succeeded in making Europe “free of this Russian pretext” by deciding to return the turbine. “Our sanctions are still in place, they are working. Russia’s productive capacities have fallen rapidly, its economy is in recession and its access to vitally important goods has been severely reduced,” he explained.

For him, it is important “not to fall into (Vladimir) Putin’s trap.” “Why would Russia deliver more gas through Ukraine? I don’t think this was going to happen. By delivering the turbine, Putin can no longer use this excuse and talk about technical difficulties for not supplying it,” he has said.

“Russia wanted to stop delivery and blame sanctions for the outcome. We are seeing this in several fields. Russia is also blocking Ukrainian grain exports and blames Ukraine and sanctions for the chaos in the food market globally,” he said, according to reports from ‘The Globe and Mail’.

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On the purchase of gas from Russia he has asserted that Germany has been doing it for “decades”. “The supply was reliable even in the times of the Cold War, but Germany is not the only country that has worked hard to build a different future with Russia. The country was a member of the G8, its president was invited to the NATO summit in Lisbon. There was a sincere hope to leave confrontations behind,” he pointed out.

However, he has admitted that “there has been too much reliance on a single energy supplier” and argued that “today we live in a different reality that is trying to adjust.” “We are going to end oil imports before the end of the year, but gas is the most complicated part. More measures have to be taken,” he warned.

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