G-7 controversy

The unusual public appeal came two days after Chancellor Olaf Scholz had a telephone conversation with Trudeau on European energy security, and a week after the prime minister was in Germany for a G7 leaders’ summit that focused on the implications Russian military operation in Ukraine.

Canadian officials were noncommittal when asked about Germany’s request for help with a sanctioned turbine.

“We will not stop placing heavy costs on the Putin regime as long as its unjustified invasion continues,” Ian Cameron, spokesman for Natural Resources Minister Jonathan Wilkinson, said in an email. „We will continue to support our European friends and allies by helping to stabilize energy markets and developing long-term and sustainable energy supply solutions.”

Khabek said Putin could use the turbine problem to jeopardize gas supplies to Germany even though the pipeline might still be running. He said he believes the state-owned Russian gas giant PJSC Gazprom, which operates the pipeline, has another working turbine that it could use.

“We must not be mistaken in believing Putin’s propaganda,” Khabek said. He added that returning the equipment before the planned closure might not solve the problem, but would undermine one of Putin’s potential arguments for shutting down the pipeline.

“If we want to deprive him of this path of excuses, I urge the Canadian government not to wait too long and make a decision before the start of the maintenance period,” Habek said. „Otherwise, I am quite sure that Putin will discover a political problem in the process.”