Zelensky enraged after Canadian sanction exemption for Russia
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Volodymyr Zelensky has released a fiery video address shaming Canada’s decision to undermine global sanctions against Russia. Exports and other economic ties with the Kremlin have largely been suspended by allies of Ukraine over the past few months after President Putin launched his invasion under the guise of a ‘special military operation’. Canada has bypassed international sanctions by confirming a repaired turbine from the Nord Stream 1 pipeline will be returned to Germany, submitting to threats from Moscow that gas supplies to Europe would be further constricted if the equipment was not received. President Zelensky has denounced the decision of Canada to cooperate with Russian demands, branding the move ‘very dangerous’ as the agreement dissolves the image of a united front against Vladimir Putin’s aggression.
In his speech following the confirmation of Canada’s plan, President Zelensky said: “Ukrainians, all our defenders, today was a difficult day.
“The Ministry of Foreign Affairs had to summon Canada’s representative to our country due to an absolutely unacceptable exception to the sanctions regime against Russia.
“It’s not just about some Nord Stream turbine that Canada shouldn’t have but still decided to hand over, hand over actually to Russia – this is about common rules.
“If a terrorist state can squeeze out such an exception to sanctions, what exceptions will it want tomorrow or the day after tomorrow?
“This question is very dangerous.”
President Zelensky suggested the cooperation of Canada would fuel the Kremlin to challenge additional sanctions imposed by officials across the globe.
The Ukrainian leader continued: “Moreover, it is dangerous not only for Ukraine, but also for all countries of the democratic world.
“The decisions on the exception to sanctions will be perceived in Moscow exclusively as a manifestation of weakness – this is their logic.
“Now, there can be no doubt that Russia will try not just to limit as much as possible but to completely shut down the supply of gas to Europe at the most acute moment.”
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President Zelensky explained the move would enhance Russia’s power over European gas supply as the Kremlin has now been shown that threatening western energy can provide valuable rewards.
He added: “Every concession in such conditions is perceived by the Russian leadership as an incentive for further, stronger pressure.
“This decision on one turbine, which leads to many other problems, can still be revised.
“Russia has never played by the rules in the energy sector and it will not play now unless it sees strength.”
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Russia had blamed the absent turbine for Gazprom’s decision last month to cut the Nord Stream 1 pipeline supply to just 40 percent of normal levels.
A statement from Jonathan Wilkinson, the Canadian Minister of Natural Resources, confirmed Canada would grant a “time-limited and revocable permit” to allow the turbine to be returned to Germany.
Canada had been under pressure from Germany to facilitate the transfer of the turbine, with Mr Wilkonson adding: “Absent a necessary supply of natural gas, the German economy will suffer very significant hardship.”
Despite the controversial decision from Canada, the Canadian Ministers asserted that the nation was still very much behind Ukraine as he said: “Together with out allies, including Germany, we will be relentless in our support of Ukraine and its people, and unwavering in our commitment to punish the Russian regime for their unjustified invasion.”
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