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Russia Cuts Gas Exports to Europe, Questioning Canada’s Sanctions Waiver

Gazprom, Russia
Citing equipment repairs, Gazprom said flows would fall to 33 million cubic metres per day - a halving of the current, already reduced level [File: Hannibal Hanschke/Reuters]

After weeks of threats, Russia’s gas giant Gazprom finally cut gas flow through the Nord Stream One pipeline to just 20% of its maximum capacity.

With this change, concerns arose in Germany, Italy, and other European countries that rely significantly on Russian gas piped from Vyborg, Russia.

This also raised questions on Canada’s government which had granted a controversial sanctions waiver to help Gazprom resume normal flow to Europe after a 60% reduction since June.

On Wednesday, the production has been cut by 80%, making it extremely difficult for European countries who depend on Russian gas to fill their underground storage tanks in preparation for winter.

Russia’s Kremlin, which owns Gazprom, has been toying with Europe’s gas supply in an effort to reduce the effects of Western sanctions against Moscow for its invasion of Ukraine.

Russia claimed that sanctions have led to technical challenges that prevent regular supply delivery.

Government officials in Ukraine told CBC News that these disruptions were proof that the sanctions waiver should never have been granted.

“This decision of waiving sanctions actually did not have any practical impact on helping the European countries, first of all, Germany, to secure their gas supply,” said Ukraine’s ambassador to Canada, Yulia Kovaliv. “Instead we see the next steps of Gazprom blackmailing their European consumers.”

Kovaliv also noted that the sanctions waiver was described as “revocable.” 

“Gazprom, we believe, took all the steps to provide the evidence that this permission needs to be removed,” she told CBC News.

Keean Nembhard, Natural Resources Canada spokesperson told CBC News. “The Russian regime and its propaganda arms are clearly creating additional false pretexts to further and deliberately cause energy instability across Europe in an attempt to sow division amongst allies, as it continues to wage its unjustifiable war against Ukraine.”

“We see through their lies. The only thing that would prevent gas from flowing to Europe is (Russian President Vladimir) Putin.”

However, when Natural Resources Canada and Global Affairs Canada were asked whether the Trudeau government was considering removing the waiver, neither of them provided a straight response.

Original source material for this article taken from here

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Written by Olivia Woods

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