Trudeau says that with Russia arming energy, Canada is looking to supply Europe

As European countries are being asked to cut their gas use in the face of ongoing uncertainty over Russia’s energy supply, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says he has been in talks for months with German Chancellor Olaf Scholz about “how Canada can be a solution.

“There are things that we are trying to do in the very short term, as we look into the coming winter and the challenges that the Germans will face with Russia choosing to weaponize the oil and gas source for them,” Trudeau said. he said Thursday.

The president of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, called on Wednesday for all member countries of the European Union to reduce gas consumption by 15 percent in the coming months, to ensure adequate storage for a “safe winter” as they prepare for the potential that Russia cuts. outside of key natural gas supplies.

“Russia is blackmailing us. Russia is using energy as a weapon. And so in any case, whether it’s a major partial shutdown of Russian gas or a complete shutdown of Russian gas, Europe must be prepared,” von der Leyen said.

Europe has faced an energy supply crisis as Russian President Vladimir Putin has been using the countries dependence on Russia for oil and gas as what officials see as a form of retaliation for sanctions. imposed in support of Ukraine. This has resulted in sizable reductions in the flow of natural gas, leaving countries clamoring to shore up reserve supply.

“In the short term, yes, supply chains around the world are looking at how we can deliver more oil and gas to Europe immediately,” Trudeau said. “But also how we’re moving away from oil and gas from Russia, or anywhere else much faster than before. So we’re looking at it as kind of a double-barreled problem.”

As The Canadian Press reported, Canada has previously said that domestic producers could increase their production by the equivalent of 300,000 barrels of oil and natural gas per day by the end of 2022, to help offset a reliance on Russian fossil fuels.

Scholz has expressed interest in Canada becoming an energy alternative and plans to visit Canada in August “to secure key partnerships in energy security, critical minerals and clean technology,” according to a statement from the Prime Minister’s Office issued after the two leaders meeting at the G7 Summit in Germany in June.

Trudeau’s comments were made in response to a question from a reporter in Nova Scotia about the potential for moving forward with LNG projects in that province, given the current situation in Europe.

“I will say we’re looking at a number of different proposals around that,” Trudeau said, declining to discuss any specific potential LNG export facilities in that province or others, of which there are currently none in Canada.

While not a new suggestion from the federal government, it has not been precisely articulated how and when Canada could supply LNG to Europe.

Although, the Minister of Natural Resources, Jonathan Wilkinson he recently told Bloomberg News that Canada was considering speeding up the conversion of an LNG import facility in New Brunswick that, if pursued by its private owners, could start supplying Europe within three years.

The prime minister went on to suggest that future projects could be used to export hydrogen, a clean fuel alternative.

“In the medium term, we know that Canada, for example, will be a strong and reliable energy partner in supplying hydrogen,” Trudeau said. “So even as we’re trying to get off fossil fuels…Knowing that we can invest in LNG infrastructure in the short term that will then be useful for hydrogen in the medium and long term means we can meet both short-term and long-term challenges. long-term challenges.

The prime minister said that Europe’s dependence on Russian oil and gas cannot continue, “because the billions of dollars that are sent to Russia for its oil and gas are used to continue this illegal war against the Ukrainians.”

Canada has come under fire in recent weeks from the Ukrainians, their supporters, as well as opposition federal parties over the decision to grant a waiver to Russian sanctions, allowing Siemens Canada to return one and allowing continued repair of a handful of other Russians. own turbines used in the Nord Stream 1 gas pipeline that supplies natural gas to Germany.

Canada faced pressure to have the turbines returned, with Russia’s state energy company Gazprom saying it needed the equipment or the already reduced flow of gas through the pipeline could be further restricted, something Putin continues to threaten, according to The Associated Press.

In their criticism of the move, the Federal Conservatives accused Trudeau of looking the other way as Russia finances its war with profits from energy it sells to Europe, and called on Canada to “step up” natural gas supplies.

“The Liberal government has failed to recognize Canadian energy as vital to both our economy and the collective security of Canada and Europe. Although it is the fifth largest producer of natural gas in the world, Canada has failed to step forward at this time of extraordinary crisis,” the Conservatives said in a statement reacting to the Nord Stream 1 permit.

The federal government has defended the decision to return the turbines as difficult, but necessary to ensure that Germany and other European allies could “remain steadfast and generous in their support of Ukraine”, which would be harder to do. if their economies felt the impact of declining energy resources.

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