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HomeCanadian NewsGlavin: Canada is facilitating Russia's power blackmail

Glavin: Canada is facilitating Russia’s power blackmail

Trudeau’s choice to launch a half-dozen pipeline generators, permitting Vladimir Putin to additional engorge his treasury with the natural-gas cash he’s extorting from Germany, was past embarrassing.

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Properly. That was embarrassing.

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It’s not fairly the identical because the spectacle Prime Minister Justin Trudeau made from himself in his magical thriller tour of India again in 2018, together with his a number of fancy-dress costume modifications, his flamboyant banghra dancing and the convicted would-be murderer in his entourage. After which having his national-security adviser attempt to quietly clarify away the shame with the insinuation that it was all a set-up job by India’s intelligence companies.

As world-stage embarrassments go, the Trudeau authorities’s choice final week to interrupt NATO ranks and droop Canada’s personal sanctions legislation to launch a half-dozen pipeline generators, permitting Vladimir Putin to additional engorge his treasury with the natural-gas cash he’s extorting from Germany’s hapless Olaf Scholz, was, nicely, nonetheless fairly embarrassing.

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It’s really of one other order of ignominy altogether, to have Canada’s ambassador to Ukraine summoned to the Overseas Ministry in Kyiv for a dressing-down whereas Ukrainian civilians are being blown to bits in Putin’s missile strikes and President Volodymyr Zelenskyy is on the vanguard of liberal democracy’s bloodiest disaster because the Second World Battle.

However Scholz and Trudeau are solid from the identical mould as German Overseas Minister Annalena Baerbock and Trudeau’s overseas minister, Mélanie Joly, and former German chancellor Gerhard Schröder and Stéphane Dion, the Chrétien-era fixture you by no means hear about lately, though he’s Canada’s ambassador to Germany and particular envoy to the European Union. They’re shiny, blissful holdovers from the neoliberal delusions of globalization, the times of stratospheric earnings gathered on the pretext that torture states like Putin’s Russia and Xi Jinping’s China will be weaned from their savagery by free commerce and festivals of the wealthy and well-known at Davos.

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Germany’s hapless chancellor, Olaf Scholz.
Germany’s hapless chancellor, Olaf Scholz. Picture by FABRIZIO BENSCH /REUTERS

The U.S. State Division has been drawn into the Canada-Germany betrayal-by-turbine in having to offer the looks of NATO unity by publicly supporting Canada’s choice, which was speculated to be a few single Siemens Power turbine in a one-shot deal to maintain Germans from freezing this winter, which itself was garbage and everyone knew it. The association turned out to contain six generators in some Siemens upkeep yard in Montreal, in a sanctions exemption that can last as long as two years.

It’s not as if Germany’s industrial and political institution wasn’t warned, going again nicely greater than a decade, that it was folly to turn into so energy-dependent on the butcher again in Moscow, however the Germans noticed an excessive amount of simple cash in it and the Bundestag saved Russia’s pure fuel safety racket working full tilt even after Putin expropriated Ukraine’s Crimean peninsula and invaded Lunansk and Donetsk again in 2014.

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Not two years after that barbarism, as Trudeau’s first overseas affairs minister, Dion was courting Russian Overseas Minister Sergei Lavrov and publicly wishing a welcome mat for Russian oligarchs in Canada and rationalizing his hopes, within the Home of Commons, to place all these annoying Russia sanctions behind us. And he nearly received away with it.

In the meantime, the like-minded Schröder had gone on to turn into the world’s richest ex-politician, raking it in from his board sinecures with Gazprom, the Russian pure fuel big. Within the lead-up to Putin’s full-scale warfare of conquest in Ukraine, Scholz — Schröder’s Social-Democratic Celebration successor after the interregnum of Russia-friendly Angela Merkel — was adamant that the German-Russian fuel enterprise ought to stay untroubled.

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With 100,000 Russian troops massed on Ukraine’s japanese border, Scholz was nonetheless mumbling about some obscure menace of “penalties” ought to Moscow invade Ukraine. Nonetheless within the grips of pacifist play-acting, all Scholz was ready to ship Ukraine was 5,000 helmets, and he additional refused to permit Estonia to ship President Zelenskyy some German Chilly Battle-era howitzers it had readily available in Tallinn.

Solely weeks earlier than the invasion, Scholz’s Inexperienced Celebration Overseas Affairs Minister, Baerbock, was in Kyiv hectoring Zelenskyy about Germany’s correct position within the calamity as a “mediator,” and explaining why no German navy {hardware} could be coming. “We’re ready to have a severe dialogue with Russia to defuse the extremely harmful state of affairs proper now as a result of diplomacy is the one viable method.”

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A full two weeks after the invasion, our personal minister Joly was insisting that Canada’s position, like Germany’s, ought to contain solely help and diplomacy. “Canada shouldn’t be a nuclear energy, it’s not a navy energy. We’re a middle-sized energy and what we’re good at is convening and ensuring that diplomacy is going on, and in the meantime convincing different nations to do extra.”

It was solely after the invasion that Germany, the heaviest millstone round Europe’s neck, was pressured to face information. Greater than a half-million outraged Germans have been within the streets. Within the Reichstag, Scholz introduced that it had turned out that geopolitical energy politics and wars have been, oddly, not a factor of the previous in spite of everything, and diplomacy shouldn’t be the one method, and Germany could be spending $111 billion additional on its navy finances and could be on Ukraine’s aspect within the warfare, in spite of everything.

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It wasn’t till April that Germany authorized the supply of 30 decommissioned Gepard tanks, outfitted with anti-aircraft weapons, to Ukraine. Earlier this month, 15 of the tanks have been lastly on their approach to Kyiv. The ultimate 15 are speculated to arrive someday subsequent month. There have been some shipments of Panzerfaust antitank weapons and Fliegerfaust antiaircraft missiles, however not a lot else.

It wasn’t till Might 30 that Schröder was pressured to step down from the board of Gazprom, and solely after the Bundestag threatened to remove his lavish taxpayer-funded workplaces and workers if he didn’t.

Canada’s defence minister, Anita Anand, has performed her greatest to get navy {hardware} into the arms of Ukraine’s bedraggled resistance — fight help autos, drones, howitzers, ammunition, that form of factor. However it’s worse than embarrassing that on the similar time, we’re facilitating Putin’s natural-gas blackmail of Germany that anybody paying consideration was warning would occur, a decade in the past, and have been being dismissed as warmongers for doing so.

Terry Glavin is an creator and journalist.

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