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The gas storage plant Reckrod is pictured near Eiterfeld, central Germany, Thursday, July 14, 2022, after the Nord Stream 1 pipeline was shut down due to maintenance. A House of Commons committee will hold a special meeting this morning to discuss Canada's controversial decision to send repaired parts for the Russian natural gas pipeline back to Germany.Michael Probst/The Associated Press

A Parliamentary committee has voted to hold hearings on Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s decision to let Canada import and repair Russian government-owned turbines for up to two years in circumvention of sanctions against Moscow.

Members of the House of Commons standing committee on foreign affairs and international development voted unanimously on Friday to call Foreign Affairs Minister Mélanie Joly, Natural Resources Minister Jonathan Wilkinson and others to appear before MPs by July 22 to explain Canada’s conduct.

The Conservatives attempted to amend the motion to add Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland, the Ukrainian foreign minister, and other witnesses. But the NDP and Bloc joined with the Liberals to reject this amendment.

Rob Oliphant, parliamentary secretary to the foreign affairs minister, who frequently represents the Liberal government at the committee, said Ms. Freeland needn’t be called because “this was not her decision.” He also accused Conservative MPs of insinuating that Ms. Freeland, who is of Ukrainian heritage, does not agree with the decision to allow Canadians to repair the turbines so they can deliver Russian natural gas to Europe.

He noted a minister expresses disagreement with a government decision by resigning from cabinet, which Ms. Freeland has not done.

“We have a principle of cabinet solidarity in this country that Minister Freeland adheres to,” he said.

The committee is also planning to call the Ukrainian ambassador to Canada, and the top envoys for the European Union and Germany.

NDP foreign affairs critic Heather McPherson said she voted against the motion to summon Ms. Freeland and the Ukrainian foreign minister in part because she didn’t support some of the other names proposed. Ms. McPherson said she would nevertheless ask the committee to invite the deputy prime minister and the Ukrainian foreign minister.

Conservative foreign affairs critic Michael Chong said he will ask for Ms. Freeland to be invited as well, to help explain “how and why this decision was made, and how it will impact Canada’s reputation, as well as those affected by this decision.”

The deputy prime minister is in Bali for a meeting of Group of 20 finance ministers and central bank governors.

Members of the Ukrainian Canadian Congress (UCC) are planning three protests this weekend against the turbines arrangement, one on Saturday in Quebec City, and others on Sunday on Parliament Hill and in Montreal.

Mr. Trudeau earlier this week said the decision to repair and return the Russian pipeline turbines was “very difficult,” but was designed to spare Europeans the pain of sanctions meant to target Moscow.

The Prime Minister said the Liberal government did not want punitive rules aimed at President Vladimir Putin’s administration to contribute to the energy crisis in Europe and hurt natural-gas consumers in countries such as Germany. The agreement allows the import, repair and re-export of six turbines for up to two years.

“The sanctions are aimed at Putin and his enablers and aren’t designed to harm our allies and their populations,” Mr. Trudeau said on Wednesday.

President Volodymyr Zelensky and the Ukrainian government have sharply criticized Canada’s decision, saying it is a dangerous precedent that will encourage Mr. Putin to keep using energy as a weapon. Kyiv summoned Canadian chargé d’affaires Richard Colvin earlier this week to hear its objections.

Critics including the UCC said Canada’s decision to create a loophole in its sanctions undermines penalties against Russia for its full-scale military assault on Ukraine. They say Ottawa’s actions will enrich Gazprom, the Russian state-controlled company that is the majority owner of the turbines and the Nord Stream 1 pipeline.

Russia last month cited the delayed return of natural-gas turbine equipment, which German industrial giant Siemens Energy had been servicing in Canada, as the reason it decided to reduce the flow of natural gas through Nord Stream 1. The pipeline, which ships gas to Germany from Russia, was cut to 40-per-cent capacity.

It has since been shut down for maintenance.

The Ukrainian World Congress (UWC), an advocacy group representing Ukrainians abroad, on Tuesday announced a legal challenge of the decision in Federal Court.

Mr. Trudeau on Wednesday said Canada and its allies have to ensure that public support for Ukraine doesn’t erode.

He said repairing Russian turbines that deliver natural gas to Europe – where consumers are worried about security of supply – is an “essential part” of ensuring that people “continue to support their governments stepping up with billions of dollars in military and financial and humanitarian support for the Ukrainian people while they lead this essential fight against tyranny and oppression.”

Ihor Michalchyshyn, chief executive officer of the UCC, said Mr. Trudeau is actually harming European energy security and urged Ottawa to revoke the permit allowing further turbine repairs.

Canada was under intense pressure from Germany to return the turbines to maintain the solidarity of the NATO alliance, a gesture that was strongly supported by the United States. Germany faces possible energy rationing this winter if the Russians continue to use the excuse of the missing turbine equipment as a reason to reduce gas flows to Europe.

With reports from Reuters

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