Scholz visits the Nord Stream 1 turbine before it is transported to Russia

Berlin, August 3 (IANS): German Chancellor Olaf Scholz on Wednesday visited a repaired turbine in western Germany, the absence of which Russia says is the reason for its decision to throttle gas flows to Germany via the Northern Gas Pipeline Stream 1.

After repair work in Canada, the turbine is temporarily stored in Mülheim an der Ruhr before being brought to Russia for installation in the pipeline. Electrical engineering firm Siemens Energy said on Tuesday the turbine was ready for transport.

“The turbine is there, it can be delivered,” Scholz said. “Not all the technical reasons put forward are understandable on a factual basis,” the dpa news agency quoted Scholz as reporting.

German officials have repeatedly said that Russia’s decision to drastically cut gas supplies was an effort to punish Germany for its stance on the war in Ukraine and its participation in sanctions targeting Russia.

“With the delivery of the turbine, we called [Russian President Vladimir] Putin’s bluff,” Scholz said in an interview with the Canadian newspaper The Globe and Mail. “He can no longer use this pretext and cite technical reasons for the drop in gas deliveries.”

Scholz came to the defense of Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, who has come under fire for allowing the turbine to be returned to Russia despite the move violating sanctions.

“I consider the criticisms of Justin Trudeau and his government to be completely baseless,” he said in an interview. “The decision to deliver the turbine is not a favor for Gazprom. It is a strong sign of support for Germany and Europe.”

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