WASHINGTON — Retired general Rick Hillier says he fears Canada’s decision to return Nord Stream 1 pipeline turbines to Germany will weaken global sanctions against Russia for its invasion of Ukraine. 

Hillier, who heads a new advisory council of retired military commanders formed by the Ukrainian World Congress, worries the decision could prove to be the first break in that united economic front. 

Retired U.S. generals David Petraeus and Welsey Clark, however, are less critical, calling the decision a difficult one that was in the best interests of all involved. 

The federal government agreed earlier this month to grant a temporary exemption to the sanctions in order to return six turbines repaired in Montreal for use in the Russian state-owned pipeline. 

Trudeau has previously defended the decision, noting that Germany, an important NATO ally, relies on the natural gas the pipeline provides.

Ukrainian President Volodomyr Zelenskyy has denounced the move as “absolutely unacceptable.”

This report by The Canadian Press was first published July 19, 2022.

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