Thank you, Marty.
It's good to see all of you. I hope you're having a good summer.
Colleagues, of course I'm pleased to be with you today with my colleague and friend Minister Wilkinson. We're here to discuss the great consequences of Putin's war of choice in Ukraine, the roles Canada can play to secure Europe's energy security and, of course, how we can support our allies in implementing a green transition.
Yesterday, I hosted my German counterpart, Minister Baerbock, and we discussed these important issues.
Five months ago, the Russian president ordered his troops to invade Ukraine, a sovereign country.
His is an attack on freedom, on democracy and on the rights of Ukrainians to determine their own future. It is a flagrant disregard for international law and the UN charter, and an attack against the foundations of the rules-based international order.
We have worked with our allies and partners to impose severe costs on President Putin and his regime. This has included 1,600 sanctions on individuals and entities who support, fund and enable President Putin's war regime. These include President Putin himself, his daughters, members of his cabinet and his oligarchs, and key Russian industries, including high tech, chemicals, luxury goods and manufacturing. As a result, Canada has the strongest sanctions regime in the G7 when it comes to Ukraine.
Evidence is showing that international sanctions are having a significant impact on the Russian state. A recent study from Yale University painted a picture of a deeply crippled economy. Russian imports have largely collapsed. Russia faces challenges securing crucial inputs, leading to widespread supply shortages. Russian domestic production has come to a complete standstill, with no capacity to replace lost businesses, products and talent. As a result of the business retreat, Russia has lost companies representing nearly 40% of its GDP.
Of course, Canada's support for Ukraine's sovereignty and territorial integrity is unequivocal, and Canada has provided significant assistance to Ukrainians to help them defend themselves against Russia's invasion.
This morning, our government announced the resumption of Operation Unifier. We also announced $620 million in military assistance, nearly half a billion dollars in humanitarian support and over $1.5 billion in loans to help Ukraine's economy.
We've also announced $50 million for demining initiatives and over $9 million for initiatives to counter sexual violence.
The way that allies stood united in their support for Ukraine came as a great surprise to President Putin. Allies have isolated Russia politically, economically and diplomatically. Whether through the United Nations or the G20, we are hindering Russia's ability to spread disinformation freely.
We saw through Russia's lies and false pretenses for their invasion, and we still do today. President Putin is working to shift blame as he's weaponizing food. Now he's doing the same with energy.
We know that President Putin seeks to further destabilize Europe and sow division among the alliance. To this end, Russia has weaponized energy by cutting the flows of gas to Europe. Putin hoped to leverage Canada's role in the maintenance of Nord Stream 1 turbines to do just that.
We know that Europe is facing an energy crisis. Europeans—Germans—are facing shortages impacting households and industries. Our allies are worried about the situation as they stock up for the winter. Knowing that turbines were being repaired in Canada, the German Chancellor reached out to us, directly pleading for us to call Putin's bluff.
This was a very difficult decision for everyone in this government. It is one that was not taken lightly or without trying to find an alternative. Minister Wilkinson and I engaged directly with the Ukrainians and Germans, and encouraged discussion between them.
The decision was taken to grant a permit that allowed for the maintenance of Nord Stream 1 turbines and their return to Germany. With this permit, Siemens Canada may lead this work as scheduled on six specific turbines. It is time-limited to a maximum of two years.
With the issue of turbine maintenance taken off the table, Putin has nothing left to hide behind. As the flow of gas slows down, the world now knows with certainty that it was Putin's decision, and his alone.
Russia has shown the world that it cannot be relied upon as an economic partner. The Europeans no longer want to be dependent on Russia. They also understand the importance of fast-tracking the green transition, and as a solid ally, Canada needs to answer the call.
We are working closely with Germany and partners in Europe to find solutions to the energy crisis Europe is currently facing. That said, we need to stick to our targets for reducing greenhouse gas emissions. My colleague Jonathan Wilkinson, the Minister of Natural Resources, will have a lot more to say on that.
In closing, I want to reiterate Canada's unwavering support for Ukraine. We will continue to provide the Ukrainians with the help they need to defend themselves against Russia's invasion.
Now, I will turn the floor over to my friend and fellow minister, Jonathan Wilkinson.