Berlin will continue to try to guarantee Ukraine a transit role for Russian gas supplies.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel said this at a joint press conference with French President Emmanuel Macron following a meeting of the Franco-German Defense and Security Council on February 5, an Ukrinform correspondent reports.

Merkel stressed that Berlin has constantly made efforts to ensure that Ukraine continues to act as a transit state for Russian gas. “We will continue to do this, including within the framework of work with Ukraine and Russia in the Minsk format,” she assured.

During the meeting, the Nord Stream 2 issue was intensively and frankly discussed. Merkel reiterated her position that Germany considers the project to be entrepreneurial, “but with political complications”, which “plays a large role in transatlantic relations.” She condemned the extraterritorial sanctions.

The German chancellor noted that it is strategically important to maintain a dialogue with Russia on many issues, including geostrategic ones, despite “very deep divisions.” In this context, she added that in recent months the Russian Federation has taken a few steps with regard to the situation in Ukraine. This issue must be kept on the agenda, for which it is also necessary to keep in touch with Putin.

As reported, in December 2019, the United States of America passed legislation providing for sanctions on a ship involved in building the Nord Stream 2 pipeline. Due to the U.S. sanctions, its construction was suspended. However, the Russian side, with the consent of the German side, resumed work on its own, using the Fortuna pipe-laying ship.

The 1,200 km long gas pipeline worth almost EUR 9.5 billion is 94% completed. The United States opposes the project, arguing that it will strengthen the Kremlin’s grip on the European energy market while undermining Ukraine’s security and economy.

Source – Ukrinform