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Gas transit via Ukraine should be retained

12 April, 2018, 00:12 | Author: Priscilla Morrison
  • Eduard Basurin

"There are political factors to be considered", she added.

Poland and the Baltics oppose Nord Stream 2, and US officials have spoken out against it. The 1,200-kilometers-long pipeline is to be laid through the Baltic Sea, linking Russian Federation and Germany - bypassing Ukraine, Poland, and the Baltic States. The facility is scheduled to be commissioned by the end of 2019.

But critics argue it will increase dependence on Russian Federation and enrich its state-owned energy companies at a time when Moscow stands accused of endangering European security. We also discussed this situation with the Russian president and communicated Ukraine's concern about the issue. Poroshenko also noted that Ukraine's transit pipeline for Russian gas was "much cheaper and can be modernized cheaply and easily".

The Federal Chancellor pointed out the importance of retaining gas transit across Ukraine. The gas giant's CEO, Aleksey Miller, was quoted as saying on Tuesday that transit for Ukraine in amount of 10-15 bcm annually may be preserved, but Kiev must justify its economic expediency.

She insisted that Ukraine relied heavily on income from transit fees. However, Gazprom said last month it would terminate its gas contracts with Ukraine after it had lost a court case, escalating a dispute which had left Ukraine struggling to stay warm. "I clearly indicated that the Nord Stream-2 project is impossible without our clarity about the future role of Ukrainian transit, from our viewpoint", Merkel said.

The firms involved have already invested more than 4 billion euros ($5 billion) in the project.

"To change the legal foundation retroactively for political reasons would damage the trust in legal certainty", Wolfgang Buechele, chairman of the German Committee on Eastern European Economic Relations, said in an emailed statement.

A spokesman said it was clear Ukraine would remain a transit country for gas. It will deliver 55 billion cubic meters of Russian natural gas per year to the European Union, through a pipeline across the Baltic Sea to Germany.



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