Merkel favors preserving Ukraine's gas transit role after 2019
German Chancellor Angela Merkel said she was not as critical as Kyiv about the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline and was in favor of Ukraine preserving its transit role after 2019.
"We know that Ukraine is against this project. I am less critical about the project and I am in favor of Ukraine having guarantees, that Ukraine will preserve its transit role," she said at a meeting with the Ukrainian parliament speaker, Andriy Parubiy, and the heads of parliamentary groups in Kyiv.
She noted that the negotiations on Nord Stream 2 are being conducted with both Russia and the European Commission.
"The matter concerns creating a transit agreement. We want Ukraine to remain an important transit country," Merkel emphasized.
The chancellor noted that in addition to North Stream there is also TurkStream.
"Thus, gas flows are expanding from Russia to the European Union, but this does not mean that we want to reject the transit role of Ukraine. I think that gas transit revenues are extremely important for the budget of Ukraine," she said.
Merkel noted that Berlin "very seriously" considers the strategic opinion of Ukraine on the issue of Nord Stream 2.
"We want to see Ukraine as a partner with respect to transit," she said.
Prior to this, Verkhovna Rada Chairman Andriy Parubiy called on Merkel to study in more detail the arguments of Ukraine against the construction of the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline.
"The construction of Nord Stream 2 could bring imbalance and threaten the security of not only Ukraine but the entire European space. And this is the position of the Ukrainian parliament. I would ask that the arguments of the Ukrainian side be studied more in detail," Parubiy said during a meeting with the German chancellor in Kyiv.
The speaker called for supporting the position of the Ukrainian parliament on the Nord Stream 2 issue.