BRUSSELS, December 20. /TASS/. The agreement on gas transit that was reached by Russia, Ukraine and the European Union means that Moscow remains a reliable supplier to European markets, the European Commission (EC) said in a statement released on Friday.
"Now we have in place a political framework with the key arrangements that are necessary to pave the way for a long-term gas transit contract between companies," EC Vice-President Maros Sefcovic said. "With this, Russia remains a reliable supplier to European markets and Ukraine maintains its roles as a strategic transit country," he added.
"I welcome this well-balanced agreement that is essential for ensuring uninterrupted transit of Russian gas to Europe via Ukraine," Sefcovic noted.
"I appreciate the great efforts by the two parties, Russia and Ukraine, to come together, and I want to recognize in particular the personal commitment by [Russian] Minister [Alexander] Novak and [Ukrainian] Minister [Alexey] Orzhel. I also valued the continuous support by [German] Chancellor Angela Merkel and [German] Minister [for Economic Affairs and Energy] Peter Altmaier," he said.
A spokesperson for Gazprom earlier told reporters that Russia and Ukraine have signed a protocol on agreements for continuing gas transit via Ukraine and settling mutual claims. The office of Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky said that the details of the deal will be made public on December 21 at the briefing held by Ukrainian Energy Minister Alexey Orzhel and Executive Director of Naftogaz Yury Vitrenko.