BERLIN, June 6. /TASS/. Gas transit via Ukraine must be continued after the commissioning of the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline, German cabinet’s spokesperson Steffen Seibert said in a commentary published in the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung daily.
"It has been of major significance for the German government that Ukraine should retain the status of a gas transit country even after the Nord Stream 2 launch. Having signed a transit contract that was reached with the EU’s and German government’s mediation, Russia and Ukraine outlined the way for that and sent an important signal concerning security of gas supplies to Europe," he stressed. "And we expect that this joint package of agreements will be observed."
Johann Wadephul, a deputy head of the Christian Democratic Union (CDU) faction in the German Parliament, said that Germany insisted that the program of gas supplies to Ukraine continue without political conditions. In his words, Germany and the United States share the opinion that they need to cooperate closely to prevent "any attempts of political blackmailing of Ukraine." He noted that the Russian and US presidents, Vladimir Putin and Joe Biden, who are expected to meet in Geneva on June 16, will discuss the issue of further gas transit via Ukraine.
Addressing a plenary session of the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum on Friday, Russian President Vladimir Putin said that Russia could have pumped much more gas via Ukraine if Kiev had not put obstacles for that. Commenting on Kiev’s negative position on the construction of the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline, the Russian leader said Ukraine’s gas transport system could be used even after the current transit contract expired. "Everything is possible and we are ready for it and want it but goodwill from our Ukrainian partners is needed," he stressed.
Nord Stream 2 is an international project for the construction of a gas pipeline that will run across the bottom of the Baltic Sea from the Russian coast to Germany bypassing transit states, such as Ukraine, Belarus, Poland and other Eastern European and Baltic countries.
The new 1,230-kilometer pipeline, basically following the same route as Nord Stream, traverses the economic zones and territorial water of five countries, namely Russia, Finland, Sweden, Denmark, and Germany.