Germany wants Ukraine’s gas transit role to continue

Germany’s foreign minister Heiko Maas has said that Germany wants Russian gas to continue to flow through Ukrainian pipelines.

Speaking at a press conference in Kyiv, Mr Maas stressed that Germany supported the ongoing negotiations between Russia and Ukraine in the search for a deal on future gas transit to Europe.

The current agreement between Russia and Ukraine expires at the end of the year.

The German FM also dismissed speculations that Germany was not in favour of maintaining the flow of gas through Ukraine, despite Germany’s support for Russia’s Nord Stream 2 pipeline which critics, including the United States, as well as some Central and Eastern European countries, say could jeopardise Ukraine’s national security and the EU’s energy security.

“The German Bundestag adopted the European Gas Directive exactly as we promised,” Mr Maas said, pointing to Germany’s commitment to extend EU rules to the Russian-led pipeline project.

The German FM’s statement comes after Ukrainian energy minister Oleksiy Orzhel said that Russia’s latest offer to either extend the current gas agreement or sign new one-year deal was unacceptable.

Earlier this week, Russian energy giant Gazprom formally proposed a short-term agreement, together with dropping all arbitration disputes between Russia and Ukraine.