Germany to work on extending deal on gas transit via Ukraine, says top diplomat

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BERLIN, June 9. /TASS/. Germany will be pouring great effort into prolonging the agreement on the transit of Russian gas via Ukraine, Foreign Minister Heiko Maas said when answering questions from German MPs in the Bundestag on Wednesday.

“Chancellor [of Germany Angela Merkel] made it clear to Russian President [Vladimir Putin] that it (keeping gas transit via Ukraine — TASS) is a condition for continuing the implementation of the Nord Stream 2 project for her,” he said. “We can imagine negotiating the extension of the present gas transit contract. We want gas to be delivered through Ukraine in the long term,” Maas added.

Speaking at the plenary session of the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum on June 4, Putin said that Moscow could pump much more gas via Ukraine, but Kiev puts up obstacles.

When commenting on Ukraine’s strongly negative stance on the construction of the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline, Putin noted that he considers it possible to load the country’s gas transport system with gas after the current transit contract expires, though “the goodwill of Ukrainian partners” is required.

Meanwhile, when commenting on Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky’s words about the importance of Russian gas transit for maintaining the country’s army, Putin emphasized that Russia is not obliged to “feed everybody”.