At the Munich Security Conference, Federal Chancellor of Germany Angela Merkel stated that Ukraine should remain a gas transit country even though Germany will not rule out the potential for a direct gas link to Russia, Interfax-Ukraine reports.
"Ukraine should remain a transit country. Other gas pipelines will also continue to exist... On one hand, I support Poroshenko. On the other hand, the issues related to Nord Stream 2 remain important for me,” the German Chancellor stated.
Merkel noted that, diversification of energy sources should be implemented in Europe. "It makes sense to import liquefied gas from the USA at reasonable prices, but we are not going to remove Russia from our sight. In geostrategic terms, Europe has no right to break off relations with Russia,” she explained.
The Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline will supply gas to Germany directly from Russia, bypassing other countries, as soon as its construction is completed in 2019. Agreements between Moscow and Kyiv on gas transit through Ukraine will also expire this year.
Merkel supports the project, stating that it will not make Germany or Europe dependent on Moscow and that it will not deprive Ukraine of the its role as a transporter of Russian gas. At the same time, other European countries, particularly Poland, Ukraine and the Baltic States and the USA criticize the project, stating that it threatens Europe’s energy security.