Ukraine vows 'merciless war' to secure Russian gas transit to Europe
Kiev should clinch a deal on guaranteed transit of Russian gas through Ukrainian territory with the launch of the Nord Stream 2 pipeline to Germany, says Ukraine’s permanent representative to the Council of Europe, Dmytro Kuleba.
Kuleba said the Ukrainian authorities need a three-party contract with Moscow and Berlin to provide Kiev with guarantees that the Ukrainian budget wouldn’t lose billions in revenue due to re-channeling of energy supplies. The diplomat stressed that Ukraine may lose not only gas transit revenue, but a lever of pressure.
“I think Nord Stream 2 is a reason for merciless war. We have to fight for our interests the same way as Russians and Germans are fighting for the pipeline,” Kuleba said in an interview with RBK Ukraine, adding that Ukraine has to have a plan B.
The official urged retention of a coalitional union with Germany over the issue and to respect their interests and national position. Kuleba highlighted that Germany has a right to point out how much it has done to support Ukraine over anti-Russian sanctions.
According to the diplomat, the Nord Stream 2 project will provide Europe with two taps. “The first tap will be in Moscow, the second one - in Berlin. That’s it,” he said. “The supplies will go through German economy, which will grow and influence Eastern Europe as well.”
Earlier this month, Russian President Vladimir Putin said that the Nord Stream 2 pipeline is a strictly economic project, which he urged all sides not to politicize. According to the Russian president, Russia will preserve gas transits via Ukraine after the new pipeline is launched.
Nord Steam 2 intends to double the existing capacity of the Nord Stream pipeline from Russia to Germany. Despite the opposition of the Baltic States, some Eastern European countries and the United States, Gazprom has started building the pipeline.
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