German Chancellor Angela Merkel tried to soothe fears over the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline and reaffirmed support for Ukraine's role as a gas transit country. In particular, this was discussed during a joint press conference between Merkel and Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki, Reuters reports.
"I made clear that it is our concern that Ukraine will remain a transit land for Russian gas," Merkel said.
Morawiecki said making sure gas still transits through Ukraine despite the introduction of the Nord Stream 2 pipeline will lower the chance of "blackmail" from Russia.
Russia's five-year gas transit deal with Ukraine expires after 2024. Russian President Vladimir Putin has said Ukraine must show goodwill if it wants to continue.
As reported, the construction of the Russian Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline has been fully completed.
The project operator Nord Stream 2 AG wants to put the pipeline into operation by the end of 2021.
Earlier, Polish Foreign Minister Zbigniew Rau called on the European Union to focus on preventing security risks and divisions in Europe in connection with the launch of Nord Stream 2.
Rau noted that Nord Stream 2 could not be stopped, despite the opposition of some European countries. At the same time, Warsaw's position has not changed.
"But despite intensified discussions on this issue, this project could not be stopped. Construction will be completed," Rau said.