Gas Transit From Russia To Europe Via Ukraine Should Continue - German Foreign Minister

KIEV (Pakistan Point News / Sputnik - 20th November, 2019) German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas said on Tuesday that the transit of Russian gas through Ukraine should go on after the existing deal on gas supply between Moscow and Kiev expires in December.

"We believe that transit should continue after 2019," Maas said at a briefing in Kiev, as broadcast by the tv channel Nash.

He went on to acknowledge that there were still many issues yet to be resolved, but affirmed that he remained "optimistic that we can fulfill our promises" with regard to organizing gas transit.

On Monday, Russia's Gazprom sent Ukraine's Naftogaz an official proposal to extend the transit contract, which expires on December 31, or enter into a new one for one year, taking into account the projected demand in the EU. The Russian gas giant said that the prerequisite for continued transit was that both sides must give up their lawsuits and claims to antitrust authorities against one another. At the same time, Gazprom said it was waiting for Ukraine's position regarding its readiness to directly purchase Russian gas starting in 2020.

Naftogaz Executive Director Yuriy Vitrenko said later that day that Naftogaz had received Gazprom's proposal and would study it carefully before responding.