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Lavrov: Moscow does not object preserving gas transit via Ukraine

Russia’s acting foreign minister Sergey Lavrov has announced that Moscow is ready to have consultations with Kiev to preserve the gas transit from Russia to the European Union via Ukraine after the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline is put into operation. He made the announcement at a news conference in Moscow after his meeting with German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas.

“President Putin has already said that Gazprom’s management and the energy ministry do not object preserving some amount of gas transit via Ukraine. The matter is it must be economically effective, but not politically imposed. We are ready for such consultations with the Ukrainian side,” RIA Novosti Ukraine quotes the minister as saying.

“But the thing is that the Nord Stream 2 is needed, there is no doubt in it. It is an economically justified and profitable for Europe project. It is enough to say that the length of the pipe will be twice as short as the pipe that now reaches Germany via Ukraine, and the cost of the transit will about one and a half times less,” Lavrov said.

The Nord Stream 2 project envisages construction of two gas pipeline strings with a total annual capacity of 55bn cubic meters of gas from the Russian coast via the Baltic Sea to Germany. The new pipeline is planned to be built near the currently operated Nord Stream.

The operator of the project Nord Stream 2 AG has already obtained permits that allow it starting the construction of the sea section of the pipeline in the territorial waters of Germany and a receiving terminal in Germany. Gazprom expects to have the rest permits from Finland, Sweden, Russia, and Denmark in the first half of the year.

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