Germany backing talks on gas transit via Ukraine - Maas
KYIV. Nov 19 (Interfax) - Berlin is for the Russian gas transit via Ukraine to continue after 2019, German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas said.
"We are supporting talks on gas deliveries via Ukraine. We believe that the transit should continue after 2019," Maas said at a news conference he attended together with Ukrainian counterpart Vadym Prystaiko in Kyiv on Tuesday.
Maas expressed the desire to trample on recent speculations about the gas issue.
"I want to remove the speculations that have circulated over the past few days. The Bundestag has adopted the European Gas Directive just as we promised," he said.
When asked whether the issue of gas transit will be raised during the Normandy Format meeting in Paris, Maas said he could not tell "who will raise such matters" at the meeting.
"This is a very important issue to us. Mrs. Federal Chancellor [of Germany, Angela Merkel] made it clear to [Russian] President [Vladimir] Putin that implementing alternative gas transit via Ukraine for the future is a very important subject to us. And President Putin gave her [Merkel] certain promises, and now we are going through the stage of those promises being fulfilled for this kind of gas transit to be organized," Maas said.
There are still many problems in this regard and they need to be solved, he said, adding that he is optimistic about the prospect of those promises being kept. "And there is some support here, particularly European support, and I am optimistic in the sense that there will still be an alternative transit of gas via Ukraine in the future," he said.