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Volodymyr Zelenskyy speaks alongside Angela Merkel in July
Volodymyr Zelenskyy wants to secure valuable fees from Russia gas transit through UkraineImage: Stefanie Loos/AFP POOL/dpa/picture alliance

Ukraine hopes for Russian gas 'guarantees'

August 21, 2021

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy hopes German Chancellor Angela Merkel has Nord Stream 2 pledges in place, ahead of her visit on Sunday.


Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said he is hoping German Chancellor Angela Merkel will give him "guarantees" over Russian gas transit fees to Europe during her visit on Sunday.

Merkel is committed to opening the Nord Stream 2 natural gas pipeline from Russia to Germany through the Baltic Sea that is threatening a main source of income for Ukraine.

What does Zelenskyy want?

Zelenskyy told the newspapers of Funke Media Group that he wanted "guarantees" for his country "that Russia will pledge a minimum amount of gas to be passed through Ukraine's pipelines," despite the completion last week of Nord Stream 2.

Merkel met with Russian President Vladimir Putin on Friday and discussed a range of matters, among them the new Baltic Sea pipeline.

"I hope Merkel will reach some kind of agreement with Putin before she touches down in Kyiv," Zelenskyy said.

Ahead of Merkel's visit on Sunday, the Ukrainian president said he was "more concerned with countable results — even if they are manageable."

Ukraine stands to lose billions of dollars in tax revenue for gas that presently flows through the country from Russia to Europe when Nord Stream 2 becomes operational.

What is on the table?

During Merkel's Moscow visit, Putin said Russia was ready to send gas via Ukraine even after the end of their current deal in 2024.

However, Putin said Moscow needed to evaluate the scale of demand for its fossil fuel first.

The Russian president said: "We cannot sign a transit contract if we don't have supply contracts with our consumers in Europe.

"We need to get an answer from our European partners on how much they are ready to buy," he added.

Nord Stream 2 nearly completed

The Nord Stream 2 situation could also put pressure on Ukrainian security concerns with Russia pressing for more influence over the NATO partner.

US President Joe Biden warned Merkel of how the Nord Stream 2 project could hurt the strategic Eastern European ally during her visit to the White House last July.

kb/mm (AFP, Reuters)

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