President Donald Trump's National Security Advisor John Bolton has not ruled out that US energy companies may be interested in the exploration and production of natural gas in Ukraine, according to the Ukrainian news website Ukrinform.
He also said that the development of Ukraine's energy sector allows Kiev to produce gas in volumes which are approximately "sufficient" to meet "its own domestic need for natural gas."
Speaking after talks with Ukrainian Prime Minister Volodymyr Groysman earlier this week, Bolton slammed the EU for tying itself to Russian energy supplies and supporting the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline.
"It's not just the economic significance of being heavily dependent on Russia for the supply of natural gas and petroleum, but the strategic significance of it as well," he said.
According to Bolton, there are several solutions for the EU and Ukraine to reduce their dependency on Russian gas, including purchases of fuel from Israel or imports of liquefied natural gas (LNG) from the US.
Washington and Brussels have repeatedly expressed concern that after Nord Stream 2 is put into operation, Russia would abandon its use of the oil pipeline it has relied on to send oil west to the countries of the European Union.
Russian President Vladimir Putin, for his part, assured that Ukraine would continue to play a role in gas transit from Russia to Europe after the launch of the new pipeline.
The project is a joint venture between the Russia's Gazprom and the French company Engie, the Austrian firm OMV AG, Royal Dutch Shell, as well as two German companies, Uniper and Wintershall.
The pipeline, due to be put into operation in 2019, is expected to deliver 55 billion cubic meters of Russian natural gas per year to the European Union by sending it to Germany via the Baltic Sea.