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    An employee tightens the valve on a pipeline at the Bilche-Volytsko-Uherske underground gas storage facility, the largest in Europe, not far from the village of Bilche village, in the Lviv region of western Ukraine, on May 21, 2014

    EU Energy Chief: German Participation Needed to Maintain Gas Transit Via Ukraine

    © AFP 2018 / ALEXANDER ZOBIN
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    BRUSSELS (Sputnik) - German participation is needed to ensure transit of natural gas from Russia to Europe through Ukraine, since this route is vital to the energy security of the continent, Vice-President of the European Commission in charge of the Energy Union Maros Sefcovic said Monday.

    On Tuesday, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said that the construction of the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline, which will provide an alternative route for gas transit, was impossible without first determining the future role of Ukrainian transit.

    "The Ukrainian transit route strategic for our #energysecurity. #Germany's involvement in finding a solution that would safeguard it in a commercially viable way much appreciated & needed," Sefcovic said on his Twitter account.

    The official added that he could not rule out a four-way dialogue between Russia, Ukraine, the European Commission and Germany on issues related to the transit of natural gas from Russia.

    Speaking at the briefing in Berlin, the European Commission vice-president said that the 28-nation bloc wanted to ensure that the implementation of the Nord Stream 2 project would be done under the same conditions as any other pipeline in the European Union.

    According to Sefcovic, keeping the transit of natural gas through Ukrainie was an issue of high priority.

    Nord Stream 2 is a joint venture of Russia’s Gazprom with France's Engie, Austria’s OMV AG, UK-Dutch Royal Dutch Shell, and Germany's Uniper and Wintershall. It aims to deliver 55 billion cubic meters of Russian natural gas a year to the European Union across the Baltic Sea to Germany.

    The pipeline project has been welcomed by some countries in Europe and opposed by others, including Ukraine and Poland. The United States has also expressed its opposition to Nord Stream 2.

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    transit, gas, Germany, Russia
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