05:18 GMT09 March 2021
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    MOSCOW (Sputnik) - German businesses welcome the Russian-Ukrainian preliminary agreement on gas transit, the German Committee on Eastern European Economic Relations (OAOEV) said on Friday, while also reiterating its interest in the Nord Stream 2 project and slamming US sanctions against it.

    "The agreement in principle to continue Russian gas transit via Ukraine is a great success for the German government and Economy Minister Peter Altmaier," OAOEV chief Oliver Hermes said, as quoted in a statement.

    According to Hermes, transit through Ukraine remains an important element of ensuring energy supply to Europe.

    "The United States should also recognize this and renounce sanctions against Nord Stream 2, which are contrary to international law. Europe needs both gas transit via Ukraine and an additional volume of gas through the pipeline across the Baltic Sea for a safe, inexpensive and diversified gas supply," the head of the business committee stated.

    He, therefore, called for EU-Russia-Ukraine gas talks to continue and "expand to other economic topics."

    According to Hermes, this economic dialogue should ultimately "result in sustainable energy relations, remove existing trade and investment obstacles, including mutual sanctions, and open up the prospect of a common economic space from Lisbon to Vladivostok."

      Allseas' deep sea pipe laying ship Solitaire lays pipes for Nord Stream 2 pipeline in the Baltic Sea September 13, 2019. Picture taken September 13, 2019
    © REUTERS / Stine Jacobsen
    Allseas' deep sea pipe laying ship Solitaire lays pipes for Nord Stream 2 pipeline in the Baltic Sea September 13, 2019. Picture taken September 13, 2019

    On Thursday, Russia, Ukraine and the European Union reached an agreement in principle on Russian gas transit via Ukraine after ministerial talks in Berlin. Before signing, the deal is yet to be finalised in Moscow and Kiev. The German minister for economic affairs and energy, Peter Altmaier, also took part in the meeting.

    The current Russian-Ukrainian gas transit contract is set to expire on 31 December. In November, Gazprom sent Ukraine's Naftogaz an official proposal to extend the contract or enter into a new one for one year. According to the Russian gas giant, the prerequisite for continued transit is that both sides must give up their lawsuits and claims to antitrust authorities against one another.

    Back then, Kiev refused to withdraw its lawsuits lodged against Gazprom with international arbitration courts unless it could reach a gas transit and delivery deal with Russia. The details of the new agreement have not yet been disclosed.

    Tags:
    Nord Stream 2, US, Ukraine, Russia, Germany
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