The President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, assured the authorities in Kiev that Ukraine remains and will remain a transit country for gas. The statement was made during the Ukraine-EU summit.
– I understand Ukraine’s concern about gas supplies. The European Commission, together with Ukrainian experts, is analyzing various scenarios of how to guarantee sufficient gas supplies to Ukraine, said the head of the European Commission visiting Kiev during her speeches for the media. It did not rule out gas supplies via reverse flow from Slovakia.
Ursula von der Leyen pointed out that Slovakia was ready for “more active” cooperation on this issue. The possibility of joint storage of gas is also discussed, added the head of the European Commission.
Von der Leyen assured that “for the European Commission, Ukraine remains and is to remain a certain gas transit country”. She also announced that the third energy package should include the entire Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline. – We must look forward to the next winters – said the head of the European Commission, judging that “the energy independence of Ukraine and the EU is of the utmost importance”.
Zelensky: nobody wants to lose two billion dollars
The President of Ukraine, Volodymyr Zelensky, reiterated that it was important for Kiev to maintain gas transit through Ukrainian territory. As he stated, “no one wants to lose two billion dollars.”
Zelenskiy said that during the meeting with Von der Leyen and the head of the European Council Charles Michel in Kiev, talks were held about the possibility of applying the third energy package to NS2, he also stated that the basis of Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity is its energy security.
– Completion of the construction of Nord Stream 2 opens new challenges for Ukraine, in addition to the existing ones. We have agreed to start a high-level strategic energy dialogue between Ukraine and the EU, it is necessary to develop a common long-term vision of Europe’s energy security, Zelenskiy said.
Appeal to strengthen sanctions
The President of Ukraine called on the EU to strengthen sanctions against Russia. He indicated that the restrictions should apply to all those who organized the recent elections to the Russian State Duma in the annexed Crimea and engaged the inhabitants of the self-proclaimed republics in the Donbas to participate in them.
During the Tuesday summit, the parties signed a number of documents, including an agreement on the so-called open skies, thanks to which – as emphasized by the Reuters agency – more low-budget airlines can start flying to Ukraine. The signed agreement will open up new opportunities for citizens and business.
Charles Michel assured that Kiev could count on stable support from Brussels in terms of security, and did not rule out the possibility of strengthening EU-Ukrainian cooperation in this area.
A joint statement was also signed in which Ukraine and the EU agreed to “fully exploit the potential of the Ukraine-EU Association Agreement and implement mutual commitments to achieve this goal,” wrote the Interfax-Ukraine agency.
The EU has announced that it will provide Ukraine with the second tranche of macro-financial assistance in the amount of EUR 600 million.
The parties also condemned the violation of the truce by armed formations in Donbas supported by Russia. They called on Moscow to acknowledge its responsibility in this context and to use its influence to restore full compliance with the ceasefire and implementation of the Minsk agreements. It also reaffirmed “a strong condemnation of the blatant violation of Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity as a result of acts of aggression by the Russian armed forces starting in February 2014”.
Main photo source: PRSIDENTIAL PRESS SERVICE