Germany: Altmaier urges speed as clock ticks on Russia-Ukraine transit agreement

German Economy and Energy Minister Peter Altmaier hosted diplomats from the Ukraine, Russia, and the EU in Berlin on Tuesday, to discuss the agreement for a transit of Russian gas through Ukraine to the EU. Speaking to the press alongside Vice President of the European Commission Maros Sefcovic, Altmaier stressed the importance of swift discussions about the agreement, because the current... Еще accord between Russia and Ukraine expires at the end of 2019. «It will take some time but there is a window of opportunity and, therefore, we are not waiting and delaying but we are pushing and accelerating because we believe this year is a good opportunity to make progress in substance,» Altmaier said. Echoing the remarks of the German minister, Sefcovic commented that the «clock is ticking» on the old deal. Sefcovic underlined the EU's role as a mediator in these talks, and stated the interests of the Ukrainian side in the creation of a new agreement. He explained, «What is the strong preference of the Ukrainian side is that the future gas transit contract should be fully compatible with European law, EU standards, and fully compatible with other transit agreements which we know and which exist between the European member states and Russia.» The Ukrainian Foreign Minister Pavlo Klimkin and the Russian Energy Minister Aleksander Novak were also in the German capital on Tuesday to participate in the talks.

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