Continuation of gas transit via Ukraine remains a strategic priority for the European Union (EU) in the context of its relations with Russia's Gazprom, European Commission Vice President Maros Sefcovic has said.
He said at a briefing on Wednesday that earlier the EU executive body discussed a request of Germany's Bundesnetzagentur (Federal Network Agency for Electricity, Gas, Telecommunications, Post and Railway) to permit Gazprom to increase pumping of Russian gas using the OPAL pipeline.
The EU pays attention to diversification, competition and free movement of energy and the EU is making a lot of things for Ukraine, he said. He repeated that the continuation of gas transit across Ukraine in the period after 2019 would remain a strategic priority for the EU.
"You know how much we are care about diversification, competition, free flows of energy in Europe and how much we are doing for Ukraine. In this context what I want to repeat is the continuation of gas transit through Ukraine post 2019 remains a strategic priority for the EU. We have the unanimous support of the EU member states," Sefcovic said.
The response to the request of the Bundesnetzagentur will be given before October 31.
Opal is an extension of the Nord Stream 1 pipeline on the territory of the European Union. Supplies from Russia are transmitted along it from the bed of the Baltic Sea through Germany to the Czech border.