KYIV -German Chancellor Angela Merkel called on Sunday for an agreement to extend Russian gas transit through Ukraine, and said that Germany wanted to help Ukraine transition to renewable energy.
She made the statement just days after pressing the Russian president to extend Moscow’s gas transit deal with Ukraine that expires in 2024 as Ukraine fears losing transit fees once Nord Stream 2 comes online.
“Gas should not be used as a geopolitical weapon,” she said after a meeting in Kyiv with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy. “It is important that Ukraine remains a transit land.”
Merkel, on her last visit to the Ukraine capital before retiring next month as chancellor, said negotiations to expand the gas transit agreement are getting underway.
Germany had also made commitments to support Ukraine to renew its energy mix and will support the development of renewable projects with a total of 1 billion euros ($1.2 billion) via bilateral projects.
One idea for the future was to use the current gas pipelines to transport hydrogen. “But this is a project that still has to be developed step by step and that cannot replace gas transit in 2024,” she said.
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