Putin, Merkel discuss gas pipeline project in Sochi


President Vladimir Putin and German Chancellor Angela Merkel confirmed Friday that Russia would continue gas transit through Ukraine after the construction of the Nord Stream 2.

The Nord Stream 2 natural gas pipeline project is aimed at linking Russia and Germany, but it is vastly opposed by Ukraine, Poland and the Baltic States, through which Russia generally exports its natural gas.

"After the launch of the Nord Stream 2, it is not planned to suspend the transit of Russian gas through Ukraine… I want to stress that supplies will continue if they prove to be economically justified and appropriate for the participants of economic activity," Putin said at a news conference on Friday.

"We consider the Nord Stream 2 as an economic project but there are other components in it. That is why we have to think over the guarantees for Ukraine," Merkel said.

Commenting on Trump's intentions to impede the project, Putin said the U.S. president had pursued American economic interests.

"We consider the project beneficial and will fight for it," he said.

The U.S. has opposed the project because it fears Europe’s reliance on Russia for gas will increase. It has also put forth security issues as justification.

About the start of political process to resolve Syria, Merkel said it should be done with the participation of all groups including participants of Astana, Sochi, representatives of Syria.

"A political process is necessary, it must begin and we are ready to contribute in it.”

Putin hailed Germany's intention to participate in restoration of the Syrian social and economic infrastructure.

"We mark the intention of the Federative Republic of Germany to participate seriously in the restoration of the social and economic infrastructure of this country. It is important to coordinate any aid with the legitimate authorities of the country," he said.

Putin added the restoration of the country would help the return of the Syrian refugees from Europe back home.


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