Merkel: Germany won't become dependent on Russia for gas due to Nord Stream

German Chancellor Angela Merkel speaks during a news conference after the summit of the Prime Ministers of the Visegrad Group and Germany in Bratislava, Slovakia, February 7, 2019. REUTERS/David W Cerny

BRATISLAVA (Reuters) - Germany will not become dependent on Russia for gas due to Russia’s Nord Stream 2 pipeline, Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Thursday, stressing that it was crucial to ensure Ukraine remained a transit country for gas.

“Do we become dependent on Russia due to this second gas pipeline? I say ‘no’, if we diversify at the same time,” Merkel told a news conference in Bratislava, where she met the leaders of the Visegrad group - Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland and Slovakia.

Diplomatic sources have said Germany is pressuring other European capitals to block an EU proposal to regulate Nord Stream 2 ahead of a key meeting on Friday but may fail to convince France, threatening the project’s construction.

Reporting by Tatiana Jancarikova; Writing by Michelle Martin; Editing by Paul Carrel