August 29, 2019 / 10:06 AM / 22 days ago

Merkel and Putin agree need to speed gas talks

FILE PHOTO: Russian President Vladimir Putin shakes hands with German Chancellor Angela Merkel during a meeting on the sidelines of the G20 summit in Osaka, Japan June 29, 2019. Sputnik/Mikhail Klimentyev/Kremlin via REUTERS

BERLIN (Reuters) - Chancellor Angela Merkel agreed in a phone call with Russian President Vladimir Putin on Thursday on the need to speed up talks on future gas transit agreements, the German government said.

“They stressed the urgency of speeding up negotiations on future gas transit contracts,” a German government spokesman said in a statement.

Germany has demanded that Ukraine continues to serve as a transit country for gas to Europe after the opening of the Nordstream 2 pipeline. Gas transit via Ukraine is seen as a crucial guarantor of its independence and security.

The two leaders also discussed the situations in Syria and Libya, the spokesman added.

Reporting by Thomas Escritt; Editing by Paul Carrel

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