Following the trilateral gas talks between the European Commission, Russia and Ukraine, the three parties agreed on a protocol specifying the arrangements for the long-term transit of Russian gas via Ukraine to Europe as of 1 January 2020. The Protocol was signed by Commission Vice-President Maroš Šefčovič, Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak and Ukrainian Energy Minister Oleksij Orzhel.
After the signature, Vice-President Šefčovič said:
"Everyone is a winner today. I welcome this well-balanced agreement that is essential for ensuring an uninterrupted transit of Russian gas to Europe via Ukraine.
Security of supply to European households was at the heart of our talks and it was my number one priority. We are sending a powerful message to both consumers and industry, clearly demonstrating that the EU is guaranteeing warm homes, stable markets and competitive prices. This is what a resilient Energy Union is about.
I appreciate the great efforts by the two parties, Russia and Ukraine, to come together, and I want to recognise in particular the personal commitment by Minister Novak and Minister Orzhel. I also valued the continuous support by Chancellor Angela Merkel and Minister Peter Altmaier.
Now we have in place a political framework with the key arrangements that are necessary to pave the way for a long-term gas transit contract between companies. With this, Russia remains a reliable supplier to European markets and Ukraine maintains its role as a strategic transit country. At the same time, Europe proves its solidarity with Ukraine as well as its support for establishing a thriving energy market.”