Russia's willingness to sign a long-term transit contract with Ukraine under European rules is largely related to the upcoming U.S. sanctions on the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline, CEO of NJSC Naftogaz Ukrainy Andriy Kobolev has said.

"Our counterparties have very serious concerns about the imposition of U.S. sanctions. I definitely know that lobbyists from Gazprom in the U.S. Senate have put a lot of effort and say: everything is fine, don't worry, there will be an agreement, there's no need to impose sanctions," Kobolev told Radio NV (Novoe Vremya) on Friday.

Kobolev expressed the hope that U.S. President Donald Trump would sign the Senate bill and the sanctions would come into effect, which "will greatly help Ukraine both in the negotiations and in the future."