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News // Politics

U.S. mulls further cooperation with Greece to hit Russian energy exports

17 December 2018 , 00:01Neftegaz.RU4621

In an apparent effort to hit Russia's energy exports to European nations, the United States highlighted the role of Greece in the diversification of European energy sources, and mulled further boosting its energy cooperation with Greece in a bilateral dialogue. U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Greek Acting Foreign Minister George Katrougalos reaffirmed in Washington their commitment to deepen bilateral cooperation in key areas for the mutual benefit of both countries.

 

The department later released a joint statement regarding the dialogue, which also included high-level interagency representation from both countries. The joint statement emphasized Greece's role in European energy market, as the two governments noted the need to improve Europe's energy security and diversification, highlighting the recent spot purchase of U.S. LNG and ongoing negotiations for a long-term supply agreement.

 

The United States highlighted the increasing role of Greece as an energy, transport, and commercial hub in the region, and commended Greece's progress on energy projects to expand regional interconnectivity and supports additional infrastructure designed to diversify energy routes and supplies, the statement read.

The 2 sides also discussed cooperation on renewables and clean and efficient coal technologies, it said. Besides energy cooperation, the 2 sides also discussed further collaboration in the Eastern Mediterranean and Balkans region, noting the need to integrate the countries of the Western Balkans into European and transatlantic institutions.

 

U.S. Assistant Secretary for Energy Resources Frank Fannon urged European nations to abandon their cooperation with Russia on the Nord Stream 2 pipeline. The Nord Stream 2 and an expanded Turkish Stream pipeline are not commercial projects; they are political tools, the U.S. diplomat said, adding that through Nord Stream 2 Russia seeks to increase its leverage of the West while severing Ukraine from Europe.

 

The U.S. Congress was reportedly considering taking actions in the coming days against the Nord Stream 2 pipeline, such as imposing sanctions against it. A vote on a non-binding resolution expressing opposition to the building of the pipeline was possible.

For his part, Gazprom's chairman Viktor Zubkov said earlier this month that the construction of Nord Stream 2 pipeline had been proceeding as scheduled. The project is planned, constructed and subsequently operated by a joint venture called Nord Stream 2 AG which embraces Gazprom and 5 European companies.

 

The next dialogue between the United States and Greece will be held in Greece in 2019.

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