Europe Needs Diversity from Russian Energy Supplies
Europe needs to diversify its energy supplies to cut its dependency on Russia, US Energy Secretary Rick Perry said Tuesday.
Secretary Perry, on a visit to Hungary, said that Russia needs to be prevented from using “energy as a coercive weapon,” like when it sometimes temporarily cuts Winter Nat Gas supplies affecting mostly eastern Europe.
Secretary Perry also said the United States has “the perfect right” to maintain sanctions on Russia related to its annexation of the Crimean peninsula from Ukraine.
“This is really pretty simple from my perspective,” Secretary Perry said. “Be a good neighbor and respect the rule of law, and Russia does not do that.”
Hungary, which is greatly dependent on Russian energy supplies and is using Russian funds and expertise to expand its lone, Soviet-built nuclear power plant, has gone along with EU sanctions on Russia, while also advocating for their removal on the grounds of economic competitiveness.
The US has been pushing for Eastern European countries to use American deliveries of LGN (liquefied natural gas), but an LNG terminal planned in Croatia which could be used by Hungary has been long delayed.
Hungary is also hoping to get Nat Gas supplies in the coming years from recent discoveries by Romania of reserves in the Black Sea.
Hungarian Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto said that despite much planning and political resolve, it was “extraordinarily important” to “truly turn into reality” the region’s diversification efforts.
“It must be seen that you can operate industry and heat homes with gas, not political goodwill or plans,” Mr. Szijjarto said.
There are early signs that European leaders would be willing to support the building of LGN (liquefied natural gas), import terminals, said Larry Kudlow, the head of the National Economic Council that advises President Trump.
“They want LNG, they want it badly, and we’re going to do everything we can to accommodate them,” Mr. Kudlow said.
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