US ambassador warns of Russian energy policy at Athens Energy Forum


US Ambassador in Athens Geoffrey R. Pyatt on Wednesday defended his country’s policy in favor of Europe’s energy source diversification and launched an offensive against Russia for trying to dominate the European energy market for political purposes.

Speaking on the first day of the Athens Energy Forum, organized by The New York Times and Kathimerini, Pyatt noted that “there is a clear convergence of Europe with the United States on energy issues and we are here to assist in the diversification of sources.”

He then turned on Russia, even though the new US administration has yet to present its energy policy framework, targets and priorities. Pyatt cited former vice president Joe Biden’s position that Russia utilizes its energy resources as a weapon of political and financial might.

Through energy, Russia can manipulate and dissolve states, said Pyatt, describing the North Stream 2 and Interconnector Turkey-Greece-Italy pipelines as a threat to Europe. Ukraine is an example of this strategy, he added, as North Stream’s construction will see it lose 2 billion euros of annual revenues.

“Russia must not be allowed to undermine healthy competition through prices,” he stressed, expressing US support for the Trans Adriatic Pipeline and the Alexandroupoli terminal.

Editor's note: The second paragraph of this report has been corrected to state that Ambassador Pyatt spoke of convergence between Europe and the United States, not between Europe and Russia.