Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis has appointed a special adviser for energy security who will be responsible for liaising with the United States as Greece seeks to reduce its dependence on Russian natural gas and elevate its role as a regional energy hub.
According to reports in the Greek media on Tuesday morning, Mitsotakis appointed Nikos Tsafos, the James R. Schlesinger Chair in Energy and Geopolitics at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) in Washington. His tasks will include maintaining direct contact with the US State Department’s senior advisor on energy security, Amos Hochstein, with that contact slated to begin immediately.
The expert’s appointment was reportedly agreed during Mitsotakis’ meeting with US President Joe Biden at the White House on Monday, where cooperation on energy in view of the Russian invasion of Ukraine was high on the agenda.
“The sanctions we have imposed on Russia are crushing, and rightfully so. But as we discussed, we must not lose sight of the fact that our societies are paying a heavy price in terms of energy prices. And in this respect, there is so much more we can do together, the European Union and the United States, to bring down the prices of energy and, in particular, the price of gas,” the Greek prime minister said, speaking at a reception after the meeting.
“And as we reduce our dependence on Russian hydrocarbons, we also need to use our market power as larger purchases of gas to deliver short-term relief to our households and our businesses,” he added.