December 21, 2018

Quotable notes


“…The energy security of our European partners and allies has been a longstanding strategic priority for the United States, and, given Russia’s aggression in recent days, this is a good time to spotlight our diplomacy on transatlantic energy security.

The United States has strongly condemned the recent Russian aggression in the Sea of Azov. We’ve called Russia’s closure of the Kerch Strait a clear violation of international laws. Russia’s actions only strengthen the international consensus that views the proposed Nord Stream 2 pipeline as a direct affront to Europe’s own energy and national security goals. It strengthens those dependencies that we’re speaking about.

Many in Europe certainly recognize the centrality of energy diversity in achieving energy security. More European countries are recognizing this importance every day, and the European Union is doing a lot. The EU is opening its markets, is encouraging projects of common interest, key energy infrastructure projects. …

Nord Stream 2 and an expanded Turkish Stream pipeline …seek to deepen dependence rather than strengthen security. They are not commercial projects; they are political tools. Unlike the United States, Russia’s energy companies are an extension of the state, and the Russian state uses energy for coercive political aims. …

U.S. opposition to Nord Stream 2 is rooted in our abiding concern that the pipeline presents broad geostrategic threats to Europe’s security, a point that we have consistently conveyed to leaders across the continent. The secretary reminds us that, quote, ‘We do not want our European friends to fall prey to the kind of political and economic manipulation Russia has attempted in Ukraine since it cast off its Soviet shackles.’ …”

– U.S. Assistant Secretary of State Francis R. Fannon of the Bureau of Energy Resources, speaking on December 11 from the U.S.-European Media Hub in Brussels during a telephonic press briefing.