“The cooperation between Greece and the United States must become even stronger and I know that it is President Biden’s intention to further deepen the Greek-American strategic relationship,” stated US Ambassador to Greece Geoffrey Pyatt on Wednesday.
The ambassador made the remarks in his address to participants of the Athens Energy Dialogues.
Pyatt also underscored the important role Greece has played as the main proponent of energy security and energy diversification in the Southeastern European region.
“Redrawing energy map of Europe”
“I think it’s very important that even during this year of the pandemic, major infrastructure projects like the TAP pipeline, the IGB pipeline with Bulgaria, the floating regassification unit in Alexandroupoli, the new gas connector between Greece and North Macedonia are all moving forward.
“And these are redrawing the energy map of Europe and helping to reduce dependence on Russian gas, so those are all measures that we will continue to support,” he noted.
Strong support for elimination of coal-generated power
Referring to the telephone conversation held earlier this week between Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias and US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken, Pyatt, who was appointed to his office by former President Donald Trump, stated that the Biden Administration places a “critical importance” on the “way in which the United States and Europe work together to advance our shared climate goals.”
In another mark of furthering himself from the Trump Administration, Pyatt added that the United States “strongly supports” Greek PM Kyriakos Mitsotakis’ goal of eliminating all coal-generated electric power by the year 2028.
However, he linked this issue with the past agreements regarding liquefied natural gas, saying “The only way you get there is by using gas as a bridge fuel, and we welcome the fact that much of that gas is not going to be pipeline gas from Russia now, but LNG from reliable suppliers around the world. So we see LNG as a critical bridge fuel.”
“Critically focused on building up our renewable cooperation”
The US Ambassador continued, saying “I’m also very interested when I talk to colleagues for instance at the TAP pipeline, they use this phrase, ‘How can we futureproof gas delivery infrastructure in Europe?’ and the prospect of using this same infrastructure in the future for clean hydrogen delivery.
“So LNG is going to be very important for several decades to come, at the same time that we remain critically focused on building up our renewable cooperation, where I think we’re going to have a very good story to tell in the years ahead.”
Pyatt then added “You will have noted in the readout from the call with Secretary Blinken the continued U.S. support for the ‘3+1 Dialogue’ between Greece, Israel, Cyprus, and the United States. Energy plays a prominent role there, and this is part of our larger strategic focus on the Eastern Mediterranean as a zone of cooperation and prosperity, but also a zone where we face strategic adversaries.”
Regarding renewable energy, the ambassador said that mutual collaboration in the areas of technology and research continues to be vital and noted the already-existing contacts between Colorado’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory and institutions in Greece, such as FORTH.
The American ambassador concluded “The sky’s the limit in terms of the Greek energy market… Greece has become a very important part of energy diversification in Southeastern Europe.”
— HellenicLeaders (@HellenicLeaders) February 18, 2021