Athens, May 8, 2015
Mr. Amos Hochstein, Special Envoy and Coordinator for International Energy Affairs at the U.S. Department of State, visited Athens May 7-8 for discussions with Minister of State Nikos Pappas, Minister of Foreign Affairs Nikos Kotzias, Minister of Productive Reconstruction, Environment and Energy Panagiotis Lafazanis, and energy company officials.
Special Envoy Hochstein came to Athens to reaffirm Secretary of State Kerry’s and the U.S government’s support for Greek energy diversification, including support for key natural gas infrastructure projects such as the Trans Adriatic Pipeline, Greece-Bulgaria Interconnector (IGB), and expanded use of Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG).
These projects will increase Greek and European Union energy security, reduce Greece’s dependence on a single supplier of gas, increase competition, and reduce prices for consumers. TAP will result in 1.5 billion euros in foreign investment in Greece, generate 10,000 jobs during construction, and provide many millions of euros in revenue annually over 25 years.
The United States is concerned that Greek consideration of an extension of a “Turkstream” pipeline across Greece will not increase energy diversification, may be of concern to EU competition authorities, and is not a long-term solution to Greece’s energy needs.
Mr. Hochstein discussed with Greek leaders Greece’s great potential to play a leadership role in being part of the solution to Europe’s energy security concerns.