US Ambassador Pyatt: We are at a very exciting time in our relationship with Greece

Geoffrey Pyatt

Greek-American energy cooperation is one of the biggest "success stories" of the energy policy and US-Greece cooperation over the past couple of years, US Ambassador to Greece Geoffrey Pyatt told AMNA on the sidelines of the Thessaloniki Summit 2021.

The Thessaloniki Summit 2021 was organised by the Federation of Industries of Greece and the Economic Forum of Delphi, under the auspices of the President of the Republic Katerina Sakellaropoulou.

"You can see what is happening in Europe right now with the real concern over the gas price increase and also gas shortages as we head into the winter. But Greece is quite secure," Pyatt said.

"You have multiple sources, because of the new infrastructure that it has been developed like the expansion of Revythousa, the TAP pipeline and that’s going to be even more the case over the next couple of years as projects like the FSRU in Alexandroupolis, IGB and the North Macedonia pipeline are completed.

"At the same time, part of the lesson of the current energy squeeze as well is the importance of continuing and accelerating the energy transition. And this is another area where Prime Minister Mitsotakis has set a very high standard.

"It is something that was widely recognised at COP26 this week in Glasgow where not just the United States’ delegation but as far as I know many really pointed to Greece as an example of a kind of ambition that we all need to demonstrate."

As Pyatt said, it is important to understand what has caused this price shock.

"It is a series of factors including the rapid recovery from the pandemic in parts of the world.

"Also the decisions that Russia has made and it is quite significant to see the statements that have come from European leaders criticising Russia’s use of energy as a source of leverage.

"But ultimately what this says to all of us is we need to continue our work on energy security, diversifying sources and roots, which Greece has been doing, but also accelerating this energy transition which has so much potential both to save our environment, to protect the world we live in but also to be a driver of new economic growth which is what Greece is seeing for instant in Western Macedonia with the White Dragon project which has an American company participating in it.

"And which will hopefully serve as a new source of employment in regions that will be negatively affected by the phace-out of the lignite."

Regarding bilateral relations, Pyatt said:

"We are going to continue to advance our relationship across all of the areas that we have highlighted through the Strategic Dialogue.

"I think you will see quite a bit of these happening in the trade and investment space over the next couple of months with new projects coming.

"Energy transition and clean energy is clearly an area with fantastic potential. I had a very good meeting recently with your new minister of Civil Protection to talk about how we are expanding our work into fire protection and climate resilience.

"People to people relationship continues to grow from strength to strength and I think as the pandemic continues to fade out you will see more American students coming here to Greece but also Greek students traveling to the United States.

"I was just reading that here in Thessaloniki there is a huge group of American students that have arrived at Anatolia College."

Pyatt concluded his comments by saying: "We are at a very exciting time in this relationship."

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