US President Donald Trump hailed Greece’s contribution to EU energy security, following a meeting with Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras at the White House on October 17. Trump was referring to projects that enhance the transportation of gas, essentially lessening the European Union’s reliance on Russia and open up the possibility of Greece becoming a customer for future US exports of liquefied natural gas.
“On energy, we appreciate Greek contributions to European energy security through its support of the Trans Adriatic Pipeline (TAP), the Greece-Bulgaria Interconnector (IGB), and liquefied natural gas facilities that are capable of transporting diverse sources of energy to Europe, including potential liquefied natural gas exports from the United States, of which that particular route — and business is getting bigger and bigger and bigger, as you know,” Trump said at a joint press conference with Tsipras.
Trump is trying to promote more LNG exports to Europe and Asia. “These initiatives make both our people safer and create good jobs for our hardworking citizens,” he added.
Washington and US Ambassador to Greece Geoffrey Pyatt, who was present during Tsipras’ visit to Washington, have pushed for the construction of a floating storage terminal for LNG in Alexandroupolis, northern Greece. They have also hailed the timely construction of the Trans Adriatic Pipeline that will carry Caspian gas from the Shah Deniz II field in Azerbaijan to the European markets as well as the Interconnector Greece Bulgaria that will strengthen the energy security of the Balkans that rely on gas from Russian gas giant Gazprom.
For his part, Tsipras said at the White House on October 17 that Greece promotes cooperation with the Middle East and the Balkans, which contribute to the security and the growth of the area.
Tsipras said Greece is gradually becoming a significant crossroads for transportation and energy. “I would like to mention the completion of the TAP pipeline and the EastMed pipeline; the agreement for a floating — for an LNG station in Alexandroupolis, which is northeast Greece, and the prospect that Alexandroupolis will be an area where we can receive exports — imports from the United States of fracking,” Tsipras said.
The Eastern Mediterranean (EastMed) pipeline project relates to an offshore/onshore natural gas pipeline, directly connecting East Mediterranean resources to Greece via Cyprus and Crete.
The Greek premier reminded that Athens enhanced its collaboration with two significant partners in the area — Egypt and Israel, and Greece Cyprus with Israel and Greece Cyprus with Egypt, and with other countries in the area such as Jordan, Lebanon. “Our goal is that, through these multilateral collaborations, to ensure the collaboration, stability, peace, and joint development, joint growth here are tremendous opportunities before us in so many different ways,” Tsipras said.