Greece is emerging as a key United States ally in the effort to bring non-Russian gas to European consumers, US Ambassador to Greece Geoffrey Pyatt said at an event in Washington, DC Tuesday.
Pyatt specifically pointed to the completion of the Trans Adriatic Pipeline (TAP) to begin commercial operations next year.
TAP will be the first new energy infrastructure built in Europe for the specific purpose “to bring non-Russian gas to European consumers,” Pyatt, a past ambassador to Ukraine, told a group at the Atlantic Council.
“All of this [developing TAP] is about building out Greece as a gateway for the wider region” he added
Pyatt’s comment came at a very critical time in Greek politics, with a “snap” election in Greece scheduled for July 7.
At this point, the election is uncertain, with the Syriza (Far-left) Party of Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras locked in a tight contest with the New Democracy (conservative) Party led by Kyriakos Mitsotakis.
Only two years after the Greek debt crisis officially ended following nearly a decade (2008-17) of record debts and debt restructuring, Ambassador Pyatt spoke on the strength and resilience of Greece.
He praised Greece as a core member of the European Union and of NATO, as well as a country with which the United States shares values and interests.
Ambassador Pyatt also optimistically emphasized the “flourishing” security relationship between the two countries and the cooperation upon which they rely.
During the panel, Pyatt also stressed the role of Turkey in the Mediterranean region. Efforts must be made to ensure Turkey “remains anchored in Western institutions,” he said.
The event, sponsored by the Atlantic Council, was titled “Greece as a Geostrategic Ally.” Along with Pyatt, the panel included George Chouliarakis, Alternate Greek Minister of Finance; and Simos Anastasopoulos, President of American Chamber of Greece.
The panel was moderated by Nonresident Senior Fellow Katerina Sokou, Washington, DC bureau chief for the esteemed Greek publication Kathemerini.
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