Perry: We shouldn't let Russia use energy as a weapon

Perry: We shouldn't let Russia use energy as a weapon
© Greg Nash

U.S. Energy Secretary Rick PerryJames (Rick) Richard PerryAmazon taps Trump ally to lobby amid Pentagon cloud-computing contract fight How to reduce Europe's dependence on Russian energy Senior Trump administration official to leave post next week MORE said Tuesday that Russia should no longer be allowed to use its energy production as a coercive weapon.

“We should no longer allow the Kremlin to use energy as a weapon,” Perry told a news conference in Budapest, Reuters reports.

The Trump administration worked to open up the European energy market, which Russia has long dominated.

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America's lobbying efforts have paid off in Poland and Germany.

Last Thursday, Poland signed a 24-year deal to buy liquified natural gas (LNG) from the United States during a visit from Perry.

It was the second major deal for U.S. LNG that the country has signed in the last few months.

Weeks prior, German Chancellor Angela Merkel began making moves to open up her country's energy market to U.S. gas companies, who have long been kept out by high infrastructure costs, The Wall Street Journal reported.

Under her direction, Berlin will co-finance a $576 million liquified natural gas (LNG) shipping terminal in northern Germany. 

The project stalled for years, but, after President TrumpDonald John TrumpLiz Cheney: 'Send her back' chant 'inappropriate' but not about race, gender Booker: Trump is 'worse than a racist' Top Democrat insists country hasn't moved on from Mueller MORE's persistent lobbying, Germany conceded.

Both deals will disrupt Russia's stranglehold on European energy, which provides the Kremlin leverage over many European countries.

“This is a signal across Europe that this is how your energy future can be developed, the security of the country, the diversity of supply — this is a great day for Europe,” Perry said after clinching the Poland deal.