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 PerryThe Hill's 12:30 Report: State of the Union takeaways | Sights and sounds from the night | Virginia attorney general admits he wore blackface Energy Secretary Rick Perry is designated survivor for 2019 State of the Union Live coverage: Trump delivers State of the Union 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 TrumpGillibrand backs federal classification of third gender: report Former Carter pollster, Bannon ally Patrick Caddell dies at 68 Heather Nauert withdraws her name from consideration for UN Ambassador job 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.