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 PerryTrump names Mulvaney acting chief of staff Chris Christie declines White House chief of staff role Trump says he's down to five candidates for chief of staff 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 TrumpAustralia recognizes West Jerusalem as Israeli capital, won't move embassy Mulvaney will stay on as White House budget chief Trump touts ruling against ObamaCare: ‘Mitch and Nancy’ should pass new health-care law 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.