Thank you Olga, and again, thank you for having me back here.
It’s such a thrill to be here with the Minister. And as the Ambassador said, we have no better partner in Europe on these energy issues.
The Minister and I had a great conversation yesterday and one of the areas of focus was the visit that I will be making to Bucharest early next month for the Three Seas Summit. My third visit to Romania as Assistant Secretary which is not an accident and reflects what a very strong partner Romania has been both bilaterally but also in the larger regional context. I’ll talk later about both the Ukraine-Moldova specific aspect of that, but you were starting with the transatlantic energy relationship.
I think one thing that’s clear, as the Minister said very well, is that Putin’s effort to weaponize the winter and to use energy as one of the tools of his assault on Ukraine has utterly failed. Europe has decoupled itself from Russian energy supplies much more quickly than I think many expected.
Europe is in a relatively strong position heading into this next winter in part thanks to the work that we have done transatlantically through the US-EU Energy Council, the work of American gas producers, but also because of the efforts that are being made on both sides of the Atlantic to accelerate our energy transition.
That’s one of the other unexpected, unpredicted consequences of this planned invasion is that on both sides of the Atlantic we are doubling down on our energy transition. Romania is a fantastic partner in that regard. It’s a country which is on the road to soon being Europe’s largest gas producer, but it’s also a country with whom the United States, and ENR has an excellent partnership on offshore wind, working with the government as it develops a legal framework hopefully to attract American and other foreign investment to offshore wind possibilities.
I’m very excited the work that we will do ahead on issues of clean hydrogen, on issues of carbon management, on issues of electrification and especially — and this fits into the Three Seass concept, how we develop the great capacity across the region that’s necessary for supporting a decarbonized economy.
So this is just an incredibly lucrative part of our broader transatlantic relationship and it’s also, as you alluded to, a really strong pillar of an overall US strategic alliance with Romania.
So I’m really proud to have been a contributor to this. I’m very excited to be heading back for Three Seas. But what I’m most excited about is the prospects we have to accomplish significant things in the future.