Pompeo Urges Europe to Avoid Russian Energy Grip

European countries need to diversify their sources of energy supplies so that their energy base is not tied up to Russia, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has said, according to Izvestia.

“In America, we just hope that Europe will take seriously the need for a diversified, for a secure energy base – an energy base not connected to Russia,” Pompeo said in an interview with the Dutch branch of German TV station RTL.

The top Washington diplomat’s statement comes amid the ongoing construction of the controversial Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline under the Baltic Sea, which is being carried out by Moscow and its European partners.

“We know the history of relations between Europe and Russia. We know that during the conflict the Russians will use any tools they have to increase expenditure for Europe if it wants to make decisions that are in its best interests but may not be in the interests of Russia. We hope that Europe will understand this correctly,” the U.S. Secretary of State noted.

However, he refused to say whether there is a risk of imposing sanctions on Dutch companies if they take part in the project.

Last month, Pompeo visited Russia’s Sochi for negotiations with the Kremlin’s leading statesmen. He held discussions with his Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov and is about to meet with President Vladimir Putin.

Russia’s foreign minister Lavrov described Pompeo’s visit and the negotiations with the Russian side an attempt to improve the bilateral ties damaged by the Special Counsel Mueller’s investigation and the growing tensions in Venezuela and Iran – which was due to ‘U.S. unilateral decisions’, as he put it.