US Energy Envoy Voices Support for Croatia’s LNG Terminal

By 13 February 2018

ZAGREB, February 13, 2018 - The US special envoy and coordinator for international energy affairs, Sue Saarnio, said on Monday that the project to build a liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminal on the northern Adriatic island of Krk was one of the priorities not only for Croatia but for Europe as well, warning that this was a critical moment for European energy security.

We are at a critical juncture. Europe's energy security needs to be strengthened by diversifying supply routes. The US regards the LNG terminal as one of the priority projects, Saarnio told a press briefing in Zagreb. This project is important for the country, for the region and for Europe, she added.

Saarnio said she had come with a technical team to see how to help Croatia about the LNG project.

We are very happy about the news coming from the European Union and the European Commission's promise that it will financially support this project. This is promising news. We must think long term. Energy is closely connected with prosperity and economic growth, she said.

Speaking of the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline construction project, which is being strongly advocated by Germany and opposed by most EU members, Saarnio said that the project was causing a rift in the EU and that this may be its intention.

Various EU countries look at it differently, such as the Nordic and Baltic countries which are very concerned about this project, Saarnio said and added that the US was advocating diversification of supply routes. She said she was surprised by the policy of Brussels which was insisting on energy independence while at the same time the EU's energy dependence on Russia was about 70 percent.

Poland, the Baltic countries and other EU members have been claiming for long that the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline project is contrary to EU energy goals, which are designed to diversify energy supply, reduce dependence on Russia and use the existing gas pipelines in Ukraine for gas transport.

US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said during a recent official visit to Poland that the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline was a threat to Europe's energy security and stability and part of Russia's plan to politicise energy supply.