ATHENS – Trying to wean off dependency on Russia while dealing soaring prices over that country’s invasion of Ukraine, Greek Premier Kyriakos Mitsotakis named a Special Adviser for Energy Security.
Greek media said that he appointed Nikos Tsafos, the James R. Schlesinger Chair in Energy and Geopolitics at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) in Washington.
Tsafos will maintain direct contact with the US State Department’s Senior Advisor on energy security, Amos Hochstein, while trying to take a bigger role on energy security in Southeast Europe and the region.
Tsafos’ appointment was reportedly agreed during Mitsotakis’ meeting with US President Joe Biden at the White House, with discussions about how Greece and the European Union, which relies on Russia for up to 40 percent of its energy, can find alternatives.
“The sanctions we have imposed on Russia are crushing, and rightfully so. But as we discussed, we must not lose sight of the fact that our societies are paying a heavy price in terms of energy prices. And in this respect, there is so much more we can do together, the European Union and the United States, to bring down the prices of energy and, in particular, the price of gas,” Mitsotakis said, reported Kathimerini.
“And as we reduce our dependence on Russian hydrocarbons, we also need to use our market power as larger purchases of gas to deliver short-term relief to our households and our businesses,” he added.