Biden Supports Building Cross-Border Gas Pipeline - in Eastern Europe

By Craig Bannister | March 20, 2014 | 2:34pm EDT

On Wednesday, Vice President Joe Biden and Latvian President Andris Berzins stressed the importance of increasing energy security through the construction of a cross-border gas interconnect. Biden and Berzins appeared together at a press event where they discussed the Russian threat in the Ukraine.

President Andris Berzins told reporters that he and Biden agreed on the need to speed up construction of the pipeline as "the practical approach" to energy security:

Today we discussed the need for not only the immediate de-escalation of the situation, but also for long-term solutions for the security architecture.  I am glad that we could offer some practical steps with regard during our discussions today.  The same practical approach (inaudible) energy security -- there is the issue of supply need to be addressed.  As a good example here, I would like to underline the need to accelerate the construction of a gas interconnection linking linking Poland, Lithuania and further on, to Latvia, and using storage facilities in Latvia.

Following Berzins comments, Vice President Biden declared his administration's support for the multi-country gas pipeline:

And, finally, we spoke of energy.  We spoke about energy cooperation.  We have learned the hard way that protecting the sovereignty of nations depends on having more than one supplier of energy.  We support your efforts within the European Union to diversify your energy sources, to create more flexible energy markets, and to translate energy innovation into energy security so that no nation can use supplies of energy as a political weapon or a quasi-military weapon against you.

Ironically, the administration continues to delay and oppose construction of the Keystone XL oil pipeline between the United States and Canada.

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