ASSISTANT SECRETARY PYATT: Good morning. Thank you very much to the Atlantic Council; Fred, for that very generous introduction. Thank you to President Nausėda and our hosts from the Lithuanian Consulate General and the Lithuanian Foreign Ministry for having me here today.
I can’t resist pointing out to begin with that as Ambassador in Greece I had a superb Lithuanian counterpart, Rolandas Kačinskas. Rolandas and I got a lot of work done together on issues around Ukraine, Russia and energy. And I saw on Twitter that he’s actually back in New York today in his new capacity with the Speaker of the Lithuanian Parliament. So there’s a wonderful symmetry today. I’m really pleased to be here.
I also want to acknowledge the presence of Dick Morningstar. In this business all of us stand on the shoulders of our predecessors and in that regard I think we’re all very fortunate, me certainly so, for Dick’s vision and persistence when he was working on these issues at the State Department. I very much look forward to hearing what he has to say.
I’m of course delighted to be continuing my strong partnership with the Atlantic Council especially in the context of the Global Energy Center’s report.
The Bureau that I’m now responsible for, the Bureau of Energy Resources, focuses its mission on three pillars: energy security, reliable and affordable energy access, and expediting the clean energy transition. And as I begin my role as ENR Assistant Secretary, one of my very top priorities is our support to our transatlantic allies like Lithuania. As Europe diversifies away from Russian energy sources and reduces and ultimately eliminates our collective dependence on fossil fuels in order to meet the climate challenge that we all face. In short, I see my mission as being to ensure that Moscow can never again weaponize its fossil fuel resources to attack our collective security.
This mission, of course, is also front and center in the Global Energy Center’s report.
I want to keep my remarks this morning very brief because I really look forward to listening to others, but I want to underline what the Ambassador and Fred both said which is that we recognize that Northeastern Europe, Lithuania in particular, has really taken the lead in warning against over-reliance on Russian energy and the imperative of building resilience and diverse energy supply chains.
As one of the regional foreign ministers put it in a meeting yesterday that I participated in, you’re the region with the whistleblowers among the European Union, and for that we should all be grateful.
I very much look forward to discussing how all of our countries can work together towards the shared objectives that have been made so clear, but I want to assure you that these complementary issues — energy security and energy transition in the transatlantic context — will be at the very top of my agenda, and I very much look forward to your advice, your support and your collaboration in the months and years ahead.
Thank you very much.