Pompeo Calls for $1 Billion To Help Europe Counter Russian Energy Reliance

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Washington would offer up to $1 billion in financing to Central and Eastern Europe to help the region avoid reliance on Russian energy.

Pompeo made the comments during a forceful speech on February 15, on the second day of the Munich Security Conference.

Pompeo said the new U.S. financing would go toward the Three Seas Initiative—a loose grouping of 12 European Union member states located between the Adriatic, the Baltic and the Black seas. Except for Austria, all are NATO members.

The initiative was set up to counter what some Western officials consider to be the danger of overreliance on Russian energy supplies.

Russia is the largest supplier of natural gas, and a major supplier of oil, to Europe.

During his speech, Pompeo appeared to push back against remarks made a day earlier by Germany’s president, who suggested that Russia and China, along with the United States, were stoking global instability.

“I’m happy to report that the death of the Trans-Atlantic alliance is grossly over exaggerated. The West is winning. We are doing it together,” Pompeo said.

“The West is winning, freedom and democracy is winning,” he said.

Pompeo also said some countries were still “desiring empires,” citing Russia’s 2014 annexation of Crimea, cyberthreats in Iran, and economic coercion by China.

He said China, Russia, and Iran were using the cyberrealm to wield influence.

“Huawei and other Chinese state-backed tech companies are Trojan horses for Chinese intelligence. Russia’s disinformation campaigns try to turn our citizens against one another. Iranian cyberattacks plague Middle East computer networks,” he said.

With reporting by Reuters