Why does US Secretary of Energy visit Russia?
US Secretary of Energy Rick Perry is going to visit Moscow this week to hold negotiations with Alexander Novak, head of the Russian Ministry of Energy. In addition, he will probably hold talks with other Russian officials.
As Kommersant reported citing several sources, negotiations between Perry and Novak are preliminary scheduled for September 13.
They will discuss situation in the oil market in the context of OPEC+ actions and impact of the US sanctions against Iran, which will enter into force in November. Possible new sanctions against Russia, in particular against the Nord Stream- 2, will also be on the agenda. Russian Energy Ministry refused to comment on this information.
It's assumed that Perry will meet representatives of the oil and gas industry. However, many key figures - Gazprom CEO Alexei Miller, Rosneft CEO Igor Sechin, Novatek co-owner Gennady Timchenko - won't be able to hold meeting with him, since they are on the sanctions list.
Rick Perry will be the first high-level US official to visit Russia since April pf 2017, when Rex Tillerson, who was head of the State Department at that time, visited Moscow. Current Secretary of State Mike Pompeo hasn't visited Russia yet, although US National Security Advisor John Bolton visited Moscow at the end of June.
As Alexey Belogoriev, deputy director of the Energy and Finance Institute, said in an interview with Vestnik Kavkaza, negotiations between Perry and Novak will be dedicated to search for common ground in energy industries of Russia and the United States.
"It's an attempt to create format for energy dialogue. It's hard to say that there are some pressing issues that can be resolved within the framework of the Russian-American bilateral dialogue, since our countries' energy complexes aren't connected in any way," he said.
"In other words, any issues, including renewable energy sources or climate issues, will be discussed without any results, because they can't be resolved in bilateral format. Of course, they will also talk about issues related to the Nord Stream-2, Ukrainian gas transit. Russian side can try to convey its point of view to American side that the Nord Stream-2 is just economic project, not political one," he noted.