Energy Secretary Rick Perry on Thursday praised Russia for its decision to increase crude oil production as the U.S. reimposed tariffs against Iran.
According to Reuters, Perry was in Moscow to meet with Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak to discuss world oil markets. The Trump administration is concerned that reimposing tariffs on Iran in November, stemming from President Donald Trump’s decision to scrap the 2015 Iran nuclear deal, could cause a spike in oil prices since Iran’s output would be diminished.
“The Kingdom [of Saudi Arabia], the members of OPEC that are opting their production to be able to make sure that the citizenry of the world does not see a spike in oil price … are to be admired and appreciated, and Russia is one of them,” Perry told reporters on Thursday after the meeting with Novak.
The former Texas governor also used the meeting to reiterate the Trump administration’s objections to the Nord Stream 2 pipeline, a planned natural gas project to connect Russia and Germany.
“We support our European institutions to lower their dependence on a single supplier,” Perry said, according to S&P Global Platts. “We oppose Nord Stream 2, which would concentrate two-thirds of the imports of Russian gas in a single [route], creating a choke point [vulnerable to] disruption.”
The two energy officials discussed how their countries, some of the world’s top oil and natural gas producers, “can work together to ensure world energy market stability, transparency, and sustainability,” Department of Energy spokeswoman Shaylyn Hynes said in a statement after the meeting.
She said the topic of Russia’s recent cyber attacks on electric infrastructure also came up, and that Perry “expressed his disappointment and concern about Russia’s continued attempts to infiltrate the American electric grid.”