September 13, 2018 / 3:28 PM / 2 months ago

U.S. energy secretary tells Russia not to use energy as weapon

Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak (R) and U.S. Energy Secretary Rick Perry enter a hall during a meeting in Moscow, Russia September 13, 2018. REUTERS/Sergei Karpukhin

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. Energy Secretary Rick Perry told his Russian counterpart in a meeting in Moscow on Thursday that the Trump administration welcomes competition with Russia, but Moscow can no longer use energy as economic weapon, a U.S. Energy Department spokeswoman said.

Perry made clear to Russia Energy Minister Alexander Novak that competition with Russia on oil and gas markets across Europe, Asia and elsewhere is welcomed, spokeswoman Shaylyn Hynes said in a release after the two officials met.

Russian state energy company Gazprom has in the past cut off gas to Ukraine, and onward to Western Europe, during price disputes in deep winter, and imposed bans on customers reselling gas to other countries.

Reporting by Timothy Gardner

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