U.S. Energy Secretary Rick Perry says Europe needs to diversify its energy supplies to cut its dependency on Russia.

Perry said Tuesday in Hungary that Russia needs to be prevented from using “energy as a coercive weapon,” like when it sometimes temporarily cuts winter gas supplies affecting mostly eastern Europe.

Hungarian Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Peter Szijjarto, right, welcomes US Secretary of Energy Rick Perry at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade in Budapest, Hungary, Tuesday, November 13, 2018. (Lajos Soos/MTI via AP)
Hungarian Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Peter Szijjarto, right, welcomes US Secretary of Energy Rick Perry at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade in Budapest, Hungary, Tuesday, November 13, 2018. (Lajos Soos/MTI via AP)

Perry also said the United States has “the perfect right” to maintain sanctions on Russia related to its annexation of the Crimean peninsula from Ukraine.

Hungarian Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Peter Szijjarto, left, welcomes US Secretary of Energy Rick Perry at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade in Budapest, Hungary, Tuesday, November 13, 2018. (Lajos Soos/MTI via AP)
Hungarian Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Peter Szijjarto, left, welcomes US Secretary of Energy Rick Perry at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade in Budapest, Hungary, Tuesday, November 13, 2018. (Lajos Soos/MTI via AP)

The U.S. has been pushing for Eastern European countries to use American deliveries of liquefied natural gas, but an LNG terminal planned in Croatia which could be used by Hungary has been long delayed.

Hungarian Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto said gas is needed to operate industry and heat homes, not for political goodwill or plans.

Source: The Associated Press

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