Last week’s US election victory by President-elect Donald Trump has brought to the fore the possible role to be played by Greek-American George Papadopoulos, one of Trump’s campaign advisers on energy policy.
The role of Papadopoulos, who joined Trump’s campaign after fellow Republican candidate Ben Carson dropped out of the party’s race last March, has been the subject of many recent media reports.
In the lead-up to the US elections, the Greek-American official visited Greece at least once for a series of meetings with officials on the energy sector.
Papadopoulos attended Thessaloniki’s inauguration ceremony for construction of the Trans Adriatic Pipeline (TAP) last May. During that stay, he also engaged in a number of meetings, including with foreign ministry officials, held to disccuss the TAP pipeline, a key US regional interest.
Judging by the views expressed by Papadopoulos while in Greece, little change is expected on America’s pipeline strategy for the southeast European region. The US has been pushing for greater diversification in natural gas supply, which would break Russia’s dominance. The TAP project, to run through northern Greece, is planned to primarily carry Azerbaijani natural gas to Europe.
The tenure of Amos Hochstein, the US Special Envoy and Coordinator for International Energy Affairs, expires this month. Certain pundits claim Papadopoulos could be named his successor. It remains unknown whether Hochstein, an expert in the region’s energy matters, will maintain a role as an adviser.
In an interview published by Greek daily Kathimerini, Papadopoulos placed emphasis on the future energy cooperation between Greece, Cyprus and Israel.