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Energy Secretary Rick Perry, who's in Brussels, discussed U.S. opposition to Russia's proposed Nord Stream II natural gas pipeline into Germany. After meeting with EU energy officials, Perry fielded a press question about whether the project would come up in President Trump's July 16 meeting with Putin.
"The president, he is pretty straightforward about what he believes, and he thinks Nord Stream 2 is not in the European Union's best interest, and my bet is he'll be more than happy to tell President Putin that straight to his face."— Rick Perry
Yes, but: While the U.S. opposes the project, Perry strongly downplayed the prospect of sanctions against European companies working on the long-proposed pipeline.
- “Sanctions are kind of the last place we would like to land. They are always an option," he said.
- However, per Reuters, the State Department reiterated Wednesday that firms investing in the project remain at risk of sanctions.
What's next: Perry's comments are another signal that energy could be among the topics when Trump and Putin meet in Helsinki.