Remarks by Ambassador Yuri Kim at the MOU Signing between Albania, Exxon Mobil and Excelerate Energy

It is an honor to be a part of today’s MOU signing, the culmination of vision and hard work by a number of people around the globe. I want to congratulate ExxonMobil, Excelerate Energy, and Minister Balluku and her entire team bringing to fruition a strategic and fruitful dream that we have been working together on for over a year now. Today’s MOU signing is groundbreaking!

The United States has long supported NATO Ally Albania’s unique role in advancing European energy security. The facilities at Vlora will mark an important step toward expanding Europe’s access to diverse and reliable energy resources. A Europe secure in its sources of energy is a stronger partner in achieving our shared goals in the region and around the world.

Vlora would also be a big step forward in addressing energy and climate change challenges in the region. Today’s MOU lays the groundwork for ending the reliance on aging coal-fired power plants throughout the Balkans. Albania’s diverse energy mix of hydro, solar, wind, and now LNG would position Albania to be a net energy exporter and partner in the effort to meaningfully address climate change.

I want to recognize Exxon and Excelerate for having the foresight to see Albania’s strategic value as a key entry point to the Balkans, and to Europe more broadly. Increasing economic connections between Albania and the United States is one our top U.S. strategic priorities, and I view today as a giant milestone in that effort. We look forward to continuing to work with you to strengthen the ties between the United States and Albania and make a positive contribution to the region’s energy and climate health.