Rep. Devin Nunes travels to Eastern Europe to explore a new energy pipeline that would reduce Russia’s influence in the region; Nunes joins FNC’s Maria Bartiromo on the phone from Georgia (the Caucasus one) on ‘Sunday Morning Futures.’
FOX NEWS, MARIA BARTIROMO: Welcome back.
U.S.-Russia tensions on the rise, as the Trump administration announced new sanctions against Moscow over the poisoning of a former spy and his daughter.
As you know, containing Russia’s geopolitical influence remains a key U.S.
My next guest is currently in Eastern Europe. He just returned from the Russian border in regards to a pipeline that would increase Moscow’s energy– decrease Moscow’s energy, rather, influence over Europe.
Joining me right now on the telephone from the capital of Georgia, the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, Devin Nunes.
Mr. Chairman, thanks very much for spending the time this morning, even while you are on the road.
REP. DEVIN NUNES, R-CALIFORNIA: Hey, thanks, Maria. It’s an important subject. And I’m glad your show is bringing it to the American people. Thank you.
BARTIROMO: Well, I want to get the latest on the DOJ-FBI situation as well.
But let’s start with where you are today and what you’re seeing, because we have got a map here of this pipeline that would essentially take natural gas from the Caspian Sea in Azerbaijan and travel it throughout Europe, passing Greece into Italy.
Tell us about the importance and significance of this pipeline.
NUNES: Well, thank you, Maria.
And today is actually the 10th anniversary of Russia’s real first aggression since the Cold War. It was 10 years ago today that there was a cease-fire, after five days of fighting, when the Russians actually invaded, occupied part of Northern Georgia.
It’s called the South Ossetia region. So, today, went out there. Now, after 10 years, it’s amazing what’s happened. The area has basically didn’t depopulated. You have the Russians building small bases across this Northern Georgia region. Just a — just a pure sign of aggression.
And it was probably a mistake on behalf of the West. We should have been — we should have acted swiftly at that time. And we didn’t.
But the Georgians did. One of the things that they realized after that happened, you know, they couldn’t — they are a country of four million people. They couldn’t take on the Russian bear.
So what they did is, they were totally reliant on Russian gas. What they did is, they worked with their neighbors in Azerbaijan to bring gas from the Caspian Sea.
Well, now there’s a push to get — to move that gas, not just through the Black Sea, but actually build a pipeline all the way through Turkey and Greece and Italy.
One of the challenges that we’re having is the Russian propaganda machine is actually working in Italy. The last holdup right now is to bring the pipeline ashore in Italy. And, believe it or not, you have Russia propaganda working in Italy.
The Italians haven’t been able to sign off…
NUNES: On this pipeline yet, which is — which is totally nuts, and part of the sophistication of Russia’s propaganda arm.
But if — if you look at it in the big picture…
NUNES: If — if we, the United States, we’re now — we now can export LNG.
If we can begin to move more gas, LNG, to Western Europe, and if you could move gas along the southern route, this Trans-Caspian gas line into Italy, you now have two solid sources of gas into Europe, which then I think really puts the pressure on Germany to not be solely reliant on Russian gas and continue to feed money into the Russian bear.
BARTIROMO: And, Congressman, one pipeline is enough?
NUNES: And it’s the only — it’s the only way, I think, that we’re going to ultimately take on Russia, is to say, look, we’re not going to be reliant on you in the West for our energy.
BARTIROMO: And one pipeline is enough?
I mean, well, one pipeline from the Caspian would be good, if you — if you add in our ability to bring in LNG from the United States, which we’re already doing some now. But we can do a lot more.
BARTIROMO: Are there any other potential additional alternatives, say, from Africa, to Europe? I mean, I understand the big picture, what you’re trying to do.
And we see the pipeline transfer on this map, but any other alternatives that you feel you would need?
NUNES: Well, those — those would be — those are two big ones that are both reliable and both could be done in a short amount of time.
There are other potential opportunities, but they become more complicated because, as you know, North — North Africa is a complicated place, not all that safe. So it’s a little more — a little more challenging.
I would like to just reiterate, though, that this propaganda arm and how they’re blocking the Italians from — or they’re essentially using propaganda. The Italians themselves are stopping themselves from permitting this pipeline.
It’s very similar to the reports that we have seen out of the United States. People forget this. But everybody’s worried about Russia-gate and what Russia did in the election, but people forget the reports that are out there of the Russians involving themselves in some of these extreme environmental groups that have actually stopped oil drilling and gas drilling in the United States.
That’s all part of this effort on behalf of Russia to promote these kind of fake green policies, so that they could be the world’s — one of the world’s largest suppliers of gas.
BARTIROMO: Just fascinating that you’re actually getting to the core of it and understanding really, really well the strategy on the part of the Russians.
We will be watching that, Mr. Chairman. Thanks very much for — for pointing that out.
We’re going to be watching this important pipeline from the Caspian Sea.
Let me switch gears and ask you about the latest on your investigation into the State Department and what has taken place in the FBI and …read more