Between 20 and 22 October 2014, Secretary General Urban Rusnák and a delegation from the Energy Charter Secretariat held a number of bilateral meetings with the US administration, think tanks, trade associations, international organisations and financial institutions based in Washington, D.C.
The Secretary General met with various officials from the Department of Trade, the Department of State and the Bureau of Energy Resources, giving an overview on the modernisation of the Energy Charter and inviting a renewed involvement by the United States in the Charter Process.
The Energy Charter's Industry Advisory Panel held its last meeting of the year on 21 October 2014 in Washington, DC. The meeting was organised in partnership with the US Chamber of Commerce and brought together senior policy makers and executives from American, European and Asian energy companies. Participants addressed the topics of geopolitical aspects of international cooperation, international energy security, international regulatory cooperation, as well as fostering innovation and technology transfer. The Panel also discussed the direction of its work for 2015.
As part of his two-day-long visit to Washington, D.C., Energy Charter Secretary General Urban Rusnák delivered a speech on the topic of 'Russian Energy Relations with the West' at the Atlantic Council, a leading American think tank, on 20 October 2014. There is presently some indication that interest in the Energy Charter may be growing in the United States, taking into account ongoing negotiations between Brussels and Washington over the Trans-Atlantic Trade and Investment Partnership, the recent award against the Russian government in the Yukos compensation claim, as well as possible American participation in the updating of the Energy Charter of 1991. There is also growing recognition amongst US decision makers that the Energy Charter is one of the few energy governance processes that has traditionally included Russian participation. The United States may yet find an ally in the Energy Charter Process, given ongoing American concerns over political developments in Ukraine and the possible fallout for European energy security.
The Energy Charter Secretariat organised a Technical Workshop on Electricity Transit on 15 October 2014 as a follow-up on its study "Price of Electricity Transit in Transition Countries". The aim of the workshop was to assist the countries of Central Asia in finalising the methodology for electricity transit, as well as to discuss broader issues of regional cooperation in the power sector. The workshop was attended by the energy officials and representatives of TSOs from Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Turkey and Uzbekistan. Representatives of ENTSO-E and the Belgian TSO Elia Group presented the European experience, knowledge and expertise on hosting power flows and their compensation within the framework of the Inter-TSO Compensation Agreement. Workshop participants discussed the various principles of the ITC mechanism and their applicability to the operation of Central Asia's integrated power system, as well as the practical implementation arrangements for such a mechanism.