Colombia is ready to play a central role in helping supply Western countries with energy resources after the gaps caused by sanctions on Russia, Colombian President Iván Duque told CNN.
During an interview with CNN’s Richard Quest, Duque said: “[North American and European countries] know for sure that they can no longer rely for the energy supplies from Russia. Now, can Colombia contribute to the solution? The response is yes.”
Duque listed three areas where Colombia would be ready to increase production: traditional oil and gas extraction, renewables such as clean hydrogen, and coal.
“Colombia today immediately can have an increase on coal. … We have some of the biggest resources in the world, and we don’t use it [for power production],” Duque told Quest while he announced that Colombia will increase coal supplies to Germany — which recently approved plans to phase out Russian coal imports – following direct conversations between Duque and Chancellor Olaf Scholz.
Asked about US President Biden’s use of the world "genocide" to describe Russian actions in Ukraine, Duque told Quest he agreed with his US counterpart. “What is happening in Ukraine is a genocide. And it has to stop. … This is insane,” Duque told Quest.
Duque is in New York City on a three-day visit to promote foreign investment in Colombia and present his government's actions on security and the war on drugs, the Colombian President’s office said in a statement.
He visited the New York Stock Exchange and participated in meetings at the UN Security Council on Monday and Tuesday, respectively.