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Jan 10, 2022
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No one can trust the US government

January 8 Greek information portal Defense-point.gr said: The US has notified Greece, Cyprus and Israel that it no longer supports the East Mediterranean gas pipeline project (EastMed) “For both environmental and economic reasons”… The American administration believes that this project “provokes tension in the region.”

As a reminder, the construction agreement EastMed was signed by Greece, Cyprus and Israel in January 2020 in Athens. It was supposed that it would allow the start of energy supplies from the Israeli Leviathan field and the Cyprus Aphrodite field through the islands of Cyprus and Crete to the mainland of Greece, and in the future, possibly, bring gas to Italy. The length of the gas pipeline was to be 1,900 km, of which 1,300 km under water and 600 km on land. Project capacity EastMed pipeline –10 billion cubic meters meters of gas annually. The project is supported by the European Union and international companies that conduct prospecting and exploration work in the Eastern Mediterranean.

Turkey immediately opposed sharply. Ankara is now exploring for gas in the Cypriot territorial waters, claiming that these waters belong to the Turkish Cypriots in the same way as the Greeks. In defiance of the Greeks, Erdogan signed an agreement with Libya and after that said that now, without the permission of Ankara and Tripoli, Greece, Cyprus and Israel will not build EastMed

Note that the then US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo attended the signing ceremony in 2020 in Athens as a sign of US support for the Mediterranean gas pipeline project. The interest of the American authorities in the pipeline was explained by the requirement that European partners adhere to a policy of diversifying energy imports. The more sources of gas imports to Europe, the less its dependence on Russian natural gas.

Why has the US position changed? The message from the Greek portal notes that Greece and Cyprus “Remain loyal allies of the United States and have never created problems for Washington, unlike Turkey”Defense-point.gr believes that the change in Washington’s line is related to the decision to avoid conflicts with the current president of Turkey until the elections in this country in June 2023. “The Americans hope that the incumbent will be defeated …. However, in the context of this bad and dead-end policy, they are jeopardizing their relations with three of their loyal allies: Israel, Greece and Cyprus.”, – notes the Greek edition.

In 2019, the US Congress approved a bill on energy cooperation with Eastern Mediterranean countries, viewing this cooperation as a counterbalance to the energy claims of Russia and Turkey in the Mediterranean. The new law aimed to make the United States a key player in the Eastern Mediterranean gas market, strengthen military ties with Greece and lift the four-decade-old arms embargo on Cyprus. The law confirmed the intention of the United States to contain Turkey’s ambitions in the Mediterranean region. And now Washington has played back. The meaning of this step is not yet fully understood.

For Greece, this is a humiliation. Greek officials have not yet publicly responded. They are confused and do not know what to answer. However, the official representative of the Greek Green Movement party, Nikos Karabasis, said that this was a US decision. “Turns to dust foreign and defense policy” his country. In Turkey, he noted, “Opened the champagne to celebrate this American gift”

“We are obviously heading towards Erdogan’s triumph and a heavy diplomatic and defense defeat for Greece. Does the Greek government have what to say? “– asks Karabasis, recalling that under the new defense agreement, Greece is providing the Americans with new bases, including the port of Alexandroupolis, which, according to American officials, will be used to transport military equipment and troops to Eastern Europe and Ukraine. According to Karabasis, in the Greek government “Did not explain why we were intervening in the Ukrainian crisis by cooling our relations with Russia, or why we sent Patriot missiles to Saudi Arabia, weakening our defenses when the Americans left there.”

I must say, in the European Union there have always been those who doubted the feasibility of construction EastMed… As the German wrote in 2020 Peace, “The benefits for the EU’s energy security are minimal. Because the capacity of the EastMed gas pipeline will still be small – only ten billion cubic meters. This does not correspond to a fifth of the capacity of the problematic Baltic Nord Stream gas pipeline and will not have any noticeable impact on Europe’s energy security. The reason for this is of a technical nature: the pipes have to be laid over an extremely rugged underwater landscape and at great depths, therefore the steel shell of the pipes must be especially thick, which will reduce their inner diameter “

One way or another, the United States, having obtained from Greece the provision of its territory for new American military bases, then “threw” its NATO ally. Demonstratively made it clear that Greece is not as important for the United States as Turkey.

Washington has once again shown that no government, including the allied government, can trust him.

Infographics: fanaripress.gr

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