Greece-Israel-Cyprus EastMed pipeline freezes: The US gift to Turkey

EastMed Gas Pipeline

The US-Russia crisis in Ukraine could be the cause of the collapse of the building of Western energy planning in the Eastern Mediterranean, which was the EastMed pipeline.

In the context of the dispute between the two superpowers over the Ukrainian issue, which has intensified recently, the Americans are looking for allies.

One of the players with interests in Ukraine is Turkey, which the US had to tempt in some way, which is none other than the "freezing" of the EastMed.

This is explained, among other things, by Pambos Chrysostomou, director of Research and International Relations at the Cyprus University of Technology.

"From the beginning, Turkey was opposed to the pipeline project. That is why the Americans are building bridges to their neighbour as they want to use Turkey as a possible ally if there is a significant rift with Russia in Ukraine. Therefore, they are emptying Greece and Cyprus in order to turn a blind eye to Erdoğan," he underlined.

"Let us not forget that the Turks have signed a major agreement with Ukraine for unmanned aircraft and for this reason they have displeased Russia," according to the professor.

"The United States was aware of the ecological and financial difficulties of the project from the beginning, but they insisted because they thought they could have a say in the region," he said.

This was supposed to be done in particular with the East Med Act which some considered to protect the pipeline.

At the same time, there was the argument from the Europeans and Americans that the Mediterranean basin "would rid us of Russian gas."

The "gift" to the Turks

"We should not forget that the reason why the Turks signed the Turkish-Libyan memorandum and built the Blue Homeland theory was, among other things, to block the EastMed pipeline, and finally the Americans granted their wish and put it on a plate," continued the director of the research centre.

The specific scenario, according to the analyst, seems to have a significant basis as the Turks did not react to the return of the American Exxon Mobil to the drillings in the Cypriot Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ).

"The fact that there was no reaction may indicate that they were waiting for the gift of withdrawal of support for the pipeline or that they may have agreed to it," he said.

Scenarios for a smaller EastMed

At the same time, the scenarios for a smaller pipeline between Greece and Egypt, which were triggered by the memorandum signed by the Energy Ministers of the two countries at the end of November 2021, with clear references for cooperation in natural gas, are erupting again.

While the Greek side is studying new gas transportation routes, no hint is made at the moment regarding the participation of Cyprus in the scheme.

"In any case, Cyprus had significant chances to leave EastMed for reasons that we have explained in the past," said Chrysostomou.

The "key" to these scenarios is expected to be Israel and its intentions.

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