US remains against EastMed gas pipe

EastMed pipeline ENI

The US still regards the EastMed natural gas pipeline as too expensive and unviable, undersecretary of state for political affairs Victoria Nuland told reporters on April 7, despite soaring energy costs and the EU's determination to phase out the Russian gas supply.

Washington dropped its support for EastMed, which would pump gas produced off the coast of Israel and Cyprus to Europe, in January. It has instead thrown its weight behind EuroAfrica and EuroAsia, which would deliver gas and renewable-based power to the continent.

Natural gas and power prices were already at an unprecedented height at the start of this year. But since then the EU has pledged to become independent of Russian fossil fuels by 2030, and cut gas imports from the country by as much as two thirds within a year.

"The idea there is to build a very long pipeline in very deep water over some ten years and we believe that it is too expensive, not economically viable and will take too long," Nuland said after a meeting with Cypriot president Nicos Anastasiades in Nicosia. "So we are focused now on energy interconnectors, we are focused on projects that can deliver now for Cyprus both in the south and in the north, for Europe, for all of the countries in this neighbourhood."