Yuval Steinitz, Israel’s then-energy minister, stated in 2020 that Israel and Greece will build the EastMed gas pipeline together at a cost of 6 billion euros. After the United States poured cold water on the proposal last week, it was revealed that what appeared to be nothing more than cheerful talk at the time was in fact unworkable. Economic, environmental, and, most significantly, geopolitical factors all contributed to its downfall.
The government, with the assistance of US President Donald Trump, approved the construction of the EastMed pipeline in July 2020. The pipeline’s goal was to establish a natural gas supply route from Israel to Cyprus and then to Europe, lessening Europe’s reliance on Russian gas. The proposal gained traction after Turkey, the region’s largest gas consumer, stated that it would not buy gas from Cypriot or Israeli sources.
According to reports, the US administration wrote a letter to the Greek government last week expressing worries about the project due to economic and environmental concerns. Behind the scenes, though, tensions with Russian, Europe’s largest gas supplier, are shaping events. Another issue is the desire to mend fences with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who opposes the pipeline despite the fact that the US needs his help because to the nuclear talks with Iran being in shambles.