US skeptical over EastMed pipeline plan

US skeptical over EastMed pipeline plan

With speculation growing over the feasibility of the EastMed natural gas pipeline, Washington is openly expressing its reservations, effectively undermining the implementation of the ambitious project which was deemed difficult by default.

Diplomatic sources told Kathimerini Friday that “the American side expressed reservations to the Greek side regarding the financial viability of the planned East Med pipeline.”

Kathimerini understands that US views on the EastMed pipeline have also been conveyed to the other stakeholders – Cyprus and Israel – and are based on Washington’s decision not to support energy projects which are not “green-friendly.” In any case, the US reiterated its support for the pipelines from Greece to Bulgaria and North Macedonia.

Diplomatic sources additionally told Kathimerini that “the American side also pointed out that priority should be given to the interconnection power cables, in order to connect the power generation structures and the markets of the states in this region,” meaning Greece and Egypt, but also Cyprus, Israel and Greece.

The same sources said Greece is taking into account the US view on the EastMed, while noting that the project has been highlighted by the EU as one “of particular importance.”

“Any decision will obviously take into account the project’s financial viability as determined by the market,” the sources said.

Washington’s position, meanwhile, has alarmed Nicosia, which attaches great political importance to the EastMed.

The construction of the EastMed pipeline has been touted as a way to reduce the European Union’s dependence on Russian gas. However, many experts have argued that the numbers for the 1,250-kilometer underwater pipeline to bring gas from Israel, Egypt and Cyprus through Greece to the EU are at risk of not adding up. 

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