“Countries in this region have realized that dependence on Russian oil and gas is extremely bad and there is a convergence of interest in diversifying sources of supply, even as we work to move to green energy,” according to US Undersecretary of State Victoria Nuland after her meeting this morning at the Presidential Palace with the President of the Republic, Nicos Anastasiadis.
Asked if the EastMed pipeline is now a vital option for the US after the Russian invasion of Ukraine, Nuland responded, “The idea here is to build a very long pipeline in very deep water in about 10 years and we think that is very expensive, not economically viable and it will take a long time.”
The US official stressed the importance of the transition to green energy, noting at the same time that what they are looking for in terms of hydrocarbons are options for more gas and oil for a short transition period.
Nuland said the idea is to benefit everyone because there is a need for alternative energy sources everywhere.
Asked if she was bringing any suggestions to the two sides in Cyprus to help further the process for a solution to the Cyprus problem, she noted that “we are interested in hearing the views of both the north and the south,” expressing US support in “measures that build trust and things that can improve the economy in both the north and the south of the island. But first and foremost this is an opportunity to hear if there is a convergence of views on which we can build,” she added.
Referring to her later meeting with Turkish Cypriot leader Ersin Tatar, she said she would speak to him about the US continued support for efforts to resolve the Cyprus issue “in a bi-communal way, as we have always argued over time.”
Nuland continued, “We are very pleased to have a strong partnership with Cyprus at this crucial time for democracy as we stand together in the face of Mr [Vladimir] Putin’s brutal attack on Ukraine. Cyprus has provided humanitarian assistance, has banned Russian warships from being in the region, has strongly supported the EU and global sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine, and has welcomed Ukrainians here.”
“We stand together to ensure that this war is a strategic failure for Mr. Putin and we strongly support the courageous people of Ukraine who are fighting not only for their own country but for the freedom of all of us,” she added. [Kathimerini Cyprus]