Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias on Saturday rejected the idea that the EastMed pipeline is dead at the Delphi Economic Forum, replying to a statement to that effect by Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs of the United States Victoria Nuland during her visit to Athens earlier this week.
“The EastMed is alive and kicking,” said Dendias, adding that the main concerns of the United States with the endeavor are its financial viability and the projected length of the project. He said he believed that Nuland’s comments were solely referring to the failure of the EastMed to provide a solution to the current crisis.
The minister stressed that people have over-interpreted US intentions and given them a geopolitical meaning, where there is none. He said that strong US support for the EuroAsia Interconnector, which is planned along the same route as the EastMed, is a strong indicator that there is no geopolitical element to the views expressed by Nuland. In fact, Dendias highlighted the strong US support for the trilateral cooperation framework between Greece, Cyprus, and Israel, actively engaging in the so-called “3+1” framework.
Dendias also discussed the recent statement by the US State Department that the sale of F-16 fighter jets to Turkey would serve American interests. He explained that the US government is pressured by the Russian invasion of Ukraine, but that does not mean Greece will cease its cautious approach to its neighbor.
“Until Turkey retracts its casus belli, Greece cannot celebrate Turkish rearmaments,” he said, adding that they could potentially be used against it.
Dendias once again reaffirmed Greece’s position that the standing Turkish casus belli is unacceptable and must be retracted. He stated that in a framework of international law, the threat of war must be condemned.
However, Dendias stressed that Greece wants Turkey in the NATO alliance, as a friend and an ally, but stated that Turkey must conduct itself with accordance to international law and the International Law of the Sea.
“We don’t need to wait for 10 years and spend billions of dollars on this stuff. We need to move the gas now. And we need to use gas today as a transition to a greener future. Ten years from now we don’t want a pipeline. Ten years from now we want to be green,” Nuland said earlier this week in an interview with “Kathimerini.”
The Delphi Economic Forum is an annual event which gathers leading figures from a variety of sectors, including politics, business, technology, and education. This year’s iteration is being held from April 6 to April 9 and features over 750 speakers.