European Union turns to Israel over Moscow ‘gas blackmail’ | war in Ukraine

The Kremlin used our dependence on Russian fossil fuels to blackmail us […] Russia deliberately cut off gas supplies to Polish, Bulgarian, Finnish, Dutch and Danish companies in retaliation for our support for Ukraineshe accused during a speech at the Negev’s Ben-Gurion University.

The Kremlin’s behavior only reinforces our desire to rid ourselves of our dependence on Russian fossil fuels. »

A quote from Ursula von der Leyen, President of the European Commission

For example, we are currently examining ways to strengthen our energy cooperation with Israel.she explained, citing a project for an underwater electric cable connecting the Jewish state, Cyprus and Greece, and a pipeline in the eastern Mediterranean.

Israel is working hard to export some of its vast offshore gas resources to Europe, which has been trying to replace Russian fossil fuel purchases since invading Ukraine in late February and sanctions on Moscow.

Ms von der Leyen met Israeli Foreign and Energy Ministers Yaïr Lapid and Karine Elharrar on Monday evening and will meet Prime Minister Naftali Bennett on Tuesday evening.

Announcements expected in the coming days

According to a spokesman for Minister Elharrar, Ms Von der Leyen repeated this UE a besoin du gaz israélien”,”text”:”l’UE a besoin du gaz israélien”}}”>I’EU needs Israeli gaswhile talks have been underway for months to reach an agreement to export Israeli gas to Europe via Egypt.

Of advertisement on energy cooperation with Israel and other partners in the region must be done in the next few dayssaid a spokeswoman for the European Commission, adding that Ms. von der Leyen will go to Israel to Egypt.

Israel began producing gas after several deposits were discovered off its coast in the Mediterranean Sea in the early 2010s, with reserves estimated at around 1 trillion cubic meters.

But Israel faces two major problems: the lack of a gas pipeline to connect its Mediterranean drilling platforms to markets in southern Europe, and a dispute with neighboring Lebanon over demarcation of part of its exclusivity.

Israel has three main options for exporting its gas to Europe: ship it to Egypt and then liquefy it and ship it to Europe; construction of a gas pipeline to Turkey; or build a new hydrocarbon route via Cyprus and Greece straight to southern Europe.

This latest project, called EastMed, is estimated at almost six billion euros and could take a long time to materialize. Israeli officials have also asked Italy to join.

A dispute with Lebanon that poses a problem

Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi, also visiting Israel, advocated bilateral gas cooperation without lifting the veil on the route Israeli gas might take to reach Italy.

We are working together to harness the gas resources of the Eastern Mediterranean and develop renewable energy. We want to reduce our dependence on Russian gassaid Mr Draghi next to Mr Bennett.

The discovery of vast gas deposits in the eastern Mediterranean has fueled border disputes between Lebanon and Israel. In October 2020, the two countries, which were technically at war, had started talks to demarcate their maritime border and remove obstacles to hydrocarbon exploration.

Those talks have been suspended since May 2021 over disputes over the disputed Karish territory.

Tensions resurfaced last week with the arrival of a vessel chartered by exploration company Energean Plc, Lebanon, for the Jewish state, accusing Israel of operating in disputed territory.

Israel claims the gas field was not in disputed waters, which is also suggested by an analysis of satellite imagery by the Israeli daily hairnet.

Leave a Comment