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US backs East Med electricity link via EuroAsia

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A State Department spokesperson said that Washington continues to support regional stability and energy cooperation between Cyprus, Greece, Israel through electricity interconnectors like EuroAsia.

The comments follow the publication in Greek media of a non-paper outlining US reservation over the financial and environmental sustainability of the ambitious East Med gas pipeline project.

The State Department spokesperson said the United States strongly supports regional efforts that enhance and promote cooperation and regional stability.

“We remain committed to physically interconnecting East Med energy to Europe.

“We are shifting our focus to electricity interconnectors that can support both gas and renewable energy sources,” the Spokesperson stated.

“The United States support projects such as the planned EuroAfrica interconnector from Egypt to Crete and the Greek mainland, and the proposed EuroAsia interconnector to link the Israeli, Cypriot and European electricity grids.

“Such projects would not only connect vital energy markets but would also help prepare the region for the clean energy transition.”

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, deemed difficult by default.

Diplomatic sources told Greece’s Kathimerini: “The American side expressed reservations to the Greek side regarding the financial viability of the planned East Med pipeline.”

Kathimerini said 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.”

But, the US reiterated its support for the pipelines from Greece to Bulgaria and North Macedonia.

Diplomatic sources also told Kathimerini that “the American side also pointed out that priority should be given to the interconnection power cables, to connect the power generation structures and markets in this region.”

It includes Egypt, Cyprus, Israel and Greece.

Greece is considering the US view on the EastMed while noting the project has been highlighted by the EU as one “of particular importance.”

Washington’s position is said to have alarmed Nicosia, which attaches great political importance to the EastMed pipeline.

The construction of the EastMed pipeline has been touted 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.