President Nicos Anastasiades and his energy minister are pushing to raise awareness and support in the urgency for energy security as part of the EU’s desire to diversify supplies, especially within the Union’s efforts to disengage from Russian oil and gas, while introducing cleaner sources.
One of the best ways to practically implement this plan is through the EuroAsia and EuroAfrica electricity interconnectors, transmitting to continental Europe energy produced from renewable sources and low emission natural gas discoveries in the eastern Mediterranean.
Anastasiades told EU leaders during the European Council meeting Brussels that Cyprus can contribute to the EU’s energy diversification through its engagement on a regional level, while Energy and Trade Minister Natasa Pilides is in Cairo to review progress by working groups in proceeding with the electricity interconnector.
The president stressed the role that the cooperation between Cyprus and other countries in the region, such as Egypt, Israel and Saudi Arabia, can play towards the goal of the EU’s diversification of energy routes.
Anastasiades said that the meeting was an “extremely important discussion on Europe’s energy independence in the aftermath of the war in Ukraine, and the need to diversify EU energy sources”.
“Ι οffered my support to initiatives presented by EU Leaders, calling for collective actions that will safeguard our energy supply and protect our citizens and businesses from increase in energy prices.”
On the second day of the Council meeting in Brussels, discussions focused on the strategic importance of energy independence as a critical need within a rapidly developing geopolitical environment and the diversification of sources pf energy supply.
The issue of controlling unprecedented increases in the cost of electricity was discussed during heated debates and postponed to the May Council meeting.
President Anastasiades said that Cyprus’ position has always been to enhance energy security for the EU while ending the energy isolation of the island by diversifying sources and channels of supply.
“What Cyprus needs is to complete the outstanding energy interconnectors that will end the isolation of Cyprus from the European networks and allow the completion of the EU’s universal electricity market,” he added.
Energy Minister in Cairo
At the same time, Energy, Commerce and Industry Natasa Pilides is in Cairo for a working visit where she will hold separate meetings with her Egyptian counterparts and will attend a business forum to promote Cyprus as a regional business services centre.
The forum is being organised by the ministry, the Cyprus Chamber of Commerce and the Cyprus-Egypt Business Association.
Pilides’ first meeting on Sunday is with Egypt’s Electricity and Renewables Minister Dr Mohamed Shaker El-Markabi to review progress in the East Med Gas Forum, which Cyprus will chair in 2022, and the EuroAfrica Interconnector, the 1,000MW subsea electricity cable linking Egypt to Cyprus and then Crete.
Together, they will address the first meeting of the Technical Working Group for the electricity interconnector, in accordance with their memorandum of understanding signed in Nicosia on October 16, 2021.