B. Nuland in Cyprus | EastMed is a “very expensive, not economically viable” project
Defence Redefined
Published on 08/04/2022 at 09:11

“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 on the transition to green energy,” said Victoria Nuland, the US Assistant Secretary of State for Political Affairs, following her meeting with President Nikos Anastasiadis at the Presidential Palace.

Asked if the EastMed pipeline is now a vital option for the US after the Russian invasion of Ukraine, Mrs. Nuland said, “the idea 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 is sought in terms of hydrocarbons are options for more gas and oil for a short transition period. “In 10 years from now we want to be much greener (in energy) and with much more diversity (in energy sources),” she said.

“So right now we are focusing on energy interconnections, on projects that can work now for Cyprus, both in the south and the north, for Europe, for all the countries in this neighborhood,” she said. “We have supported the idea of ​​the Euro-Asian Electricity Interconnector, and other projects like the one we want to see become viable,” she said. “We are also,” she added, “strong supporters of the idea of ​​the 3 + 1 scheme (Cyprus, Greece, Israel + the USA).”

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Mrs. Nuland said the idea is to benefit everyone because there is a need for alternative energy sources everywhere. She also pointed out that she visited Ankara with a delegation on Monday and that the strong impression she gained was that Turkey also seeks to diversify its energy supply sources. “So maybe there is an opportunity in this that we need to develop and that we need to keep talking about,” she said.

Asked if she was bringing any US ideas to the two sides in Cyprus to help advance 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 for “Confidence Building Measures, 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 meeting with Turkish-Cypriot leader, Ersin Tatar, she said she would speak to him about US continued support for efforts to resolve the Cyprus issue “in a bi-communal way, as we have always argued over time.”

“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 Putin’s brutal attack on Ukraine,” Nuland said in a statement. “Cyprus has provided humanitarian assistance, has banned Russian warships from being in the area, has strongly supported the EU and global sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine, and has welcomed Ukrainians here,” she said.

She added: “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.”

Also read: V. Nuland | Visit to Cyprus after meeting with N. Panagiotopoulos in Greece

She noted that during the meeting they reviewed the growing US relationship on security issues with the Republic of Cyprus, referring to yesterday’s inauguration of the Cyprus Training Center for Land and Maritime Safety and Port Security “CyCLOPS”. Nuland noted that this will be a training center not only for Americans and Cypriots but also for countries in the region, adding that “this is a radical change in the way we work together.”

Referring to the meeting she would then have with the Turkish leader, Mrs. Nuland said that “now I will go north and spend some time talking to President Tatar about the continued US support for the efforts to resolve the Cyprus issue in a bi-communal way, as we have always argued over time.” Asked by a journalist if her reference to “Tatar as President” was wrong, Mrs. Nuland said it was a mistake and apologized, referring to the Turkish leader as “Mr. Tatar”. “It has been a long time since I was back in Cyprus. Obviously we are now referring to him as Mr. Tatar,” she said.

Mrs. Nuland also referred to Cyprus-US cooperation in the fields of culture, science, and the contacts between the peoples of the two countries. She said that yesterday she had a meeting with a group of young people from the two communities who work separately but also jointly on bi-communal issues, noting that this is something encouraging and the United States is very proud to support these efforts.

Source: Euronews

Also read: Tripartite meeting of Foreign Ministers of Greece, Israel and Cyprus today in Athens




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