Biden Administration Kills Israel-to-Europe Gas Pipeline in another gift to Russia’s energy sector

- EAST MED NEWS - GELLER REPORT - FEB 27, 2022 -

  • Biden’s decision — reportedly coordinated with Turkey but reached without consulting Israel, Greece or Cyprus, the main countries involved in the project — undercuts three of the strongest American allies in the Mediterranean region.

  • EastMed’s cancellation — variously described as a “disastrous decision,” a “strategic mistake” and an act of “appeasement” of Erdoğan — represents a major geopolitical victory for the Turkish strongman.

  • The EastMed pipeline has been in the works for more than a decade. The Israel-Greece-Cyprus project — joined by Bulgaria, Hungary, North Macedonia, Romania and Serbia — has long been seen as a way to diversify natural gas supplies to Europe.

  • The Turkish government has always insisted that Israeli gas can only be sold to Europe through Turkey.

  • “The Americans do not want the pipeline because Ankara might ‘get angry.’” — Theofrastos Andreopoulos, defense analyst, defensenet.gr.

  • “If Erdogan perceives the non-paper as some form of appeasement by Washington, he will simply double down on his gunboat diplomacy in the Eastern Mediterranean and play the role of spoiler in the region.” — Richard Goldberg, a member of the U.S. National Security Council during the Trump administration.

  • Is the Biden administration truly concerned about climate change, or does it want to prevent Israel from becoming a strategically important supplier of natural gas to Europe?

  • “The reversal on the EastMed pipeline becomes only more hypocritical and offensive given the fact that President Biden continues to clear the path towards completion of the Nord Stream 2 pipeline.” — U.S. Representatives Gus Bilirakis (R-FL) and Nicole Malliotakis (R-NY), in a letter to U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken.

  • “This is a disastrous decision that imperils European security and opens the door for further Russian energy hegemony in European gas markets. It should be reversed.” — Ariel Cohen, veteran energy analyst, The Hill.

  • “Turkey is not looking to participate in Eastern Mediterranean initiatives, it wants to dominate them. Ankara’s goal is not one of cooperation but of regional primacy if not hegemony.” — Endy Zemenides, Executive Director, Hellenic American Leadership Council.

The Biden administration has abruptly withdrawn American support for the Eastern Mediterranean (EastMed) pipeline, a project aimed at shipping natural gas from Israel to European markets. The White House said the project was antithetical to its “climate goals.”


In reaching its decision, which effectively kills EastMed, the White House appears to have caved to pressure from Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, who has vociferously opposed the underwater pipeline because it would bypass Turkey.


Biden’s decision — reportedly coordinated with Turkey but reached without consulting Israel, Greece or Cyprus, the main countries involved in the project — undercuts three of the strongest American allies in the Mediterranean region.


The White House could not have chosen a less opportune moment to announce its decision. With tensions rising between Russia and Ukraine, Europe (which relies on Russia for approximately one-third of its natural gas supplies) is searching for alternative sources of gas to reduce its overreliance on Moscow.


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