US Once Again Abandons Greek Interests With EastMed Pipeline To Appease Turkey – Greek City Times

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The United States has informed Greece, Cyprus and Israel that it no longer supports the Eastern Mediterranean Gas Pipeline (EastMed) project for both environmental and financial reasons, in addition to the excuse that the project is causing tensions in the region. The EastMed agreement was signed by Greece, Cyprus and Israel in January 2020 in Athens and is supposed to transport hydrocarbons from Israeli and Cypriot fields to the Greek mainland via Cyprus and Crete, and in the long term possibly even to Europe. ‘Italy.

Turkey immediately opposed the 1,900 kilometer long pipeline project. Ankara is illegally exploring natural gas in Cypriot territorial waters and such a pipeline would put an end to its provocations. In an attempt to cancel the EastMed gas pipeline, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan signed an agreement with Libya’s former Muslim Brotherhood government to carve up Greek maritime space – a move that received international condemnation and no support .

Nonetheless, the bigger question is why Washington changed its stance on the EastMed gas pipeline when under President Joe Biden the United States, in an unprecedented way, was supposed to move away from relations with Turkey. in favor of Greece. According to various Greek media outlets, Washington’s shift in stance is in hopes of avoiding clashes with Erdoğan, or at least avoiding clashes until the end of the June 2023 Turkish elections. According to Greek media outlets, the State Department and the National Security Council are driven by the idea that Turkey, whoever Erdoğan is, should not be lost to the West.

The US Congress approved in 2019 a bill on cooperation with Eastern Mediterranean countries in the energy sector. At the time, they believed that this cooperation would be a counterweight to Russian energy dominance in the European market. The new bill aimed to make the United States a key player in the Eastern Mediterranean gas market, strengthen military ties with Greece and lift a four-decade arms embargo on Cyprus. The bill would have reaffirmed Washington’s intention to curb Turkey’s expansionist and aggressive ambitions in the eastern Mediterranean.

However, Washington is retreating and the Greek authorities have not yet reacted publicly.

Since New Democracy came to power in Greece in mid-2019, but especially after Biden entered the White House in January 2020, pro-American sentimentality in Greece has reached unprecedented levels. According to a June 2021 Pew Survey, 63% of Greeks have a favorable opinion of the United States, following Biden’s acknowledgment of the Armenian genocide and more direct rhetoric towards Turkey. Nevertheless, according to the same survey, only 11% of Greeks consider the United States to be a “very” reliable partner.

It is recalled that a Pew Survey January 2020 found that 54% of Greeks viewed the United States favorably, demonstrating the surge in pro-American sentimentality following Biden’s election. However, despite hard-earned goodwill in Greece, the U.S. withdrawal from the EastMed pipeline has shaken pro-American sentiment and temporarily silenced cheerleaders from Washington to Athens, which will surely bolster pro-autonomous elements. -French/Europeans within the Greek State.

The division within the Greek state apparatus is frequently reported in the media and by inside sources, which point to an ideological battle between those who follow Macron’s path to European autonomy, and those who blindly follow the interests of Washington in the region, even if they are to the detriment of Greek interests.

Those who seek the balance of Greece with the United States, China and Russia, under the aegis of European autonomy and Macron’s vision of a Europe from Lisbon to Vladivostok, are justified once again. more because the United States is not, and never has been, a trusted and reliable partner for Greece. In fact, this has even been noted by the French media, with Continental Observer writing: “They proved that Greece was not as important to Washington as Turkey. The United States has proven once again that no government, not even an ally, can be trusted.

It seems that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs is aware of this fact. It is worth noting that Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias has maintained friendly relations with his Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov, with the couple maintaining regular contact – the most recent being just a few days ago to discuss the situations in Libya, Syria and in Kazakhstan. Lavrov commented: “We also see that Greece does not want to follow the path of increasing anti-Russian sanctions, Greece is in principle not happy with what is currently happening between the West and the Russian Federation. Russia. We trust our Greek friends and that with their wisdom they will make the choice that corresponds to their beliefs.

However, despite Dendias’ success in keeping Greece in balance with the United States, Russia and China, there is still a strong element within the Greek state, especially the Ministry of Defense. , which aims to capitulate to Washington’s interests. Although this element has grown stronger over the past couple of years or so, they have once again taken a heavy blow following the repeated pattern of the United States of abandoning its champion of liberalism, human rights and justice. rule of law in an effort to appease Turkey against Greek interests. . It is in the hope that Turkey will remain in the Western camp.

READ MORE: TURKEY: Democratic Left Party calls for war with Greece over militarization of Aegean islands.

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