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Politics

Bilirakis, Malliotakis Score Biden for Backing Off EastMed Gas Project

US Congress represenatives Gus Bilirakis of Florida and Nicole Malliotakis of New York – both Republicans – assailed President Joe Biden’s administration for no longer supporting the EastMed pipeline project by Greece, Cyprus and Israel.

That is designed to get more natural gas to the European Union and lessen dependency on Russia, where President Vladimir Putin uses that supply to squeeze concessions from the European Union.

Russia also got the US to back off sanctions for its Nord Stream 2 pipeline that will take more Russian gas to the EU, that will connect to Germany, where former Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder was a major advocate, later joining the board of a Russian energy company.

Bilirakis and Malliotakis sent a strongly-worded letter to US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken, who earlier admitted the US was backing down over its former reluctance about Nord Stream 2, and is now pulling away from the EastMed project, which is opposed by Turkey.

Biden has strong support from the Greek-American community but not from Bilirakis and Malliotakis who wrote that he is undermining Greek interests as well as its allies during a time of rising Turkish provocations over drilling rights to oil and gas in the Aegean and Mediterranean Seas.

FILE – In this April 15, 2021, file photo, Rep. Nicole Malliotakis, R-N.Y., speaks during a House Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Crisis hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh, Pool, File)

“By undermining the project, the administration is undercutting three of our strongest allies in the region: Israel, Greece, and Cyprus, as well as the European Union’s hopes for energy independence and economic prosperity,” they stated, said Kathimerini.

“The Biden Administration’s actions in this matter are particularly objectionable and hypocritical in light of its tacit approval of Russia’s Nord Stream pipeline, which will only deepen Europe’s energy dependence on a volatile adversary,” also said Bilirakis.

“The Administration must realize the significant economic, environmental, and national security implications that are at stake in this matter and reconsider its decision to withdraw support for this critical project,” he added.

Malliotakis said the government’s decision to “shut down America’s Keystone XL Pipeline, ok NordStream 2 and reject EastMed showed a failed energy and foreign policy agenda.

“This President is asleep at the wheel, and his decision-making could cause severe economic and national security consequences for America and our allies,” she added. It wasn’t reported whether walking away from the EastMed project was a further concession to Putin and Turkey.

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