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Politics

US Envoy Says EastMed Pipeline Dead, Dendias Says Not So

ATHENS – Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias has disputed that the stalled EastMed pipeline involving Greece, Cyprus and Israel is dead in the water, although United States Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs Victoria Nuland said Washington won’t support it.

Speaking at the Delphi Forum, he said that, “The EastMed is alive and kicking,” adding that he believes the US’ worries are about whether it financially makes sense and how long it would take as the European Union tries to wean itself off Russian energy over the invasion of Ukraine.

He said he believed that Nuland was referring only to the inability of EastMed to provide a faster solution, said Kathimerini, as he contradicted her own words that it’s much more than that.

“We don’t need to wait for 10 years and spend billions of dollars on this stuff. We need to move the gas now. And we need to use gas today as a transition to a greener future. Ten years from now we don’t want a pipeline. Ten years from now we want to be green,” Nuland told Kathimerini earlier in an interview.

Dendias, apparently trying to spin what she said and Greece’s intention to keep pushing the pipeline that’s stalled, said that there has been an overinterpretation of what American wants and that there’s no real geopolitical meaning. He said that strong US support for the EuroAsia Interconnector, which is planned along the same route as the EastMed showed that although American withdrawal of support came after Turkey objected to the pipeline and Nuland said Ankara should be involved in energy projects in the region.

But Dendias said there is still strong US support for the trilateral cooperation framework between Greece, Cyprus, and Israel, actively engaging in the so-called “3+1” framework although she said there isn’t.

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