WASHINGTON – The United States stance on the EastMed pipeline is that the project is extremely expensive, the waters very deep, and the natural gas project linking Egypt, Israel, Greece and Europe may need over a decade to be completed, US Undersecretary of State for Political Affairs Victoria Nuland said in an interview to ERT correspondent in Washington Lena Argyri.
Greece is already an energy hub, Nuland clarified about US withdrawal from the project, and there are faster, more effective and more productive ways to transfer energy in the region. The US concern is that by the time the project would be ready, hydrocarbons will have been replaced by clean energy.
Asked to comment on visiting Greece without “offering something new” while offering Turkey a strategic mechanism, Nuland responded that the US has had a strategic dialog with Greece, especially at secretary of state level, for several years now. She said her visit to Greece was strategically oriented, was meant to express an appreciation to Greece for being a stable ally and focused on strategizing on Europe’s becoming energy independent and on continuing to help Ukraine. The strategic mechanism inaugurated in Turkey was something Greece has had for several years already, she said.
In addition, Nuland termed Turkish infringements of Greek airspace provocative, while underlining that talks with Turkey over a possible purchase of F-16s have not been completed.
Nuland said that US Secretary of State Antony Blinken will participate in the trilateral meeting of Greece, Cyprus, and Israel in the coming weeks, and reaffirmed that the United States strongly supports the collaboration among the three. She also said that the three foreign ministers will probably meet with Blinken and her in the coming weeks to underline the importance of the collaboration and the work they are trying to complete on energy, maritime safety and other issues.
Commenting on her recent visit to the Turkish-occupied northern part of Cyprus, she said that she was very clear with Turkish Cypriot community leader Ersin Tatar that the United States supports a bizonal bicommunal federation as a solution to the Cyprus issue, not the solution of two separate coutnries that he supports. Asked why American officials keep visiting him, since he is not observing the UN negotiations framework, the US undersecretary said that it is a set policy of the United States to visit the north every time they visit the Cyprus Republic.