US Undersecretary of State Victoria Nuland essentially confirmed, in a very public manner and from directly affected Cyprus, that Washington is skeptical over the prospect of a natural gas pipeline linking east Mediterranean deposits with Europe, via Crete and mainland Greece.

Asked directly by reporters, after her meeting on Thursday in Nicosia with Cyprus President Nicos Anastasiades, if the EastMed pipeline is now a vital option for the the US side after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, she said: “The idea here is to build a very long pipeline in very deep water in about 10 years and we think that is very expensive, not economically viable and it will take a long time.”

She added, in quick step, that the West does not have 10 years.

According to a Reuters dispatch, she noted that “…countries in this region have realized that dependence on Russian oil and gas is extremely bad and there is a convergence of interest in diversifying sources of supply, even as we work to move to green energy.”

She also repeated one of Washington’s leitmotifs, in citing the importance of a transition to “green energy”, and a need to diversify energy suppliers and seek alternative energy sources everywhere.

In the wake of the Russian invasion and subsequent sanctions by the west against Putin’s Russia, Israel, Cyprus and Greece recently revisited the prospect of constructing such a pipeline, initially budgeted at six billion euros and described as an extremely complex project in terms of technical specifications.

Reuters also reminded that discussions has resuscitated a proposal aimed at constructing a natgas pipeline from Israeli waters to Turkey, an endeavor which, however, would involve Cyprus, a EU member-state that Turkey does not recognize.

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