Turkey blames costs as US pulls support for EastMed gas pipeline
Turkish president Tayyip Erdogan said cost concerns caused a reversal of US support for the EastMed pipeline project, Reuters reported on January 18.
The $6-$7bn subsea pipeline project, backed by Greece, Cyprus and Israel, was intended to supply natural gas from the eastern Mediterranean to Europe but was opposed by Turkey.
"This project is not something that can happen," Erdogan said, according to the Reuters report. "They (the US) carried out all the analyses, and they saw it had no positive sides. In other words, the cost calculations don't add up."
Although the project was supported by the Trump administration, the Biden administration expressed concerns last week over its economic viability and environmental issues and suggested priority should be given to interconnecting the electricity grids of countries in the region.
The door remains open for Israel and Turkey to resume talks on energy resource cooperation.
"Is there no hope of reaching something now? We can sit down and discuss terms," Erdogan said.