Leaders of Cyprus, Greece and Israel are planning to sign an agreement early in the new year for the construction of a new natural gas pipeline. In Athens on January 2nd, the Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis, Cypriot President Nikos Anastasiades and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, will meet to sign the agreement. The deal will be finalized at a later date dependent on Italy’s signature, they have already expressed displeasure with the project earlier this year. The pipeline will transverse the Mediterranean from the Levantine Basin offshore gas reserve of Israel, to the Greek Island of Crete and the Greek Mainland, then to Italy. The EastMed Pipeline project has an estimated completion date of 2025.
Greece is seeking to entrench itself as a hub for gas coming from the Eastern Mediterranean to mainland Europe. This announcement comes just weeks after Turkey and Libya signed a deal to have increased security presence along their maritime border. This border disregards the Greek Island of Crete to the displeasure of the Greek government.
This pipeline spanning 1,180 miles is expected to satisfy 10% of the European Union’s (EU) natural gas requirements which will decrease the EU’s dependency on Russia. Currently, Russia is responsible for nearly 40% of all the imported gas in the EU.