Israel wants to help Europe become less dependent on gas from Russia. The country in the Middle East wants to draw on gas reserves, after which the important energy source can be transported to Europe through new pipelines via Greece or Turkey.
An existing line that runs through Egypt could also be extended. There, the gas must be liquefied and shipped to Europe.
The European Commission believes that the EU will no longer need natural gas and other fossil fuels from Russia by 2027. Russia now accounts for about 45 percent of the gas that the union imports and also supplies oil and coal, but since the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the EU has wanted to get rid of that dependence.
Israeli Foreign Minister Yair Lapid recently said in Athens that “the war in Ukraine will change the European and Middle Eastern energy markets”. Israel also wants more economic cooperation with Europe, emphasising energy.
The country agreed in 2020 with Greece and Cyprus to build a pipeline through these two countries to Europe. Turkey, which has recently returned to better diplomatic relations with Israel after more than a decade, opposed the plan. Last week, a top US diplomat said that the construction would be too expensive and would take too long.
Turkey now wants to play a role in a new pipeline to Europe. The country’s energy minister is expected in Israel in the coming weeks.