George Protopapas spoke on Friday, 5 January 2019, in First Program of Hellenic Broadcasting Corporation (ERT) Radio, 9:20 – 10:35, for the EastMed agreement which signed Israel, Greece and Cyprus.
George told that EastMed agreement upgrades Greece in diplomatic level and provoked Turkish reactions. The agreement is considered a diplomatic success for Greece and isolates Turkey which has been criticized by european governments for the Turkey-Libya Memorandum on demarcating the sea border and sending Turkish troops to Libya.
Athens government may also perceive EastMed as a guarantee of Greece’s security against Turkish provocations in the Aegean and Eastern Mediterranean The EastMed pipeline safety clause, which is allegedly included in the agreement (Article 10) is related to the above interpretation, as it binds the parties which involve, to protect the pipeline.
However, EastMed agreement raises questions about the pipeline’s adequacy and the high cost of $ 7 billion. The pipeline will be 1,900km – most of it underwater – and will carry 10 billion cubic meters of natural gas annual . However, the confirmed Israeli and Cypriot energy reserves are not sufficient to supply the pipeline. EastMed construction is considered challenge for Greece, Cyprus, Israel, three small states, which do not have much experience in the construction of underwater pipelines, compared to Russia and Turkey. In addition, the participation of other states in East Med project, such as Egypt and Lebanon, may also be affected by the course of their relations with Israel.