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G7 Boldly Displays Its Lies Regarding Anti-Russia Sanctions

The G7 Group of Western industrialised countries lies its way to more sanctions against Russia.

Eric Zuesse

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This article is an edited version of an article originally written by Eric Zuesse at The Saker, which has been republished by The Duran at the author’s request and with his kind permission.

The official statement of the G7 group of leading Western industrialised countries (the US, Britain, France, Germany, Canada, Italy and Japan) publicly confirms the G7 group’s support for the continuation of Barack Obama’s anti-Russia sanctions policy. 

More to the point the statement is based on obvious and blatant lies.

I shall parse this statement and provide links to show how:

“We stand united in our conviction that the conflict in Ukraine can only be solved by diplomatic means and in full respect for international law, especially the legal obligation to respect Ukraine’s sovereignty, territorial integrity and independence [even though they don’t deny the rights of Catalonians to separate from Spain, or of Scots to separate from the UK, if that’s what the Catalan and Scottish people want].

We reiterate our condemnation of the illegal annexation of the Crimean peninsula by Russia [as the previous link shows, the illegality was actually Obama’s coup in Kiev, not what the Crimeans or the Russians did] and reaffirm our policy of its non-recognition and sanctions against those involved [those being sanctions solely against Russia, for having accepted the request of 97% of Crimeans to become Russian citizens, and for protecting Crimeans from being invaded by the Ukrainian army and air force].

We are concerned by continued violence along the line of contact in violation of the ceasefire [in the far-eastern Donbass portion of Ukraine]; we urge all sides to take concrete steps that will lead to the complete ceasefire required under the Minsk agreements. We also urge all sides to fulfil their commitments without delay with a view to holding local elections in certain areas of the Donetsk and Luhansk regions [the two regions that together make up Donbass, the part of Ukraine that had voted 90% for the Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych, whom Obama overthrew in February 2014] as soon as possible in accordance with the Minsk agreements.

We emphasise our strongest support for full implementation of the Minsk agreements and the work of the Normandy format and the Trilateral Contact Group. We expect Russia [but note not the coup-imposed Ukrainian government] to live up to its commitments and use its influence over the separatists to meet their commitments in full. [This passage acknowledges that Russia has only ‘influence’ over the separatists and does not control them; yet only Russia is being asked to live up to its alleged ‘commitments’.  If Russia only has ‘influence’ and only over one side – the ‘separatists’ but not the Ukrainian government? – how can it be held responsible for the non-fulfilment of the Minsk agreements?].

We stress the OSCE’s key role in helping to de escalate the crisis, and we call upon all sides, particularly the separatists [why ‘particularly’ the separatists — is this supposed to be an unbiased neutral statement? if so it clearly is not.], to provide the organisation’s monitors full and unfettered access throughout the conflict zone.

We recall that the duration of sanctions is clearly linked to Russia’s complete implementation of the Minsk agreements [yet again, the G7’s statement is clearly and singularly hostile against Russia, and supportive of the coup-imposed Ukrainian government] and respect for Ukraine’s sovereignty [but what about the right of self-determination of peoples, which even the West recognises in Scotland and Catalonia but NOT it seems in Donbass and Crimea, despite the fact that people in the Donbass voted 90% for Yanukovych and people in Crimea voted 75% for him, and despite the fact that the post-coup Ukrainian regime which overthrew Yanukovych is rabidly hostile to the people of the Donbass and Crimea and calls them ‘terrorists’ for rejecting Ukraine’s coup-government?].

Sanctions can be rolled back when Russia meets these commitments [what ‘commitments’? – note only one side of the dispute is required to fulfil any ‘commitments’ and that side is one which is not even properly speaking a party to the conflict since it is neither the Ukrainian government nor the people the G7 calls the separatists]. However, we also stand ready to take further restrictive measures [here the warmongering G7 are actually threatening to increase sanctions against Russia, though their case for having even the existing sanctions is based entirely upon lies] in order to increase cost on Russia should its actions so require [according to what standard and judged by whom? — themselves presumably].

We recognise the importance of maintaining dialogue with Russia [would their entire statement be so incredibly one-sided and false if this were really true?] in order to ensure it abides by the commitments it [yet again referring only to Russia] has made as well as international law and to reach a comprehensive, sustainable and peaceful solution to the crisis.

We commend and support the steps Ukraine is taking [can anyone but a full-fledged idiot fail to recognise how biased in favour of the Ukrainian government and against the Russian government — how totally one-sided in fact — this statement is?] to implement comprehensive structural, governance and economic reforms and encourage Ukraine to continue and accelerate the process. We urge Ukraine to maintain and enhance the momentum in its fight against corruption and its judicial reform, including the Prosecutor General’s office. We are fully committed to providing long-term support to this end [does that mean anything more than providing yet more taxpayer-backed loans to get the bankrupt Ukrainian government even deeper into debt and austerity than it is already in and to sell off in insider-rigged ‘auctions’ virtually the entire Ukrainian economy?]. We also commend the work of the Ukraine support group of G7 Ambassadors in Kyiv.”

The three underlying suppositions of the statement are:

1: All of the violations of the Minsk agreements are by Russia.

2: Russia controls what the independence forces in the separatist Donbass region of the former Ukraine do, and is therefore responsible for everything that those forces do, including any Minsk-violation they might commit.

3 (a corollary of 1&2): The Ukrainian government never violates the Minsk agreements, or else must suffer no sanctions for having done so: only Russia can be blamed for any failure to comply with the Minsk agreements.

All three of these suppositions are false.

1: If the question is violations of the ceasefire, many of the violations of the Minsk agreements were made by the Ukrainian government, and most if not all the rest were the result of the Donbass separatist forces firing back at forces attacking them from the Ukrainian government side. Self-defence against attacks from the other side does not violate any agreement, and it certainly is not a violation of the Minsk agreements. (The residents of Luhansk and Donetsk never agreed to be sitting ducks for Ukrainian soldiers and airmen intent upon killing them.)

2: Russia does not control what the separatist forces do, but does provide essential assistance to those forces.  There is a big difference between providing assistance, and having control over these forces.

3: Here are some direct and indisputable violations of the Minsk agreements (signed on 12th February 2015, by the Ukrainian government (totally ignored by the G7’s statement, just cited here):

Measure 4 of the agreement states that,

“Without delay, but no later than 30 days from the date of signing of this document [i.e., by no later than 13 March 2015], a resolution has to be approved by the Verkhovna Rada [parliament] of Ukraine, indicating the territory which falls under the special regime in accordance with the law ‘On temporary Order of Local Self-Governance in Particular Districts of Donetsk and Luhansk Oblasts,’ based in the line set up by the Minsk Memorandum as of 19 September 2014.”

This is not only an action Ukraine committed itself to take, but it also an action it was required to take by no later than a specific date.  It has not done so.

Did Ukraine suffer any Western penalties in consequence?  Hardly!  Instead, on 12 March 2015, Radio Free Europe article headlined “A Bipartisan Cause In Washington: Arming Ukraine Against Russia” reported that “consensus appears to be snowballing among Democratic and Republican lawmakers in the U.S. capitol on at least one issue: arming Ukraine. One exception, however, is the figure who matters most: President Barack Obama.”  No reason was given for his hesitation, but by this time it was clear Ukraine would – on the following day – be in stark violation of the Minsk II accord — this barely month after its President signed it.

The U.S. Congress can ignore international legalities and remain unconcerned about the effect this has abroad.  After all the US doesn’t really care about international legalities. However the US President has to maintain at least the appearance of a legalistic front so as not to embarrass too much the leaders of America’s client-states such as Germany and France (which had after all initiated the Minsk agreements).   Obama’s own agent who orchestrated the coup had said at the time, “F–k the EU!“; however there is a limit to how much public humiliation even the most cooperative of the White House’s stooges can reasonably be expected to tolerate.

In any event, the crucial March 13th 2015 deadline came and went without being so much as mentioned in the Western ‘news’ media. (And please note here that while the 27 May 2016 G7 statement says “We also urge all sides to fulfil their commitments without delay,” it simply ignores the fact that Ukraine has not only “delayed”  but in fact entirely refuses to comply by its commitments).

Then, just four days later, at the Fort Russ website on March 17th 2015, there appeared an article under the headline “Back to war? Ukrainian parliament rejects the Minsk agreement”, which reported that, “A month after the Minsk agreement the masks are off. New weapons are coming, American instructors are in Ukraine, the IMF credit is approved. Time to get back to killing the kids of Donbass. Where are the sanctions on Kiev?”  That information was of course unpublishable in the West’s ‘news’ media — their ‘journalistic’ standards of course exclude such ‘Russian propaganda’ as this. Truth doesn’t set these standards – power does – and the G7 (and their ‘news’ media) have that power.

The Minsk II agreement set up a 13-stage process.  Each stage beyond stage three, every stage from  beyond stage 4 on through to stage 13, is in abeyance because the Ukrainian government refuses to implement any of them. 

The result of Ukraine’s refusal to implement its side of the Minsk II agreement is that the G7 group threatens intensification of the sanctions against Russia, blaming Russia for all the violations of the Minsk accords.  Blaming Russia is the official ‘truth’, and the ‘news’ media comply with it.

This is similar to what happened in 2002 and 2003, when the ‘news’ media – in order to assist the U.S. government eliminate another Russian-allied leader – Saddam Hussein of Iraq – complied with the official ‘truth’ about ‘Saddam’s WMD’ — that his nuclear-weapons equipments and materials still existed, and that they threatened the West, even though the IAEA had actually said that they had destroyed all of Saddam’s nuclear-weapons-related capabilities and materials in 1998!  The media on that occasion simply hid this crucial information from the public, allowing George W. Bush to say without challenge that the IAEA were saying that the Iraqis were six months away from developing a weapon – a claim that was completely fabricated and which had no truth to it.

Geoffrey Perret wrote (p. 349): “After inspections resumed in November 2002, the IAEA concluded that there were no nuclear weapons and no program to build them. That was why the Niger yellowcake story had to be cooked up.” So: Iraq was invaded on 19 March 2003 on entirely fabricated ‘evidence’ – which an honest press would have exposed – but which the media simply chose to ‘report’ stenographically instead.   Now, in a conflict were the stakes are much higher, we are drifting into World War III in exactly the same way.

Another item in Minsk II that has a deadline is measure 11: “Constitutional reform in Ukraine, with a new constitution to come into effect by the end of 2015, the key element of which is decentralisation (taking into account peculiarities of particular districts of Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts, agreed with representatives of these districts).”

That deadline too came and went with nothing happening and with the fact again being ignored by the G7 and ‘the West’.  The reason it wasn’t complied with was again that Ukraine refused to comply with it, which is of course the reason why the West’s ‘news’ media chooses to ignore the fact.

The extension or even intensification of sanctions, and the NATO buildup on Russia’s borders, are steps along the road to World War III, but the Western ‘news’ media have been so effective in their function – propaganda – that Western publics are unconcerned about the resulting risks of nuclear annihilation or about the growing danger of an event that might spark a global nuclear war.  The hard truth is that these publics don’t even know the most important things that are happening in their own supposedly ‘democratic’ countries.

Here for example is a video which appeared on Fort Russ on 1 June 2016, showing “Texas visits frontline DPR positions”.

Such evidence is however irrelevant to the G7 leaders (Obama, Merkel, Hollande, Abe, Cameron, Renzi, Trudeau). They have an entire world to destroy, and they’re too busy doing it, to care about evidence that shows them all to be liars. Not a single one of them said, when presented with the G7’s proposed statement: NO — I will not sign this!

Is the path to nuclear annihilation being created by an elite of hypocritical liars and a mass of their deceived suckers? Can anything block this path, and so block these liars from destroying the world? Will any major news medium in the West finally separate itself from the chorus of liars and start to report the terrifying truth of these matters — while there is still time left to avert global calamity?

—————

Investigative historian Eric Zuesse is the author, most recently, of  They’re Not Even Close: The Democratic vs. Republican Economic Records, 1910-2010, and of  CHRIST’S VENTRILOQUISTS: The Event that Created Christianity.

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Theresa May’s soft Brexit plan continues to fail, as EU now pushing for UK to leave (Video)

The Duran – News in Review – Episode 138.

Alex Christoforou

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Theresa May’s soft Brexit strategy has been such a monumental failure that even Brussels negotiators are now pushing for the UK to simply leave the union, in what has becoming a British debacle, and a thorn in the Conservative Party’s side.

Many media pundits and analysts are now asking if the latest impasse in Brexit talks means that we are indeed seeing the last days of Theresa May?

While much of the mess the Conservative Party finds themselves in because of Brexit is squarely Theresa May’s fault, much of the damage done by May’s inability to close the deal on Brexit will not go away, even if she does.

The Duran’s Alex Christoforou and Editor-in-Chief Alexander Mercouris discuss Theresa May’s continued failure to obtain her soft Brexit dream, placing herself (and her Conservative Party) in such an embarrassing position, that European Union negotiators, tired of never ending talks, are eager to see Britain go away, in what will be an inevitable hard Brexit.

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“Are these the last days of Theresa May?”, authored by Stephen Bush via The New Statesman:


Are these the last days of Theresa May? This morning’s papers are full of stories of plots and ultimatums to the Prime Minister unless she changes her Brexit strategy, whether from her Scottish MPs over any extension of the transition period due to concerns over fisheries policy, from her Brexiteer MPs over the backstop or from her Cabinet over practically everything.

All this before the Budget next Monday, when Philip Hammond is going to have to find some way to pay for the extra cash for the NHS and Universal Credit all while keeping to May’s pledge that debt will continue to fall as a share of GDP. So added to all May’s Brexit woes, a row over tax rises could be coming down the track.

Of course, the PM’s position has been perilous for a very long time – in fact, when you remember that her period of hegemony ran from July 2016 to June 2017, she’s actually been under threat for more of her premiership than she hasn’t. But just because you roll heads 36 times in a row doesn’t mean your chances of rolling tails aren’t 50/50 on roll 37, and May’s luck could well be running out.

But while May shares a good size of the blame for the mess that the Conservative Party are in, it’s not all her fault by any means and none of those problems will go away if May is replaced or changes tack to win over her internal opponents in the European Research Group.

Ireland has a veto over the end state and only an indefinite and legally binding backstop for the island of Ireland will do if any deal is to be signed off. It’s true to say that no deal also means a hard border on the island of Ireland, but it’s also true that it will always been in the political interests of whoever is in office in Ireland for a hard border to be imposed as a result of no deal rather than for the Irish government to acquiesce in the creation of one through a EU-UK treaty.

The DUP can bring the Conservative government to an early end so they, too, have a de facto veto over any deal that creates barriers between Northern Ireland and the United Kingdom. But the only UK-wide solution – for the backstop to encompass the whole of the United Kingdom – is nothing doing with pro-Brexit Conservative MPs who don’t want an indefinite backstop. It’s also politically tricky with many EU member states, who don’t want the default outcome of the talks to be a UK-wide backstop, which many regard as a threat to the sanctity of single market. (The only reason why it is acceptable on the Irish border is because Ireland is still a member state and because the Irish border was both the location and the cause of political violence within living memory.)

Added to that, the Conservative parliamentary party seems to be undergoing a similar psychological journey to the one that Steve van Riel described during the 2015 Labour leadership election: that groups of any kind tend to reach a more extreme position the longer an issue is debated. Brexiteers who spent 20 years saying they wanted a Norway style deal now talk of Norway as a betrayal. Leavers who cheerily talked about making Northern Ireland into its own customs area before Brexit now talk of the backstop as a constitutional betrayal. And Conservative Remainers who only reluctantly backed an In vote to avoid the political upheaval of negotiating Brexit, or the loss of David Cameron, now call for a referendum re-run and privately flirt with the idea of a new party.

Some of that is May’s fault, yes. But none of it is going to go away if she does and all of it makes the prospect of reaching a Brexit deal considerably less likely.

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Saudi Crown Prince Spoke To Khashoggi By Phone Moments Before He Was Killed: Report

The shifting Saudi narrative of the killing has been met with scepticism and condemnation from the international community.

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Via Zerohedge


In the latest bombshell report involving the Khashoggi murder, Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman reportedly spoke on the phone with journalist Jamal Khashoggi moments before he was murdered in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul. Turkish pro-government daily Yeni Safak disclosed the new alleged details of the case in a report on Sunday, contradicting claims by Saudi authorities that Prince Mohammed played no part in Khashoggi’s murder.

“Khashoggi was detained by the Saudi team inside the consulate building. Then Prince Mohammed contacted Khashoggi by phone and tried to convince him to return to Riyadh,” the report said.

“Khashoggi refused Prince Mohammed’s offer out of fear he would be arrested and killed if he returned. The assassination team then killed Khashoggi after the conversation ended,” it added.

While the report is so far unconfirmed, the New Arab reports that so far Turkish pro-government media have been receiving a steady stream of leaks many of which turned out to be accurate, including pictures of the hit team as they entered Turkey and reports of audio recordings of the murder said to be in the possession of Turkish authorities.

Meanwhile, the Saudi version of events has been changing significantly over the past two weeks with authorities conceded Saturday that Khashoggi, the Washington Post columnist and a Riyadh critic, was killed inside the kingdom’s Istanbul diplomatic compound following a “brawl”. The admission came after a fortnight of denials with the insistence that the journalist left the consulate alive, starting on October 5, when Crown Prince MBS told Bloomberg that Khashoggi was not inside the consulate and “we are ready to welcome the Turkish government to go and search our premises”.

On Saturday, the kingdom announced it had fired five top officials and arrested 18 others in an investigation into the killing – a move that has widely been viewed as an attempt to cover up the crown prince’s role in the murder.

The shifting Saudi narrative of the killing has been met with scepticism and condemnation from the international community, and has left the U.S. and other allies struggling for a response on Sunday. As Bloomberg reports, France demanded more information, Germany put arms sales to Riyadh on hold and the Trump administration stressed the vital importance of the kingdom and its economy to the U.S.

In Sunday radio and TV interviews, Dominic Raab, the U.K. politician in charge of negotiating Britain’s exit from the European Union, described the latest Saudi account as not credible; French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire called for “the truth’’; and Germany’s Foreign Minister Heiko Maas said his government would approve no arms sales so long as the investigation was ongoing.

Earlier on Sunday, Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir acknowledged a cover-up attempt. The dramatic reversal, after Saudi officials had previously said the columnist left the building alive, has only complicated the issue for allies.

Saudi Arabia’s al-Jubeir told Fox News on Sunday that the journalist’s death was an “aberration.”

“There obviously was a tremendous mistake made and what compounded the mistake was the attempt to cover up,” he said, promising that “those responsible will be punished for it.”

More importantly, he said that Prince Mohammed had no knowledge of the events, although if the Turkish report is confirmed, it will be yet another major flaw with the official narrative.

Several senior members of US President Donald Trump’s Republican Party said they believed Prince Mohammed was linked to the killing, and one called for a “collective” Western response if a link is proved. In an interview with The Washington Post, President Trump, too, said the Saudi narrative had been marked by “deception and lies.’’ Yet he also defended Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman as a “strong person,’’ and said there was no proof of his involvement in Khashoggi’s death. Some members of Congress have questioned his willingness to exonerate the prince.

“Obviously there’s been deception and there’s been lies,” Trump said on the shifting accounts offered by Riyadh.

On Sunday, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan promised to disclose details about the case at a meeting of his AK Party’s parliamentary faction on Tuesday, Haberturk newspaper reported.

Meanwhile, as Western firms and high-ranked officials scramble to avoid any Saudi involvement, Russia is more than happy to step in and fill the power vacuum void left by the US. As a result, Russian businesses are flocking to attend the investment forum in Saudi Arabia, as Western counterparts pull out.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has had considerable success boosting Moscow’s influence in the Middle East at U.S. expense, by standing by regimes that fall afoul of the West, including in Syria and Iran. Last week Putin signed a strategic and partnership agreement with Egypt’s President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi, backed by $25 billion in loans to build nuclear reactors. Until El-Sisi came to power, Egypt had been closely allied to the U.S.

Meanwhile, all eyes are fixed squarely on the Crown Prince whose position of power is looking increasingly perilous. Congressional leaders on Sunday dismissed the story proffered earlier by the Saudis, with Republican Senators Lindsey Graham of South Carolina and Bob Corker of Tennessee saying they believed the crown prince was likely involved in Khashoggi’s death.

Lawmakers said they believe the U.S. must impose sanctions on Saudi Arabia or take other action if the crown prince is shown to have been involved. Speaking on NBC’s “Meet the Press,” Senator Dick Durbin of Illinois, the chamber’s No. 2 Democrat, said the Saudi ambassador to the U.S. should be formally expelled until a third-party investigation is done. He said the U.S. should call on its allies to do the same.

“Unless the Saudi kingdom understands that civilized countries around the world are going to reject this conduct and make sure that they pay a price for it, they’ll continue doing it,”’ Durbin said.

The obvious question is what happens and how the Saudi royal family will respond if it is pushed too far, and whether the worst case scenario, a sharp cut in oil exports, could be on the table if MBS feels like he has little to lose from escalating the situation beyond a point of no return.

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The Biggest Winners In The Mediterranean Energy War

Energy companies are flocking to the Mediterranean after oil and gas discoveries in the territorial waters of Israel, Cyprus, and Egypt.

The Duran

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Authored by Vanand Meliksetian via Oilprice.com:


Former Vice-President of the United States Dick Cheney once said: “the good lord didn’t see fit to put oil and gas only where there are democratically elected states… Occasionally we have to operate in places where, all considered, one would not normally choose to go. But we go where the business is.” Europe is surrounded by states with abundant energy resources, but supply from these countries is not always as reliable. Russia, for example, is regularly accused of using energy as a weapon. However, major discoveries of gas in the Eastern Mediterranean could mitigate dependence on Russian gas.

The discovery of a gas field named Tamar near the coast of Israel in 2009 set off a wave of investments in the energy sector. After 9 years, companies are flocking to the region after other discoveries in the territorial waters of Israel, Cyprus, and Egypt. Ever larger finds in the Mediterranean Sea’s Levant Basin such as the Leviathan gas field in 2010 and Zohr in 2015, have the potential to transform the strategic importance of the region.

Turkey’s energy hub ambitions

Few states in the world are geographically so well positioned as Turkey. The country controls Russia’s only warm water port in the Black Sea and serves as a bridge between east and west. Therefore, during the Cold War Ankara was an indispensable member of NATO. More recently, Turkey has the ambition to become an energy hub for Middle Eastern and Caspian energy. Ankara has had mixed successes in attracting investors and maintaining political stability.

After Israel’s significant discoveries, a U.S. backed initiative presented Turkey as an energy hub. Although a land pipeline is the cheapest option to transport gas from the Mediterranean to Europe, political developments have stalled construction. President Erdogan’s escalating public denunciations of Israel have made Jerusalem look for other options. Furthermore, relations with Europe have also been damaged which would be dependent on Turkey as a transit country.

Egypt as the regional gas hub

Egypt’s has the third largest gas reserves in Africa. Therefore, its export-oriented LNG industry came on-stream in 2004 but was shut mid-2013 due to a lack of resources. The growth of the domestic market demanded ever larger volumes, which went at the expense of exports. Instead, Egypt started importing LNG. However, the discovery of the massive Zohr gas field, the largest in the Eastern Mediterranean, has turned around the situation. Egypt imported its last shipment of LNG in September 2018.

Although relations between Egypt and Israel are far from normal, privately held companies have been able to strike a deal. Starting from the first quarter of 2019, in 10 years 64 bcm worth $10 billion will be delivered. The agreement has stirred controversy in Egypt, which until recently was exporting to Israel. However, with this deal, Cairo comes closer in becoming an energy hub.

The recent signing of another agreement, this time with Nicosia to develop a subsea pipeline from Cyprus’ Aphrodite gas field, has been another important step. Cypriot gas will be pumped 400 miles (645 kilometers) to the south to Egypt’s LNG facilities. Difficult relations with Nicosia’s northern neighbors make a pipeline to the north highly unlikely.

Cairo has been able to act pragmatically concerning its relations with its neighbors such as Israel while taking advantage of the limited amount of options for exporting gas. The obvious winner in this context has been Egypt and its LNG industry. Its chances of becoming the regional energy hub instead of Turkey have significantly increased.

Turkey’s hope for luck

All littoral states of the Eastern Mediterranean struck ‘gold’ in the shape of natural gas except for Turkey. Ankara strongly opposes the exploitation of the gas resources in the exclusive economic zone of the Republic of Cyprus without a sharing agreement with Northern Cyprus’ Turkish inhabitants. The Turkish Navy prevented ships from Italy’s Eni from performing exploratory drilling off the coast of the Republic of Cyprus.

In search of its own luck, Ankara has set up a project to start looking for gas in the EEZ of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC), which is only recognized by Turkey. Kudret Özersay, TRNC deputy prime minister and minister of foreign affairs, proclaimed the desire to turn the TRNC into an energy and electricity hub. However, it seems unlikely that investors will be willing to participate due to political and legal reasons.

The legal situation of the TRNC is an impediment to any major decision involving a longtime commitment worth billions. From an international point of view, the region is de jure part of the Republic of Cyprus, despite holding no control over the region. The TRNC holds no seat in the WTO.

Large investments require solid legal and political support for companies to earn back their investments. The current economic situation of Turkey makes it dependent on foreign money. However, stringent due diligence rules could impede some international banks in lending the necessary funds.

The Eastern Mediterranean Sea basin promises great rewards, but the risks are also high. With Turkey potentially being the only country that doesn’t profit from the gas bonanza, Ankara has acted aggressively to get what it regards as its fair share. However, it faces a united front from the other littoral states of the Eastern Mediterranean. Therefore, it is highly unlikely that Turkey will be able to profit in the same way as Cyprus, Egypt or Israel.

By Vanand Meliksetian for Oilprice.com

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