As the tension between Israel and Iran ratchets up, an interesting sub-text has developed over the role of Iran’s traditional backer, Russia. While many Western observers continue to raise the spectre of a ‘wider Middle East conflagration’ (an argument we have consistently refuted), and one that could drag in Russia, a whole new, higher value, game chip is now in play: Moscow’s interest in Israeli energy.
Israel and neighbouring and potential partner, member of EU, Cyprus, of course must be quite aware that Gazprom, Russia’s battering ram, can easily prove to be a Trojan Horse in any major future natural gas development. They will try to affect a project that could certainly lessen their energy stranglehold over Europe. A 20 million metric tons per year liquid natural gas (LNG) export from Eastern Mediterranean into Europe would amount to about one third of current Russian exports.
Whatever we may think of Vladimir Putin’s politics, one thing is clear, he is a shrewd, often ruthless, operator on the global stage. But Putin’s Kremlin is clearly rattled by the threat of decline for that which underpins Russia’s entire economy: its energy hegemony.
Read more at Canada Free Press. By Peter C. Glover and Michael J. Economides.
Photo credit: terrellaftermath
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