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.
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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.
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