The EU cooperates with Israel and Egypt in a bid to diversify its energy suppliers. Russia has put the block under pressure by cutting many companies who rejected its strict financial regulations.
The European Commission’s president inked a deal to transit gas from Israel to across the EU countries via Egypt. The goal is clear: the EE needs the agreement to be portrayed as a major accomplishment, bolstering its opposition to Russian advantages.
Ursula Von der Leyen, speaking in Cairo, praised the agreement as a historic move in thwarting the Russian resources dominance. Von der Leyen also referred to the multi-dimension nature of the new deal saying “we reaffirm our joint commitment and determination to accelerate the just energy transition and develop a resource-efficient, socially just and low emissions and climate neutral economy.”
The bilateral agreement on natural gas transit through Egyptian territories is hoped to terminate the European Union’s reliance on Russian energy resources. After the Russian war against Ukraine, the Europe has been attempting to remove its dependence on Moscow. Before departing for the Green continent, the gas will go through liquidation process in Egypt.
Organizations watching the EU energy strategies and the move towards clean power have reacted with skepticism to Von der Leyen’s statements. They argue that the accord will provide little freedom from troublesome administrations. It would also be unable to foster an energy transition that is both ecologically and societally sound.
After receiving almost 40% of its gas resources from Russia in 2021, the EU has been looking to expand its energy supply.
Earlier this week, Von der Leyen said the EU has turned to trustworthy energy suppliers in response to Russia’s effort to manipulate the EU through energy. This is while the EU policy has its critics due to multiple reasons.
Trustworthy Energy Suppliers; From Russia to Israel
“The European Union is shifting from one repressive regime to two more. It is putting the priority of getting gas over human rights,” these remarks by a European observer at a European research center indicates that there are complexities in what the officials introduce as a smooth process.
Egypt and Israel are charged with war crimes and significant human rights abuses. Autonomous entities have condemned Egyptian administration for oppressing activists and the media.
On the other hand, Tel Aviv has incessantly faced human rights charges. Putting Gaza under blockade for over 15 years, illegal occupation of Palestinian lands, and assassination of journalists and activists are among these charges.
To turn into major energy suppliers, Israeli authorities need to expand exploration operation of natural gas resources. The Israeli energy minister explained late last month in a post on twitter that Israel was “embarking on the fourth Israeli natural gas exploration.”
The operation might exacerbate disputes between Israel and Lebanon over sea territory disagreements, roughly equaling 328 square miles. The two sides are still on negotiations over the Karish field.
Many countries have had their gas supply cut off by Russian enterprises because they refused to adopt Moscow’s payment system. The new developments occurred after western countries penalized Moscow with sanction due to the Ukraine war.
The replacement for Russia, ironically, has been involved in war for over seven decades. Since its establishment, Israel has faced multiple and incessant accusations ranging from war crimes, to violence, occupation, illegal conducts, and more recently, crimes against humanity.
For Europe, seeking more trustworthy energy suppliers, Israel might be one of the rare options. Observers, however, avoid accepting it as the best choice considering its human rights and security issues. Russia began a war; Israel has been in war.