(November 29, 2012) A joint venture between Russia’s national gas giant Gazprom and Israel to develop its offshore gas fields, could propel Israel to energy superpower status in the Middle East. Lawrence Solomon’s recent presentation to the Middle East Forum forms the basis of the following article.
Special to WorldTribune.com
WASHINGTON — A joint energy venture by Israel and Russia could make
the Jewish state a major exporter in the Middle East.
Russian gas giant Gazprom has jumped at the chance to participate in the development of Israel’s huge offshore natural gas reserves.
A Canadian energy analyst told the Middle East Forum that Gazprom Israel could mark a watershed in Middle East energy. Lawrence Solomon, executive director of the Energy Probe Research Foundation, said the joint venture, believed opposed by the United States, could establish strategic relations between Moscow and Jerusalem.
“Among Russia’s motives are the desire to influence the price of gas going to Europe and accessing Israeli know-how in countering Islamist terror threats in Russia,” Solomon said in a briefing on Nov. 8.
“Given Russia’s historic rivalry with Turkey and Iran, its growing military ties with Israel will serve as an additional political tool in the Jewish state’s arsenal to protect its energy development and to secure its future.”
Solomon said Israel has been developing massive offshore natural gas reserves as the rest of the Middle East was seeing a decline in energy assets. He said Israeli gas would convert the Jewish state into a major supplier to Europe and cement military alliances with Greece and the Republic of Cyprus, both seen as rivals to Turkey.
The original version of this article is available here.