Cyprus Foreign Minister, Ioannis Kasoulides, has said that a financial feasibility study will show whether the EastMed gas pipeline is attainable.
Asked by the Cyprus News Agency (CNA) to comment on media reports about the EastMed and the US stance towards the project, Kasoulides said that “if the results of the financial feasibility study are positive then we will look into the other issues. If not, the EastMed is not attainable.”
Invited to comment on the fact that the Nautical Geo research vessel had been harassed by a Turkish frigate in Cyprus’ Exclusive Economic Zone, the Foreign Minister said that there was indeed harassment that cannot remain without a response. “We cannot say that it does not matter, and for this reason, all necessary representations will be made,” he added.
As regards the EastMed pipeline, Kasoulides said that when the decision about it was taken “it was subject to a positive financial feasibility study.”
He noted that this is a project that requires a huge investment and that its implementation could only proceed if it would be self-financed.
The Foreign Minister said that the European Commission undertook to finance the feasibility study, adding that “we are now expecting the results of the feasibility study and if they are positive then we will proceed to look into the other issues. If not, the EastMed is not attainable.”
Asked if they are concerned by statements made by the US and the position outlined by Amos Hochstein, the Special Envoy and Coordinator for International Energy Affairs who leads the Bureau of Energy Resources at the US Department of State, Kasoulides replied: “No, we are not concerned for the simple reason that what Hochstein is now saying, we were saying as well since the decision was taken to have a financial feasibility study.”
“If there was no financial feasibility then we all know the project would not proceed.” The Foreign Minister continued “if high expectations were created (for the project), this was not from our side. In democracies, this is inevitable when elections are due to be held,” he added.