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Δημοσιεύθηκε: Πέμπτη 27 Ιανουαρίου 2022

Amos Hochstein, Ukraine and the Biden-opoulos Map: How EastMed Pipeline Got Cancelled

Amos Hochstein, Ukraine and the Biden-opoulos Map: How EastMed Pipeline Got Cancelled

There has been a lot of talk lately about the EastMed pipeline of Joe Biden’s Senior Energy Security Advisor Amos Hochstein. First let’s take a brief look at the past of Amos Hochstein, who was born in Israel. His parents were American Jewish immigrants. He served in the Israeli Armed Forces from 1992 to 1995 and after his dismissal moved to Washington to do his internship on Capitol Hill. While intending to return to Israel, he eventually remained in the United States.

According to reports, Hochstein has in the past been active in lobbying for controversial figures as well as authoritarian regimes such as Muammar Gaddafi. In fact, in 2015, Hochstein also defended Erdogan against Russian accusations against the Turkish President for oil smuggling with ISIS.

In 2011, he joined the State Department (under Secretary of State Hillary Clinton), the then newly established Bureau of Energy Resources, which deals with energy security, and leads the US government’s efforts to use energy resources to advance political and geopolitical goals. At the same time, it promotes the American vision of global energy cooperation.

As deputy to the then special envoy of the Bureau of Energy Resources and former US Ambassador to Ukraine, Carlos Pascual, Hochstein has been pushing for Ukraine to secure new gas supplies in the wake of the Crimean crisis in 2014. Since July 2016, it has been clear Kordimerini that Nord Stream II “would have a terribly negative impact on Ukraine and Slovakia, where a significant part of their budget is based on transit charges.” Removing it overnight would be quite dramatic and would have great impact not only economically but also politically in Ukraine and Slovakia, “and add” maybe it’s a good idea to freeze Nord Stream II “.

Hochstein’s relations with Ukraine are quite close. The director of studies at the Institute for Security and Defense Analysis, Zacharias Michas, says that there is information from the Trump era about the possible employment of Biden (Hunter)’s son with the Ukrainian gas company Naftogaz, in which Amos Hochstein also worked. until October 2020) after the end of his first term as Special Envoy to the Bureau of Energy Resources (appointed on 01/08/2014). At the same time, in March 2017, he was hired by Tellurian, a private LNG company based in Houston, where he worked as Senior Vice President Marketing until his departure in September 2020. It is questionable how he was able to maintain both at the same time. seats.

During his first tenure at the State Department, Hochstein also spearheaded the design of the well-known “prophetic” Biden map, which we have discussed extensively in our analysis in iEpikaira, proving that developments in the Eastern Mediterranean one way or another are imprinted on it. The energy expert, when the map was first published on the McClatchy DC website (June 2019) had stated, “it took us a long time to create it”. It is therefore estimated that it was probably written in 2014, or even earlier.

Following the election of Joe Biden, Hochstein was re-appointed Special Envoy of the Bureau of Energy Resources on 10/08/2022, and a few months after his second term began on 06/01/2022, the American non-leaked -paper for EastMed. According to hellasjournal.com, Hochstein expressed concern about the leak of the informal document, which he described as a “step” while claiming that the relevant governments had been informed about it since November 2022. As for Israel, the Jerusalem Post in confirms. Unconfirmed sources state that the Republic of Cyprus was also informed.

First part of the documentary “The pipe dream” (published 07/01/2022 just one day after the non paper!)

Meanwhile, on 07/01/2022 (just one day (?) After the leak of the American non paper on 06/01/2022) the first part of the propaganda documentary of the Turkish TRT World against the EastMed pipeline was published, in which it was shown Hawkstein’s interview provoking strong reactions for his positions, favoring the solution of a PV pipeline from the Israeli EEZ to Turkey, or the conversion of the Israeli and Cypriot PV to LNG.

A few days later he was forced to give clarifications during a round table discussion (published 19/01/2022) with Greek experts about his attitude towards EastMed. Among other things, he stated, “First of all, let me clarify that my personal views and the views of the US Government are in line,” nevertheless, another State Department spokesman on 16/01/2022 clarified that during the interview with Turkish TRT World, “was an individual [cc. did not hold any office] when he made these statements”.

Hochstein argued that the United States did not take the decision to withdraw support for EastMed because of the tensions it is causing in the Eastern Mediterranean, although this is stated in the informal document. “Tensions in the Eastern Mediterranean will continue to exist, whether we are talking about gas or electricity, so we will be dealing with regional tensions and EEZ claims,” ​​he said, adding that “we have not differentiated our position on EastMed. “due to developments in the Eastern Mediterranean. There is a description of data in non-paper, but regional tensions are not the reason why our policy has changed.”

In the first part of the Turkish propaganda documentary on the contrary (12:55 of the video) he wondered “why do you need a [EastMed] pipeline when you can supply from the Eastern Mediterranean to Europe in other ways? You can have LNG. Why do you have to have this? a project that will cause more discord and more complications in the area than is needed “?

EastMed’s design background sheds light on another part of the documentary (10:33 of the video) where he stated that: “Israel did not just want to liquidate the amount of PV it discovered, which was large for a country the size of For a region the size of the Eastern Mediterranean, they wanted to use them not only economically, but also to see if they could connect a pipeline, a natural interconnection between Israel and Europe. “This is a political goal that Israel has had for decades. And that is what they see as a European country in the Middle East.” In other words, Israel has always had the need to establish a strong and stable “link” with the EU, and the tripartite Greece-Cyprus-Israel with EastMed vehicle, gave it this opportunity, as B. Netanyahu had confessed to A. Samara in 2013.

During the roundtable discussion, Hawkstein added, “The EastMed pipeline was an idea in 2016. The skepticism I expressed was not skeptical about the connection between the Eastern Mediterranean and Europe and regional cooperation. The questions are mainly about the high level. costs and logistics and whether they were feasible “. Cost which, however, has not been accurately calculated, since the relevant study has not yet been completed.

Second part of the documentary “The pipe dream” (published 14/01/2022)

In the second part of the Turkish documentary (14/01/2022), Hochstein becomes even more revealing (at 20:00 of the video) and states: “Today with the Biden staff on things [ie the interview was given after the election of Biden and according to a statement from the State Department before taking up the post of Special Envoy], I would be very uncomfortable if the US supported this project. Why build a fossil fuel pipeline between the Eastern Mediterranean and Europe, when all Our goal is to support new technologies, new developments, and new investments in green growth, and clean energy, and by the time this pipeline is completed, we’ll probably have spent billions of dollars of taxpayers’ money on something obsolete. not only outdated but also against the collective interest between the US and Europe. ” It is questionable, of course, why Hochstein is being cut for European taxpayers. And of course it does not specify how EastMed affects US-EU relations, unless it implies US LNG companies that will have fewer customers in the EU.

Hochstein goes on to use clear pro-Turkish rhetoric (at 22:10 in the video): “The amazing thing about Turkey is that it’s connected to so many of the biggest issues facing the international community. Syria, Iraq, Israel, Russia. EU and finally EastMed’s success is possible if Turkey is a part of it, because at the end of the day the issue is not gas but regional hegemony, cooperation, and we must always remember that this is not just about its molecules natural gas”. Here, of course, it is self-defeating, since it previously presented EastMed as unprofitable, outdated, unrealistic and aggravating for the environment. But in the end he concludes that all these issues are resolved with the participation of Turkey.

Finally, returning to the round table discussion he participated in, when asked during a speech about the reason why the non-paper was made public at this time, he shifted the responsibility to the Greek press. “It was given to all the governments and it did not leak to all the countries. It was a message to the governments of the region, a communication between us and the other countries in the region with whom we had constant discussions. The US did not disclose EastMed policy.” said the American official leaving tips against the Greek Ministry of Foreign Affairs (?). The key question, of course, is if the US government did not want it to be made public, what impact would that have on the pipeline? Would it undermine it less?