Europe’s need for a proper alternative to Russian gas has never called more attention than it does now. After the lightning move made by Kremlin to curb the supply of gas from state-owned Gazprom to Europe, the continent has been running amok in need of an alternative. force to rely on the winter reserves, a majority of countries in Europe are somehow satiating their domestic needs. But how long can these countries stick with their winter reserves?
EU finds an alternative but…
With concerns running high, the European Union has finally craned its neck into the gas fields of the Mediterranean Sea. But to kick-off its chances in Lebanon, the EU needs to make a rapprochement attempt with Israel.
Early June saw a floating gas exploration ship operated by a London-based Energean moored in the Karish fields of the Mediterranean. The Karish field, which contains about 1.4 trillion cubic feet of proved and probable gas reserves, is located south of the southern boundary of the disputed area. It was discovered in 2013.
The EU now salivating over the Karish fields has opened old chapters of rivalry between both Israel and Lebanon. The US has been labouring hard to alleviate the tensions by adorning the role of a mediator between the two countries. US energy official Amos Hochstein has been specially appointed to make a truce happen between the raging two nations. The new offer, which would give Israel the Karish field and Lebanon the Qana field has not gone well with the power circles in Lebanon. They reacted “will never accept, not now nor tomorrow nor next week.”
Lebanon is passing through a hard phase with Internal troubles picking pace coupled with a debt-stricken economy. This made Europe get deep into the rings of delusion hoping that Lebanon may break the long-held stigma by joining hands with the EU over gas deals that are nothing short of a lucrative deal. The European countries in their dire need to find an alternate solution got blinded away from the fact that it is Iran that calls the shot in Lebanon.
Iran upped the game
EU has always favoured a trade relationship with Tehran, but it never saw the light of the day owing to the dominance that the US possessed in matters pertaining to Iran. Due to Iran’s refusal to meet face to face with the US officials, the EU and Britain have been shuttling back and forth to relay messages between the two camps.
Read more: A fierce retaliation from Israel begins a chain of attacks against Hezbollah by locals in Lebanon
In recent times, Iran has been ruling the roost with the US, acquiring a tone of dominance to lift off the IRGC from the terrorist sanctions and to make run again the stalled JCPOA deal. Washington on the other hand bowed to Iran to an extent that baffled many. The US was prepared to lift the terror designation off the IRGC but Iran refused “some reciprocal steps,” which had to do with halting support for Lebanon’s Hezbollah and curbing the IRGC’s participation in wars in Yemen and Syria. And thereby the final word went from the chamber of the oval office that any talks with Iran is “off the table.”
And got mired in this conflict is the EU. Winter scare is something real that could undo all the equations of existence for the EU countries. With no gas to depend on, EU should run find a better alternative to rely upon. But in Lebanon, the devil has appeared in the shape of US. Iran won’t allow any deal to fructify until and unless US abides by its term of lifting IRGC from the terrorist list. And for EU the only way to sustain winter would be to conjure enough strength to trample upon Joe Biden and go independent in their decision to ink a deal with Lebanon, or more like Iran.
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