Putin seen courting Israel to guarantee natural gas dominance in region

It’s highly unlikely Israel would forge stronger energy ties with the current US administration that has turned its back. The article does not take into context how badly ties are strained between the two over Iran and how it spills over into other areas of diplomacy.

At the same time, Israel is likely smart enough to see the trap Russia is laying. Luckily for Israel, it won’t end up facing Russia’s military as did the republic of Georgia — pre-planned for years beforehand, and all aimed at shutting down any chance of European energy independence. Therefore, with Europe’s energy needs in mind, Israel’s best choice at the moment for a strategic energy partnership, if any, would originate from this continent.

The Washington Institute for Near East Policy said President Vladimir Putin was believed to be seeking to work with Israel in gas exploration in the Mediterranean Sea. In a report by senior fellow Simon Henderson, the institute said Putin, who visited Israel in the spring of 2012, could be lobbying for Israel to select Russia’s Gazprom as a contractor.

“His motive was probably narrow self-interest — to ensure that Israeli
supplies have zero effect on Russia’s dominance of the European natural gas market,” the report, titled “Israel’s Natural Gas Challenges,” said.

“Therefore, Israel may need to be reminded that, diplomatically as well as technically, its best options are to work with the U.S. government and U.S. companies.”

Full article: Putin seen courting Israel to guarantee natural gas dominance in region (World Tribune)

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