Brent Scowcroft Center Program Assistant Robert Gramer writes in the National Interest on how Europe can wean itself off of Russian energy imports:
The European Union’s dithering response to Russia’s invasion of Crimea can be blamed in large part on Europe’s overdependence on Russian energy imports. In response, EU leaders met on March 21 to discuss diversifying its energy sources, including seeking natural gas supplies from the United States to supplant Russia’s grip over European energy markets. Yet Europe will also need to search its own backyard for alternate supplies given the significant time and investment it would take to establish a supply route from the United States capable of usurping Russia’s supply.
Europe should focus this search on the Eastern Mediterranean for reasons that transcend the immediate benefit of diversifying Europe’s energy market. A recently discovered gas field off the coast of Israel may provide Europe with an alternate natural gas supply in its own neighborhood, while simultaneously helping solve a fifty-five-year dispute on the island of Cyprus.