The Biden administration has abruptly withdrawn American support for the Eastern Mediterranean (EastMed) pipeline, a project aimed at shipping natural gas from Israel to European markets. The White House appears to have caved to pressure from Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, who has vociferously opposed the underwater pipeline because it would bypass Turkey. Many European leaders have argued that this decision will effectively give Moscow a stranglehold over European gas supplies and open the continent to Russian blackmail.
The White House could not have chosen a less opportune moment to announce its decision. With tensions rising between Russia and Ukraine, Europe (which relies on Russia for approximately one-third of its natural gas supplies) is searching for alternative sources of gas to reduce its overreliance on Moscow.