Croatia and Cyprus can contribute to Europe’s energy independence

ZAGREB, 11 May 2022 – Cyprus can help the European Union achieve energy independence, President Nicos Anastasiades said on Wednesday during an official visit by Croatian Prime Minister Andrej Plenković, who stressed that the LNG terminal on the island of Krk would play an important role in this regard.

The two officials discussed the energy crisis following the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

President Anastasiades also condemned Turkey’s decision not to join European sanctions against Russia.

Anastasiades spoke about energy interconnection projects in the Eastern Mediterranean, between North Africa and Europe, and the EastMed gas pipeline which should link Cyprus to Europe via Greece.

The island state has discovered large offshore gas deposits in recent years, and the proposed project is still being analyzed to test its economic feasibility, Anastasiades said.

This can contribute to Europe’s energy diversification, he told a press conference.

Addressing the press conference in Nicosia, Plenković stressed that the LNG terminal on the island of Krk will play an important role in achieving Europe’s energy security. We are currently thinking about increasing its capacity and not only for Croatia but for the needs of the countries of Central Europe, he said.

Croatia can become an energy hub in the northern Adriatic for gas and oil, Plenković said.

He stressed that Europe must find a new long-term sustainable alternative to Russian energy products at an affordable price.

Bilateral cooperation

The two officials underlined that this was the first visit of a Croatian Prime Minister to Cyprus and that it should mark a turning point in the cooperation between the two countries so that their political agreement on European issues can be achieved. extend to economic subjects.

The two countries are expected to finalize an agreement to avoid double taxation in November and they have also signed a memorandum on strengthening economic cooperation, which should be accompanied by a memorandum on digital transformation and maritime traffic.

We are two Mediterranean countries close to each other, we share the Mediterranean and I think there is a lot of room to expand cooperation, Plenković said, highlighting the petrochemical and electric power industries, the IT sector, the pharmaceutical industry and financial and digital cooperation.

Cyprus and Croatia have been connected by air for two years, which has led to an increase in the number of tourists.

Croatia’s political objectives

Plenković said he and “his good friend” Anastasiades also discussed Croatia’s ambitions for deeper integration into the EU which is expected to take place this year – joining the Schengen area without a passport, on which a final formal decision is expected in June or July, and eurozone membership, on which a decision is expected in July.

We will be ready for the changeover on January 1, Plenković said.

The two officials also discussed the situation in South Eastern Europe, with a focus on Bosnia and Herzegovina and the need to guarantee the political rights of Croats there, with Zagreb enjoying the full support of Nicosia in this regard. .

Plenković’s two-day visit to Cyprus, during which he laid a wreath at the monument of Makarios III, Archbishop of Cyprus who was the country’s first president and is considered the father of the nation, ended with a meeting with the speaker of the country’s parliament. .

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