A geopolitical account of the Eastern Mediterranean conundrum: sovereignty, balance of power and energy security considerations

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Abstract

This paper provides a geopolitical lens to explain the evolving tensions in the Eastern Mediterranean. More specifically, it unpacks conceptually how sovereignty, balance of power and energy security concerns drive exploration schemes and forge pipeline politics. First, the discovery of new gas deposits in the Eastern Mediterranean have created significant Turkish challenges to Cypriot, Greek and Egyptian sovereignty. Second, Greece and Cyprus have allied with both Israel and Egypt to balance against Turkey. The designated pipeline infrastructure these countries promote serves to enhance their sovereignty and cement their alliance and joint posturing vis-à-vis Turkey. Third, Russia’s geopolitical assertiveness has led the European Commission to vigorously back gas schemes in the Eastern Mediterranean to enhance energy security, promote diversification and balance against the Russian threat. Together, these three prime objectives account for the evolving conundrum in the region.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1897088
Pages (from-to)1-18
Number of pages18
JournalCambridge Review of International Affairs
Volume00
Issue number00
Early online date11 Mar 2021
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 11 Mar 2021

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