THE CYPRUS MAIL:
We cannot link efforts for the solution of the Cyprus problem with the issue of hydrocarbons in the Cyprus EEZ, Energy Minister Giorgos Lakkotrypis said in an interview with Greek media on Saturday.
The Republic of Cyprus is developing and implementing its energy strategy, like all democratic and modern states, in accordance with International law and the relevant United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea of 1982, Lakkotrypis said.
“Turkey’s claim regarding the protection of Turkish Cypriot interests is automatically rejected, in my view, by the neighbouring country’s own illegal ventures in the Eastern Mediterranean,” he said.
“How is it possible to safeguard the interests of our Turkish Cypriot fellow citizens when Turkey, through its own arbitrary interpretation of international law, leaves Cyprus with only 31 per cent of its existing EEZ?” Lakkotrypis asked, noting that the Republic has made multiple calls to Turkey to engage in negotiations for the delimitation of their EEZs.
The Cypriot government has adopted legislation for a national hydrocarbons fund to ensure that all legal citizens, particularly future generations, benefit from hydrocarbon revenues, the minister said.
The ROC is not doing anything to help progress here. Whatever resources Cyprus has, or will have, belong to ALL CYPRIOTS. The manner in which this administration has conducted itself, has left the door open to criticism. Even though this should not be a ‘Turkey bashing’ issue, whether Turkey is exploiting this for political reasons or not, they would not have been able to, if the ROC had a clear and determined position that any natural resources should benefit the whole island, not just the friends of the President!
There is a real danger of this backfiring badly, the demand for natural Gas is falling and that decline will accelerate in the coming years. It is also a fact that the Gas off the coast of Cyprus is very expensive to acquire, so even after the massive discovery in block 10, the line between acquisition costs, transport costs and profitable resale is a lot finer than people may realise. Whilst I am not suggesting that a cut is just handed over without any political solution, the gas find is an asset of Cyprus, the President could have demonstrated on the world stage that he is a magnanimous, pragmatic and proud Cypriot, who wants to work towards a united INCLUSIVE Cyprus. Instead, he has pursued a policy that is saying…”Me! Me! Me!”