Croatia’s PM Plenkovic visits Cyprus, meets with PM Anastasiades

NEWS 11.05.2022 14:25
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"Cyprus can help the European Union achieve energy independence, President Nicos Anastasiades said on Wednesday during an official visit by Croatian Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic, who underscored that the LNG terminal on Krk Island would have a big role in that," Croatian state agency Hina duly reported on Wednesday.

Anastasiades and Plenkovic reportedly “discussed the energy crisis in the wake of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.” President Anastasiades also used the opportunity to “condem the decision made by Turkey not to join Europe’s sanctions against Russia.”

Anastasiades spoke about energy inter-connection projects in the eastern Mediterranean, between north Africa and Europe, and about the so-called EastMed gas pipeline which should connect Cyprus with Europe via Greece.

Cyprus has in recent years “discovered significant offshore gas deposits, and the proposed project is still being analyzed to test its economic feasibility,” said Anastasiades. “It could help Europe’s energy diversification,” he told a news conference.

Plenkovic underlined that the LNG terminal on the island of Krk “would have a significant role in achieving Europe’s energy security.”

“Thought is being given currently to increasing its capacity and not just for Croatia but for the needs of countries in Central Europe.. Croatia can become an energy hub in the north Adriatic for gas and oil… Europe has to find a new, long-term sustainable alternative to Russia’s energy products at an affordable price,” he said.

Cyprus and Croatia are expected to finalize in November a double taxation agreement, and they have also signed “a memorandum on strengthening economic cooperation, which should be accompanied by a memorandum on digital transformation and sea traffic.”

Hina did not clarify what any of these involved.

“We are two Mediterranean countries not far from each other, we share the Mediterranean and I believe there is a lot of room for expanding cooperation,” Plenkovic said, underlining “the petrochemical and electrical energy industries, IT sector, pharmaceutical industry and financial and digital cooperation.”

Plenkovic said that he and “his good friend” Anastasiades also discussed Croatia’s ambitions for deeper integration in the EU that should occur this year – accession to the passport-free Schengen area, on which a final formal decision is expected in June or July, and accession to the euro area, on which a decision is expected in July.

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