The ceremony was also attended by Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi. Italy has also taken part in the project. The pipeline was laid by Gazprom who has attempted in the past to participate in tenders for gas exploration along Israel’s coast, although having been unsuccessful.
Israel’s Infrastructure Ministry director-general Eli Ronen said that Israel welcomes the Russian-Turkish-Italian decision. “We hope that Israel will thus become a leading player in the Middle East’s energy industry,” he added.
Russia currently transports oil to Israel by tanker, and approximately 90% of the crude oil purchased by Israel comes from former Soviet Union countries, but the extent of gas purchases from these countries is still minimal.