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Israel needs to keep balance between Russia, Turkey

Israel needs to keep balance between Russia, Turkey

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Date: 18 December 2015 18:47

Baku, Azerbaijan, Dec. 18

By Anahanum Khidayatova – Trend:

Moscow is likely to become unhappy with Israel’s working with Ankara on energy projects, Theodore Karasik, the Middle East analyst and senior advisor to Risk Insurance Management in Dubai, told Trend Dec.18.

Israel is going to have to find a good balance because losing Russia is not a good idea when looking at the Levant's future, he said.

Both countries are looking at the long term regarding their own respective security and energy futures, Karasik said.

The two countries, once close regional allies, fell out after a deadly confrontation in 2010 between Israeli commandos and Turkish activists on a passenger vessel seeking to breach Israel’s naval blockade of the Gaza Strip.

The ship, the Mavi Marmara, was part of a flotilla carrying aid to Gaza when Israeli naval commandos rappelled onto the ship’s deck and killed nine activists after being met with violent resistance. A 10th activist died of received wounds later.

Earlier, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan named the conditions for normalizing the relations with Israel. He said Israel should apologize for the Freedom Flotilla incident, pay compensation to the families of those killed and end the blockade of the Gaza Strip.

Israel is giving $20 million as compensation for Turkish activists killed in the 2010 Mavi Marmara incident and this payment will certainly push for additional momentum to increase bilateral relations, Karasik said.

Israel’s largest Eastern Mediterranean gas field, Leviathan, is part of what will become a unique agreement between Tel Aviv, Ankara, and Greek Cyprus, he said.

The geostrategic alignment is important because of European energy requirements mandated by the EU in order to break away from Russian dependency on natural gas, according to him.

Israel’s gas reserve reaches a trillion cubic meters, according to various estimations. As much as 620 billion cubic meters of this volume accounts for Leviathan field, 303 billion cubic meters – Tamar field and 58 billion cubic meters - two smaller fields located next to it.

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