Tuesday, March 21st | 29 Adar 5783

July 6, 2012 10:14 am

Russia, Canada Alignment with Israel Could Change Middle East Energy Landscape

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In center, Russian President Vladimir Putin sits between Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman and President Shimon Peres at a dedication ceremony for a monument in Netanya commemorating the Red Army's victory over the Nazis. Photo: GPO.

Canada and Russia have decided to collaborate with Israel on energy initiatives, a move that could place Israel in a stronger position relative to other Middle-Eastern countries.

Canadian Natural Resources Minister Joe Oliver recently visited Israel, meeting with Israeli Water and Energy Minister Uzi Landau and agreeing to boost ties and launch several joint renewable energy projects, Yediot Achronot reported. Additionally, Russian President Vladimir Putin’s recent visit to Israel came in the wake of news that Russian gas company Gazprom and Israel will cooperate on gas extraction, according to Globes.

Israel, previously thought to contain few oil and gas reserves, has begun attracting interest in the wake of recent natural gas discoveries off of its coast. Five billion barrels of recoverable oil and over a trillion cubic feet of gas have been discovered off Israel’s shore, and estimates say the reserves contain much more.

The decision of Russia and Canada to collaborate on energy with Israel shows increased interest in the Jewish state’s potential resources and the possibility for a changed dynamic in the region. Lebanon disputes the undersea boundary with Israel in an effort to claim some of these oil discoveries. Turkey, Greece and Cyprus have also claimed possession of the discovered oil. Now, Russia is likely to block any efforts to stop gas development in the region, American Interest reported.

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