Brussels: The European Commission on Wednesday proposed a series of measures to control soaring energy prices in Europe and punish Moscow for invading Ukraine, including a price cap on Russian gas. European consumers are facing dizzying heating costs, record natural gas and electricity prices, and EU countries are struggling to face the arrival of a harsh winter.
The complete closure of the vital Nordstream 1 gas pipeline from Russia to Germany, announced Friday by Russian energy giant Gazprom, has heightened fears of a difficult coming months for European households. Russian President Vladimir Putin, meanwhile, has warned that countries that introduce price caps will be unable to receive any energy supply from Russia. “No gas, no oil, no coal, no fuel oil, nothing.”
Against this threatening backdrop, European energy ministers are due to meet on Friday to discuss action, and EU Prime Minister Ursula von der Leyen has proposed a range of measures, including a price cap. “We are facing an extraordinary situation because Russia is an unreliable supplier and manipulates our energy markets,” she warned. Solidarity ensures that we win,” she added.
Chancellor von der Leyen urged member states to agree to a price cap on Russian gas imports, saying that the measure Vladimir Putin had warned would be an “absolutely ridiculous decision”.
“The objective here is very clear: we must cut the Russian revenues that Putin uses to fund this brutal war against Ukraine,” said European Commission President von der Leyen. told reporters. Von der Leyen also said certain European utilities benefiting from high electricity prices would be taxed on their revenues and profits.
She said this is aimed at companies that generate low-cost electricity, such as wind and nuclear energy companies, but benefit from very high prices caused by the war in Ukraine. Low-carbon energy sources have unexpected returns, but this does not reflect production costs,” von der Leyen told reporters.
EU officials also plan to ask member states to “redistribute” the profits of historically profitable fossil fuel companies thanks to the energy shock caused by the war.
“Oil and gas companies are also making huge profits, so we propose a solidarity contribution to the fossil fuel companies,” she said. The EU’s energy ministers will discuss the Commission’s ideas, and many countries are expected to come to the table with their own proposals.
With the Czech Republic holding the EU’s replacement presidency, Industry Minister Josef Sikera, who presides over Friday’s talks, warned that a gas price cap could hamper efforts to secure energy supplies. did. “I don’t think it’s a constructive proposal,” he told the Czech Senate on Wednesday.
“This is not a real solution to the European energy crisis, but a different kind of sanctions against Russia. And we don’t want to prepare more sanctions now. We want to address the energy situation. Energy policy in the 27 EU Member States remains largely a national jurisdiction, despite deep interdependence between many countries. – AFP