“We are facing an unusual situation because Russia is an unreliable supplier and is manipulating the energy market. Solidarity and unity will ensure we can prevail,” Ursula von der Leyen, President of the European Commission, the EU’s executive body, said today,
Ms. von der Leyen called on EU member states to agree to a price ceiling on Russian gas, a measure that President Putin has warned as a “stupid decision”.
“The goal is clear. We have to cut the Russian revenue that is used for the military operation in Ukraine,” Ms. von der Leyen said.
The European Commission president added that some European power companies that are benefiting from high electricity prices will be taxed on their revenue and profits. The companies she mentioned are low-cost electricity producers, like wind or nuclear energy businesses.
The EU executive body is also expected to ask member states to target the profits of fossil fuel companies that are enjoying high revenues thanks to the energy crisis caused by the Ukraine war.
EU energy ministers are debating these proposals with the European Commission, with many countries expected to make their own proposals. The ministers are scheduled to meet on September 9.
EU countries are facing a challenging winter ahead as consumers suffer from record gas and electricity prices. The Russian energy group’s announcement last week to completely shut down the Nord Stream 1 gas pipeline has increased concerns for European households.
In a speech today at the Eastern Economic Forum, President Putin affirmed that he would stop supply to all countries that impose price ceilings on Russian oil and gas. “We won’t offer anything if it’s against our interests, in this case economic. “No gas, no oil, no coal, no fuel oil, nothing at all.” , he said.
Ngoc Anh (Theo AFP)