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EU Energy Ministers Failed to Find Common Position on Gas Price Ceiling

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13 September 2022

Last Friday, EU energy ministers failed to overcome differences and find a common language on the issue of Russian gas amid rising energy prices as the cold season approaches. A number of countries refused to change their position, Interfax reports.

 «Energy ministers from 27 EU member states failed to resolve differences over a 'price cap' on Russian natural gas as Hungary, unwilling to change its position, said it was against its interests,» the Associated Press reported.

 In addition, other countries disagreed on whether the price cap should apply only to Russia or to other suppliers as well.

 According to the agency, some ministers acknowledged that it would not be easy to reach an agreement, given that each country has its own realities and its own characteristics in the energy sector. At the same time, ministers couldn't help but agree that time is now of the essence as countries need to provide basic services – heat and light – to the most vulnerable parts of the population.

 German Economics and Climate Protection Minister Robert Habeck said it was important to find a way to decouple natural gas prices from all other forms of energy, especially relatively cheap renewables, without destroying market mechanisms.

 European Council President Charles Michel, in turn, said in Germany that «EU countries will need to hold more meetings to agree on positions on key issues related to energy».

 The European Commission is expected next week to summarize the proposals presented by the ministers at the council and formulate final conclusions on what measures will be taken next.