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EU energy ministers fail to agree on Russian gas price cap — European Commissioner

Kadri Simson reiterated that the European Commission will present new proposals on energy crisis next week

BRUSSELS, September 9. /TASS/. The EU energy ministers did not agree on a price cap for Russian pipeline gas, European Commissioner for Energy Kadri Simson announced on Friday.

The European Commission will present new proposals to combat the energy crisis next week, she said.

"Nothing is decided yet. I do believe that we will have a busy weekend and also first days of the next week before the final package will be ready," she said.

"Indeed, today several ministers asked us [the European Commission] to analyze also possible price cap on for the rest of the gas the EU is importing. If the purpose of our policy is to counter Russian’s manipulations of gas deliveries to Europe it makes sense to target only Russian gas," she said adding that at this stage nothing is off the table.

She reiterated that the European Commission will present new proposals [on energy crisis] next week.

Russian gas and LNG

Simson promised to hold technical meetings with countries that are particularly dependent on Russian gas.

When asked what Brussels would do if a price cap on Russian gas was introduced and Moscow completely cuts off its supplies to the EU, Simson said that "no one guarantees" that this will happen.

Simson warned that a cap on liquefied natural gas, the EU is trying to replace much cheaper Russian pipeline gas with, could undermine security of supply. Earlier, the same opinion was expressed by the head of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, who noted that if a cap on LNG prices is introduced, tankers with it can simply turn around and go in the opposite direction from Europe.

In turn, Josef Sikela, Czech Industry and Trade Minister presiding in the EU Council, said at the same press conference that the gas price cap "was the most difficult case."

He said that the EU energy ministers and the European Commission have to work fast and find a coordinated solution to alleviate high [energy] prices as soon as possible.

Five measures of the European Commission

For the ministerial meeting, the European Commission has prepared a set of five proposals to respond to the gas crisis in Russia. Reportedly it proposed imposing a cap on Russian gas prices of 520 euros per 1,000 cubic meters, requiring EU countries to reduce electricity consumption by a total of 10% compared to the average monthly figure over the past five years, and another 5% more than that in peak hours.

The European Commission also proposed setting price limits for electricity generated at enterprises with a lower cost of energy than gas-fired thermal power plants, in particular at nuclear power plants, hydroelectric power plants, wind turbine fields, as well as providing subsidies to the most vulnerable groups of citizens and businesses.