EU presents Russian gas price cap plan

EU presents Russian gas price cap plan

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While energy prices continue to rise, the European Commission presented on Wednesday, September 7 its ways to reduce the energy bills of Europeans, with the cap on the price of Russian gas imported by the European Union. Measures at the heart of the extraordinary meeting of 27 Energy Ministers on Friday, while Russian President Vladimir Putin threatened on Wednesday September 7 to cease all delivery of hydrocarbons in the event of such a measure.

In the midst of the energy war, the objective of the European Union is still to ” reduce income used by the Kremlin to finance the military offensive against Ukraine “. This proposition to cap Russian gas prices However, there is a risk of fueling tensions with Moscow: the Russian authorities could completely stop gas deliveries even before the countries of the European Union (EU) are ready to deal with them.

An additional difficulty, even if the President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen pointed out that Russian gas only represented 9% of the gas imported into Europecompared to 40% at the beginning of the war in Ukraine:

We all know that our sanctions are deeply slowing down the Russian economy, with a heavy negative impact. But Putin is partly cushioning it through fossil fuel revenues. We need to cut off revenue from Russia, which Putin is using to fund his atrocious war in Ukraine. And now our hard work over the last few months is really paying off. Because if you look at imported gas at the beginning of the war, 40% was Russian gas. Today, we are only at 9%.

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen explains possible Russian gas price cap

A useless ceiling in the event of a total cut?

capping gas prices, just like those of Russian oil desired by the G7 countriesmight also turn out to be useless once Russian gas exports to Europe will be reduced to zero. And this Friday, some energy ministers could again plead for the price of electricity to no longer be linked to the price of gas.

Read also : It is “impossible to isolate Russia”, warns Vladimir Putin

kyiv for its part denounced Russian propaganda, which threatens Europe with a freezing winter. Moscow announced last week the closure of the valves of the Nord Stream gas pipeline, which serves Germany and several European countries, citing technical reasons.

The structure for receiving gas via Nord Stream 1, in Lubmin, Germany, on July 21, 2022.
The structure for receiving gas via Nord Stream 1, in Lubmin, Germany, on July 21, 2022. © Annegret Hilse / Reuters

A plan with three additional steps

Faced with the Russian threat, the European Commission welcomes the filling of strategic gas reserves, which have reached 82% today, two months ahead of target. Especially since the drought has reduced hydroelectric capacities and nuclear capacities are currently reduced.

So Brussels presented other ways to reduce the energy bills of Europeans. The European Commission’s first request is to set consumption caps during peak hours. Because this is where gas-fired power plants are used to produce electricity, reports our correspondent in Brussels, Pierre Benazet

Second proposal, oblige electricity producers to pay back excessive revenues, those which are very largely beyond the cost of production.

Third idea, impose a tax described as a ” solidarity contribution to all the gas and oil companies making massive profits. Funds that would be used for the most vulnerable homes and businesses.

Also to listen: Russia: do Western sanctions have a real impact?

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