KENZO TRIBOUILLARD / AFP
European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen at a press conference at EU headquarters in Brussels on September 7, 2022.
ENERGY – The tone rises between the Kremlin and the EU. Whereas Vladimir Poutine threatens to stop all deliveries of hydrocarbons, Brussels presented this Wednesday, September 7 its ways to alleviate Europeans’ energy billsproposing to cap the price of Russian gas imported by the EU, and the revenues of nuclear and renewable electricity producers, while taking a share profits of gas and oil groups.
“Households and businesses are facing astronomical prices and enormous market volatility” electricity, whose prices are indexed to gas prices, noted the President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyenduring a press conference.
Some producers ofelectricitywhich mobilize nuclear power plants, wind, solar or hydroelectric dams, “make massive revenues that do not reflect their production costs” which are “weak”, lamented the President of the European Commission. She called for redistributing these “unexpected benefits” to help households and businesses “vulnerable”.
The Commission also aims “intelligent demand reduction”with “a mandatory objective to reduce electricity consumption during peak hours”. Producers and distributors of gas and oil, which carry out “massive profits” thanks to the surge in world prices, are also in the sights of Brussels.
“We are going to propose a solidarity contribution for fossil fuel companies, because all energy sources must contribute to solving this crisis”, indicated the president of the European executive. Member States could use this financial windfall to help consumers but also to invest in clean energy sources.
Putin ready to turn off the energy tap
At the same time, Vladimir Putin made a point of being clear: Russia will no longer deliver oil or gas to countries that would cap the price of hydrocarbons sold by Moscow, while denying itself to use energy as a “weapon”.
Capping Russian hydrocarbon prices would be “an absolutely stupid decision”, ” nonsense “launched Vladimir Putin during an economic forum in Vladivostok. “If European countries want to give up their competitive advantages, it’s up to them to decide”, he warned. But “We won’t deliver anything at all if it’s against our interests, in this case economic ones. Neither gas, nor oil, nor coal (…). Nothing “he added, his tone firm and threatening.
“We will not supply anything outside the framework of the contracts” signed with importing countries, Putin said again in front of several Russian and Asian economic leaders. According to the Russian president, Europeans, faced with soaring prices, “have several solutions: either subsidize the high prices (of energy), (…) or reduce consumption”.
Inflexible, the Russian leader also put forward the idea that it was impossible to isolate Russia, despite the sanctions. ” No matter how much some would like to isolate Russia, it is impossible to do so,” he let go, also considering that the ” peak of economic hardship caused by Western sanctions was ” past “, despite ” problems » logistics in certain sectors.
Not enough to make Olivier Véran tremble. In a press conference this Wednesday following the Council of Ministers, the government spokesman said that the idea that Western sanctions would ultimately do more harm to the West than to Russia was totally false.
LIVE | Minutes of the Council of Ministers of September 7, 2022 by @OlivierVeran, spokesperson for the Government… https://t.co/bpyf6gIpVI
— Elysee (@Elysee)
” If it was the case […] do you think a political leader like Vladimir Putin would say that? The mere fact that he calls on the Europeans to stop the sanctions – on the grounds that they would not be effective – encourages us to consider that they are effective “, replied the former Minister of Health, citing in passing the GDP of Russia or the access to certain resources as proof of the effectiveness of this punitive method.
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