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EU energy ministers discuss measures to cope with energy crisis

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BRUSSELS, BELGIUM -French President Emmanuel Macron (C-L), President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen​​ (C-R), Prime Minister of Spain, Pedro Sanchez Perez-Castejon (Rear R), President of Romania, Klaus Iohannis (L), Chancellor of Germany, Olaf Scholz (2nd L), and European Council President Charles Michel (3rd L) attend day two of the European Union (EU) leaders summit at the European Council headquarters in Brussels, Belgium, on October 21, 2022. (Dursun Aydemir - Anadolu Agency)
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Oct 26, 2022 - 03:00 AM

ISTANBUL (AA) – EU’s energy ministers gathered Tuesday in Luxembourg to discuss ways to cope with the energy crisis.

The meeting follows last week’s EU leaders’ summit in Brussels, where they were divided on the European Commission’s proposal to cap gas prices.

Energy ministers agreed on an additional meeting Nov. 24, Czech Industry Minister Jozef Sikela said after the meeting he chaired.

Sikela said ministers of the 27-member bloc have “different views” about whether to put a ceiling price on natural gas traded on the Dutch Title Transfer Facility (TTF).

“Following the endorsement and guidance of the European Council last week, we now had a more detailed discussion with the ministers on how to move forward,” European Commissioner for Energy Kadri Simson said at a news conference of the Energy Council.

Adding they will now work on several elements, Simson listed three pillars: “making joint purchasing of gas a reality”, “addressing high gas prices,” and “strengthening solidarity between member states.”

“If the proposed two-step model will be agreed at the November council, we’ll be ready to jointly buy gas to refill the storage after this heating season,” she said. “Our proposal includes default rules that will apply in case there is no bilateral solidarity agreement in place.”

“Following the European Council conclusions, we will further examine the cap on gas used for electricity production, including a cost-benefit analysis,” she said.

Simson informed the ministers about the critical energy situation in Ukraine and Moldova. Reminding that Russian shelling in Ukraine has targeted energy infrastructure, she urged the ministers for their urgent support.

EU leaders met last week in Brussels where they discussed ways to cope with Europe’s energy crisis. They, however, failed to reach an agreement to put a ceiling on natural gas after hours of debate.

Fifteen EU members, including France, Italy, Spain and Belgium, seek a price cap on imported natural gas. Germany, the Netherlands, Denmark and others do not support that idea.

Countries opposing the price cap say it would jeopardize the security of the energy supply and could harm the natural gas supply, especially in the winter months.

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