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At least 10 EU member states, including Italy, Greece, and Poland, are opposed to the bloc slapping a price cap on Russian gas over concerns that Putin might retaliate with a complete halt of gas supply to the whole of Europe, officials told the Financial Times on Friday as EU energy ministers prepare for today’s emergency meeting to discuss measures to ease the burden of the energy crisis on consumers.
Earlier this week, the European Commission said it would propose a mandatory target for the EU to cut power consumption at peak hours, a revenue cap on electricity producers and fossil fuel companies, and a price cap on Russian gas as immediate measures to save the European gas and electricity markets and help vulnerable consumers.
“We will propose a cap on Russian gas. The objective here is very clear. We must cut Russia's revenues which Putin uses to finance this atrocious war against Ukraine,” European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said on Wednesday.
Commenting for the Financial Times on the plan to cap the price of Russian gas, Nikos Tsafos, chief energy adviser to Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis, said: “Quite frankly the Russians will probably retaliate on this.”
Italy, for its part, prefers a general cap on all the gas, its energy transition minister Roberto Cingolani told FT.
According to the Italian daily La Stampa, the Netherlands and the eastern EU member states are opposed to von der Leyen’s proposal to impose a price cap on Russian gas. Germany, Europe’s biggest economy and the most affected EU member by the now-shut Nord Stream pipeline isn’t supportive of the plan, either, La Stampa notes.
On Wednesday, Vladimir Putin threatened Europe that Russia would stop supplying all energy products to Europe if the EU and its Western allies impose price caps on Russian oil and natural gas.
By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com
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Tsvetana is a writer for Oilprice.com with over a decade of experience writing for news outlets such as iNVEZZ and SeeNews.