As EU energy ministers prepares for today’s emergency meeting to discuss measures to lessen the burden of the energy crisis on consumers, officials told the Financial Times on Friday that at least 10 EU member states are opposed to the bloc putting a price cap on Russian gas out of concern that Vladimir Putin might retaliate with a complete halt of gas supply to all of Europe. This includes Italy, Greece, Poland, Netherlands and Germany.
Earlier this week, the European Commission announced that as an immediate measure to save the European gas and electricity markets and assist vulnerable consumers, it would propose a mandatory target for the EU to reduce power consumption during peak hours, a revenue cap on electricity producers and fossil fuel companies, and a price cap on Russian gas.
On Wednesday, president of the European Commission, Ursual von der Leyen, said: “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.”
Nikos Tsafos, the chief energy adviser to Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis, commented on the proposal to control the price of Russian gas for the Financial Times, saying: “Quite frankly, the Russians will probably retaliate on this.”
According to Roberto Cingolani, the energy transition minister for Italy, the country supports a blanket cap on all gas.
The Netherlands and the eastern EU members are against von der Leyen’s suggestion to set a price restriction on Russian gas, according to the Italian newspaper La Stampa. According to La Stampa, Germany, the largest economy in Europe and the EU member most impacted by the now-shut Nord Stream pipeline, is also opposed to the idea.
Vladimir Putin warned Europe on Wednesday that if the EU and its Western allies set price ceilings on Russian oil and natural gas, Russia would stop selling all energy goods to Europe.