EU leaders agree on roadmap to tackle rising energy prices
European Union leaders agreed at a summit in Brussels on measures to counter rising energy prices, amid ongoing disagreements over setting a price ceiling for Russian gas.
European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen and European Council President Charles Michel announced the agreement at a joint press conference late on Thursday.
Von der Leyen spoke of a” very good roadmap”, while Michel spoke of a package of measures that must now be dealt with thoroughly, noting an atmosphere of unity and solidarity among European leaders.
Michel said that these measures are aimed at containing energy prices for homes and businesses, adding that the results of the measures agreed between the leaders of the Union will be reflected quickly on the energy markets.
He added that the EU countries will continue to work to address the energy crisis that began after the war launched by Russia over Ukraine on February 24.
According to the president of the European Council, the agreement was reached after lengthy negotiations between EU leaders on how best to cope with high energy prices, during which many called for a cap on gas prices.
While French President Emmanuel Macron said that the envisaged mechanisms could be implemented by the end of October or the beginning of November, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz pointed to the possibility of holding a new European summit if EU energy ministers could not agree on a final version.
According to media reports, 15 EU member states, including France, Italy and Spain, support the introduction of a price ceiling for Russian gas, while countries including Germany and the Netherlands still question the feasibility of such a measure.
In the context, Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban said that the leaders reached an agreement at the European summit to exempt his country from the application of the Russian gas price ceiling.
Hungary was one of the EU member states that expressed a reservation on setting a price ceiling for Russian gas.
Before the war over Ukraine, Europe imported 40% of its gas needs from Russia, but European imports recorded a significant decline, at a time when European countries are seeking to stop relying on Russian gas and compensate for it with other sources.
Moscow has warned that a price cap on Russian gas would lead to a halt in supplies to Europe, while there are still fears that some European countries will face a difficult winter due to gas shortages.
The leaders of the European Union are continuing their meeting for the second day to discuss ways to cope with all the repercussions caused by the Russian war on Ukraine.
European leaders are expected to resume discussions today on ways to support Ukraine after successive military developments and intensive Russian missile strikes that targeted Ukraine and caused significant damage to energy facilities.
High gas and electricity bills in Europe have led to an increase in inflation rates, demonstrations demanding that governments curb the cost of living.