Faced with the crisis, the EU will urgently meet: “We are in an energy war with Russia, which will be harmful overall”

The Czech presidency “will convene an emergency meeting of energy ministers to discuss specific emergency measures to tackle the energy situation,” Prime Minister Peter Fiala said in a tweet.

Endorsed by European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, the move comes as the 27 EU member states try to reduce their dependence on Russian oil and gas supplies.

Dwindling supplies and worries about the future have pushed up energy prices in Europe.

Czech Industry and Trade Minister Josef Sigela said in a tweet that the European Energy Council should meet “as soon as possible”.

“We are in an energy war with Russia, which affects the entire European Union,” he said.

On Friday, Germany and France announced record prices for electricity in 2023, with contracts within a year reaching 850 euros per megawatt hour in Germany and more than 1,000 euros in France, up from 85 euros in both countries last year.

The European Commission plans to cut the EU’s dependence on Russian gas by two-thirds this year and end its reliance on Russian fuel before 2030.

A “Pan-European Problem”

The Czech Republic, which relies heavily on gas imports from Russia, has pledged to prioritize energy security during its EU presidency, which began on July 1.

Mr Sikela said the energy market had stopped working properly following Russian supply cuts.

“To some extent the market has become out of control, market volatility no longer responds to good news, while bad news piles up and pushes prices up,” he told reporters on Wednesday.

“This is a Europe-wide problem, and of course if you have a European market and a pan-European problem, the easiest way to solve it is at the pan-European level,” he added.

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Among possible solutions, Mr. Sikela mentioned price caps and price diversification according to the type of energy production.

The European Union has banned coal imports from Russia and targeted Russia’s energy sector in its sanctions.

Its plan to cut gas consumption by 15% across the Union came into force earlier this month to tackle the energy price crisis. The aim is to allow the EU to build up its gas reserves in anticipation of a more difficult winter.

However, some member states have exemptions from this rule because they are dependent on Russian supplies.

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