EU and Norway agree ‘common tool’ to tackle Europe’s gas crisis

Norway and the EU have agreed to “jointly develop tools” to reduce Europe’s high gas prices, as Brussels rushes to find effective and politically acceptable measures to resolve the crisis. An energy crisis is brewing this winter.

Oslo said it would work with Brussels to “stabilize energy markets and limit the impact of market manipulation and price volatility”, in a move that could boost efforts to narrow the divide. EU on how to deal with high prices caused by Russia’s comprehensive invasion of Ukraine.

Norway, replacing Russia is The EU’s largest gas supplier after the invasion, said it would continue to boost production and take steps “to meaningfully lower prices too high in the short and long term”, in a joint statement released by the Prime Minister Norwegian Jonas Gahr Støre and European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen.

Oslo’s pledge came as a meeting of 44 leaders in Prague on Thursday aimed at presenting a united front against Russia’s war was overshadowed by rifts within the EU over whether to impose or not? price limit for gas wholesale.

That initiative is opposed by countries including Germany and the Netherlands, who fear it could lead to lower supplies as manufacturers secure higher prices elsewhere. Arriving at the summit in Prague, Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki said “there cannot be a case where EU energy policy is decided by Germany”.

Støre used his address to the summit plenary to say that Oslo has “flexibility” to increase exports and that it is “ready to explore” EU proposals, according to two brief speakers. Briefly about his comments.

Kaja Kallas, Estonia’s prime minister, said EU nations will discuss Friday the broader implications of Norway’s pledge, adding that Tallinn is keen to lower prices but is also afraid to push suppliers level go.

“[Liquefied natural gas] can go anywhere in the world. So if there is a price cap, then our supply security could be in jeopardy,” she told the Financial Times.

French President Emmanuel Macron, left, and Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, center, in Prague, Czech Republic, on October 6, 2022
Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, centre, joined the meeting with 27 EU leaders and people from 15 other countries © President of Turkey Press Service / AFP / Getty Images

Proposed by Paris as a means of coordinating views from Lisbon to Ankara, the European Political Communities group saw UK Prime Minister Liz Truss and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan have a meeting. with 27 leaders of the EU and people from 15 other countries.

Ahead of the meeting, Truss said it was an opportunity to “find common ground with our European friends and allies” as they try to defeat President Vladimir Putin’s war in Ukraine. Russia and its client state Belarus are the only two continental powers not invited to the forum, which will discuss other issues such as European defense.

Truss’s involvement is seen by many EU officials as a sign that London may be willing to compromise on the trade deals already tied to the post-Brexit relationship.

Charles Michel, president of the European Council, hailed the event as “extremely important”. The meeting will “try to renew relations of coordination and cooperation for more stability, security, and peace,” he said.

Upon arrival at the Prague castle, French President Emmanuel Macron said the summit sent a “message of unity”, but continued his criticism. Proposed gas pipeline connecting Spain and France, which Germany would like to see built to access the Iberian gas market.

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz got his gun jammed in Berlin 200 billion euro energy aid packageon the way to the meeting that other countries are also passing measures to provide relief to citizens struggling with energy bills.

While British officials want to avoid Brexit, Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte told reporters on Thursday: “The relationship between the UK and the EU will be on the agenda.”

UK and EU have agreed to restart technical talks on trade agreements in Northern Ireland that can resolve the dispute. London’s failure to comply with the agreement it signed led to legal action by Brussels.

However, British officials say the UK’s commitment to the EPC could be undermined without concrete achievements.

A Truss ally said: “The prime minister remains skeptical for a number of reasons – it can’t just be a talking shop, it needs to not cut through Nato and the G7, and there has to be strong engagement from the parties. outside the EU. It must show it can deliver.

“But given the situation in Ukraine and the energy crisis, we had to attend. We played a huge role in setting the energy and migration agenda.”

Truss’ main demand is the EU, and Norway continues to supply the UK with electricity.

Truss also said she wants joint action with France and the Netherlands to stop criminal gangs from helping migrants cross the English Channel. She had scheduled a meeting with Macron and Rutte on the sidelines of the summit.

EU leaders will resume an informal meeting of the European Council on Friday, likely to focus on the energy crisis.

Additional reporting by George Parker in London and Valentina Pop in Prague


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