European disagreement over how to deal with rising gas prices
Amid US accusations against Russia of using natural gas as a weapon in the energy crisis
Wednesday – 21 Rabi’ al-Awwal 1443 AH – 27 October 2021 AD Issue No. [
Dutch Economy Minister Stef Blok (left) speaks with European Energy Commissioner Kadri Simsson (right) in Luxembourg (EPA)
Luxembourg: «Middle East»
The Luxembourg meeting came between a European Union summit held last week that addressed the same issue, and the “26th Conference of the Parties (COP26)” expected next week in Scotland. And it comes on the impact of the rise in energy prices around the world, with the return of the economies of many countries to life after a long stagnation caused by “Covid 19”.
Energy prices in Europe, which depend largely on imported gas and oil, rose significantly, especially against the background of the rise in gas prices for immediate sale, which is a reference.
The European Commission came up with a series of measures to mitigate the price hike in the short term, especially encouraging member states to reduce taxes and fees, which usually constitute about a third of energy bills. But Spain sought to persuade member states to support its plan, which is based on jointly buying gas by the bloc countries, similar to the way it bought “Covid 19” vaccines.
France, a backer of Spain, is seeking to redesign the European energy market to make gas a less important component of price-setting, as it fits into its domestic energy mix, 70 per cent of which comes from nuclear power. 9 countries reported; Among them are Austria, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Ireland and the Netherlands, in a joint statement before Tuesday’s meeting, that they oppose fundamental changes in the European Union market.
She said: “The internal market for gas and electricity was built jointly and gradually over the past decades. Competitive markets contribute to innovation and security of supply, and thus represent a key element to facilitate the transition” towards the EU’s ambition for a low carbon future.
Luxembourg indicated; which was among the signatory states, that Sweden and Belgium also signed the statement; This brought the total number of countries supporting it to 11. Luxembourg’s Energy Minister, Claude Turmes, told reporters upon his arrival at the meeting: “The Spanish government is exaggerating its promises when it says that joint energy purchases will solve the crisis. The solution to the crisis is through effective investments.”
However, the Spanish Energy Minister, Sarah Agisen Munoz, considered that the rise in energy prices is “exceptional and urgent and calls for urgent action.” “Our proposal is very clear and strong,” she said, adding that she seeks to win the support of her peers “through facts.” And she continued, “The transition in energy (sources), the green transition and the decarbonization that Europe is committed to, is only possible if consumers and industries realize the benefits of this transition.”
Meanwhile, US President Joe Biden’s energy security adviser said Monday evening that Russian President Vladimir Putin is close to using natural gas as a political tool if Russia does not send fuel to Europe, which suffers from severe energy shortages. Amos Hochstein, a Biden adviser, told reporters when asked if Putin was using gas as a weapon: “I think we’re getting close to that if Russia really has supplies of gas to supply and chooses not to do that unless Europe acquiesces to other demands that have nothing to do with it.” with energy.”
Hochstein said that gas prices in Europe are rising not only because of events in the region; But also because of the dry season in China, which reduced the production of energy from water sources, as well as the increase in global competition for natural gas. He added that while a number of factors led to the European gas crisis, Russia was in the best position to help Europe. He said he had no doubt that the only supplier at the moment that could really make a difference to European energy security this winter was Russia.
Putin dismissed suggestions that Moscow was cutting gas supplies out of political motives, saying it would increase the flow as much as the partners requested. Putin blamed record high gas prices on the European Union’s energy policy and said Russia could boost supplies to Europe if the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline gets the necessary approvals.