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EU Leaders Arrive at Prague Summit to Discuss Energy, Ukraine

Published: October 7, 2022
European leaders gathered in Prague, Czech Republic to discuss issues related to global energy and Ukraine on October 7, 2022. (Image: Screenshot via Reuters)

Divisions between European Union leaders over capping gas prices and national rescue packages resurfaced on Friday, Oct. 7 as they met at Prague Castle to discuss how best to deal with a winter energy crunch caused by Russia’s war in Ukraine.

Fifteen EU states want a price cap on gas but do not agree on the details of how it should be done. Germany, Denmark and the Netherlands oppose any cap, worried that it would make it difficult to buy the gas they need to keep their economies running and dampen any incentive to reduce consumption.

The summit’s chairman, European Council President Charles Michel, said no decisions were expected on Friday but hoped the discussion among leaders would lead to a deal when they next meet on Oct. 20-21.

Michel said he was hoping to advance talks on reducing demand, securing supplies and lowering prices.

Latvia’s Prime Minister Krisjanis Karins said he wished for a price cap to be decided at a European level.

“A price cap on gas, if that could be achieved, would be grand. With the caveat that we cannot endanger the security of supplies, we cannot set the price so that no one would sell gas into Europe,” he told reporters on his arrival at the summit.

Commission President Ursula von der Leyen suggested earlier she was optimistic on the possibility to reach an agreement in the coming weeks.

“Member states are willing now to discuss the price caps (…) the where and the how will be discussed so I’m confident we will come to a good conclusion,” she said on her arrival at the summit.

EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell pushed the 27-nation bloc on Friday to earmark more money to pay for the military support of Ukraine.

“I will ask the leaders to support the proposal for a new tranche for European Peace Facility to continue providing military support to Ukraine, also to the training mission,” Borrell told reporters as he arrived for an EU summit in Prague.

By Reuters. (Production: Bart Biesemans, Johnny Cotton)