Bloc members would refine joint gas purchase program to make prices ‘reasonable’
EU member states should improve their joint gas purchasing procedure by the end of the current month, according to Commissioner Thierry Breton, quoted by Le Figaro newspaper.
This measure aims to curb the latest increases in gas prices suffered following anti-Russian sanctions and a policy of abandoning Russian energy that preceded the Ukrainian crisis.
The official said the agreed measures should strengthen the position of EU countries in negotiations with suppliers and added that gas prices would hopefully become “within reason.”
In addition to refining its gas purchasing process, EU authorities have also reportedly backed the introduction of a “temporary” regime aimed at limiting the price of gas, reports Le Figaro. The initiative has already been adopted in Spain and Portugal, and now France is proposing to extend it to the whole bloc.
In addition, EU leaders reportedly called for speeding up EU negotiations with “reliable” energy producers like Norway and the United States. Brussels seeks to leverage its overall economic clout rather than compete for supplies, and thus creates fuel price hikes, according to media reports.
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Breton added that the EU had managed to diversify its gas supplies thanks to Qatar, Norway and the United States. However, the official pointed out that the bloc pays four times more for US liquefied natural gas than Americans, which is not normal.
According to Breton, the issue of high gas prices from the United States will be discussed by European leaders in the near future.
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