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Energy Commissioner Kadri Simson: “we need a price cap for Russian gas”

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**Approach to Russia and other partners should be different. Personally, I believe that this is necessary to introduce a price cap on Russian gas, since there are no sanctions on Russian gas yet. So even in times of crisis and without enough supplies, the household is protected.” **Kadri Simson,European Commission Energy Officer

Rapid inflation, Russia’s unhealthy dependence on energy, and the risk of blackouts. The European Commission faces one of the most alarming winters on record. So what solutions can we offer, and how do we plan to mitigate the impact of increasing legislation on citizens?Euronews reporter Aïda Sanchez told the European Energy Commissioner her Kadri Joined Global Her Conversation with Simson.

Aida Sanchez, Euronews

The chairman of the commission announced the new sanctions. what do you think will happen to them?

Kadri Simson, European Commission Energy Officer

Well this is a work in progress. And if we find that the previous package leaves something out of scope, we are ready to respond. This is what you can expect from the ongoing work to ensure that you do not receive any income from

Aida Sanchez, Euronews

And which ones were previously excluded from scope, such as which proposals specifically?

Kadri Simson

Well, it’s an implementation issue. And during implementation, we realize that when agreements have already been reached for some sectors or services, we need to target them more specifically.

Aida Sanchez, Euronews

And do they also focus on energy?

Kadri Simson

Energy is already covered by some sanctions. Personally, I believe that this is necessary to introduce a price cap on Russian gas, since there are no sanctions on Russian gas yet. But it would be unfair for Russia manipulating supplies to partially cover the reduced quantity at a higher price.

Aida Sanchez, Euronews

This Russian gas price cap was mentioned earlier, but was not in the final proposal from the Commission. Why wasn’t it there?

Kadri Simson

This winter and ahead of next year there have been many questions about how to ensure security of supply. I know there is no pipeline connection. They have no chance to sell it to someone else. So the price difference is even bigger and it could be your only chance to make a profit. But they are also cut off from the surplus income currently available.

Aida Sanchez, Euronews

And do you think other Member States also want to put this price cap on Russian gas because some of them didn’t want to before?

Kadri Simson

Admittedly, this is a very complicated issue. Because to get through this winter safely, we have to manage the amount we have available. At the same time, Member States have already done a lot. They have implemented measures to reduce overall gas consumption and have had great success with their bunker filling activities. Currently, over 86% of underground gas storage is filled. And this is higher than agreed in Midsummer.

Aida Sanchez, Euronews

Some countries also wanted price caps on all imported gas to Europe. do you think this will work?

Kadri Simson

Our approach to Russia and other partners must be different. At the same time, we have very good cooperation with countries such as Norway, Azerbaijan and Algeria, which are connected to us through their gas pipelines. We have an existing energy dialogue. Of course, we will try to reach out to them and find ways to make prices more affordable. We need to make sure this is not being manipulated and that there are benchmarks that can attract the additional he LNG volume needed.

Aida Sanchez, Euronews

So, from your words, I understand from the Commission’s part that there is no proposal for a price cap on all gas imports. Is it a no from the European Commission?

Kadri Simson

No, work is in progress. But our biggest concern is how to design something like this so that it doesn’t hurt the volume and what it can attract.

Aida Sanchez, Euronews

So, moving on to the measures proposed by the Commission, what are the first measures that citizens will see?

Kadri Simson

Well, across the EU 27 member states, citizens have already had the chance to see some results. Last week’s proposal targets market conditions where supply is scarce.

Aida Sanchez, Euronews

But when will the funds the Commission hopes to raise through these two taxes be available?

Kadri Simson

For example, price ceilings for those electricity producers that are generating at a significantly lower cost than gas-fired power plants. This funding will be available and immediately available for the government to use and support retail consumers and small businesses.

Aida Sanchez, Euronews

And solidarity contribution? When will we see it?

Kadri Simson

Our contribution to solidarity addresses the revenue fossil fuel companies are earning this year – surplus revenue. This means that we will not provide additional donations until the end of the year.

Aida Sanchez, Euronews

The proposal also includes a 5% mandatory cut in electricity demand. How will the European Commission ensure that Member States comply with it?

Kadri Simson

This is a binding obligation and means that Member States really know what they need to do. Well, we have demand response and good deals with big consumers in place. That means you should use them more often.

Aida Sanchez, Euronews

Will we see situations where citizens need to reduce their demand too? So, should citizens also be proactive in saving energy?

Kadri Simson

Well, households are protected customers. So even in times of crisis and without enough supplies, households are protected. But that doesn’t mean that each of us should do our best to save energy. This is a reasonable attitude. Help lower your bill. But at this very moment, if millions of Europeans do the right thing and don’t waste their energy, our industry won’t have to face this situation and we need rationing.

Aida Sanchez, Euronews

Commissioner, thank you so much for being here. Thank you for your time.

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