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The Czech Republic will try to remove the issue of a possible ceiling on gas prices from Russia from the agenda of Friday’s meeting of ministers of the EU countries responsible for energy. At today’s meeting of the Senate Committee on the Economy, Minister of Industry and Trade Jozef Síkela (for STAN) said this. According to him, it is rather a political tool, not a solution to the current energy crisis in Europe. On Friday, the minister wants to discuss, for example, the separation of electricity and gas prices, tax changes for energy producers and distributors, or emission allowances.
“In my opinion, this is an unconstructive proposal. It is more about another variant of sanctions against Russia than a current solution to the energy crisis in Europe. And we do not want to prepare more sanctions now, but to solve the energy situation,” Síkela said. The Czechia, as the presiding country, will therefore try to remove the issue of a possible capping of Russian gas prices from Friday’s extraordinary meeting of the EU Council in Brussels.
According to Síkela, European ministers should discuss several options for solving the crisis on Friday. The Czechia will want to include in the negotiations, for example, the so-called Iberian model, which would separate the prices of electricity and gas on the market. According to the Czech minister, this would help especially in the case of electricity, the prices of which, according to his estimation, could be reduced to the level of about 200 to 400 euros per kilowatt hour. Conversely, in the case of gas, prices would probably remain at a similar level as they are now. At the same time, Síkela pointed out that this model can lead to greater gas consumption, which could threaten supplies in Europe in the event of a severe winter.
Another option is proposed by the European Commission, which wants to cap prices for some cheaper sources of energy, such as nuclear power plants. According to Síkela, tax adjustments for energy producers and distributors are also an option.
Síkela also wants to open a discussion on the possibility of limiting sales of emission allowances on Friday. According to him, for example, the annual reduction of the allowance program would not mean a deviation from the EU’s climate goals. “The situation is extraordinary, which is why it would also be an extraordinary measure,” he emphasized. At the same time, however, he added that he does not give the possibility of limiting the program with emission allowances much chance, because the European Commission is against it.