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EU officials have signaled their intention to seek a cap on Russian gas prices alongside other measures to limit the negative fallout from Russia’s war on Ukraine, despite criticism of such a move from the part of the Czech EU Presidency and the Russian threat to stop supplies.

The EU’s chief executive, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, told reporters on September 7 that “we will be proposing a Russian gas price cap” in addition to other measures.

Other measures will include forced reductions in electricity consumption during peak hours and limits on revenues for companies that generate electricity from sources other than gas, she said.

“We have to cut the revenue from Russia, which Putin is using to fund this atrocious war in Ukraine,” von der Leyen said.

The commission has been working since the start of the war to diversify gas supplies away from Russia, it said in an article explaining von der Leyen’s proposed plan. Record levels of liquefied natural gas (LNG) imports offset the reduction in the Russian gas pipeline and allowed Europe’s gas storage facilities to be filled to more than 80%, he said.

“However, the deliberate disruption of gas flows from Russia via most routes, affecting in particular 13 Member States, and the unjustified stoppage of gas delivery via Nord Stream 1 indicate a scenario of complete disruption of the Russian gas supply,” the document said. .

But some EU countries are wary of a Russian gas price cap if it jeopardizes the dwindling supply they still receive from Moscow.

Czech Industry Minister Jozef Sikela told Czech senators earlier today that a Russian gas price cap was not a solution to the current crisis and that the bloc’s energy ministers should not discuss this option at a meeting this week.

Sikela called the price cap a political tool and an “unconstructive proposal”, not a solution.

Live briefing: Russia’s invasion of Ukraine

RFE/RL Live briefing gives you all the latest developments on the ongoing invasion of Russia, how Kyiv is fighting back, Western military aid, the global response and the plight of civilians. For all of RFE/RL’s coverage of the war, click here.

“[A price cap] is more about another variant of sanctions against Russia than an actual solution to the energy crisis in Europe. We don’t want to prepare more sanctions now, but rather resolve the energy situation,” he said.

The Czechs currently hold the rotating presidency of the EU.

Czech officials have called a special meeting of the EU’s Energy Council for September 9 amid fears of debilitating fuel shortages this winter, prompted by international sanctions and Russian countermeasures stemming from the unprovoked invasion of Ukraine by Moscow in late February, are growing.

The commission said the price cap would mean countries could continue to buy from the Russian pipeline as long as the price did not rise above an agreed threshold.

“Significant disruptions are already taking place without price caps,” the commission said in its document explaining the emergency measures.

The commission suggested setting the ceiling price above production costs and below current market prices to encourage Russia to continue selling to Europe.

Speaking at an economic forum in Russia’s Far East on September 7, President Vladimir Putin called the idea of ​​price caps in the EU “stupid” and said Russia would stop supplying gas and oil to Europe if such a measure were implemented.

In addition to the EU, the industrialized powers of the Group of Seven (G7) have promised to move urgently to put in place a cap on the price of Russian oil imports in order to cut off a major source of financing for the war.

Putin said Russia could still sell fossil fuels around the world and would simply drop its supply contracts with the West if it imposed price caps.

Russia has already cut gas supplies through its highest capacity pipeline, Nord Stream 1 to Germany, citing a turbine problem that its German partner dismissed as an excuse.

Russia’s share of gas imports to the EU had already fallen from around 45% a year ago to around 30% in April.

The Russian state monopoly Gazprom has completely isolated some countries since the start of the Russian invasion.

Last week it cut off flow from the Nord Stream 1 gas pipeline which supplied about a third of Russia’s gas to Europe due to an alleged “repair” which its German partner said should not affect supplies.