European Union leaders are meeting Thursday for a two-day summit to discuss energy issues, as the continent feels pressure from Russian President Vladimir Putin’s decision to cut natural gas access.
While officials discuss how to handle the situation, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy is expected to address them virtually and ask them for help as Putin continues the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
German Chancellor Olaf Scholz supported Ukraine in remarks to German Parliament Thursday morning. He called Russia’s recent attacks against civilian infrastructure “war crimes,” claiming that they will not deter Ukrainian resistance.
“Even such scorched-earth tactics won’t help Russia win the war. They only strengthen the determination and staying power of Ukraine and its partners,” he said.
Meanwhile, however, Germany opposes a gas price cap that many other European countries support. Natural gas prices in Europe spiked over the summer as countries prepared for winter, outbidding each other to fill their reserves.
Scholz told German Parliament that “a politically set price cap always carries the risk that producers then sell their gas elsewhere — and we Europeans ultimately don’t get more gas, but less.” The Netherlands also oppose a cap.
A German official further explained the opposition to the cap to The Associated Press.
“Ships sail to where the best price is,” the official said. “Those who are mobile on the world markets and are flexible … have alternatives.”
A senior EU official similarly said they “don’t want to see all LNG (liquid natural gas) ships heading to China.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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