EU considering allowing member states to regulate gas prices: reports
The European Commission could soon allow its member states to independently regulate their own gas prices as the sanctions on Russia exacerbated the energy crisis.
The European Commission is considering allowing the governments of EU member states to regulate gas prices on domestic markets, an EU document seen by German newspaper Welt am Sonntag said Saturday.
"In these exceptional circumstances, the governments of EU member states should be allowed to regulate consumer prices during the transitional period," the news outlet quoted the document as saying.
The European Commission is intending to mitigate a rapid increase in gas prices through this measure, which had been exacerbated by the Western policies toward Russia.
The cost of gas on the European market has been showing strong volatility since late February in light of the war in Ukraine.
Gas prices soared in early March following reports on a possible ban on the purchase of Russian energy resources in Europe, reaching historical highs.
In late April, however, things took to a worse turn, with the World Bank saying it was expecting a twofold increase in gas prices, while coal prices are expected to increase by 80% in Europe in 2022.
The crisis in question is due to Russia launching a special military operation for several reasons, including NATO's eastward expansion. Other reasons were the Ukrainian shelling of Donbass and the killing of the people of the Donetsk People's Republic and Lugansk People's Republic, in addition to Moscow wanting to "denazify" and demilitarize Ukraine.
The EU has declared preparations to join the United States and the United Kingdom in imposing an embargo on Russian energy products. However, unlike the United States and the United Kingdom, the European Union buys the majority of its energy supplies from Russia, and experts have warned that cutting off the supply may have disastrous consequences.
Germany, in particular, is bracing for the collapse of entire businesses, while the CEO of Austrian energy giant OMV has said that his country's decision to stop buying Russian gas would be "impossible."
The US and its allies, following the start of the war in Ukraine, rolled out comprehensive sanctions, including restrictions on the Russian central bank, export control measures, SWIFT cutoff for select banks, and closure of airspace to all Russian flights. Many of their companies have suspended their Russian operations.