Transport, Telecommunications and Energy Council (Energy), 28 February 2022

On 28 February, EU energy minister met in Brussels to exchange views on the energy situation in Ukraine and Europe following the unprovoked and unjustified military aggression by the Russian Federation. In fact, these military operations are leading to an increase in gas prices in the EU as well as in international oil prices.

During the meeting the Council presidency considered essential to swiftly take forward discussions on preparedness and contingency measures at all levels in the energy sector in Europe, as well as on all the options for responding to Ukraine’s requests for support, taking action on three different levels:

– Providing practical support for Ukraine,
– Strengthening the resilience of the European energy system
– Managing future trends in energy prices.

However, even if Russia were to halt its exports there would be no immediate risk to the security of supply in the European Union. Energy ministers also discussed:

– The importance to accelerate the green transition, in order to achieve our goals of Europe’s energy independence and climate neutrality.
– The possibility to take action at national level to provide Ukraine with additional financial or material assistance. Financial aids that will be added to the 1.2 billion given in assistance to Ukraine in the form of loans to promote stability in the country last January 2021.

Member States and the Commission agreed:

– That the European Union is not immediately at risk in terms of supplies of gas or fuel, even in the event of a disruption in the supply of Russian gas.
– They will coordinating the European Union’s contribution to any action in terms of oil supply, in particular in the context of the International Energy Agency.
Member States are prepared to mobilize strategic stocks if the situation regarding oil supplies or prices evolves in such a way that it becomes necessary.
– Member States will continue to monitor the situation closely, in close coordination with the Commission, in order to be able to act swiftly if necessary. They will also strengthen their contacts with international partners, with a view to stabilizing energy flows and prices.

Lastly, ministers underlined the importance of the European Green Deal and the ‘Fit for 55’ legislative package to reduce the Union’s hydrocarbon dependency.

The press release is available here.