Norway PM again rejects EU idea of gas price cap
OSLO, Sept 9 (Reuters) - Norway's prime minister has again warned against a price cap on Norwegian gas sold to the European Union, arguing this would not solve Europe's energy problems, newspaper VG reported on Friday.
Norway, which is not an EU member, has become the union's largest supplier of gas after Russia's export cutbacks in the wake of the Ukraine war, giving the Nordic nation record income from its petroleum industry as prices soared. Russia calls its actions in Ukraine "a special military operation."
At an emergency meeting in Brussels on Friday, EU energy ministers asked the European Commission to propose broad gas price caps, even as the EU executive itself poured cold water on the feasibility of such an idea.
Norwegian Prime Minister Jonas Gahr Stoere also rejected the idea.
"That's not a solution we'd propose, we don't think it answers the EU's challenges," he told VG.
The Norwegian prime minister's office did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
EU countries want to protect their citizens from soaring energy prices that have driven inflation to record highs.
Stoere on Sept. 7 had warned against introducing measures with "unintended consequences" that could worsen the EU's access to energy.
While Norway aims to be a reliable supplier of gas, its trade terms are determined by negotiations between companies that pump the hydrocarbons and the firms that buy it, the prime minister said.
"I tell my European colleagues that I'm not the one who sells the gas," Stoere told VG.
"It is important to assess the effects of a price-cap on the future energy supply. It is equally important to assess how the proposal affects the power market, both in the short and the long term," deputy energy minister Andreas Bjelland Eriksen said in an emailed statement on Friday. (Reporting by Nora Buli and Nerijus Adomaitis; Writing by Terje Solsvik; Editing by Josie Kao)