The Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis, upon his arrival at the European Council Meeting, made the following statement:
We will have the opportunity, in a while, to discuss, in the presence of President Biden, the latest developments in Ukraine. To reaffirm our absolute and strong European unity against this barbaric Russian attack on Ukraine and our support to President Zelensky so that Ukraine can defend itself in the best possible way.
We will also have the opportunity to adopt the very important text of the Compass Strategy which delimits the framework for the European Union’s foreign policy and includes the Greek concerns and the Greek reflections regarding the current state in the Eastern Mediterranean.
Tomorrow morning we are going to have a very substantial discussion over the issue of energy. It is absolutely clear that the crisis in Ukraine has very important repercussions in the global prices of energy, natural gas prices and of course electricity prices. And this is the case for all European citizens and all European businesses. All Member States – within the context of their capacities – support businesses and households through their national budgets.
But this is not enough. It takes a coordinated European response. The Greek government has submitted a proposal over imposing a ceiling, a cap on the prices of natural gas, in the wholesale market, so that electricity prices can also be compressed. So that the wholesale market of natural gas is not a prey for speculators, but it can correspond to the real forces of supply and demand.
At the same time, we defend the need of the European Union to be able to purchase natural gas as a supranational entity and collectively negotiate with natural gas providers, whether we are talking about natural gas coming through pipelines, or Liquefied Natural Gas, so that prices can be further compressed. In other words, (we stand for the need to) do what we did with Covid when we purchased vaccines collectively as European Union and did not let Member States negotiate on their own. For this to happen of course, all member states will have to agree and cede this responsibility to the European Union. We will support this stance because we believe that in this way we will be able to reinforce our purchase power and de-escalate even further natural gas prices.
Thank you very much.