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Putin says Russia has ‘lost nothing’ during its ‘special military operation’ in Ukraine

The European Commission proposes a reduction in electricity at peak hours to contribute to rising costs

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen speaks during a news conference at the EU headquarters in Brussels, Belgium, on September 7. (Photo: Virginia Mayo/AP)

The president of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, proposed new far-reaching measures on Wednesday, including a “mandatory target to reduce electricity consumption at peak hours.”

The proposals were introduced with the aim of helping European citizens cope with rising energy costs, as Russia’s actions in “active manipulation of the gas market” and the effects of climate change lead to an increase in prices.

Speaking to reporters in Brussels, von der Leyen said the European Union “has greatly increased its preparedness and we have weakened the control that Russia had over our economy and our continent” in the last six months.

He warned that “Russian manipulation of the gas market has indirect effects on the electricity market” and will confront Europe “with astronomical electricity prices for households and businesses.”

He presented five measures with the aim of supporting “vulnerable consumers and businesses”.

As part of the measures, von der Leyen announced that the EU “will propose a cap on Russian gas.”

“The objective here is very clear,” he said. “We must cut Russia’s income, which Putin uses to finance this atrocious war against Ukraine.”

Other measures include a “mandatory peak-hour electricity use reduction target” to help “flatten peaks and a cap on energy revenues for businesses using renewable sources.”

In addition, the commission “will propose a solidarity contribution for fossil fuel companies”, which would mean that the “windfall profits” of energy companies are used to support consumers and companies.

The five proposed measures will be presented to member states on Friday, according to von der Leyen.

What Putin SaysRussia’s President Vladimir Putin on Wednesday confronted the West’s proposal to cap Russian energy prices and threatened to cut off oil and gas supplies if imposed.

“Simply, we will not fulfill them. And we will not supply anything at all if it is contrary to our interests, in this case, economic. Not gas, not oil, not coal, not heating oil – we will not supply anything,” Putin said.

Last week, the G7 countries announced their plans to impose a price cap on Russian oil exports.

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