EU leaders struggle for common response to energy crisis


EU leaders meet for a second day in Prague and looked to bridge divisions on how to tackle soaring energy prices as they grapple with the fallout from Russia's war on Ukraine.

Forty-four European leaders first met on Thursday to form a new, continent-wide "European Political Community," an idea that originated during France's EU presidency earlier this year.

On the second day of the Prague meeting, the EU 27 leaders met exclusively and discussed how to better protect their critical infrastructure in the wake of leaks from the Russia-Europe Nord Stream gas pipelines that have been blamed on "sabotage".

But it was the sharp disagreements over how to tackle the energy crisis that were the major focus of attention as the 27 nations wrangled over the best plan to try to bring down prices.

Europe is facing an energy crunch as the price of electricity generation skyrockets because of a massive surge in gas prices caused by Russia turning off the taps.

Governments across the bloc are scrambling to lower the costs for their consumers, but they rely on different sources for their energy and are split over the solutions.

EU executive head Ursula von der Leyen is proposing a "roadmap" of measures to help ease the burden -- including potential moves to cap the price of gas.

However, there is no consensus on how any caps could work and leaders are not set to take a firm decision until a summit in Brussels later this month.

"Now, it is time to discuss how we can limit the peaks in the energy prices and the manipulation of energy prices by (Russian President Vladimir) Putin," von der Leyen told journalists.

"This will be the discussion about price caps, the question where to put them and how to put them."

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