OSLO, Sept 12 (Reuters) – Norway and the European Union have agreed to a closer dialogue on proposals to resolve Europe’s energy crisis, Norwegian Prime Minister Jonas Gahr Stoere said on Monday following a telephone meeting with European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen.
“We’re going into the talks with an open mind but are sceptical towards a maximum price on natural gas,” Stoere said in a statement. “A maximum price would not solve the fundamental problem, which is that there is too little gas in Europe.”
EU energy ministers last week 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.
“We’ve agreed to an even closer dialogue with the EU regarding the proposals that are on the table,” Stoere said.
Norway, which is not an EU member, has become the union’s largest supplier of gas after Russia cut back exports 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”.
While Norway aims to be a reliable supplier of gas to Europe, the terms of trade should be determined by negotiations between companies that pump the hydrocarbons and the firms that buy it, the Nordic country has said.
(Reporting by Terje Solsvik, editing by Essi Lehto)