EU faces awful winters without gas cap – minister

European Union countries will face five to 10 terrible winters if nothing is done to reduce gas prices, Belgium’s energy minister says.

Tinne Van der Straeten said gas prices should be frozen and not used to dictate the price of electricity.

EU states have been struggling with huge energy price hikes since key gas supplier Russia invaded Ukraine in February, triggering sanctions.

Countries backing Ukraine are trying to cut imports of Russian gas and oil.

Russia, which supplied the EU with 40% of its gas last year, has in turn restricted supplies.

As well as gas, electricity prices have reached record highs.

Natural gas is still widely used to generate electricity. Because gas prices have risen, this costs more.

Significantly, this price is used when buying electricity wholesale even when it comes from much cheaper renewable resources.

“We have to stop this madness that is happening right now on energy markets,” Austria’s Chancellor Karl Nehammer said.

“We cannot let [Russian…

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