Stockholm (People's Daily) – Norway's Prime Minister Jonas Gahr Store has said he was "skeptical" about the idea of a price cap on the price of gas imports in the EU.
"We approach discussions in an open spirit, but we are skeptical of a maximum gas price," Store said on Monday in a statement following a phone call with European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen.
"A maximum price does not change the fundamental issue that there is a gas shortage in Europe,” he said.
European energy ministers who met last Friday in Brussels said they were in favor of a series of measures aimed at combating soaring gas and electricity prices, with some calling for a cap.
The European Commission has proposed a price ceiling on gas imported from Russia, several member states, including Italy, called for a price ceiling on all gas bought by EU states, including liquified natural gas (LNG).
Non-EU member Norway, which has benefited from soaring prices following the Russia-Ukraine conflict, has until now kept a low profile on the issue, preferring instead to leave it up to oil and gas companies to negotiate their own contracts.
The Scandinavian country has replaced Russia as Europe's leading gas supplier amid plunging Russian deliveries and an 8 percent increase in its own deliveries.
Last week Store told the Financial Times of London that the country would potentially be open to a price cap and long-term gas agreement to help its European partners.
"I fully understand that Europe now has a profound debate about how energy markets work, how they can secure more affordable prices for citizens, families, industries," he was quoted as saying.
However, this weekend Store reiterated that it was not the Norwegian government that could directly offer Europe a capped price on gas.
"I tell my European colleagues that it is not me who sells the gas," he said. "Licenses are given to companies that pay a high tax, and then they are the ones who sell it."