EP President Roberta Metsola’s has called for European unity in providing military support to Ukraine and in response to the energy crisis.

Speaking at an informal meeting of the European Council in Prague, Metsola said Ukrainians need to be able to defend themselves.

“In this new, more dangerous phase of war, they need the heavy armour that will allow them to push back, notably tanks. And there are options on the table that will allow us to help, without depleting our national defence capabilities..."

Although none of the available options are perfect, not doing anything is not an option, she said.

As for the energy crisis, Metsola called for a strong sign of unity had to be sent.

“That is why an EU bloc-wide gas price cap is imperative.

“We cannot outbid each other. Many energy companies are making huge profits on the market speculation. Excess profits should be directed to alleviate the situation facing households, SMEs and industries struggling with skyrocketing bills. My proposal is that we learn from the pandemic – and, like with vaccines, we negotiate as a block and stop the price speculation.

“We need better, more regular cooperation between States on long-term gas prices. By spring, our gas storages will need refilling, and we must be in a situation where we can buy reasonably priced gas from reliable partners.

“Interconnections within the EU of our energy grid are essential. The energy union should finally become a reality.

“The European Parliament stands ready to act swiftly as we have always done,” Metsola said.

She said that Europe is once again at a decision point. It had to face a world that was changing, that was different and that pushed Europe to change with it.

“We must adapt to this new reality and ensure that our systems are capable of the resilience that is required. To do that we must remain together, we must remain united and resist the easy temptation to go at it alone for short-term gain.”

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