EU policymakers are scrambling to limit the impact of soaring energy prices on consumers and businesses. Gas prices, which set the price of electricity in the EU, surged 30% at the start of the week as Russia halted supplies through the Nord Stream 1 pipeline. Prices peaked at 10 times more than last year. The move has further elevated fears of energy rationing across member states and the potential for a recession.

As Anne Finnegan reports this week, Moscow has confirmed that gas supplies to Europe will not resume in full until the collective west lifts sanctions against Russia over its invasion of Ukraine. In response, the EU has accused Putin of weaponising energy supplies. European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen said this week that “Putin is using energy as a weapon by cutting supply and manipulating our energy markets”.