The extension of emergency measures that had been taken to address the energy crisis was necessary and proportionate, Energy Minister George Papanastasiou said on Tuesday during the Energy Council of the EU in Brussels.

The council saw member states reaching a political agreement on the extension for one year of three emergency regulations based on solidarity, the acceleration of the development of renewable energy projects and on the gas market correction mechanism.

In his intervention, Papanastasiou supported the Spanish presidency’s compromise proposal for certain changes agreed in the context of the extension and adding that the extension is deemed necessary and proportionate due to the persistent nature of the serious difficulties, additional risks and uncertainty prevailing in the energy sector.

Papanastasiou expressed Cyprus’ full solidarity and understanding of the concerns expressed regarding the safety and transparency issues arising from the commercial operation of nuclear power plants.

He added that Cyprus in particular understands the issue, as it has similar concerns regarding the operation of a nuclear power plant in the Turkish town of Akkuyu, due to its proximity to Cyprus, and called for the alignment of all neighbouring states with the EU on nuclear safety.