European Union moves a step closer to creating an energy union
Motivated by the unrest in Ukraine, the heads of state of the 28 EU countries are accelerating efforts to create an energy union.
The proposed union could result in lower prices, cleaner energy and greater energy security. A union could have a major impact on energy supply in Europe.
Above all, the EU countries are agreed that security, particularly concerning the supply of electricity and gas, must be increased.
Playing energy politics
They have agreed that the EU countries must stand together and not be separated by Russia's attempt to offer some countries lower energy prices.
The powerful Russian gas company Gazprom has been accused of playing politics with its gas supply by offering lower prices to selected countries.
Donald Tusk, the former prime minister of Poland who is now the EU president, along with several eastern European countries, wants to see the EU make its energy supply independent of Russia. It was Tusk who last year raised the idea of creating an energy union as a response to Russia's annexation of Crimea.
Co-operation could clear the air
His idea was to reduce Russia's ability to exert political pressure on EU countries by getting countries to buy less gas from Russia.
Other countries, including Denmark, have pushed for an energy union that places emphasis on clean energy and a market in which energy could be sold across the borders of EU countries.
The EU heads of state involved also stressed that the energy union would contribute to cleaner energy and help fight climate change.