BRUSSELS, Nov. 20 (Xinhua) -- The European Commission decided on Monday to prolong by six months a "limited number" of state aid rules to provide the European Union (EU) member states with flexibility to assist companies grappling with soaring energy prices caused by the Russia-Ukraine conflict.
"Member states can maintain their support schemes to cover the upcoming winter heating period as a safety net in case certain companies continue to be affected by the economic disturbance" caused by the conflict, the Commission said in a statement.
The EU introduced the State aid Temporary Crisis and Transition Framework in March 2022 to alleviate the repercussions of the Russia-Ukraine conflict on the bloc's economy. Since its inception, the framework has undergone two amendments, and the measures outlined within it were slated to be phased out by the end of December this year.
With the latest amendment, the Commission prolonged the limited aid until June 30, 2024. Notably, the cap on financial assistance for sectors such as agriculture, fisheries and aquaculture has been raised.
Aid to compensate for high energy prices was also prolonged by six months until the end of June next year, according to the statement. ■