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Moldova staged gas crisis, its debt amounts to $433mln - Gazprom

Moldova’s gas crisis has been caused by the Moldovan authorities, as the debt for the supplied gas amounts to $433 million, Spokesman for the Russian gas giant Gazprom Sergei Kupriyanov said.

"Currently, the situation with the supply of Russian gas to Moldova is very thorny. The Moldovan authorities are entirely to blame for this. We are talking about the crisis of non-payment by Moldova for Russian gas," he said.

He explained that the republic had accumulated a debt for the already delivered gas.

"To date, the debt is $433 million, and taking into account the overdue payments, the total debt is $709 million. However, for some reason, Moldovan representatives do not want to acknowledge the accumulated amount of debt. Moreover, the Moldovan representatives do not like the gas price, although the pricing is clear and transparent," he added.

Nevertheless, Gazprom is ready to extend its gas contract with Moldova if the debt is completely repaid, the spokesman promised.

"In spite of the accumulated debt, the Moldovan side is asking to extend the gas supply contract for these October and November. In that, Gazprom is meeting them halfway and has inked a contract for October and is poised to extend the contract for November once the Moldovan side pays off in full for the gas deliveries in September and October, 2021," he said.

Kupriyanov pointed out that "if gas supplies are not paid off and, accordingly, a new contract is not signed as of December 1, 2021, Gazprom will stop gas supplies to Moldova."

No politics

Kupriyanov emphasized that no politics can be seen in the crisis with gas supplies to Moldova, as Gazprom cannot operate at a loss.

"There is no politics here. Gazprom is a joint stock company and cannot operate at a loss. It cannot allow the loss of tax payments to the Russian budget. There are limits of patience. Moldova is provoking the crisis with its own hands," he said.

Kupriyanov added that Gazprom is confused by the reports that Chisinau plans to terminate Moldovagaz, which owes money to Gazprom for the delivered gas.

"The received goods must be paid in due time," he stressed.

On September 30, Moldovagaz and Gazprom renewed the gas contract until the end of October, or for the period of consultations. This month, Chisinau is expected to import gas at the market price of about $790 for 1,000 cubic meters. However, in 2020, the country paid an average of $148.87 for the same volume. The expected price hike has caused concern among the Moldovans.

In their talks with Gazprom, Chisinau asks for the reduced price, hoping to pay an average of $200-300 for 1,000 cubic meters. In exchange, Moldova suggests negotiating the redemption of its historical debts and postponing the implementation of the European Union’s Third Energy Package, which affects Gazprom’s investments in Moldova. Upon the government’s proposal, the Moldovan parliament declared a state of emergency from October 22 to November 20 over gas shortages in the country.

[Source: Tass, Moscow, 23Oct21]

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