Energy News

Russia will cut gas supplies to Moldova unless debt is paid

by RT

After failed attempts to renew a long-term contract for gas from Russia to Moldova, which is suffering from shortages, Gazprom has announced that deliveries could be stopped next month unless Chisinau pays its debt.

The company says that Moldova’s government has created the gas supply crisis the country now finds itself in, and that Moldova’s total debt is currently $709 million.

However, Gazprom insisted that the situation has nothing to do with politics, since the company can’t afford to operate at a loss.

Moldova declared a state of emergency over the shortage of natural gas on Friday. The crisis unfolded amid record-high spot prices and after a 2008 contract with Russia’s Gazprom expired in September.

The deliveries were continued as a stop-gap measure throughout October, but the sides failed to agree on terms for renewal.

Earlier on Saturday, Moldovan Vice Prime Minister Andrei Spinu, who led his country’s gas delegation to Moscow, reported a lack of progress in negotiations. The Russian side required “financial and non-financial conditions, including the settlement of the historic debt,” he said in a Facebook post, claiming that the resulting cost of the case was “higher than the offers on the international gas markets.”

Responding to the claims, Gazprom said that while Moldova’s authorities might not like the price for Russian gas, the nature of the pricing is clear and transparent. The company added that the signing of a new deal is only possible if Moldova admits its debt.

Moldovan Prime Minister Natalia Gavrilita earlier told the parliament that only 67% of the country’s needs for gas in October were covered, and that an extra 16 million cubic meters were necessary to cover the deficit. A continued shortage may pose a threat to the gas infrastructure, she warned.On the bright side, Spinu said, Gazprom agreed to boost daily deliveries to Moldova by 5 million cubic meters throughout the rest of October, somewhat alleviating the dire situation in the country.

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