December 9, 2021

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Moldova declared a state of emergency for the gas crisis

Moldova declared a state of emergency for the gas crisis

So far, the country has received a third less gas than normal in October.

Oct 22, 2021 at 5:05 PM TASR

Kisinov. Moldova declared a 30-day state of emergency on Friday in a bid to secure cheaper natural gas from Europe after Russia, a traditional supplier, raised its prices.

The former Soviet republic, with a population of 2.6 million, sandwiched between Romania and Ukraine, receives gas from Russia through the breakaway region of Transnistria and Ukraine.

Russian energy giant Gazprom raised the price of gas in Moldova from $550 (472.63 euros) per 1,000 cubic meters in September to $790 this month. This is the level that Deputy Prime Minister Andrej Spina described as “unjustified and unrealistic” for the poorest country in Europe.

This was stated on Friday by Prime Minister Natalia Gavriletta in Parliament. She added that Moldova would request supplies from European countries, and thanked Romania and Ukraine for already providing them with a certain amount of gas.

Gazprom and its Moldovagas subsidiary agreed last month to extend the current supply contract until October 31, but Gavriletta says Moldova is “not keeping its promise”.

According to her, the company does not provide the required quantities of natural gas, while Moldova has so far received a third less gas than usual in October.

The prime minister also said that Moldova and Gazprom are continuing negotiations, but that the former Soviet republic “has no confidence” in the success of the talks and “must take action”, otherwise it will remain without gas.

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The emergency gives Moldovan energy company Energocom the ability to secure gas from other countries.

Moldova suffers from a shortage of gas at a time when its price is rising sharply. Some politicians in Europe blame Russia. According to them, Moscow is not supplying Europe with enough gas to put pressure to agree to the controversial Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline, which runs along the bottom of the Baltic Sea and bypasses Ukraine.

In Moldova, some experts say Russia raised gas prices for the country because it elected a pro-European president last year, Maya Sandu, who said she wanted the divided region of Transnistria to join Moldova.

The country has long been divided into two camps, one for closer relations with the European Union and the other for maintaining relations with Moscow.