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Gazprom offers Moldova new gas deal in exchange for weaker EU ties

Source : 112 Ukraine

Gazprom is prepared to offer a new contract with a lower price if Moldova agrees to amend its tariff-free trade deal with the EU
20:56, 27 October 2021

Gazprom
Open source

Gazprom has offered Moldova a new contract for gas supply at a lower cost in exchange for the country adjusting its free trade deal with the EU and delaying energy market reforms agreed with Brussels. Financial Times reported that citing people briefed on the discussions.

Moldova declared a state of emergency over gas shortages on October 22, after Gazprom, which supplies all the country's gas, cut shipments at the start of this month by a third following the expiry of their long-term contract. A temporary agreement is in place but that too will expire at the end of this month. Moldova is also paying much higher prices under the current arrangement.

Related: Ukraine to sale 700 million cubic meters of gas to Moldova in case of need

Gazprom is prepared to offer a new contract with a lower price if Moldova agrees to amend its tariff-free trade deal with the EU, and delay the implementation of EU rules that require gas markets to be liberalised to allow more competition. Gazprom currently enjoys a monopoly over the country's gas supply, and also controls its transmission system operator Moldovagaz.

Russia has been accused of exerting pressure on Moldova in response to its election of a pro-West president, Maia Sandu, last year. But the Kremlin has denied using gas supply in Europe as a geopolitical tool.

On October 22, the Moldovan delegation in Moscow failed to come to terms with the Russian Gazprom, so the gas deal with it was not extended. Soon, the Moldovan government announced an energy crisis due to the gas deficit, which emerged after the negotiations with Moscow failed.

According to the Moldovan government, the volume of gas delivered from Russia was definitely not enough to cover the population's needs, and it caused serious malfunctions in the work of the gas transport system due to the low pressure in gas pipelines. 

Related: Moldova deals with Dutch company, orders 1 mln cubic meters of gas

 

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