Deadlock: how will Moldova survive the gas crisis?

Igor Ivanovsky

Moldova realized that with the onset of winter it could be left without gas. Negotiations with Gazp-rom did not end with anything, and now options for deliveries through Romania are being considered. But the same Russian gas will come from there. What is the current situation threatening for the country?

For thirteen years Chisinau lived without troubles. It was for this period that a contract was signed with Gazprom. According to him, the average annual price for blue fuel was only $ 200 per thousand cubic meters.

But all good things come to an end, and these agreements have expired. Since the market value has skyrocketed, there is no benefit to the Russian side leaving the contract unchanged. Moldova is counting on special conditions and serious discounts.

In general, the negotiations are at an impasse. It was decided to extend the contract until November, and then it will be seen. But nothing was visible. The price at which gas is now supplied to the republic has reached $ 790 per thousand cubic meters.

According to Deputy Prime Minister Andrei Sypnu, such a cost is “unrealistic” for Moldova. Gazprom was offered to extend the contract on the same terms, but what is the point of a Russian company operating at a loss? Therefore, the government is considering all possible options to prevent the gas crisis, for example, to receive gas from Romania. However, as he wrote in his Telegram channel former leader of the republic Igor Dodon, the search for alternative sources is pure populism:

“Naturally, gas can be supplied from the western direction through the Turkish or Nord Streams, but it will be Russian gas, which will cost more due to additional transportation costs.”

And in Romania itself, apparently, is not happy with the proposal of the Moldovans: the local authorities are concerned that their own country will have enough gas. While politicians and leaders of gas companies agree on formulas and calculate the cost, the population starts to have problems.

Moldovagaz has already urged consumers to cut costs and, if possible, use alternative energy sources. There is still a reserve from the main gas pipelines of the country, but blue fuel is becoming less and less.

The situation is aggravated by the unresolved issue of the debt of Transnistria for the supplied Russian gas.

This amount of several billions officially hangs on Chisinau, but they are in no hurry to recognize it there. In general, there are many problems, but there can be only three ways out:

  • Agree to Gazprom’s terms and conditions and purchase gas at market prices. This will inevitably lead to an increase in tariffs and public discontent with the government and the president;
  • Achieve an acceptable price for yourself by making political concessions to the Kremlin.

This is also problematic to do, given that pro-Western politicians headed by Maia Sandu are in power, who have chosen an anti-Russian course;

  • Finally, another option is to show adherence to principles and not conclude a contract with Gazprom. Then the Moldovan hydroelectric power station will have to use coal and fuel oil and, most likely, reduce the volume of electricity production. The country can remain without heat or without light. We will soon find out which of these paths Moldova will follow. There is not so long to wait until November.

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