Andrei Spînu: Gazprom, as majority shareholder, can offer us a deferment of payment

Deputy Prime Minister Andrei Spînu said that he is having discussions with the president of Gazprom Alexei Miller for obtaining a deferral of payment for the purchased gas. The Moldovan Government’s request is to put off the payment for January for at most a month given that the gas rate paid by the citizens does not cover the purchase price, while Moldovagaz accumulated debts of over US$30 million. Gazprom, as the main shareholder of Moldovagaz, can make a concession in favor of Moldova, IPN reports.

In January Moldova pays a purchase price of US$646 per 1,000 cubic meters of gas. The rate of 11.08 lei, with VAT included, which is paid by the citizens for natural gas, was calculated at the purchase price of US$450. The difference between the purchase price and the rate makes the Moldovan authorities ask for a small payment deferral. Moldovagaz is unable to pay the advance for this month by January 20.

“Of the US$63 million that is to be paid by the date of 20, only about US$30 million was collected. US$30-32 million lei is the difference that Moldovagaz will probably be unable to collect. I discussed with Alexei Miller as there were similar situations in the past and it is logical for Gazprom, as the majority shareholder that owns 65% of the shares of Moldovagaz to offer a deferment of payment, until February 20 or the end of next month so that Moldovagaz could honor all its payments,” Andrei Spînu stated in the program “In Depth” on ProTV Chisinau channel.

Even if there were cases when Gazprom threatened to halt the supply of gas to Moldova, Andrei Spînu said the problem is a temporary one and will be overcome immediately after the purchase price on the international market follows a downward trend.

“We do not speak about chronic incapacity to pay the bills. It is a very concrete situation. The difference appeared owing to the uncontrolled rise in gas prices on European markets. In December, there were days when the price was US$2,800 per 1,000 cubic meters of gas. Moldovagaz will continue to pay the advance, when it collects the necessary amounts. We will yet discuss the next few days. I’m waiting for a response from Gazprom,” said the official.

In accordance with the contract signed with Gazprom, the Republic of Moldova by the date of 20 of each month should pay for the gas consumed the previous month and an advance of 50% for the current month. If the payments are not made during 48 hours, Gazprom can halt the supplies.

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